Tips for Planning Your First Private Yacht Vacation
Hot off the press: Your First Private Yacht Vacation
You’ve finally taken the leap and are about to explore the world on a private yacht vacation! The upcoming trip is sure to be an unforgettable experience. You’ve chosen a luxurious private yacht and selected a breathtaking destination. What’s next? Planning a private yacht vacation can sometimes seem overwhelming. The sensational experience, gliding through pristine waters, can wash all your worries away. However, planning and preparing for this experience can give you feelings of stress and doubt.
Let’s wash those worries away! Here is the ultimate list of tips on how to make your first private yacht vacation a success.
Packing for your first private yacht vacation can seem overwhelming, instinctively, making it easy to over pack. However, many yacht charters don’t have ample storage space. Make sure you pack light. Try starting with a simple duffle bag versus a hard cover roller bag. Replace your high heels with plenty of swim suits and cover ups. The typical dress code for many island restaurants is casual. Yet, one pair of closed toe shoes and a clean shirt or dress will prepare you for that exotic must-eat cuisine.
Blow-dryers, towels and other bath necessities may be provided in the staterooms, helping to save some precious space in your duffle. You won’t be surprised when a swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts become your everyday uniform. There is no need for cellphones when the ocean is your backdrop. However, you might want to share that glorious Instagram shot with your friends back home. If so, find out what type of outlets are provided so you can pack the right chargers. Check with your cell phone provider and captain, but keep in mind that cell service and wireless internet may not be available. A week unplugged is a luxury not everyone can afford, but even a few days will be well worth it!
When chartering a private yacht, you have absolute freedom to explore every line of the itinerary. Talk to your captain before you go and do your own research. Start by studying the islands, coves and private beaches. Remove any stops that don’t get your heart racing with excitement. Don’t be afraid to venture away from the hot tourist spots. The flexible itineraries allow you the luxury of veering off course at any particular moment. It can be exhilarating to find those hidden secrets and gems that aren’t found in the pages on the web. Keep in mind you’ll also need to book moorings and dockage ahead of time if you don’t want to anchor.
Surrounded by the vast ocean, you will want plenty of water toys! Snorkel gear may be provided by the crew, but bring your lucky mask if you have one and be prepared to spot the exotic fish. Reef shoes can be another great investment. If you are planning to dive, don’t forget to pack your certification cards. For the most luxurious floating experience make sure you bring along a FUNBOY float. What’s better than relaxing in the calm bay waves with your flamingo sidekick. Better yet, get one for your drink!
The cool breeze wafting onto the dock can be deceiving. Dependent on the location you chose, the tropical rays are twice as powerful when you are surrounded by the reflective water. Sunscreen and sunblock is a necessity and should be incorporated into your daily routine. Your luxurious private yacht vacation won’t be as heavenly if your skin starts looking like a lobster. A little sunscreen, a floppy hat, some sunglasses and plenty of drinking water will become your combat essentials!
TIPPING & PAYMENT
A fully crewed yacht is the ultimate luxury! Imagine your worries floating away when a private chef is planning the meal schedule. Another crew member is keeping everything neat and tidy, while the captain cruises you to your next dream destination. These glorious crew members are what make your private yacht vacation a stress-free experience. Therefore, don’t forget to tip the staff 20%. Furthermore, the APA – advance provisioning allowance – is another charge that first time yacht vacationers should know about. Most charters require this payment a few weeks prior to setting sail. Typically, 25-40% of the total cost, this can sometimes seem unexpected. If you haven’t yet set your charter budget, make sure you keep this in mind. This charge will be used towards fuel, food, docking fees and other miscellaneous charges. Don’t worry, anything that goes unused is refunded.
MEDICATION & SEASICKNESS
There won’t be a Walgreens on every corner in these sometimes remote and uninhabited destinations. Make sure you prepare your refills in advance and pack some other over-the-counter medication as a safety net. You can never be too prepared for the sudden on-set of seasickness or unsettling tummy aches from exotic new foods. The abrupt thought of spending half your trip in the cabin with seasickness can be terrifying. Remember to stay above deck with an eye on the horizon. In addition to medication there are also acupressure wristbands – better to be safe than sorry! A first aid kit will likely be available, but bringing along some of the essentials can’t hurt. Some other items to remember include bug spray, band aids, pain relievers, anti-bacterial cream and did I mention sunscreen?
A full day exploring uninhabited islands on your private yacht vacation can be exhausting. An evening in watching a movie can be the most relaxing end to the perfect day. With a multitude of activities and excursions you won’t need to pack more than a few of your favorite films. Music, a pack of cards and other games will provide the perfect afternoon activity while venturing to your next destination. In those remote areas without service you will be surprised at how much free time you have. Take it all in, and spend the time bonding with friends and family or kicking back with a good book.
Bring along a small waterproof pack or backpack for any adventures you may take off the yacht. Sometimes you’ll have to make your way through knee-deep water and surely there will be items you won’t want getting wet. You will want all the essentials at your fingertips to ensure you can snap some pictures, slap on more sunscreen and buy that handmade bracelet. You may even want a set of binoculars to guarantee that you don’t miss out on any exotic animal sightings. For any larger islands you wish to explore bring along any guidebooks you may have studied. Better yet, talk to the locals and you might just get to experience some secret hideaways!
Planning and preparing for your private yacht vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. With plenty of sunscreen, a swim suit and a toothbrush you will find yourself living the island life in no time. The pure beauty of the everyday scenery will make up for that perfect shirt you forgot.