Have you been there, done that when it comes to vacations? Looking to explore the world from a new vantage point? Craving adventure and a variety of experiences rather than settling in one spot for too long? A sailing tour might be just the ticket for you!

#Not Just for the Rich and Famous Anymore

Okay, you may be saying to yourself, but I’m not interested in sharing a cruise ship with thousands of other vacationers. And I’m not a millionaire so chartering a boat is out of the question. If that’s the case, you may be right on the first count but are probably wrong on the second.

A sailing yacht charter can be surprisingly affordable, especially when expenses are shared with friends or other family members. Most boats are spacious and have several bedrooms, meaning you’ll all have your private space as well as a comfortable gathering area for the whole crew. Experienced sailors can helm the boat themselves, or you can hire a captain and leave the sailing to someone else.

#Why Consider Sailing Holidays

What’s so great about a sailing tour? For starters, it’s basically a surf and turf vacation. You get the best of both worlds. Relaxing sails through gorgeous waters followed by exciting times in a variety of big cities, small towns, and relatively undiscovered islands. The ebb and the flow always keeps things interesting.

Next benefit: You chart your own course. Instead of a group itinerary with preset stops, the pace and ports are up to you. If you like to go-go-go, you can pack your daily schedule with maximum mileage and activities. If you just want to relax and enjoy the wind and the sea, you can plan your trip at a more leisurely tempo, stop and stay awhile whenever the mood hits, and just generally take things as they come. It’s all up to you.

#What to Do During Your Sailing Trip

There are so many things to see and do on a sailing vacation. First and foremost, be sure to put down your technology and take in the sights. Whether on the open water or docking in a new port, you won’t want to miss a thing. (Of course, bring your phone or camera along to take lots of pictures to document your travels).

On board, you’ll likely have a plethora of toys to play with—paddleboards, snorkeling gear, floaties, kayaks, and more. Whenever you drop anchor, be sure to take advantage of the warm waters and fun vibe. As the saying goes, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”

Be sure to bring along some good old-fashioned games on board with you. One of the best things about a sailing tour is the unplugged, outdoorsy fun it facilitates. You’ll likely find yourself—and the kids, if they’re coming with you—excited at the prospect of playing cards, a board game, or a doing a puzzle together. It’s bonding at its best.

Once you are in a port, it’s time to experience everything the new destination has to offer. Sightsee, taste the cuisine, meet the locals, learn the history. You can literally discover a new favorite place every day on a sailing yacht charter vacation.

#What to Bring in Your Sailing Tour

Along with your sense of adventure, you’ll need to bring some other essentials on your sailing vacation. Of course you’ll need your passport and identification, as you’ll likely be entering several different countries. This is especially important if you’re cruising the Mediterranean or other European routes.

You’ll also want to have both cash and a credit or ATM card on hand for onshore purchases. Some retailers and restaurants only accept cash, but many are fine with cards. Keeping a stash with both will avoid any payment issues before they arise.

As for sailing clothes, think layers and easy, relaxed pieces. Dress code on deck is comfortable and casual. Bathing suits, shorts, tee shirts, and sweatshirts are the norm. Shoes worn on board should have non-skid, non-marking soles. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

It’s generally cooler on the water, hotter on shore. To add to your sailing clothes, a pair of sandals and sturdy sneakers or hiking boots will come in handy for land excursions. Casual comfort again rules, though it is a good idea for women to bring a sundress and men a button down shirt if you plan on indulging in any upscale dining along the way.

Be sure to pack your belongings in soft-sided duffel. Wheeled and hard-sided bags are generally not allowed on deck. Leave your fancy clothes jewelry at home, and come enjoy everything the ocean has to offer.

#Set Sail on Your New Adventure

So where do you want to go on this dream vacation of yours? Some of the most popular sailing routes in Europe include the:

All are bucket list worthy. Just pick one and start there—you may find yourself coming back again and again for new sailing adventures on all your vacations to come. So why not book your sailing yacht charter today?