How To Plan Your Yacht Charter

Decide how many people will go on your yachting trip - Most yacht charters have 6-12 friends and/or family members. There are various safety laws that make 12 the limit, no matter how big the yacht is.

When will you travel? Many destinations are only available for the warmer half of the year, while others are available year-round. Your yacht charter broker will discuss the options with you.

What will be the duration of your trip? Most charters are 5-10 days, and start and end at noon. So as not to feel stressed or rushed, many yachters arrive at the point of embarkation a day early.

Where will you go on your vacation? Each destination is known for certain features. Do you want white sandy beaches? Golf? Scuba diving or snorkeling? Fishing? Jungle adventures? History and culture? Delicious local cuisine? Your yacht charter broker will help you with all of this.

What size yacht do you need? This will depend on several factors, such as how many people are in your party. And, do you want a pool or hot tub? A master suite on the main deck? A helipad (this will require a superyacht or megayacht)? Wifi? Do you need a tender (a small boat to take you to shore)?

Should you buy trip insurance? This covers your financial losses if your trip is cancelled. Also discuss other insurance options with your charter broker.

Visa requirements - Each country has different regulations, depending on the nationality of each charter guest, so make sure to check on this ahead of time.

Preferences - Prior to the trip, each member of your party will fill out a Preference Questionnaire to give the crew information about the food, drinks, and activities you like. You can be very specific ('no onions', vegan, 'lots of chocolate', etc.), and list any food allergies and brand preferences. Also, do you want the crew to dress in formal uniforms? How attentive do you want them to be?

Make a checklist - What are you going to bring on your trip? Use a duffle bag or collapsible bag. Check ahead about what shoes you should wear. Many yachts require you to go barefoot on deck, to protect the carpeting and flooring from getting marked. No high heels or shoes with dark soles. Remember to bring sun screen, a wind jacket, hats, and other personal travel items.