When it comes to packing for a seaside trip, you know the basics: dresses, swimsuits, flip flops and sunblock. However, there’s a few items novice sailors might not think to bring along — that’s where I come in. See below for a handful of essentials you should be packing to make any sailing trip a smooth one!
How to Pack for a Sailing Trip
First and foremost, pack light! Sailboat cabins can be pretty conservative in size, and you don’t want to feel claustrophobic with unnecessary personal items cluttering up your space. Stick to one suitcase and be sensible with what (and how much) you pack. A duffel bag is recommended — rather than a hard suitcase — in order to fit your bag into tight spots or fold it up once it’s empty.
Motion Sickness Products
All-natural ginger chews are my personal go-to for mild seasickness, though Dramamine can be a bit more powerful for those who are really prone to it. On our Croatia trip, I imagined sailing through protected bays, but we encountered a storm and everyone on our boat got seasick that day.
I should also mention newly popular PSI wristbands: lightweight wristbands that use acupuncture pressure on the wrist to combat nausea. They’re affordable, surprisingly effective, and recommended by Oprah!
You may be packing for sunshine, but don’t forget that it can get chilly and misty in the evenings. Do not forget a waterproof windbreaker (if it’s a little insulated, even better). If it does rain during your trip, you’ll want to keep your clothes dry unless you want to end up with a pile of wet clothes on the floor of your room with nowhere to dry until the sun comes back out (been there, done that).
I’d also suggest bringing a floppy sun hat and sarong, too — while they’re both stylish, they’re also super practical! Sun hats will protect your skin from hours of the sun’s rays, and keep your hair from whipping around and getting tangled in the wind. Sarongs are my favorite item of beach clothing that can be worn numerous way for various settings.
Keep in mind that you’ll be out in the sun…at sea…on a boat. Hygiene is key.
Biodegradable body wipes, facial wipes (yes, they’re different) and dry shampoo (I have found this dry shampoo to be the best for my hair) are all musts! Showers on a sailboat aren’t always as frequent or enjoyable as at home. I also bring eye drops, vaseline lotion, and lip balm — because sun + salt water = dry skin! Lastly, women may consider bringing a Diva cup if it’s that time of the month; feminine products can be difficult to dispose of on board.
Depending on what sailboat you end up on, you may be stuck with limited use to power outlets. Sometimes there are only one or two outlets on the boat to be shared with every on board. Bring a power bank so you can charge your phone and camera at your convenience.
If you’re a light sleeper you must pack ear plugs and an eye mask in case the motor starts up early or the sun shines through the porthole.
Also, be sure to bring along a quick-dry towel and dry bag to protect your personal items. I keep my phone in a waterproof phone pouch attached to a lanyard-type necklace so I don’t have to worry about it on-deck.