What to Pack for a Charter

Charter Packing Dos and Don’ts: Tips for Packing Smart and Light

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Packing for a yacht charter is a source of stress for any first-time charterer. But a few tips can go a long way to helping you pack for a yacht charter like a pro.

One handy tip: Plan on packing in a soft, mid-sized bag. (This makes it easier to store your suitcase, as yachts typically have less drawer and closet space than you’re likely accustomed to). Then follow our handy DOs and DONTs of packing for a stress-free experience:

DON’T leave home without your travel documents.

If you’re chartering abroad, you’ll need to carry travel documents with you as you sail through international waters. Be sure to pack:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Tickets
  • Cash and credit cards
  • And another form of identification, like a driver’s license, just to be safe.


DO pack versatile footwear options.

When you charter a yacht, you’ll find yourself hopping from sundecks, to sandy shores, to the sea. And you’ll need the right shoes for each experience.

Also, most yachts don’t allow passengers to wear street shoes onboard, so you’ll need to have flip-flops or light-soled shoes to wear around the boat. Bring shoes you can get dirty for your shoreside excursions, and if you’re with young kids, pack water shoes so children can protect their feet from sharp rocks, corals or sea urchins.

DON’T forget your swimsuit.
You’re on a boat. Needless to say, you’ll need a swimsuit… or five. Remember: Your yacht is your own personal paradise, so there’s no dress code. Your bathing suit will likely be both the first thing you throw on in the morning and the last thing you take off.

DO bring a cover up.
When you live in your bathing suit, you’ll eventually need a cover up. Tees, tank tops and sarongs are great options for women, while lightweight pants promise to protect all passengers from sunburned legs. Unless you’re going into a church or monastery, where dress code rules are stricter, you can usually stay in your cover up when you anchor and explore a destination.

DO bring a lightweight sweater.
Yes, you’re on a yacht. That means it’s likely hot outside. However, those sea breezes (especially at night) are no joke – so bring a light sweater or jacket to prepare for all occasions.

DON’T go in the sun unprotected.
If you’re going to be in the sun all day, pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and anything else you need to protect yourself from the sun. When choosing sunscreens, avoid those that contain oil, as they can stain teak decks, canvas decks and sunbed cushions.

DON’T forget basic medications.
There’s no predicting how “choppy” the water will be, so if you’re sensitive to waves, make sure you bring seasickness medicine, like Dramamine or Bonine.

Plus, since you’re going to be in foreign countries with medications that might be unfamiliar to you, it’s helpful to bring basic over-the-counter pain, cold and allergy medications like Advil, Nyquil, Tylenol, and Benadryl.

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