How to Pack for a Boat Charter

We at The Luxury Vacation Guide know how to pack, travel, play all day and still look stylish at happy hour and into the night!

I am a packing expert, it comes with the travel journalist assignments. I admit, it’s hard to pack “light”, so here is my packing plan for a weekend sailing, a week in the Caribbean cruising, or two weeks in France plying the Canals, The Croatian coast or the Fjords of Norway. Also see Tips on How to be Good Crew on a Yacht!

  1. Soft expandable luggage, because hard carry-on rolling bags are bulky to collapse and store on a boat. Unpack when you board in the yacht’s closets and drawers then stow your baggage for the duration. You can also use soft bags for provisioning at ports of call.
  2. Non slip boat shoes, Sperry’s or the like, that are comfortable enough for walking in ports and riding bikes. Sandals are a bonus item … wrap your packed shoes in baggies, these extra bags are handy for dirty laundry or market shopping at your destination.
  3. Personal carry on bag, ideally a backpack you can multi-purpose for shore excursions and provisioning, wallet, travel docs, passport, toothbrush, facial wipes, small travel size moisturizer, sunscreen, toiletries, eye mask for sleeping and necessary medications for your flight. Basically, anything you would want/need for an overnight/layover or delay.
  4. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses
  5. Swimsuit
  6. Long sleeve lightweight quick dry shirt, windbreaker or shell for sun /weather /wind/rain protection.
  7. For hiking or biking, bring a quality pair of technical fabric pants that dry quickly – LL Bean travel pants for example are versatile and they zip off to shorts.
  8. Plan your outfits! Pack two tops /shirts that coordinate well, a t-shirt for warm sunny weather, and a long sleeve, with a pair of dark pants/leggings. Jeans are bulky and not versatile or dressy for evening dining.
  9. Travel outfits, I wear a lot of black, it’s trendy, travels well, coordinates easily, hides stains, and doesn’t scream “I’m a tourist.” I pack: leggings, a skirt, microfiber tee, lbd – little black dress, plus a few oversized shirts that function as cover ups, layers.
  10. Coordinate: ladies (and metro men), a scarf or two and some jewelry can accessorize and add mileage to your outfits. I also bring a lycra or rayon skirt and tights – in case I get a fancy restaurant invite (a girl can dream and should always be prepared).
  11. Pajamas but not a bulky bathrobe…seriously people, leave your snuggy at home…
  12. Small flashlight (or your phone), Power cords and adapter/converter for charging laptop, kindle – stored in h20 proof baggies.
  13. Gloves– waterproof work gloves for handling dock lines.
  14. Tide disposable laundry packets for washing essentials in the sink to dry overnight
  15. Clean Zip lock baggies for food storage, picnic snacks, you name it, etc…

Boat Packing Checklist: