What to pack for sailing vacation

The ultimate sailing checklist

Luka Kalember, Marketing Manager

We usually spend a lot of time finding a perfect charter company. I am sure you do not cut corners when going through various sailing yacht offers.

Taking your time to weigh the pros and cons of different sail yachts is an important move most people do think about. But there is also another important thing – what to pack for a sailing vacation? Having a concrete sailing checklist will save you a lot of time during your sailing vacation. Moreover, it will decrease the chance of a detour to buy much needed (and forgotten) things that should have been on your holiday packing list.

Below you can find my answers on what to wear, and what to bring to your sailing vacation.



My holiday list starts with the most boring, but necessary items; documents!

A lot of people are coming to Croatia for their sailing vacation from the European Union. On January 1st 2023, Croatia has entered the Schengen area and for all of them this is fantastic news. Everyone from the EU can enter the Country as if they were in their own. Other international travelers will need their passports ready.  Aside from travel documents I urge you not to forget your health insurance card and/or holiday insurance papers. In the end, don’t forget to bring your skipper license (if you have one) as well as your driving license in case you decide to hop around some islands with a rent-a-car. Aside from these documents I recommend up to two credit/debit cards and some cash. Also on January 1st 2023, Croatia has entered the eurozone so the EU travelers do not need to change the currency.

It is smart to keep these documents in some kind of zip lock bags so that you do not have to worry about water. Sometimes it only takes a simple cross from the boat to the pier for you to end up in the sea. It would be a shame that your documents are soaked at that point.

As with all travels please copy your documents and keep them somewhere separate on the boat just in case anything happens to the original ones. I have seen more than one tourist who wishes that he/she would have done this simple thing. 

Quick sum up:

  1. Personal I.D. card or passport
  2. Health Insurance card
  3. Holiday insurance documents (if you have them)
  4. Skipper license
  5. Drivers license
  6. Credit / debit card
  7. Cash
  8. Zip-loc bag(s) for everything
  9. Copies of your documents



Once you have all the documents you need to pick clothes for a sailing vacation. 


Three key sailing essentials

Out of all items, I find three sailing essentials that will make your life on board a whole lot easier. The first would be soft-soled shoes. You need them to ensure you do not slip on board and also that you do not leave scratch marks on the ship’s teak. You do not have to own a pair of real (fancy) boat shoes, or spears as people call them. It is simply important that they have rubber soles.  

The second essential would be a foldable bag, backpack or duffle bag. While it is true that sail yachts have a cabinet or storage space in every single possible location in and around the boat you should be aware that this space is often compartmentalized and not suitable for single large objects. Bringing hard-sided suitcase will only make less available space for you to enjoy. On our web site, www.bantoursyachting.hr, you have new images and a virtual 3D walk of each boat so I invite you to check out the available space and see for yourselves why these suitcases are not a smart choice.

The third would be good, quality, sunglasses! You simply need them out there sailing when the sea reflects the sun. 

Pack light & pack smart

Ok so you are not barefoot and have a duffle bag on your back, now let’s see what the heck are you gonna wear during your sailing vacation! My key advice to you is “pack light & pack smart”!

The “pack light” piece of advice comes from your natural surroundings, sail yacht, sea, sun, nature, hot weather and leisure time. You will spend the majority of your time in your swimsuits. I bring a total of 3 swimming shorts so that I can dry the wet ones while carrying others. Next on your list are t-shirts, the other thing you will be wearing most of your time onboard. It is reasonable to expect hot and sunny weather so I would recommend you bring 9 T-shirts. You need seven of them for each day of sailing. The extra two will come in handy during your arrival and departure day. From my personal experience I can tell you that once you have brought everything on board, and are finally ready to sail away, this is the perfect time to refresh yourself and change into your swimsuit and a new t-shirt.  The same logic goes for your last day. You have to carry all the luggage, spend some time in the marina, in transfer towards the airport and wait for your plane boarding. Believe me, you will appreciate a new t-shirt after all these things.

For other lightweight clothes, I would include the following; shorts, flax shirts, dresses, tank tops, underwear, pareo, hats (preferably with a tie), flip flops.

