This simple three-step guide to setting sail will give you a smooth and stress-free start to your next boat holiday. Because after all, it’s a vacation; it should be relaxing from start to finish!
The three steps to setting sail at a glance:
Step 1: Plan
Step 2: Prepare
Step 3: Enjoy
Set sail smoothly with 3 easy steps
Setting sail step 1: Plan
Figure out what exactly your dream holiday looks like…
- Determine who you’re sailing with: Will it be a friends’ getaway adventure? An unforgettable family sailing holiday? A romantic couple’s escape?
Keep in mind: In 2021, sailing is one of the safest ways to travel as a group while remaining isolated within your social bubble so there’s no reason not to plan a holiday with your favorite travel companions.
- Pick the right boat for your group: Once you know who is in your group, you’ll be able to figure out the perfect boat for your trip.
Keep in mind: A family sailing with young kids, for example, will have different needs than a group of friends, so definitely base your boat decision on who you’re traveling with.
- Decide on the destination: With a huge inventory of boats available for holiday bookings around the world, you can explore distant shores as well as hidden gems close to home.
Keep in mind: How you want to get to your port of departure will impact your destination (i.e., do you want to fly? Or do you prefer to avoid air travel and instead arrive by car?).
Setting sail step 2: Prepare
Fact: The more preparation you put into your trip before you set sail, the smoother your holiday will go.
- Map out your sailing route: While there’s always room for flexibility (like when you happen upon the perfect beach and want to stay an extra day), it’s a good idea to have a clear idea of which cities and ports you want to visit on your trip.
- Ensure you have all the necessary documents: This includes everything from passports to a boat license (if you have one; if not, look into booking a skipper). The charter company you book with will be able to tell you which documents you’ll need.
- Book marinas: When you book berth ahead of time, you won’t worry about not finding a safe and legal place to drop anchor for the night.
- Check the weather: This one’s especially important for a sailing holiday, for obvious reasons (favorable wind conditions, possible storms, etc.).
- Pack the right gear, clothing, and equipment: You’ll find an excellent packing list in our article “The First-Timer Sailing Checklist”.
- Download the best sailing apps: The latest must-haves for yacht cruising, smart sailing apps will help you do everything from monitor to weather to find and book marinas. Quick tip: Familiarize yourself with the apps before you need to use them.
- Know what to expect when you check in at the marina: The check-in process is an important part of setting sail safely and smoothly, as it’s the time you’ll board and get familiar with your boat, learn crucial boating safety tips, and more. This guide will help you prepare for the check-in process at the marina.
- Think about groceries: You may have the option to book a boat stocked with groceries, but if not, you’re definitely going to want to plan to do some grocery shopping for the fabulous fresh meals you’ll be making on board.
Setting sail step 3: Enjoy
With the essentials out of the way, now’s the time to find ways to get even more (Adventure! Exploration! Relaxation! Fun!) out of your holiday.
- Pick your perks: What extras would make your holiday over-the-top perfect? A stand-up paddle, kayak, or jet-ski? A private chef or a BBQ on the deck? Save yourself future regret by including the add-ons you’d love to have with your booking.
- Get excited about your destination: We’ve put together destination guides specific to sailing holidays that are full of interesting details as well as useful information about some of the world’s top sailing spots.
And there you have it: 3 simple steps to starting your boat holiday so it’ll go smoothly from the moment you set sail. Still at the very early “a-sailing-holiday-sounds-nice” stage of your trip? Check out Zizoo’s Super Deals for some sweet savings that provide excellent vacation inspiration.