What to pack for a sailing trip in Croatia?

Before the departure, or first things first

When you start planing your sailing holidays Croatia it is essential that you first decide when do you wish to go sailing in Croatia. Weather in the Mediterranean has different characteristics for every season, but you will hit the spot if you visit Croatian islands in summer between May and September.

Most popular months for a relaxing sailing trip in Croatia are July and August, when everything is in full swing and islands are literally soaking in sun. Within peak-of-the-season months you can expect highest bareboat Croatia charter prices but the weather at the coast is simply glorious.

If you wish to dodge the crowds, then September and June are the best months for a Croatia yacht charter week. Rental cost can be up to 30% lower as it is in high summer, with delightful sea and the air temperatures.

Once you set the date, booked your yacht, you are ready to set sail. It is very important to constantly monitor the local weather (again) for the time you are travelling and pack your clothes/items accordingly.

Let me remind you - Sailing experience in Croatia in early May or October is something completely different then a relaxing holiday cruise in July. When you plan to sail in the off-season always think "one week of weather, water and wind".

From my experience please consider 3 facts before you start stuffing your bags:

  1. Pack light
  2. Take a soft bag or a duffel bag
  3. The essentials selection
Welcome aboard the sailing yacht
Take a soft bag or a duffel bag

3 facts about packing for sailing trip

Don't forget the essentials

  •  Prescription pills and medication (also motion sickness products).

If you can't handle some rocking without nausea. Bring some motion-sickness medication that will eliminate nausea. I highly recommend PSI wristbands or round patches that you wear behind the ear The trade name is called scopolamine. Dramamine pills can make you feel sleepy. And you really don't want to miss a day during a sailing week. Please notify your skipper if you have allergies, special medical condition or phobias. It is for your own safety.

  •  Passport or personal ID and charter contract

please check if your VISA for entering Croatia. Be sure to make a safety copy in case of losing your documents

  • Traveller insurance

A 7-day Croatia sailing trip brings certain risks. Skipper will brief you with the things you should be more careful of during sailing. Unfortunately accidents (rarely) happen on land or at sea, so be sure and make a medical insurance with health assistance

  • Cash & ATM Card  

You won't get far travelling without cash in Croatia. Especially in the most remote Croatian islands, where plastic doesn't work. ATM is installed in every Croatian marina. So withdraw enough cash (Croatian currency is KUNA). I highly recommend exchanging your money in a state bank before your departure. The currency exchange rate is definitely more favorable there. Around 30€ per day per person is enough , but that depends on your travelling style.

What should I bring on a yacht trip?

  •  Clothing  remeber: There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing
  •  Fun & Entertainment
  •  Personal Items
  • Hygiene Products & Sun protection

1. Clothing

- Swimwear take at least 3 pcs. in case that you need to dry two of them during the night and want to go swimming first thing in the morning

- Shorts 2-3 pieces of board shorts and 2 pieces of casual shorts

- Shirts for a week you'll need 5-7 t-shirts, one with long sleeve, a cardigan or a light pullover 

- Dress Clothes a pair of decent button down shirts or casual sundresses are excellent choice for a nice dinner on island Hvar or Vis. I recommend 2 pairs of light clothes

- Shoes It's a fact that you will be barefoot all the time, but 1 pair of shoes with a rubber sole is a must have on a sailboat.Mostly to avoid scuff marks and ensure that you don't slip. A pair of flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes in case you go hiking the islands

- Hats Take a hat with strings if possible. You don't want your hat to be ending in the blue Adiatic

- Waterproof jacket or waterproof windbreaker - you might need one in case of strong wind combined with rain (especially in off-season)

- Other (but also essential items) underwear, 3-4 pairs of socks, sailing gloves (bike or fitness gloves)

sailing packing list for Europe

2. Personal Items

- Towels 2 pieces of swimming towels and 1 bathing should be enough. Be sure to ask your charter company if one set of bathing towels is included in your yacht charter

- Medication (especially allergy or prescription pills, band aid kit, Aspirin)

- Sun glasses bring at least 1 pair of polarized high quality glasses

- Backpack I suggest a (small) waterproof pack if you want to explore the islands

- Cell phone and Camera (for the adventurers) It's hard to forget this one, but try to forget the social media if possible. Please bear in mind that there is one 220V plug in the cabin. And it only works when you are connected ashore (in marinas, ports) There is a USB and 12V charger available aboard that could only take charging one or two gadgets at a time. 

