There are many different types of boat trips you can take if you’re looking for an adventure at sea.
Top 7 tips for sea travel this summer
You can go on a cruise, rent a sailboat, or even hop on a freighter – many are unaware that freighters save a number of cabins for passengers.
No matter which type of boat trip you choose to go on, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure your vacation goes smoothly.
Here are our top 7 tips for sea travel:
1. Pack Light
While accommodation will vary depending on your budget, there is one thing that is fairly consistent when travelling at sea.
Space is crucial on boats, and there will likely be much less of it than you anticipate so smaller backpacks and suitcases.
Layers are great, as the wind off the water will often be much cooler than the air temperature. Be sure to pack for the type of trip you’re taking. Don’t forget to factor in things such as wet-weather gear, temperature, and whether or not you will be required to dress-up for dinner.
If you’re taking a cruise there will be a variety of dinner options, but main dining areas often have a dress code that involves at least one night of cocktail-formal. You will want to check and pack accordingly, but not in excess.
2. Choose the right luggage
Every bit of a boat is utilized to its full potential, which means you’ll likely need to stow your suitcase in a tiny closet or under the bed.
If you don’t want your bag falling out every time you get dressed, it’s best to choose wisely.
Pick a suitcase that is easy to fold up and store away, such as a large backpack or duffel bag. For travellers looking for the best single bag for travel, we highly recommend a backpack and specifically the Osprey Farpoint 40 (for men) and the Osprey Fairview 40 (for women).
3. Boat Shoes
A trip to sea is the perfect excuse to buy boat shoes.
Boat shoes first appeared on the scene back in 1935 when they were invented by Paul Sperry, a sailor from Connecticut. They have white soles which prevent black streaks from getting on often expensive decking, as well as non-slip soles to help maintain traction.
The name Sperry is synonymous with boat shoes, offering a variety of options from casual to classy. If you’ve been eying them up for years but couldn’t quite justify the purchase, now is the time to hit the high seas and get shopping.
4. Buy quality sunglasses
The majority of your time on a boat is going to be spent outside.
The sun reflecting off the water can be a lot more powerful than it looks, meaning sunglasses are important.
The best choice for a trip at sea are polarized sunglasses. Not only do they keep the rays out of your eyes, but polarized sunglasses also help neutralize glare off the water. Our favourite are the Ray-Ban Clubmasters, but the brand offers plenty of great options.
Unfortunately, a lot of good sunglasses out there are on the pricey side. This is why you will see most frequent sailors with a strap holding their glasses on. We know you’re likely picturing Steve Urkel right now but trust us. The second you go to look overboard at some dolphins and lose your brand new shades you’ll wish you hadn’t laughed.
Let’s face it – boats are noisy.
Between the engines, the waves and the wind, there are plenty of different things that can make your trip a little louder than expected. Plus, if you are on a cruise, you may be sharing the boat with upwards of 2500 people!
Earplugs can make the difference between a long night of tossing and turning and a peaceful sleep. The two main options are foam or wax, though with the advances in technology you can also get ones that will provide you with white noise or other sounds, and even act as an alarm.
On boats, wax earplugs can be a great option, as you can also use them while swimming to help prevent moisture from getting into the ears.
6. Power Bars
In addition to limited space, many boats also have limited power outlets.
You will likely have cell phones, tablets, Kindles, and cameras, and all of these things need charging. This is a problem you can easily solve by planning ahead.
Bring a plug-in power strip, which will provide you with additional outlets and USB chargers for all your electronic needs. Just make sure you check and see what kind of power will be supplied on the boat, as it’s possible you may also need to purchase an adaptor or converter.
7. And finally, be prepared for seasickness
If you’re not used to being at sea, you should prepare yourself for a heavy amount of seasickness.
While most large ships experience minimal movement, it can still be disorientating to sit down and eat while the scenery is flitting past outside.
The problem with most sea sickness medication is if you only take it when you need it, it’s too late. This is why it’s important to pay close attention to weather conditions. If you are new to boating, we recommend erring on the side of caution.
When it comes to seasickness relief, you have a few different options. There are tablets you can take ahead of time, such as Dramamine or Bonine, but even the “non-drowsy” ones will likely give you a bit of brain fog.
These are best to take if you know rough weather is ahead, or even the night before and the first day of your trip, to enable you to become accustomed to the movement. Another option is to wear Sea-Bands, which work using acupressure. All you have to do is slip the band on your wrist, and they come in both child and adult sizes.
Sit somewhere – preferably outside – where you can face the horizon and see the movement as it’s coming. Areas towards the back of the boat will be the most stable, whereas the front will move more.
Our top 7 tips for travelling at sea
Travelling by boat can be an amazing experience, as long as you plan accordingly. They are a great way to experience multiple destinations over a short period of time, in an up-close-and-personal kind of way.
If you are on a cruise you can basically find anything to eat, drink or do at any given time for no extra cost. This makes it easier to budget your travel, as you’re essentially prepaying for everything. Smaller boats, such as sailboats, offer adventure as well as exploration, with more options to customize your trip how you want to.
We hope our top 7 tips for sea travel will help to make your nautical adventure an experience of a lifetime!