In the US alone, 87 million adults partake in recreational boating each year, according to Horizon Marine Center. The allure of rivers, lakes, and the open sea is no less mistakable nowadays than in the age of exploration. The only difference is that in modern times, we have more ways to enjoy the journey to islands we have never been to, such as snorkeling and paddle-boarding. If you have never gone on a boating holiday before, here are three important things you must remember.
Packing For A Boating Holiday
When packing for a boating holiday, your number one consideration is going to be space. Cabins are going to be vastly smaller than the rooms you are used to. Places to stow your luggage will be even smaller. Account for the interior layout of the boat you will be using when choosing suitcases and backpacks.
The fact that space is a luxury makes packing the right luggage that much more challenging. But with a few clever workarounds, you can be fully kitted while still packing light. You can do this by cutting down on extras, especially clothes. Knowing the best way to pack clothes in your luggage is also essential.
The cramped interiors and stepladders in boats are not usually accessible to large luggage. Hence, it is also best to keep your items in separate, compact bags that are easy to carry on your person. Get waterproof bags for your camera and other electronics. Also, remember to keep a copy of your passport, visa travel insurance, and boating charter documents. Other oft-forgotten items include a flashlight, prescription medicine, and sweaters for cold evenings.
Safety Considerations While Out At Sea
Seasickness and drowning are two of the most prominent safety concerns for boating first-timers. Everyone deals with seasickness differently, either by sitting, lying down, or standing up while holding on to something.
But there are some tips that work for everybody. First, try to orient your vision by focusing on an unmoving point, like a landmark in the distance. Second, don’t go below deck when you feel the onset of seasickness. Being confined in a tight, constantly rocking space will only make it worse. Also, contrary to popular belief, it is best to have a meal before setting off. An empty stomach makes you more likely to catch seasickness.
Drowning is far more serious. The World Health Organization lists it as the 3rd leading cause of accidental fatalities worldwide. Wearing life jackets, drinking responsibly, and knowing where the floatation devices are is essential. But the best defense you have against drowning is situational awareness.
Always make sure that there are barriers between you, and that you are in sight of a person who can call for help if you fall into the water. Keep children and individuals with seizure disorders under close watch. It is also good practice to brush up on your swimming practice before sailing. Lack of swimming skill is a major risk factor for unintentional drowning.
Getting Comfortable Once You Have Set Sail
Once you’ve gotten situated, you may notice that walking on a boat is a little different from walking on land. You should take what time you can get to work on developing your sea legs. Start as soon as you are confident that you can move around for a while without getting seasick. When you can walk on deck without feeling dizzy, then you can begin familiarizing yourself with the motions of the boat and how to navigate its constantly shifting floorboards.
Boating charters often have no shortage of things to keep you entertained while out at sea. They often bring their own water sports and swimming gear, as well as some more relaxed offerings for those who choose to stay aboard. Traveling in between islands also gives you ample time to finish books, play music with friends, and enjoy board games over wine and snacks.
If you are a travel lover and have never gone boating before, you should. It offers a novel way to experience travel, at a leisurely and scenic pace, and with plenty of room for recreational activities.