It’s taken months to plan your BVI charter and it seemed as though this day would never come. But finally, all that’s left to do is pack and head for the airport. No worries, you say...I’ve got this. But as you stand in front of your closet in the middle of January with the temperature dipping below freezing outside, you scratch your head and realize that you have no idea how to pack for your upcoming trip. We've got you covered. Let's start with the basics...
Luggage Size Matters
No matter what we say to you here, chances are, you WILL overpack. There’s your first hint.
You are going to be amazed at how little you actually need to pack for this vacation. But if you are going to overpack, make sure it's with a soft, collapsable duffle because there isn’t a lot of storage on a boat (see below). Picture this–every one of your guests brings a large rolling suitcase and because storage space is limited, everyone has to live amongst them for the duration of the trip. Don't do it, many people have and regretted it. I would say that’s a good start.
What Goes, What Stays?
Now, here’s the hard part….what goes and what stays at home?
This might be a good time to talk about lifestyle in the BVI. Everything here is very laid back and casual, unless of course you're at a resort. Think bathing suits and beach bars by day….dressy shorts and Bermuda camp shirts by night, and that’s only at the nicest restaurants. In other words, there are very few dress codes, anywhere. And ladies, if you feel like dressing up, you might bring along a sundress or two, but plan on wearing them with sandals or flip flops. As you can well imagine, high heels and dinghies don’t mix. And unless you are docked (which is rare) the only way into shore is by dinghy.
Throw in a pair of tennis shoes to hike around the islands, a hat and one lightweight jacket for those cooler evenings and there you have it. Are you starting to see how one, small suitcase will be plenty? In essence, most people get by with t-shirts, bathings suits and shorts for 90% of this vacation.
Other Charter Necessities
Our charter boats come complete with all linens including shower & beach towels so there’s no need to pack any of that. However, we do recommend that you bring any toiletries that you might need including plenty of suntan lotion, sunburn cream and bug repellant...all very hard to come by in the BVI! We include one roll of toilet paper and shower essentials per head for each charter.
Don’t forget those all important medications as well, including seasick remedies if needed and pain relievers if you plan on partying the night away. I assure you it’s no small feat trying to hunt down aspirin on most of the islands.
What NOT to Pack on Charter
Now that we have covered what to pack, perhaps we should mention what NOT to pack. HAIRDRYERS for one! They take up a lot of room in a suitcase and really aren’t compatible with boating life. You certainly can use them ashore in resort shower facilities but we don’t recommend their use on a boat. Most people learn that lesson the hard way wondering why they keep tripping circuit breakers. We’ll cover that in the chart briefing!
Most of our charter guests also find that it’s best to leave jewelry and valuables at home. If you choose to bring make-up, waterproof is your best option. Remember those dinghy rides? Very seldom are they completely dry experiences. Oh! And don’t forget the dry bags for cell phones and cameras. There are rare occasions where you'll need to step into the water to reach the beach. Often times the biggest dilemma is whether or not to bring your phone along for pictures knowing it might get wet; dry bags are your solution!
The Most Important Charter Item to Pack!
Last but not least, double check that you’ve packed all your travel documents including Passports and Visas, drivers license, cash and credit cards. At least then if you've forgotten something, everything else you can buy!
For a complete list of things to consider when packing for your BVI yacht charter, check out our bareboat charter planning guide.
Now, what time is that flight? See you in the BVI!