If you’re thinking about chartering a yacht – or if you’ve already scheduled your vacation and it’s time to start packing – it can be difficult to know exactly what to bring. Below are the eight items that many guests feel are the most important options to bring from home ranging from clothing, comforts, and even safety gear.
#1 – Swimsuits and Extra Clothes
When you’re heading out on the open water, it’s always a good idea to bring more than one swimsuit for everyone in your party. You might be surprised at the amount of time you actually spend in your swimwear, and changing it out frequently is important for good health and hygiene. Bring extra coverups, t-shirts, and some business casual attire for dining in the onshore restaurants.
#2 – Electronics and Chargers
You certainly don’t want to spend your entire vacation scrolling through social media, but you will want to take lots of photos and share them with friends and family back home. Pack your camera, laptop, phone, and all the chargers and accompaniments they may need. There are no guarantees that the yacht will have the device-specific charger you need.
#3 – Cash for Gratuity
Customary gratuity throughout the Caribbean is 15-20%, but handing cash to every crewmember who assists you throughout your entire vacation can be tedious and stressful – exactly the opposite of what your vacation should be. Instead, writing a letter to the captain and including the full gratuity for the entire trip makes things easier. The captain will ensure that the gratuity is evenly distributed. Please remember that this does not cover gratuity at onshore restaurants, which is completely separate from the charter experience.
#4 – Snorkel Masks
If you plan to snorkel while you are on vacation, most yachts do offer the equipment required, but guests are encouraged to bring their own gear from home to help ensure a proper fit and comfort. Plan to bring your own, but don’t fret if someone forgets because the yacht will likely have a mask that will fit.
#5 – Children’s Toys and Items
We encourage you to bring your family along on your family vacation, but there are a few considerations. If you have very young children, we highly recommend bringing along a Coast Guard approved life vest. Children will be required to wear their vests at all times while they are onboard the vessel. You should also bring games, toys, and DVDs they like. While the crew will do their best to find the foods your children love, there may be instances where specific foods are not available. In this case, you should bring those items with you, as well.
#6 – International SIM Cards
If you are concerned about the charges associated with accessing mobile data internationally, or if international calls and texts are not covered under your carrier’s plan, you can buy international SIM cards that are specific to your vacation areas. If you forget, you can also buy these SIM cards onshore in most countries.
#7 – Your Personal Documents
You should always carry your documents with you, and ideally, they should be in a waterproof container. Bring along your charter contract, your passports or visas, any plane or travel tickets you will need, and your driver’s license. Do NOT bring items like birth certificates or Social Security cards. They are unnecessary and difficult to replace should something happen to them.
#8 – Medications & Prescriptions
Finally, make sure that you bring an adequate supply of over-the-counter medications and prescription medications along with you on your trip. If you have concerns about traveling with prescribed controlled substances, or if you have questions about OTC medications, reach out to your charter company. It’s a good idea to bring an extra week’s worth of medications with you to cover you in the event of delayed flights or other emergencies.
Now that you know what to bring with you, packing for your yacht charter vacation should be a cinch. Remember to leave things like expensive jewelry at home, and you can skip packing things like sunblock, first aid kids, and towels because these will be provided on the yacht.