First Time Sailing? Here's What You Need To Pack!

By Ryan Brown published on 9 May 2019

MedSailors Sailing

It’s almost time for you to hop on the plane and set sail on your very first sailing holiday, but what should you pack? Or should we say, what are the most important things to pack? Don’t sweat it, save that for the sunshine and sea, because we’ve put together a sailing holiday packing list to help you bypass all that stress!

1. Check Your Documents

Passport? Check! Flight tickets? Check! Driver’s license? Check! These are the most obvious things you’ll need to square away before any trip, but sometimes the most obvious things are easiest to forget.

Passport and Visas

Make sure to do a double check that you have your passport, your visas if needed are sorted, and your passport isn’t expiring anytime soon! The last thing you’d want is to show up at the airport and have to turn around and back because you’ve forgotten to check one of these.

Flight Tickets

Another common frustration some airlines require (hidden in fine print) is a printed ticket. Make sure, just in case, to print out tickets for flights so you can avoid unnecessary fees at the airport! When in doubt, print it out.

International Driver’s License

If you plan on riding any scooters or quad bikes around the Med, most countries will require an updated driver’s license listing all of the classes, as well as an international driver’s license. Without these, it’s a no go for renting rides.

Directions And Addresses

Lastly, even though everything can be done on our phones these days, electronics die or wifi might not be available, so print or write down the important details. Have a record of your accommodation address and the marina you’ll be hopping on board with MedSailors at just in case the phone quits out on you!

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2. Pack The Goods

Now that the important stuff is sorted, next comes what you’ll need (and won’t need) on the boats! Boat life is very different to other ways of traveling so it’s important to pack only the essentials and avoid bringing too much stuff.

Trust us, it’s not pleasant sleeping with giant suitcases in your bed!


Given you’ll most likely spend the majority of your days basking in the sunshine and swimming in that oh-so-perfect water, don’t forget your swimwear! You wouldn’t believe how often we have last minute frantic shopping after someone has forgotten the most important outfit for the sailing holiday. And given much of your time is aquatic, feel free to pack more swimwear and less “real life” clothes.

Sunnies And Hat

We can’t forget hat and sunglasses can we? Well, we don’t want you to forget those either as these are the next most important items to bring. Being around islands that get some of the most sunshine in all of Europe, you’ll need tp protect your face and eyes. Get polarized sunnies for protection from reflection and a nice fitting cap that won’t blow away to give you some shade.

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Day And Evening Clothes

Though it’ll be tempting to want to spend every waking hour in swimwear, ready for the morning/afternoon/night swims, it’s best to pack some clothes to go out in as well. Bring light clothing like tee shirts and shorts for wandering in the daytime, and some light long sleeve clothing for evenings and dinner in case it gets a bit chilly.

Walking Shoes

Yes, you can spend your days in flip-flops/sandals/jandals/thongs, but you should bring some comfortable walking shoes just in case you decide to go for a hike or a longer stroll. Many of the MedSailors destinations have activity options (like the volcano hike) that won’t be possible otherwise.

3. Think Eco-Friendly

MedSailors strives to embody an eco-conscious mentality and we hope you’ll join us in that mission to lessen our impact on the environment while on holiday and in our everyday lives. These are a few simple things that can be swapped out while sailing with us that will make a huge difference.

Eco-Friendly Sunscreen And Toiletries

A simple swap for travel is to look for bio-friendly toiletries and sunscreens that are approved for ocean use and won’t effect sea life. Most shops and pharmacies will supplies these, and the options are endless online. A small swap means a big difference.

Reusable Water Bottle

To reduce single-use plastic as much as possible, MedSailors provides drinking water on every boat so you don’t have to worry about buying bottles of water. Simply bring your own refillable water bottle and top up on board!

Reusable Straw

A major polluter of the seas are drinking straws, so one way to cut down a huge amount of plastic while on board is to pack a reusable straw if you think you’ll want one for cocktails or iced coffees.

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4. What Not To Bring

Part of a new first sailing adventure is disconnecting and experiencing a different and amazing kind of travel unlike any other. Given it is a boat and home is on the water, space and power can be limited, which makes it important to not bring certain items.

Large Hard Shell Luggage

To keep common areas clear for everyone to use, your luggage will be kept in your cabins, which means the smaller (and more “smooshable”) the better!

Power Hungry Objects

It’s best to avoid bringing power hungry things like hairdryers and straighteners as the boats will not be able to power these. Best just to rock that windswept salty sea hair!

Also, laptops are another that most likely won’t get any use as you’ll just be too booked up for time with being on holiday to even think of using it! Unplug and enjoy the escape!

Now get packed and ready for some sun!

These are some of the most important major items to pack (and not pack) for your sailing holiday, but check out our packing list infographic to check out all of the do’s and don’ts!

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