Sailing into the sunset for a week of sunshine and swimming is one of my favourite ways to travel. I’ve sailed Croatia, Turkey and most recently Greece. With my fith sailing trip right around the corner, I’m getting pretty good at packing for these types of holidays. Sometimes the simple things that are most obvious – you often forget. So here are my top things to pack when sailing:
Yes you could probably get away with packing just two bikinis. One strapless for tanning and something a little more sturdier to keep the bosoms at bay when you are jumping off the boat. Now that I live in London, I don’t get many chances to get my bikinis out (and I have loads), so I’m very guilty of bringing nearly one bikini for every day of the trip. Oops!
Sunglasses are a must on sailing trips, but don’t bring your good ones! It’s best to buy a cheaper pair that you don’t mind swimming in the water with, or accidently losing them off the boat. Just make sure they have proper protection for your eyes.
With my skin not getting any more youthful, sunscreen is always on my packing list. I do opt for an organic sunscreen without all the nasties and also use a separate sensitive version for my face. My favourite go to brands are Lavera for body and and Lovea for face and lips. Don’t forget about your lips! Along with the sunscreen you need to add a hat and coverups. I’m one for an oversized floppy when you have had enough sun and a visor all other times.
Despite the fact that sailing seems like a very glamourous way to spend your holiday, the rooms on the boat can be teeni tini. So I advise against bringing a suitcase or anything that is huge and bulky. Not that you spend anytime at all in your room, you don’t want your oversized suitcase taking up all the floor space (there’s not much of it). Tripping over it in the middle of the night is not fun (spoken from experience). It’s best to bring a soft duffel type bag, little day pack for day adventures and a little mini bag to go out with at night.
Forget the heels baby, it’s all about flip flops, sandals and trainers. During the day, you pretty much are in the water so none are required. But when you go exploring or out to dinner you want something comfortable. I can usually get by with a dressy pair of flats for dinner and a pair of trainers if you plan on doing any hiking, bike riding or go for a run once you hit shore. I can’t say I’ve been on THAT many runs on my sailing holidays, but you never know.
All of the gear, but no idea. Yes my technology bag is slowly growing in size. Along with the usual iphone, camera and chargers, I pack my selfie stick, spare battery packs, SD cards and my GoPro – it’s the piece of equipment that gets the most use on these sailing trips. I always bring my gopro buoy that stops it sinking to the bottom, chest strap (for paragliding or water skiing), board mount for paddle boarding etc and also a mini tripod. What also comes in handy is a portable charger for your phone, camera etc as there isn’t a lot of power outlets on the boat.
I’ve made the mistake before and brought all the wrong pieces of clothing and ended up wearing the same 2 outfits the whole trip. Bring stuff that is comfortable, that’s easy to put on over wet swimmers and pieces you won’t be upset if it gets caught on the side of the boat. Trust me it happens, and your £200 kaftan will get ruined. Kaftans or oversized shirts are good to throw on over your swimmers for lunch or a quick trip off the boat. My high waisted denim shorts are always a staple which are great to pair with your bikini tops. But playsuits are my favourite go-to item for sailing trips. No need to coordinate and you can throw them on for breakfast, lunch or an evening exploration.
These things are the best and come in handy if you feel like chilling out to some tunes while watching the sunset. Yes all the boats I have been on have sound systems, but sometimes people are in different moods and want their own music. Or if you feel like bringing the music on a bike ride around the island you are exploring, a portable speaker is super handy. I love pre-loading some Spotify lists before the trip and with my Spotify premium membership, you don’t need to be on wifi to play them.
To stop you from reaching to that bag of chips on the table, it helps to have a plentiful supply of healthy snacks. Raw snack bars, mixed nuts, protein treats are all great for that afternoon urge after a full day of swimming. I don’t tend to snack on summer holidays but when that chip bowl comes out, I lose all control.
I love nothing more than a good read (or two) on a summer holiday. There is a lot of laying around soaking up vitamin D and it’s the ideal time to catch up on your reading. Last two trips I read Gone Girl, One Kick, Not That Type of Girl by Lena Denham and Lisa Messenger’s Daring and Disruptive. Sometimes magazines are the best for sailing holidays as you don’t need to concentrate too hard.
I’m not one to pop a pill every moment you’re feeling unwell, but when you wake up on a rocking boat with a slight hangover, a headache tablet will work wonders. As will some sea sickness medication. I’ve never had to take any sea sickness tablets before but friends have said they are a god send. I always like to carry some vitamins when I travel to keep my immune levels up. My go-to vitamins are VITL – I love that their strips are prepared for each day – no need to take a bag for of vitamins. They do it all for you. You can use my affiliate link for VITL for 50% off your first month.
You will need all the usual suspects here (shampoo, soap, moisteriser) but items that are especially good for sailing are baby wipes, eye drops, after sun aloe gel, leave in hair treatment and lip balm. I always bring a little jar of coconut oil with me which can pretty much be used all over your body. I definitely don’t bring a hair dryer or straighter and rock the mermaid wavy hair look all week long.
– Beach towel. On the boats you are given a shower towel which you don’t want to use when swimming in the salt water.
– Ear plugs & eye mask – Definitely needed if you want to lay in after the boat starts moving or for an afternoon nap.
– BPA free water bottle to fill up before you leave the boat. Stay hydrated people and say no to plastic.
– Goggles, flippers (if you have room). Most of the sail boats I’ve been on have stuff to loan.
– Bandaids (just in case).
Have I forgotten anything off the list?
Let me know below xx