When it comes to packing for holiday on the sea, less is more. Space is at a premium, so clever packing is a must. This guide will help you work out what to pack for a sailing trip.
You have got to take your camera/phone (waterproof/Go Pro for in the water with a spare battery if you have one) as you are going to want to record all your amazing experiences, so you can re-live them when you get back to reality. Boats have WiFi so you can stay in contact with the world (or at least your cloud storage for all the fantastic photos) if you want to.
Unless your vessel has an inverter, the normal plug sockets will only work when in a marina/ harbor or when the generator is running. It is good to bring in-car chargers (ie 12v) for your devices; it is heartbreaking when you can’t capture the view because everything ran out of juice.
Make sure to bring a playlist of your favorite tunes to listen to on your trip. Get the right cable (USB/aux) to connect into the boat’s speaker system which is located below decks.
Life onboard during the day, especially in the high season, requires no more than swimwear and something to cover up when the sun gets too much. Protect your eyes with polarizing sunglasses, and if they are expensive, bring a cord so they can’t fall in the sea when you are gazing into the azure waters. A hat that doesn’t blow off in the wind is a must, shade miss limited on deck.
In the evening, if you are going on shore to dine, think smart casual. It will still be hot in the high season so smart shorts and polo shirt/short sleeved shirt is fine for men, a cool summer dress for the ladies; night time is the time to shine!
Outside of the high season, the winds pick up and there is a greater daily temperature range, so you may want to bring some warmer clothes.
Flip flops work at any time of day, with any outfit. The only other footwear you may need is something for hiking up to the region’s historic forts to take in some amazing views and watch the sun go down – walking sandals or sneakers perhaps.
In the water
A snorkel and mask are great for making the most out of the sea. If you intend to swim to shore it may be worthwhile buying scuba shoes (available in all the local markets) to protect your feet from sea urchins. Don’t forget to bring a beach towel or buy one before you board.
High factor sun cream is important as the sun’s rays reflect off the surface of the sea, doubling their effect. Lobster red is not a good look and can make life uncomfortable. Slow and steady is the way to develop a deep and lasting tan that will turn your friends green with envy; you still go golden with SPF 30 on. Consider investing in some marine friendly lotions and potions as everything you use will end up being washed into the sea, read more in our environmental guide.
A basic first aid kit is sensible, and it is worth including some Sea-bands just in case. These are a wearable wristband that is proven to suppress nausea without using drugs (which can often cause drowsiness). Get the cheap version, which works just as well as more expensive brands. Bring tablets too; it is best to be prepared even on the calmest sea. An antihistamine cream or some tiger balm is good for insect bites and stings. Wasps and mosquitoes can’t be avoided but they can be deterred, consider bringing a repellent in case they are active.
Nothing but human waste must go down the toilet. Bring some disposal bags for toilet roll and sanitary items or get some when you provision at the base marina.
Keeping showers short will increase the time you can stay off-grid. Consider 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, combined shampoo/body wash and face wipes.
Cash is king in Croatia; the local currency is the kuna (HRK). You can find ATMs everywhere, in fact there is an absurd amount of them! When given the option, select to be charged/withdraw cash in kuna rather than your home currency as the exchange rate will be better (even considering any commission). Tips must be paid in cash and smaller bars/cafes, restaurants, shops, and excursions often only accept hard currency. You can use Visa/MasterCard in larger establishments, gas stations and supermarkets.
So, as you can see, you really don’t need to pack very much at all. When you have gathered everything together make sure to pack it into a collapsible bag such as a hold-all or duffle bag. Cabins are compact and have cupboard space for your belongings but there will not be room for storing bulky suitcases. It can get awkward below decks when you are living in the middle of a Tetris game!