8 Tips on How to Prepare for Sailing in Croatia
If it's your first time hitting the salty waves of the Adriatic Sea (or any sea for that matter) and you're wondering about all the ins and outs about life traveling the ocean, then be sure to check out this handy list of LBW's top tips for how to prepare for sailing in Croatia…
1. What to pack for sailing?
Knowing what to pack for sailing can be a tad tricky if you've never hit the open seas on a boat before. And even though you're hardly going to be braving 60-foot waves in the North Atlantic, it does help to come prepared with the right gear and clothes. When it comes to LBW's YachtLife trips in Croatia, that mainly means stylish bikinis and board shorts and suitable swimming stuff - after all, we do spend a whole load of time splashing around in the warm Adriatic. It also means a jacket or two for the evenings, plenty of neon paint (especially if you're planning on a detour to raucous Ultra Music Fest!), some good walking boots (for exploring those ancient towns and rugged peaks), and fancy dress costumes by the bucket load (we tend to have quite a few dress-up shindigs!). And let's not forget the extra travel toiletries either, which will come in handy when washing off the sea salt and prepping for nights on the town!
2. Travel documents, visas, and currency in Croatia
Cue the boring bit…visas, travel docs and currency. Of course, all this admin depends on where you're coming from. EU citizens can simply waltz into Croatian waters no questions asked, while Canadian and American travellers will get 90-days of entry gratis. If you're joining LBW from somewhere else, it helps to check ahead to see what forms you'll need to fill in (if any) or hoops you'll have to jump through (figuratively, of course). On top of that, travel insurance is obviously a must (we recommend World Nomads), and the Croatian currency is different to the Eurozone: kuna. It might go a lot further than you think, but it's still worth banking some before you leave – you know, for those celebratory beers on arrival in Split!
3. Bring the right sailing shoes
Footwear might just be one of the most important aspects of that sailing wardrobe. First off, when we talk about wild parties on board, we don't mean chic cocktail soirees with high-heels and ball gowns. We'd prefer you managed to stand up on deck, which will require some flat shoes with decent grip (at least to begin with!). What's more, be prepared for those pads to get wet – aka, don't bring those newly polished brogues fellas! Finally, bear in mind that we will be hopping onto land from time-to-time. Whether we're going for a wild part in the clubs of Hvar or for a stroll around the Roman palaces of Split, something for the cobbles and the dancefloors is also a good idea.
4. Protect yourself from the sun
At the risk of sounding like mum, we feel it is necessary to state the obvious just for a moment: The Croatian sun is strong! With temperatures in the high 80s for most of the summer months and hardly a cloud in the sky above the salty waters of the Adriatic (the sailors amongst you will know that clear skies almost always dominate over the sea!), the risk of sunburn is super high in these parts. And that's not even factoring in the inhuman amounts of time some of our travellers like to recline up on deck, taking in the tanning rays of the European weather. So, bring creams and lip sticks and sun glasses and anything else you'll need to fend off that UV…
5. Learn how to do basic first aid
Of course, this isn't compulsory, but it does help to learn a couple of tips and tricks in the way of first aid before coming aboard on the LBW yacht. With hazards and dangers everywhere on deck, and the slosh of the sea hardly the best addition to a dousing of Slavic beers, having someone with the skills necessary to patch up cuts and the like is great. Of course, our guiders are usually well-versed in these things too, but they might not be always available or at hand.
6. Easy to pack entertainment
Thanks to all the new pals you're going to be chin wagging with on deck, and all the daily drinking sessions, the beach swimming, the sunbathing, the awesome history and the bouts of Croatian wine tasting, it's unlikely you'll need to bring your own entertainment aboard the LBW yacht. However, some folk do like to have the occasional quiet moment to themselves, which is precisely when those paperbacks are needed. Alternatively, you could pack a couple of packs of cards, or some other travel games – we are pretty good at converting them into drinking competitions, just saying…
7. Buy enough bottled water to drink
Most travellers know that having a stash of drinking water is a good idea. However, having a stash of drinking water when traveling by boat is even more important. With hours of sailing often between us and the next Croatian town, and with convenience stores few and far between around the beaches and bays and pebbly coves of Dalmatia, it pays to have a stack of bottles by your bed. Oh, and then you've also got to factor in the hefty hangovers you might incur as you flit between penguin parties and cocktail bars in Hvar, or crack open just a few too many beers on the sun-splashed deck in the evening.
8. Leave valuables you may lose at home
It's pretty obvious that a swaying ship is not the safest place for those uber-expensive pieces of property. Whether it's a brand spanking new Apple Mac or the latest touchphone, it might just be better to leave those valuable electronics at home while you ride the Adriatic waves with LBW. And this friendly warning doesn't end there either, because we've all seen Titanic, right? We think it's best to avoid losing priceless bracelets and necklaces and broaches to the deep blue, even if it would help you recreate the most romantic moment in cinema history! In short: if in doubt about bringing something you really love, just air on the side of caution and leave it where you live.
If you're a veteran of the LBW YachtLife Croatia and have any more tips for the budding traveller on the Dalmatian seas, then please feel free to add your voice to the comments below! Or, if you're interested in seeing what this bucket-list itinerary includes, be sure to head over to our YachtLife Croatia page for more info…