- Waterproof bag zip bag to protect your cell phone and documents from getting wet

Croatia boat holiday

3. Hygiene Products & Sun protection

-  Sunscreen make sure to bring high protection products. The sun can be powerful through the whole season so bring loads of it. And very tricky in the off-season, when the wind reduces the feel of sun heat. 

-  Toiletries pack only the essential things(skin care products, lip balm, skin lotion, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, mosquito repellent, ear pops, ..)

-  Biodegradable body wipes (for ladies). Please be careful with those - skippers are quite sensitive about products like tissues and facial wipes. The most important chapter at the embarkation is please don't throw tissues into yacht's toliet. Items like 3-layer toilet paper,...they sometimes (by accident) end up clogging the yacht's toilete. So be careful to throw them into separate bags.

Best Packing list sail Croatia

4. Fun & Entertainment

- Provisioning - whole chapter can be written (perhaps in my next blog) about what and how much food should you bring on board. Firstly, discuss that with the people you are sailing with, get to know their habits and what the like. There are some items that you need to think of (Fresh bottled water, Paper rolls, XXL garbage bags, Clothespins, Sponge, Small detergent, Coffee, Wipes, Snacks)

- Water toys snorkeling gear, blow-up toys, stand up paddle. We recommend to buy or order all the toys beforehand. Charters have a limited stock of these items...

- Music every yacht has a music system with loudspeakers inside and outside. Take a USB key, i-POD, plug-in the cable and pump the volume up. In the middle of the sea, nobody will mind if it is too loud. Download your favourite tunes at home, since there is limited access to the internet  in some secluded places. If you know how to play an instrument (a guitar,..), bring it along. Croatia is a cradle of great musicians which even adds a nice touch to a genuine environment and relaxing seaside atmosphere...

- Favourite game of cards or a board game (although not recommended for its size)

- Fishing gear maybe just a small rod or a hook with line... let's catch us a dinner

Inflatable toys can take a lot of space on a yacht

7 things your don't need on you sailing holidays

- Hard sided suitcases or bags with wheels (they cause damage on the yacht's surface)

- Pillows, blankets, sheets fresh bedding it is always included in your sailboat charter package

- Flat irons and hair dryers they draw a lot of power and can only be used when docked in marinas. Leave the sun and wind to dry your hair it will be faster and more natural.

- Fancy high heel shoes - one pair is fine for hitting the town but you most likely won't wear them, plus it can be dangerous to walk around the yacht

- Hard metal watches/jewellery - once they fall into the sea, the are gone forever, plus they damage the boat easily

- Fancy clothes - clubbing wear, fancy suits and anything that needs dry-cleaning or special care

- Books - (at least a whole library of them)

After my experience, anyone who brought book(s) aboard, didn't even finish the 1.st chapter (or a page). That is why I claim that a sailing trip is like an empty book. It is written and filled with the things you experience, enriched with the people you meet and places you explore during your tour. The memories of a sailing adventure are priceless.

Now that is more or less everything. If you take short, 3-5 day Croatia sailing trips, you basically need the same quantity of items.

Well there is one more important thing you shouldn't forget:

- Positive vibes and a heart as big as the ocean. That means to leave you worries, work and social media activities at home...just disconnect.

Even if you forget something...simply relax and enjoy the ride.


Blog by Lucy Stevenson, Austin TX