Boat Trip Checklist | Things You Need on a Boat

If it’s your very first time heading out on a boat trip, you might feel a little overwhelmed. With questions whirring in your head like “what should I expect?” and “what do I need to on a boat?”. Well, the experience you should be expecting will be different for each and every trip. But the things you need to pack in your bag stay relatively the same. 

If you are unsure, then it’s best to have a boat trip checklist to ensure you have everything you’ll need with you when it’s needed. For the most part, these are the things needed on a boat. 

Boating Trip Checklist 

What do you need on a boat? I’m about to answer your most pressing question with a list of items you won’t want to go without. This is exactly what you’ll need on a boat. 

1. Sunglasses

It’s one thing to be out in the sun on a clear day without sunnies, but it’s another thing entirely to be on the water. The glare caused by the water actually means that there is sunshine coming at you from all angles (as opposed to just the sky). So trust me when I say you do not want to be leaving your sunnies at home for this excursion. 

As an added plus, it’s best to have UV-protected sunglasses to ensure the sun’s most harmful rays don’t get in. 

2. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an absolutely dia necessity when you’re going on a boat trip. For the reason mentioned above, the sun is coming at you from all angles when you’re on the boat. This means that if you’re not wearing sunscreen, you won’t just get burnt on the shoulders and the face like usual. You’ll get burnt from all angles. 

If you don’t want to walk around looking like a hot tomato and with blistering hot skin, then it’s best to go prepared. Don’t just lather on the high SPF sunscreen before you go, but take it with you and reapply regularly to ensure the sun’s harmful rays don’t damage your delicate skin.

3. Seasickness pills

If you’re prone to seasickness, or even if you’re not, it’s best to take some seasickness pills with you on your trip. Believe it or not, seasickness can hit you out of nowhere, even if it’s something you’ve never experienced before. 

And it doesn’t only happen when you’re out on the ocean, a particularly rough river cruise could induce the same nauseating feeling. So it’s better to have some seasickness pills on hand just in case this is the boat trip that makes you sick to your stomach. 

4. Ziplock bag for important belongings

Because all boat trips happen on the water, you never really know what might happen. A splash from a wave could come aboard, soaking a handful of passengers. The wind could pick up and blow spray into the boat. 

For this reason, you need to ensure that your most important belongings stay dry during your trip. I would recommend taking along a waterproof ziplock bag for things like your cellphone, car keys, and ID. This way, even if you do get a little wet, there’s nothing you need to be overly stressed about. After all, this is an enjoyable boat trip, and you’ll want to be completely stress-free to lap up every last bit of the experience. 

5. Hat

A hat is another important item to take with you. While a wide brim hat will give your face the most protection from the sun, a cap is an alternative that is still better than nothing. Protecting your face from the sun is important while you’re on a boat as you’ll likely be directly exposed to sunlight for the entire duration of the trip. 

It’s best to take a hat that fits tightly to your head or has a chin strap so that if the wind picks up, your hat will remain tightly in place. 

6. Spare set of clothes

While you’re not hoping to get entirely soaked on your boat trip. Sh*t happens. Sometimes a big wave comes and laps over the side of your boat, other times its spray that makes its way into the boat because of the breeze. But either way, it’s best to be prepared. 

Take a spare set of clothes in a ziplock bag to ensure you have a dry set to change into, either after the boat trip or during (if need be). You’ll be grateful you don’t have to walk around town for the rest of the day in clothing that’s soaked to the bone. 

7. Food or snack

If your boat trip lasts for longer than an hour, then food, snacks, and beverages are one of the most important things to have on a boat. If you need some inspiration, check out my blog post on boat-friendly food ideas. 

In terms of beverages, it really depends on personal preference. It’s a good idea to bring some water, a cool drink, and an alcoholic beverage if you’re allowed. Just keep in mind whether or not you’ll have to drive home after the trip. 

8. Insect repellant 

If you’re heading out on a riverboat, insect repellant is something you’ll be very grateful for! Insects tend to breed near bodies of water, and for a multitude of reasons, there can be an influx of certain bugs. In this case, you’ll want those pesky creatures to be as far away from you as possible. 

Take some insect repellant to make sure you are not supper for some blood-sucking insect. 

9. Waterproof jacket

Taking a rain jacket, or waterproof jacket is another vital item to have with you on your boat trip. You never know when the boat could get an influx of spray from the ocean or river. It also acts as a guard for the clothes you’re wearing underneath. So even if you do get wet, it’s just the top layer that you can easily peel off after the tour. 

10. Towel 

This comes in handy not only if you get off and have a swim duing the boat trip, but just in case you do end up getting wet during the trip. It’s always good to have a towel handy to dry you off after the tour. 

I have never regretted taking a towel with me. Even if you leave it on dry land for when you get back from your boat trip. 

Fun Things to Bring on a Boat

While these are far from essentials, they’re items that are sure to make your boat trip a little more exciting. These are a few things to bring on a boat for a bit of added fun and excitement. 

11. Swimsuit

While you’re not going to swim during each and every boat trip, the chances get higher if you take a swimsuit with you. Especially on warmer days, you’re not going to regret giving yourself the opportunity to swim in the ocean or in a river. 

12. Waterproof camera

Another non-essential but really nice to have is a waterproof camera. It can be a little risky taking your nice camera with you, but a waterproof camera can handle the spray and allows you to take home a couple of precious memories from your trip. 

13. Music playlist

If you have the opportunity to control the vibe aboard the yacht or boat trip, then why not take this responsibility seriously. Construct a playlist you know will be just perfect for your boat trip so you can enjoy your favorite tunes out on open waters. 

14. Water sports 

If you have an adventurous spirit, water sports can make a trip all the more fun. So why not take all the equipment you have with you to make the day a real blast (only if you know you will have the opportunity to use it). 

Wakeboards, banana boats, water skis, and any other water sporting equipment you have access to can make the trip a party. And if you know you’ll get the opportunity to stop for short periods of time, snorkeling equipment can also be fun. 

Final Thoughts on a Boating Trip Packing List

Now that you have a better idea of things needed for boating, you can go book your next boat trip with ease of mind. Although those in charge of your boat tour will bring all the essentials needed for a successful trip, you’ll be a lot more comfortable along the way if you pack the items listed in this post. 

While I always love a good boat trip, the whole experience is a lot more pleasant when you come prepared. A little preparation can go a long way and can prevent after-effects like sunburn, or eye sensitivity (which can happen when sunglasses and sun cream are forgotten. 

Now that you’re well prepared with this boat trip checklist, have an enjoyable and comfortable boat trip!

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about me

Hi, I’m Tyla. I have been working toward gaining freedom from the constraints of the everyday grind since the very start of my career. Working remotely in digital marketing allowed me the freedom to start my own passion projects that center around the adventures I enjoy most.

Having lived near the ocean my entire life, I have an affinity toward spending time on the water, and I want to share that passion with all of you. I hope you enjoy reading about my boat trips as much as I enjoyed taking them!


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