How to Pack for a Sailing & Diving Holiday

After a stressful year of lockdown, Corona anxiety, and cabin fever, it’s time to break out in style on a SailnDive Trip in beautiful Greece!

Seven days on a boat. Sailing, diving, and island hopping.

You deserve it.

Enquire about our trips

Now, what to pack?

Having done a number of sailing and diving trips myself, and being somewhat of an expert packer, here are my top tips for how to pack for a sailing and diving holiday. There is even a checklist at the end.

Fortunately, boat life lends itself to simple living and there are just a few extra things needed that you might not take on a regular holiday. A duffel bag or backpack is the best bag to pack as it is soft and can be easily stowed onboard. Swim gear and simple clothes are the best whilst sailing and most people say they wear much less than they bring.

My number one rule for packing for anything is put out what you think you’ll need, then halve it!


what NOT to bring

Although these days with volt inverters available on some boats for electric appliances, you may not want to bother with a hairdryer or hair straighteners. They are a drain on the main battery, so best to be conservative if you must bring them. 

Anyhow, the best look for a summer sailing holiday is the windswept-and-groovy sailboat look!

Heeled shoes can also be left behind as they damage the deck and also make entry and exit off the boat tricky and not very elegant! Dark-soled shoes can also be left behind, as these mark the deck.

Three pairs of shoes should be enough -a good pair of closed deck shoes, some flip-flops and a nicer pair of flats for dinner on the dock.

Valuables should be considered carefully. Boats tend to be left open in the evening and it is usually safe enough but ‘just in case’ anything happens, we don’t recommend bringing any irreplaceable family heirlooms!

start with the essentials

Important personal documents such as a Valid Passport, Flight tickets and itinerary, Health and Other Insurance Certificates, Driving Licence, and local currency and debit/credit card should be packed first.  Zip-lock bags are useful for storing these essentials. Don’t forget the negative PCR test for Covid or proof of vaccine!

Don’t forget your diving certifications and diving insurance papers too. (We recommend DAN)

Toiletries and medicine

Again, think small and convenient. A small, hanging toiletry bag with a built in mirror is useful for sailing trips where space is at a premium. It can be hung on the side of your bunk.

All the usual personal hygiene products should be packed, in small packaging. Natural shampoos, conditioners and shower gels that won’t damage marine life are recommended.

We will have a well-stocked medical aid kit on board, but a basic first-aid kit including is advisable to bring along, especially if you are on an medication.

Sea/travel sickness pills if you are worried about your sea-legs, Insect repellent and Anti-histamine (in case of insect bites/stings) and any regular prescription medicine –as many as you can (make sure they are not contraindicated for scuba diving) . Emergencies arise and you can go to a local chemist, but the language barrier may make things more difficult. Eye drops and lip balm may be useful after being in salt water all day and a sleep aid, if needed. Ear drops are great for any diving related ear issues. Rehydration salts are also recommended for the divers onboard.

Protection from the Elements

One of the first things to think about is your skin. A pair of good Sunglasses (with lanyard to avoid sunglasses overboard), a hat (that won’t blow off), a high factor sun-block and lip-balm and a sarong are musts on a sailing and diving holiday. A day of open-sea sailing, with not much shade, can take its toll on the skin, so an aloe cream or good after-sun in case of sunburn also goes on the list.

Waterproof gear in the event of a summer storm or shower is useful, plus a fleece and warm trousers for cooler evenings on deck.

Earplugs and eye mask may be useful if you are sensitive to sound and light.

Don’t forget your face masks!


Charging phones for all the crew can be tricky. Recommended is an extra phone battery, a 12 volt (car charger) for charging devices on board and, best of all, a solar charger. Power banks are handy too.
You wouldn’t want to forget a camera or Waterproof Camera (+ memory card & charger) or iPod or iPhone jack t to play music on board. Also useful is a two pin adaptor to charge batteries in port in the evening.

If you are a bookworm, an e-reader with a waterproof case is a convenient way to read onboard.

Dive gear

Our trips cater for experienced divers with their own equipment, so don’t forget the dive gear. We will have tanks, weights and weight belts onboard. Even if you are a non-diver, fins and masks are a great idea as there is plenty of snorkelling off the sailboat to do.

Keep your scuba diving equipment to a minimum.

The water temperature on our June SailnDive trips are about 21 to 23 Celsius with thermoclines starting at about 10m. A 5mm wetsuit with a hood is recommeneded.

On the September trips, the water will be warmer at 24 to 26 Celsius and the thermoclines starting much deeper at about 25m. A 3mm is recommended.

We dive quite a few wrecks on the trip, so a full body suit and gloves are preferred.

Scuba Equipment Checklist
  • Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Booties (if using)
  • BCD
  • Dive computer and extra battery
  • Surface Marker Bouy
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Dive Knife
  • Camera gear: If you’re planning on taking underwater photos, be sure to bring camera gear that is good down to at least 30 meters. You’ll want to make sure you have a couple of extra SD cards as well!

Ready, set, Sail

Remember that space is key and less is more on a boat charter. Sailing and diving holidays are casual and relaxing affairs, so pack accordingly and you with all these bases covered you will be ready to sail away!

Check List for Him
  • 5 T-shirts/tank tops
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 2 swimsuits / shorts
  • 1 pair trousers
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt
  • 5 sets underwear
  • 2 pairs socks
  • 1 pair deck shoes
  • 1 pair flip flops
  • 1 pair dressier shoes
  • 1 light jacket/ pullover
  • 1 fleece
  • 2 towels – microfiber are best
Check List for Her
  • 5 dresses
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 3 tank tops or t-shirts
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 2 bras
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 light jacket
  • 1 fleece
  • 1 sarong or cover up
  • 2 towels – microfiber are best
  • 1 pair deck shoes
  • 1 pair flip-flops
  • 1 pair dressier sandals

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