Sailing holidays are trending right now, with the COVID pandemic helping to make private charters at the top of people’s bucket lists! But before just jumping on the first sleek and shiny catamaran you can find online, there are all sorts of details that you need to get right to have the perfect sailing getaway with your family or friends. Here’s our handy checklist to plan the perfect sailing holiday.
Plan the Perfect Sailing Holiday
Determine the Destination
Location is the biggest factor to enjoy a sailing holiday. There are a number of areas that are popular for sailing vacation but you have to choose according to the convenience and budget – where can you actually fly to direct? How close are the boats to the airport? The time spent researching this kind of thing can save you hours in transfer time, so well worth putting it in now and evaluating the destination properly. (Or use a Sailing holiday specialist like PlainSailing.com to help you)
It is also important to make sure that you need to choose a location that matches your preferences and expected explorations – Split is great for nightlife, whilst Zadar is famous for it’s peaceful and rural nature – there can be a big difference!
Are You Going at the Right Time?
Before booking those flights, you need to look at what the sailing will be like whilst you’re actually out there. It might sound serene to go on a sailing holiday in the Caribbean, and you probably can get a boat all year round, but did you know that the area also regularly has hurricane season from May to July? Possibly fine if you’re a thrill seeker, but less so if you want a relaxing holiday without having to batten down the hatches and be ready to jump ship at any moment!
Greece is a great option most of the time, but to April, and after October, it won’t be as balmy and warm as you’re picturing in your head right now, which will change the activities – not to mention the fact that a lot of the cute tavernas close from September, which will change the holiday somewhat!
Do You Need Crew?
You can charter out your own yacht or catamaran if you have your sailing licences – which aren’t as difficult to get hold of as you’d think, given it’s a £500,000 piece of kit that you’re sailing in. But if you don’t have your Skipper Ticket, you will need Crew. You’ll definitely need a Skipper (who sails the boat) but you might also consider a Hostess (who cleans and keeps the place shipshape). You can also get a Chef (who cooks) or even a Yoga Teacher, if you have enough space for them on board!
On top of the paid crew, you also need to give due consideration to your family and friends. You’ll be on a boat with each other for 7 days, literally within metres of each other for many hours a day. You need to be sure you can all get alone, enjoy each others company, and have the most amazing experience.
What to Pack before Departure
On final thought is for once you’ve booked and are getting excited about jumping on deck. Generally, boats or catamarans don’t have enough space to store your large bags, and they encourage coming with small, soft bags. If you go at the right time, you won’t need to take too much – a few t-shirts and some swimming shorts and flip-flops should do it! Pack light and take the soft bag over the hard shell.