Back to articles and guides

How to navigate a first time sailing holiday

How to navigate a first time sailing holiday

Are you a starter to sailing? Then we’re here to help navigate you through your first boat-based holiday!

There’s nothing quite like waking up at sunrise to tranquil waters or sipping a glass of wine at the end of the day as the sun turns the sea coral-red. There are many different types of sailing holidays – one to suit everyone, plus it’s cheaper than you might think.

So cast off your doubts and get ready to embark on an adventure like no other!

Sailing for beginners

Sailing for beginners

You can absorb the sailing lifestyle without being thrown in the deep end – you could simply stay on a boat! Find a fantastic boat to spend your holiday on with Airbnb or – if you’re looking to change up your accommodation but don’t feel ready quite yet to set sail then ease in with this option.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can learn to sail while on holiday with a skipper aboard. The skipper will sail with you throughout the trip and at the end you take a test and get your official sea legs! Great if you want to learn in a relaxed way and still enjoy a vacation.

If you’re going with your family you might want to think about joining a flotilla. This is a group of yachts led by a skipper – so you’re never alone and stay out of trouble. This is ideal for a stress-free trip and introduction for the whole family to explore azure waters.

Or lastly, you could join a group. Small group sailing trips mean everyone can get as involved with the sailing as they want. So sit back and relax or get stuck in! Perfect for first timers.

Sailing holiday in Croatia

Sailing holiday in Croatia

Stuck for sailing inspiration – why not try Croatia? Its 2,000 islands, islets and reefs combined with dazzling coastal cities, beautiful towns and stunning scenery make sailing here ideal.

Head north to the Istrian peninsula and Kvarner Bay for a cosmopolitan vibe, with museums and plenty of tempting food choices. Lošinj, Rab and Brijuni are packed with luxury yachts if it’s glamour you’re after.

On the central Dalmatian coast you’ll find Split – a lively city with charm and much to see. From here you can sail to Brač and Hvar. The latter island is a hub for lively bars, sleek hotels, fabulous restaurants and real harbour glamour.

Further south you find Dubrovnik – the gem of Croatia, a truly stunning compact town centre. Walk the city walls by day and come evening enjoy dinner in one of the many seafood restaurants along the water's edge. You can sail a short distance to the car-less and gorgeous islands near Dubrovnik or visit Montenegro.

What to pack for a sailing holiday

What to pack for a sailing holiday

Without naming the obvious things you should pack for a holiday – here’s some essentials you’ll need to spend a few weeks on the water.

Soft soled shoes: take some rubber soled shoes in case you don’t want to be barefoot on board (skippers don’t like shoes marking the deck!).

Wind protection: hopefully the weather will be sunny and calm – but just in case pack a windproof jacket.

Scarf: for chilly shoulders.

High factor suncream and hat: you burn more easily at sea with the water reflection – make sure you cover up.

Motion sickness meds: seasickness is not a fun experience – some good meds will help you get through in case you do feel ill.

Microfibre towel: these dry much quicker than normal towels – great if you're using them everyday.

Waterproof bag: for phones, cameras and other items you definitely don’t want getting wet.

Lip balm: wind-chapped lips are no fun.

Eye mask and earplugs: to ensure a good sleep.

Clothes pegs: pin down your towels and bikinis if it’s a little windy so you don’t lose them to the ocean.

Heathrow Parking

Park & Ride

Long-stay parking with fast, regular shuttle buses to your terminal. From £4.95* a day at Terminal 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Learn more about Park and Ride

Meet & Greet

We park your car while you take a quick walk to departures. From £7.80* a day at Terminal 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Learn more about Meet and Greet

Products are no longer available to purchase.

Read more

Read our guides and articles

Before you go

Whether you're jetting away on a city break or following the sun to the beach get ready to travel with our expert tips and guides.

Review our pre-travel checklist

Your pre-travel checklist

Preparing for your holiday should be exciting, not stressful.

Share this article