The Ultimate Prep & Packing Guide For A Sailing Holiday

Photo of sailing yachts in a bay near Hvar Island as a flotilla with young guests aboard. Photo by Ryan Brown of LostBoyMemoirs.com

Summer is fast approaching, which means another awesome MedSailors season will be kicking off soon! Regardless of which of our 5 destinations you’ll be sailing this season, there are essential items everyone should pack along with important preparations to make.

We here at MedSailors know how easy it is to forget something important and realize only after you’ve arrived on your holiday. To make it super easy for you to kick off your sailing trip on the right foot, we’ve put together an in-depth guide on what to pack for your MedSailors adventure and a nifty packing list you can print to make sure you have everything you need.

Med Greece 7.29 Ryan Brown Lost Boy Memoirs (54 of 299)

ESSENTIALS

PASSPORT:
This goes without saying, but things happen and the last thing you want is to arrive at the airport missing your passport. It happens more often than you think, so make sure to check and double check you have your passport with you before you leave.

TICKETS:
It’s smart to print out all of your flight information and confirmations just to make sure everything at the airport goes smoothly, especially if you’re flying with a budget airline (we all know how they can be…)

COUNTY CURRENCY:
Whether it’s Greece or Croatia, Turkey, Italy or the Caribbean, it’ll be smart to get a bit of cash in that local currency before take off. Though you can always exchange money when you arrive, having some local currency initially will cut out time and hassle, especially if you are in a hurry after landing.

TRAVEL INSURANCE:
Having the peace of mind knowing you, and your belongings, are covered while on holiday will make your sailing adventure even more enjoyable. Things happen — it’s best to get travel insurance for your holiday that will cover potential bumps and bruises, possible ailments, and especially that shiny new camera you got to take all of those envy-inducing snaps with.

ESSENTIAL MEDICATIONS:
If you have any important prescription medicine or medicine you take on the regular, don’t forget to pack these with the doctor prescription letter as well and write down any other names they may be under. Most ports will have a pharmacy just in case, but often you’ll find them closed during the siesta hours and early on weekends most likely before we arrive at the destination that day. Also, it isn’t a bad idea to pack some antihistamines and headache medicine for those mornings after a night of dancing.

PRE-DEPARTURE DOCUMENTS:
Print out your pre-departure documents for your MedSailors holiday so you know port information and directions, which docks our yachts are located at, and important information for your trip like the contact information of the Guest Experience Leader in case you have any problems on check-in day.

DIRECTIONS PLANNED OUT:
Knowing before you arrive where you’re going and how to get there will save you the headache of figuring it out last minute on arrival. It’s a good idea to plan out directions from the airport to the marina, take snapshots of the route and directions, and download offline maps for the city.

INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS LICENSE:
Imagine the wind in your hair, sun shining, and the road winding along the breathtaking coastline while cruising on a scooter or quad. Now imagine the disappointment if you can’t rent one, total bummer right? Most of the MedSailors sailing destinations by law require an international drivers licenses for those who don’t have a U.K. or EU license, and the rental places get strict about this in peak season. They’re typically easy to get and just takes a stop at the local post office with a passport-sized photo. Trust us, it will be well worth it get this organised to avoid any hassle during your holiday.

ACCOMMODATION:
If you’re arriving before your sailing holiday with us or staying a few days after, booking your accommodation in advance will be handy so you won’t be rushing around trying to book it once you are in the country. Plus, in the height of peak season, plenty of hostels and hotels get booked up fast.

GREETINGS AND PHRASES APP FOR COUNTRY:
Ciao, dobar dan, kalimera, and merhaba! Those are all ways to say hello in the various countries MedSailors explores, and knowing some phrases in the country you’ll be sailing in will go far. Just knowing how to say “hello” and “thank you” will delight locals and they’ll appreciate the effort, as well as giggle at mistakes. Heck, some guests have even found themselves invited to family dinners or free drinks for just knowing a few words! Download a translation app or a app with local phrases and practice on the flight over.

Photo of quad bikes with people on a cliffside in Spetses Greece. Photo by Ryan Brown of LostBoyMemoirs.com

BIO-FRIENDLY TOILETRIES

NOTE: Your home for your sailing week will be on the sea, as well as in a country not your own, so it is always good to be conscious of your impact. We recommend looking up some environmentally friendly and biodegradable alternatives to toiletries you’ll be using while on your sailing holiday. Try to avoid harsh liquids, facial scrubs with non-organic beads, and other liquids like nail-polish remover as everything on the boat that goes down the drain goes into the sea.

TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHPASTE:
These are trivial in the grand scheme of your holiday, but important not to forget. Certain shops and stalls will carry them, but you’ll find in more tourist-driven destinations that they will be double or triple the price than at home.

SUNCREAM & AFTERSUN:
It’s easy to forget while basking in the sun on a yacht in a crystal clear bay about how brutal the sun can be, but protecting yourself on your holiday should be a priority. Plus, like all other toiletries, it’ll be expensive to buy after you arrive. Pack sun cream of different levels: one high SPF for those long days exploring the islands, and a lighter one if you’re looking to get your tan on. And just in case you do get a bit too much sun, that aloe vera aftersun cream will be a lifesaver.

SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, BODY WASH & MOISTURISER:
Pack travel sizes of each to save money from having to purchase when you arrive and to cut down from having to throw out a whole bottle after the trip. Given you’ll be living on a boat at sea, grabbing some bio-friendly toiletries will keep that beautiful environment you’re enjoying clean as well.

RAZOR OR WIRELESS SHAVER:
As the yachts only have the ability to charge electronics through a 12V car-charger port a wireless shaver either battery powered or charged is best to pack.

BEACH TOWEL:
MedSailors provides bath towels for each person on the yacht, but if you’re looking to soak up the sun with a cocktail in hand on a beach or on deck you should pack a light beach towel or sarong to lay out on.

DEODORANT & BODY SPRAY:
Stay fresh after a day of swimming and exploring the islands and pack some travel-sized deodorant or body spray.

Photo of sailboats on the mediterranean. Photo by Ryan Brown of Lost Boy Memoirs.

CLOTHING

SWIMWEAR:
This is the most obvious one, but even packing an extra pair of swim shorts or bikinis is smart in case they are lost or get blown off the yacht while sailing.

LIGHT CLOTHING:
Besides the fact that it’s summer, packing light clothes will make your luggage that much lighter. Most won’t leave their swimwear until dinner time, but if you’ll be exploring the islands by scooter or hiking the volcano of Stromboli, it’s a good idea to pack some light shorts and shirts to adventure in.

HAT & SUNGLASSES:
Easily underrated but important for any summer holiday. A good hat will protect you from the sun and prevent sunburn so a cap or a light woven hat will be ideal. Even though the shimmering water looks beautiful, that reflection can damage your eyes, so pick up a pair or two of polarized sunnies.

EVENING WEAR / NICER CLOTHING:
Put on the ritz and pack a change of nice clothes or evening wear so you can look sharp while dining seaside and for hitting a cocktail bar or club. In peak season, it can still be quite warm at night so it’d be best to bring a nicer short-sleeve shirt or light dress, in the beginning or end of the season you can pack warmer evening wear.

FLIP FLOPS / JANDALS / THONGS:
However, you refer to them at home, pack some flip-flops. It’s summer after all! A rule on most boats is shoes off on board, so it’ll be much more convenient for you to be able to simply pop on or kick off your flip-flops when entering and leaving the yacht. They are also more expensive to buy when you arrive, especially in marinas.

HOODIE OR JACKET:
Pack a jumper, hoodie, or light jacket to wear in case of a rainy day (hopefully not) or a chilly evening. In the beginning and at the end of the season, temperatures in the mornings and at night can drop so it’ll be best to bring something a bit warmer.

JEANS / TROUSERS:
This goes along with the hoodie or jacket, especially in late May or after September. One pair of jeans or trousers will be enough just in case temperatures drop.

WALKING SHOES:
If you’re off to Italy this summer, this is a must if you want to hike the volcanos. But walking shoes or trainers will be good to pack, either way, given many of our destinations have national parks like Mljet to explore on foot or to save your feet while on a long wander around the towns. And it’s always smart to wear shoes when on scooters, quads, and mountain bikes.

Photo of guests walking through a vineyard at Hora farm in Stari Grad, Croatia. Photo by Ryan Brown of Lostboymemoirs.com

ELECTRONICS

INTERNATIONAL ADAPTER:
The worst moment would be to find yourself with a dead phone when you want to snap an awesome photo or need to look up directions and can’t charge anything. Grab an international adapter for Europe or a multi-country adapter to make sure you can charge wherever you travel.

WATERPROOF PHONE CASE:
It’d be a bad day on vacay if you happened to drop your phone into the sea or shatter it, so make sure to protect your phone with a good waterproof case. Plus, you can take those epic underwater selfies or film slow-mo videos of your friends bailing on a paddle board without any worries!