The “pack smart” advice ensures you do not encounter any surprises. The weather can turn to a storm, it can be cold or windy and you have to take this into account. I recommend you bring a good raincoat (to protect against water and wind as well), hoodie, vest and rash guards if you have them. You will also need to bring your PJ’s, underwear, socks, smart dress clothes for dinner on shore (if you fancy it), sunscreen, after-sun lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo / conditioner, shower gel, hair clips (if you need them), mosquito repellent, lip balm, all-purpose body cream. 

Quick sum up:

  1. Foldable bag
  2. Soft soled shoes
  3. Flip flops
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Hat (preferably with a tie)
  6. Swimming shorts / bikini (up to 4x)
  7. Pareo
  8. Rash guard
  9. T-shirts (up to 9x)
  10. Shorts (up to 3x)
  11. Flax Shirts (up to 2x)
  12. Tank Tops
  13. Underwear
  14. Socks
  15. Pj’s
  16. Dress clothes (for nice lunch / dinner on shore)
  17. Sunscreen
  18. After sun body lotion
  19. Deodorant
  20. Toothbrush
  21. Toothpaste
  22. Shampoo / conditioner
  23. Shower gel
  24. Hair clips
  25. Mosquito repellent
  26. Lip balm
  27. All purpose body cream


Electronics and chargers

For better or worse I cannot think of any situation where people are without their cell phones and/or other electronics. While I always suggest you get at least 3-4 days without any electronics, we can all be sure you and your family/friends will want to capture memories from your sailing vacation. The first and most important thing to know is that in Croatia we have 220V electricity sockets and your powering cables must have the standard European socket layout.

When I go sailing I always have to bring my work with so I carry a laptop, tablet, cell phone, and a camera. I use my laptop when we spend an overnight in a marina, connected to the AC. At this time I also charge my phone, tablet, camera + two power banks that enable me to go through the day. I am sure most of you will not carry this much electronics onboard but also there are usually 6-10 people on a sailing yacht and all of them have their charging needs.

For this reason, I recommend having one “serious” USB charging port. When I go to sleep I charge everything in the saloon (as far away from my head as I can J). With my USB charger port, I power all of these devices from a single socket. It helps that I only occupy a single socket but more importantly all of my devices are always in a single place. Do not underestimate how easy things can be lost on board (been there personally J). Some people recommend disposable cameras for your kids but I do not think this is good from an environmental standpoint and will not include it in the list. Go green!

Quick sum up:

  1. 220V power cables
  2. Power bank
  3. USB charging port
  4. A dry bag for safety
  5. Your electronic devices (phone/laptop/tablet/camera/other)

Leisure time

Your leisure time onboard can be separated into two segments; your own private time and time to spend with others.

I already mentioned that you should spend as much time as you can without electronics. This is why I think you should bring physical books and magazines to read in your own private time. The other thing I always appreciate in those solo moments is music. I have fairly large headphones and my phone is packed with music that I like listening to. Here at Ban Tours Yachting, all our sail yachts have CD / Radio units with a USB port. Just be sure all your music is in .mp3 files and you can blast it throughout the yachts speakers!

When we are spending time with each other we always try to relax by playing various board games, monopoly, battleship, card games. Again, as I mentioned earlier, everything that can be played by multiple people and not include any sort of an electronic device would be my suggestion. Sometimes we play pantomime. So games, cards, pen and paper and you are ready to go!

Quick sum up:

  1. Book of choice
  2. Magazines of interest
  3. Music
  4. Board games
  5. Cards
  6. Pen & paper
  7. Headphones
  8. Positive additude J


Congrats, you are packed!

We have reached the end of our ultimate sailing checklist. I presume that all of you reading this have chosen a sailing yacht for themselves and are currently packing. If for some reason you still did not choose a sailing yacht for your sailing vacation I invite you to join our Sailing Lovers Club and check out our latest yacht deals as well as numerous benefits for being an active member.

As far as next steps go you will have to think about food & drinks for your vacation. Ban Tours Yachting works with Artisans of Food provisioning so check them out if you have such needs.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Cheers everyone.


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