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What to Take on Your Charter Vacation

You've planned, you've booked, now it's time to pack!

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When packing for your luxury vacation, keep in mind that a private yacht charter is vastly different from a holiday resort or a cruise ship vacation. As such, this may affect your usual packing routine. With limited room on board for luggage, packing for luxury a yacht charter may require an element of restraint.

Deciding what you'll need to bring with you on your first luxury yacht vacation can be a little daunting, but with some helpful pointers you'll soon be packing your bags like a pro. 

Here are a few suggestions and handy tips to ensure you pack the right stuff;

Essential travel documents

Naturally, one of the most essential items to pack is your passport, and any required visas. These important documents are essential not only for travelling to the yacht itself, but also for the yacht Captain, who needs the documents to clear in and out of each new country visited on the itinerary, including travelling to different jurisdictions, such as cruising from Italy (EU) to Montenegro.

Image of generic travel documents, compass, iphone and pen laid upon a map of the world

It's also worth bringing photocopies of each document, and ensuring these are kept separately from the originals in case of any unfortunate mishaps.

What's the best luggage to take onboard a yacht?

When considering what bag to use for your luxury yacht vacation, it's important to note there is often limited or restricted storage space on board, even on a superyacht.

An open red suitcase on a marina dock

A soft mid-size bag that is easy to stow away is probably your best bet. Hard suitcases are often difficult to store, and may even scratch and damage the paint and woodwork.

What kind of clothing should I pack?

Consider the climate of your chosen destination, if you’re headed for sun, sea and sand, be sure to pack clothes to keep you cool. Light, breathable summer clothing is ideal, such as cotton or linen dresses, t-shirts, shorts and shirts.

As it is a yacht vacation, you'll undoubtedly spend most of your days in the water; whether that's lounging in a Jacuzzi, doing laps in the pool or whizzing across the waves on a jet ski. Therefore, we reccommend packing several bathing outfits, and perhaps a light shirt and sarong or pair of shorts for dining, especially at lunch when the dress code is customarily more casual.

For anyone looking to maintain their fitness regimes, don't forget to include some workout gear as most superyachts offer some form of gym equipment; from a treadmill and some weights on the top deck to a full-blown gymnasium. 

A lady sits in a Jacuzzi onboard a yacht
A couple enjoying a ride on jet skis onboard MY Ouranos
A couple of ladies using the on-deck gym onboard a yacht

For evenings, most charter guests prefer to dress up, so a couple of smart outfits won't go amiss.

It's also worth noting that evenings can sometimes get quite chilly, especially with a good sea breeze, so you should look to include a sweater, cardigan or shawl.

A charter group cheers at a dining table on a yacht

You should also think about adding in some "smart casual" clothes if you intend on eating ashore during the charter, as most restaurants will expect customers to comply with their dress code. 

A lightweight mac may also be useful for rainy days – which do happen, even on a luxury yacht vacation!

Every superyacht will also offer a bespoke laundry service to charter guests, so don't be afraid to pack light. Overall, we always think the mantra "less is more" is a good rule of thumb.

What are the rules for shoes on a superyacht?

A pair of bare feet resting on a yacht in a harbour

Most yachts will ask guests to abide by the "bare feet" rule whilst on board. For those that prefer to wear something on their feet, any clean pair of light rubber-soled shoes should be fine for roaming around the deck.

Image of a pair of deck shoes on a yacht

Stiletto heels should never be worn onboard a yacht as these can can damage the teak decking. Black soled shoes are also a big no-no as they can leave unsightly scuff marks. 

Land shoes are fine for venturing ashore, just remember to take them off as soon as you step back on board. The crew usually leave a shoe basket out for guests to put their shoes in, either beside the passarelle when in a marina or on the tender platform when the yacht is anchored out at sea. 

Basket of deck shoes
Close up of blue water shoes on a pebble beach

For watersports or protection underfoot from corals or spiky urchins in the sea, it may be worth packing some water shoes, especially for the little ones.

Tech gadgets and other accessories

An array of tech gadgets lying on a wooden table

There's no reason to leave your favourite gadets at home when on charter; whether that's your smart phone, iPad, kindle or laptop, yachts are usually well-equipped to accommodate all your data needs. Though be prepared for potentially slower speeds as they operate on satellite connections, especially when cruising.

Nowadays, yachts can tap into 4G networks up to 30 miles from the coast, which has dramatically improved upload and download speeds, as well as usability.

Drones and Go Pros are also handy gadgets to have, perfect for recording adrenalline-fuelled adventures on the water, scoping out tucked-away lagoons or recording special moments on your luxury yacht charter. Just don't forget adaptors and charging cables!

A young group taking a selfie on a yacht
A smiling woman applies suncream against a beach backdropClose up of a hat lying in a woman's lap on a yacht

Sunglasses, headwear and a high factor sunscreen are absolute essentials when exposed to the sun, particularly if you intend to sun bathe for the best part of an afternoon.

You should ensure your suncream is oil-free to avoid staining the wood or fabrics, but don't worry too much as the yacht will always keep an extra supply on board for guest use.

If you don't own a kindle, a good book or two is always handy, plus a few of your favourite downloaded playlists (in case streaming takes too long) and a camera with a waterproof case can also prove a godsend.

Useful tips

  • Leave your valuables at home, particularly things that aren't waterproof
  • Pack light, you may find you only wear half the clothes you pack
  • Leave room for souvenirs or pack an extra foldable bag for items you purchase while you're away
  • It is not uncommon for the wind to claim your hat when on a yacht, so you might want to pack a couple of spares
  • Take essentials such as camera batteries, in non-touristy areas these things may be hard to find

Don't forget...

  • Passport and visa documents
  • A high factor oil-free sunscreen
  • Prescriptions and seasickness medication (if applicable)
  • Some currency and traveller's cheques
  • A waterproof, durable camera case
  • Scuba/snorkel equipment should you be prefer to use your own
  • Spare swimsuits
  • Sunglasses and a hat
A deck crew member passes a guest luggage aboard the yacht

Need more advice?

For more advice about what to pack for your luxury yacht charter, please speak with your preferred yacht charter broker.

For any further information about booking or chartering a luxury yacht, please take a look at our comprehensive advice guides.

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