My next trip is sailing the coast of Turkey, so I’ve learned what essentials make a trip that much more relaxing. In my experience, most sailing trips don’t allow big bags, so leave as much back on shore as possible. In the case of the Whitsundays, most companies require that you only bring one reusable shopping bag and nothing else. This packing list for sailing trips will ensure that you bring what you need and ditch the rest.
>> See all of our packing list posts here.
5 dresses – Dresses are ideal for throwing over your swimsuit.
2 swimsuits – You will spend most of your day in a swimsuit, so let one dry and wear the other.
3 tank tops or t-shirts – For when you reach land, it’s a good idea to have something else to wear.
1 pair of leggings – I typically pack leggings to sleep in but they are good to have in case it gets cold at night.
2 bras – You will most likely be wearing your swimsuit most of the day if you’re sailing and won’t need bras as much.
5 pairs of underwear – If your boat isn’t docking very often, be sure to pack enough pairs of regular underwear or alternatively bring ExOfficio. You won’t need as many pairs if you plan on being in a swimsuit most of the day.
1 pair of socks – I pack socks to wear on planes, but you’ll be glad to have one pair.
1 scarf – Useful for covering your shoulders when it gets windy or for balling it up to use as a pillow.
1 sarong or cover up – If you’re not getting all the way dressed but want to cover up, pack a sarong.
2 towels– As with your swimsuit, have one drying while you’re using the other or have one for showers and one for ocean.
1 pair of flip flops – You’ll need to have something to wear in the shower and while on board.
1 pair of cute sandals – If your boat docks in towns each night or every few nights, it’s a good idea to have nice shoes that aren’t heels.
I typically travel with a hanging toiletry bag and found it useful for sailing trips where space is at a premium. Just hang it on the side of your bunk. It’s even better if it has a built in mirror.
Shampoo and Conditioner – Bring something to detangle your hair after all that salt water.
Eye drops and Vaseline – I found myself drying out after being in salt water all day, so I was glad to have eye drops and lip balm.
Soap or Body Wash – I brought body wash instead, but soap is usually easier to pack if you’re flying carry-on only.
Toothbrush/Paste – Also get a snap-on case so you don’t get anything on your toothbrush.
Deodorant – Keep yourself smelling nice!
Razor – You only need one.
Brush – Travel sized worked for me.
Hair ties – Necessary to keep the hair off your neck on those hot days.
Motion Sickness Medicine – Not everyone has a sea stomach, particularly on stormy days at sea.
Birth Control – Be prepared for anything.
Diva Cup – The last thing you want on your trip is to be tied down by lady products. The Diva Cup is ideal for this trip since you will be active and won’t always have time to change.
Prescriptions – Get as many of your prescriptions at home as you can. Emergencies arise and you can go to a local chemist, but the language barrier may make things more difficult.
Sleeping pills – I found it hard to fall asleep on a rocking boat sometimes, so sleeping pills were good to have.
Protection from the Elements
1 pair of sunglasses – I’m prone to breaking sunglasses or losing them in the ocean, so now I bring 2 pairs.
1 hat– It doesn’t have to be too fashionable, as long as it covers your ears and most of your face.
Sunscreen – A no brainer.
Aloe – For when you didn’t reapply quickly enough.
Extra phone battery or solar charger – There was only one outlet for the entire cabin, so we all took turns charging our electronics. I now have an extra battery for such emergencies. A travel sized surge protector is also a good idea!
Camera and chargers – For whatever electronics you bring, make sure to pack your chargers and appropriate adapters.
Waterproof case – I was glad to have a waterproof camera case to take some underwater shots.
iPod – There’s a lot of down time on boats, so you’ll want some tunes.
>> Check out more items to pack to help you sleep.
Water bottle – Some boats charge for water bottles, so I brought my own and filled up when I got the chance.
Deck of cards – Keep yourself entertained.
Dry bag – Have one bag for items that cannot get wet.
Day pack or reusable shopping bag– You don’t want to lug a big bag when you dock, so bring a smaller day bag.