Pre-Charter Preparation Tips
1. Travel Documents
You will need a valid passport. Check now to make sure your passport is up-to-date!
Research your flight costs and options before you complete the contract. Don’t have the time? Just ask! We can sort out the best travel times and costs.
BVI departures out of Tortola may require your group take a ferry, private water taxi or a private island hopper charter flight.
1. Luggage – Carry On Recommended
We HIGHLY recommend carry-on size only. If your luggage gets lost or delayed, it may be difficult to retrieve during the charter. Plan to pack light and carry-on so that your luggage is with you at all times and goes with you on the boat.
On catamarans, storage is limited. Your crew will put you in the “rock star packer” category you show up with a collapsible duffle or rolling duffle bag. Motor yachts have more space, but they also appreciate no hard sided suitcases for storage convenience.
2. Pack Your Travel Documents
Take a printed copy of your contract agreement or keep a digital version easily accessible.
DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORTS!
3. Clothes & Swimwear
Island casual is the name of the game. Swimsuits and cover-ups go on first thing in the morning. If you do any island activities, shopping or excursions during the day, swimsuits and cover-ups are generally fine. For dinner on board, it depends on the vibe of your group. We recommend, shorts for the guys and sundresses or nice casual outfits for the girls.
Don’t fall into the shoe trap! Leave the cute wedge sandals behind–you won’t need them. Flip-flops work everywhere. Have a pair of flip-flops that are ok for the beach, sand and getting wet and a second pair of dry ones for dinner if you dine off the boat. Otherwise, you will not be wearing shoes while on the boat. Most Caribbean beaches are sandy and not rocky, so you shouldn’t need water shoes unless you just like to wear them.
4. Sunscreen, Hats, Sunglasses
Since you are going to try your best to use a carry-on and NOT check luggage, you will want travel size lotion or arrange for the crew to buy your preferred sunscreen. Sunscreen is an easy item to pick up on the islands, but it does have a bit of an island upcharge fee. Most yachts have sunscreens and toiletries (shampoo, soap & conditioner) onboard as a standard amenity. If you have a preferred brand, you should plan to pack it. You will need to take your personal toothbrush, toothpaste and toiletries, etc. Hairdryers should be provided—confirm this with the crew/broker ahead of time.
5. Prescription Medications
Access to pharmacies are limited, so please be sure to remember any prescription medications.
6. Dry-Bag, Waterproof Phone Case or Waterproof Camera
You will have water excursions and dingy rides where it is nice to have your smartphone for pictures and it is even nicer if it doesn’t get water-logged! Consider a waterproof case. Also consider an underwater camera or Go-Pro for capturing amazing snorkeling discoveries.
7. Optional: Snorkel & Mask
Your yacht will provide snorkel equipment. However, if you have your own mask and snorkel, it is nice to use your own. If you are chartering with children a group with all of the same shoe size, be sure to consult with the crew ahead of time to make sure they are stocked with the correct sizes for fins and masks\. Tip: We often take our own mask and snorkel and use the fins that the boat offers.
8. PADI dive certification card
If you plan to dive, don’t forget to pack your PADI dive certification card and any of your own preferred equipment. Equipment details will be sorted out before you leave so you know exactly what the boat has and what you may need to bring or rent.
9. Electronics and adaptors
Most yachts have a stereo system to which you can access and play your own music.
Chargers: For cameras, computers, phones and other electronics onboard.
Memory Cards or sticks: Some crews take pictures or videos throughout your charter and can transfer these to a memory stick for you to take with you.
Go Pro: Always a fun way to capture memories on land and in the water on charter!
10. Seasickness remedies
You shouldn’t need it, but some guests like to take it just in case. Unless you want to be very sleepy, we suggest the “non-drowsy” formulas. Some people can have adverse reactions to the seasick medications so best to discuss these with your physician and/or pharmacist before using.
11. Crew gratuity, cash & credit cards
Gratuity – is at your discretion based on the experience with your crew on charter. Generally, 15-20% of your charter fee is the standard and it is given in cash at the time you leave the boat.
Credit Cards – Most of the Islands restaurant, bars and shops take Mastercard, Discover and Visa. American Express is not accepted at many island establishments in the Caribbean.
12. Check your cell phone plan
Check with your cell phone provider to see if you will incur any additional fees for your charter destination. Plan ahead if you need to purchase an international phone plan for the week. Many providers offer a $10/day unlimited plan when out of the country. Discuss your destinations coverage with your broker and crew prior to the charter.
13. Make a few fun playlists
Know the vibe of your group and plan ahead for opportunities to play DJ. From a Chillaxin’ set to a dance party playlist and anything in between. It’s fun to have a few guests make their own playlists so the music gets changed up during the week and the group keeps the fun rolling.
14. Download books, podcasts, movies, etc.
Your charter yacht will have wi-fi for general daily emails and communication, but it will likely not have capacity for streaming or downloading large content. Come prepared with any of your favorite digital content that you want to soak up during the week.
Have an amazing Chillaxin’ charter vacation!