Sailing is still traveling. Much like backpacking, road trips and venturing to other places via plane, train, or other modes of transportation, sailing will mean that you and those that will be with you on your journey will leave the comforts of your box. This, in turn, will entail putting on hold the things that you do day in and day out: work, daily routine, familiar faces, and familiar places.
While some may think of cruising as a luxury, it is still an adventure. Stepping foot in a country for the first time is a thrilling, nomadic experience, but sailing does it with the perks on a more exclusive pace. Cruising the open waters envelopes cruisers with a feeling that they are more in touch with their inner self - they feel the wind, each wave brings them closer to their destination, and they can revel at majestic sunsets so close that they’re just an arm’s reach to touch.
As with all things traveling, sailing for the first time will also come with certain preparations before climbing aboard. Seasoned seafarers will do the same checklist no matter how many times they’ve set sail or visit a country.
Here are a few steps to consider if you want to survive your first sailing holiday:
Do a background check on the country that you will be visiting. Research on their community, popular cuisine and tourist spots, culture, do’s and don’ts, the works. You don’t want to just barge in a place without knowing just a little bit. Who knows, you might be doing something that’s considered bad luck.
REMEMBER: You and your friends are visitors. And as with all guests, it pays to give respect and earn it in return.
Prepare The Essentials
This is probably the first thing travelers do when they are ready to take on the world. As obvious as it may sound, you need these to enjoy, as well as to survive your trip. Check your passport, ATM cards, maps, mobile phones, data carriers, cash and the like and stash them on water-proof bags or cases. This will ensure that your important belongings will remain valuable in the event of accidents.
REMEMBER: Your passport is your ticket in and out of any country that you’re going to. Money, of course, will make you have your way around. ATMs are recognized worldwide and should you run out of cash, the card will be your saving grace.
Dress For The Occasion
Again, it pays to do a little research beforehand. Sailing in Croatia or Greece for example will automatically mean that you’ll leave your jackets and sweatshirts in your closet, unless you’re going to Alaska after your cruise. Pack in your best summer attire, flip flops, bathing suits, dresses for women and shirts for men to compensate the dress code in the country’s restaurants and/or pubs.
REMEMBER: You don’t want to over-pack and let it ruin your vacation. Excess baggage will incur additional expenses, too.
Up The Ante
Nobody wants to get sick in the middle of their vacation. If you’re under medication, do bring a pouch and take extra precaution. Have a handy first-aid kit in your bag, although your private or chartered yacht will have their own. Still, it will be a relief to know that you have something to scour just in case the first hints of cold or fever hits your body.
REMEMBER: You will be sailing most of the time and sooner or later, seasickness will poke you at the back. Unintentional cuts and bruises, food allergies (if you have any) will also pop out of nowhere. Prevention is better than cure, as they say.
Yes, it’s a vacation, but it’s no ball or a red carpet gala, so leave your expensive jewelries at home. If there is a need, or if you want to spice your fashion statement with some bling, do it casually. There’s no harm in flaunting the fruits of your labor, but it will just bring a ton of headache if one your precious earrings got lost in the middle of your swim.
REMEMBER: Expensive accessories attract unwanted eyes. Considering that you’re tourists in a foreign land, there’s no telling when and where the unfortunate will just brush you and take away your investment.