7 Tips to Plan the Perfect Boat Vacation or Yacht Rental
Great news: Since Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have lifted across the country, you have more options as to where to travel and what to do while there. You’re not alone. In fact, survey after survey finds high percentages of Americans are planning vacations this summer. Unfortunately, though, equally high costs for hotels, airline tickets, and more are dashing some people’s hopes. Don’t lose yours!
Here at Boatsetter, we’ve put together several tips to help you plan the perfect boat vacation or yacht rental (note, too, that several of our tips ensure your getaway is budget-friendly).
1. Research destinations in advance
As with any vacation, it’s important to know which places have availability before you leave home. Since some harbors are in high demand, for instance, their moorings or dockage may already be booked up.
Holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend see surges in demand as well. If nothing is available for the dates you want, check out options for nearby locales that may be a little less high-profile. They may have a bit more availability yet are no less ideal for your boat vacation.
2. Involve the family in decisions
Give each family member a task in terms of activities to pursue, whether at anchor or on land. For instance, if you have a burgeoning chef in the family, why not have him or her help plan meals onboard and shop for provisions? If someone’s been itching to try waterskiing or another water sport, look up lessons providers at your vacation destination together.
3. Take weather patterns into account
Hurricane season is upon us, of course, so be mindful of waterways subjected to these storms. At the other end of the weather spectrum, some far-Northeast destinations cool off pretty dramatically in late August. Since that chases crowds away, it might be the perfect time to plan your boat vacation.
4. Determine your vacation and rental budget
Once again, before you leave home, calculate the costs of boat fuel, dockage, and activities on shore, including dining out. This way you won’t be surprised with big bills at the end of your trip.
If you’re striving to save cash, plan several meals onboard—say, breakfasts and lunches. With yacht rentals, some operators provide drinks and snacks as part of the price.
5. Consider weekdays over weekends
If you’d rather avoid crowds and high costs, weekdays may be the best option. When it comes to yacht rentals, you may have more availability, too, plus spend as little as a few hundred dollars per day.
Additionally, some yacht rentals include fuel, which especially saves you money these days.
6. Hire a captain
Whether you’re new to boating or you want to enjoy more time with your family on your boat vacation, you can hire a captain. Similarly, yacht rental operators often offer captains’ services, either as part of the cost or a small add-on fee. Either way, take the opportunity to ask their advice on great anchorages, restaurants, and shops, as well as some boat-handling techniques. Captains love to share their knowledge.
7. Have a backup plan for Mother Nature
Besides packing sunscreen, towels, and bathing suits, include sweatshirts and blankets in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Consider, too, having board games, cards, or other diversions to play onboard while waiting for the sun to come back out.
When all else fails, look into dry indoor activities on land at your destination.
A journalist with more than 30 years’ experience, Diane M. Byrne is the owner
of MegayachtNews.com, a daily website educating American superyacht owners, buyers, and
their circles of influence about the leading builders, designers, cruising destinations, and more.
She founded the website in 2007 as the first, and still the only, American-focused online media
outlet exclusively covering this market. It features all-original content, for real stories of real
Diane is additionally one of the most-sought-after journalists for expert editorial coverage and
commentary about not only superyachts, but also general boating and yachting. Her byline
appears in Boatsetter.com, DiscoverBoating.com, and the magazines Luxury Guide, Ocean,
Yachting, and Yachts International.
Additionally, Diane is the Chair of the U.S. Superyacht Association, having been on the Board of
Directors since 2015. Outside of yachting, she’s a trustee of Sempre Avanti, a non-profit
resource supporting Italian and Italian-American individuals, businesses, and organizations in the
United States and Italy.