If you’re about to set off on your first sailing holiday, then you’re bound to be filled with a mixture of excitement and nerves. Whether you initiated the holiday, or you’re travelling with a group of friends and family, your first voyage can be an overwhelming experience. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together some top tips for first-timers.

Learn how to overcome seasickness

It’s one of the greatest fears – setting foot on your sailing holiday and discovering you feel seasick. Not only can it make you feel nauseous and tired, but it can ruin your holiday and prevent you from having an excellent time. There are a few ways to reduce your chances of seasickness, though, and those include lying down, purchasing an acupressure wristband, eating something, medicating yourself with seasickness tablets, gazing out to sea and avoiding climbing down into your cabin. We recommend that you test the waters, quite literally, by spending a couple of hours on a boat before you book a sailing holiday.

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Get a skipper

Sailing can be great fun, but navigating a yacht isn’t always the easiest, even if you have experience. If you want to enjoy a truly relaxing break, then we recommend hiring a skipper to do some of the work for you. When you book a holiday with a company such as The Big Sail, for example, you’ll be able to select a skipper when hiring your yacht, and they’ll be on deck throughout your break to take you wherever you want to go.

Protect yourself from the sun

Just because you’re not laying on a beach, it doesn’t mean you won’t be exposed to the sun, so you should pack some sun cream and protective clothing to avoid getting burned. The power of burning rays can reflect off of the water, and the breeze that’s keeping you cool could cause you windburn, so stock up on high-factor cream, after sun, sunglasses, hats and other clothing that you can depend on. You should also keep your body topped up with fluids, so make sure you pack a water bottle or somewhere to store your drinks.

Plan some downtime

You’ll likely want to explore every aspect of your destination on a sailing holiday, but you should also be prepared to have some downtime. While you’re at sea, you’ll find yourself with a couple of hours on your hands while travelling to your next destination, so pack some books and equipment to keep busy. Without your smartphone and television, you’ll be able to spend some quality time with your family, so pack playing cards, board games and musical instruments if you fancy a jam.

Be sensible with your suitcase

You should try to minimise the number of clothes you bring with you on your sailing holiday, as there’s only so much room to store stuff. Make sure you pack two pairs of shoes – one non-slip pair that you can rely on when you’re on the boat, and a pair of comfortable walking shoes that you can use when you’re exploring the sight and sounds of the cities.

There you have it – some of our top tips for your next sailing holiday. Whether you’re sailing in the United Kingdom or you’re travelling somewhere exotic, have a fantastic time!