INTERNATIONAL SIM CAR OR PLAN:
Most plans from the U.K. will work across all of Europe, but for people coming sailing from countries outside of the United Kingdom or EU, it’ll be good to either add an international plan or grab an international SIM to keep those Insta stories alive. You can usually find tourist SIMs at the airport on arrival or in kiosks around the islands. Insider tip: go to the local post offices to find SIM cards if you are having trouble finding one.

CHARGER CABLES:
Same with the adapter, don’t forget your charging cables so you can stay powered up and not miss a snap. Bring an extra cord and stash it in your luggage in case one is lost, and mark them with initials, bright tape or nail varnish so you know a the end of the week which is yours.

Photo of people scuba diving in Greece. Photo by Ryan Brown of Lostboymemoirs.com

OPTIONAL

WATERPROOF CAMERA:
Want to step up your holiday photo and video game? Invest in a decent waterproof camera or action cam like a GoPro to capture epic underwater moments or those adrenaline-packed days cruising around on quads. Make sure to also get an attachment that will make the camera float just in case you drop in at sea.

POWERBANK:
Another way to stay juiced is to pack a powerbank to keep your camera and phones powered. This is especially handy as there are limited charging ports on the boat and will save you from having to sit in a cafe while everything charges.

TRIP JOURNAL:
Travel is all about the stories, and you’re bound to have heaps of stories and memories to tell after sailing this summer. Bring along a trip journal to scribble down those hilarious quotes, notes of places you explore, names of foods you try, amazing memories, and incredible moments during your week.

FAVOURITE BOOK:
The last thing you’d want to do is be glued to your phone while on holiday, so grab a new book or bring your favourite so you can lay around the yacht or in a hammock and relax while lost in a good novel.

SUMMER PLAYLIST:
Nothing goes better with sun and sea than some good tunes. Put together a couple playlists for different moods so you all can take turns as boat DJ. Just as long as “Despacito” isn’t included.

SMALL DAY BAG:
A small backpack or bag will come in handy for tossing your book, phones, suncream, towels, and everything else you’ll want to take on a wander around the islands or on an excursion. We recommend an older pack that you don’t mind tossing around in case you are on an activity like cycling around Mjjet or hiking the volcanos of Sicily.

AWESOME FLOATIE:
Don’t find yourself with floatie-envy if you forget yours and have to watch others basking in the sun floating about in a beautiful bay. Plus, they make for awesome photo opportunities. But remember, just because it’s a unicorn, it doesn’t mean it can fly as well. Bonus points for discovering the new “it” inflatable nobody else will have. Insider tip: Don’t buy the biggest floatie you can find or else you’ll be tripping over it, and don’t buy dark colours unless you want to get scorched!

THEMED OUTFITS:
We aren’t saying to go and get printed tees that read “2018 Family Outing!” with a photo of your cat printed on it, but if you and your mates want to theme your MedSailors trip with some matching swimmers or outfits, we’re all about it. The more outlandish, the better. You’ll have everyone commenting #SquadGoals all over your Insta.

PLAYING CARDS:
You can’t go wrong with packing some playing cards (or the latest Cards Against Humanity) for nights when you’re having drinks on the boat in a remote bay playing drinking games, your crewmates will love you for it.

Photo if a girl jumping into water with an inflatable unicorn floatie. Photo by Ryan Brown of Lost Bly Memoirs

THINGS TO AVOID

LARGE OR HARDCASE LUGGAGE:
Space is limited in cabins, and with 8 people living aboard, taking a large suitcase or hard suitcase is recommended against. Roller bags are fine as long as they are soft cases so you can stash them easily away in your cabin.

HAIR DRYERS AND STRAIGHTENERS:
As the boats only have the ability to charge through 12V outlets, hair dryers and straighteners will most likely not work on board and will end up just taking up space. Plus, people pay for that sea breeze beach style hair and you’ll get that for free!

LAPTOPS:
Leave the laptop and work at home, you’re on holiday after all! Most of the days will be spent enjoying life, relaxing, swimming, and exploring, so there won’t be much time to use the laptop anyway. Plus, who needs Netflix when you have paradise?

HEELED SHOES:
Heeled shoes are strongly advised against. Most towns you’ll be exploring on your sailing holiday will have smooth cobblestoned streets that are uneven and sometimes slippery and will be impossible to walk on with heels.

Now you are all set to set sail in style with everything you need for your MedSailors adventure this summer!

DOWNLOAD YOUR PRINTABLE MEDSAILORS PACKING LIST HERE!

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