10 Things You Need to Pack For Your Next Boat Trip

Planning a day long boat trip? Here’s a quick list of 10 things you need on a boat to help make your day a wonderful memory!

Some of you may laugh at this topic. But, take it from a girl who grew up on the prairies of Montana – not all of us know how to “do” a day of boating!;)

Thanks to some wonderful friends of ours, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy a few day boat trips! Each time I go, I learn more tips and tricks, and I thought you’d like it if I’d pass on my new-found wisdom to you. So, get out your list and start packing. It’s time for a fun boating day on the ocean – or lake!

A picture of a boat with the caption "12 Must Haves to Pack for your next day long boat trip"

10+ Things for a Boat Trip + Tips and Tricks to help make the day wonderful!

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1.Sunscreen + Sunglasses

Sunscreen is an important item to pack for a day out on the boat. Apply it before you leave the house and reapply throughout the day.

I do everything in my power to avoid sunburn. Not only do I believe it to be un-healthy for my skin, I really dislike the discomfort of it!

To prevent sunburn, apply your first coat of sunscreen before you even leave the house, and reapply it throughout the day.

Also, put on your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright glare of the sun on the water.

Although a little pricey, this sunscreen works for my sensitive and allergy prone skin happy.

2. Thin, quick-dry towel

I guess any towel would do, but a thin, quick-dry towel (like this) takes up less room in your bag – and yes, it will dry quick! It’s perfect if you decide to go for a swim and also doubles as a sunshade for your legs or a poncho if you get chilly in the evening!

3. Bucket hat

Two women sitting in the back of a boat with bucket hats on.
Perhaps not the most fashionable item in the world, a bucket hat feels like a luxury when you’re out in the hot sun!

I admit that I don’t own one of these yet, but I want to get one like this! I borrowed one yesterday and discovered it is a perfect thing for boat day. Look for a wide brim, neck strap (so you won’t lose it in the wind), and an adjustable strap on the back of the hat that will help it fit snug on all sizes of heads. 

4.Water bottle and plenty of water!

Water is one of the most important necessities when out in the sun for a day. Be sure to drink lots of it so you don’t get sun stroke.  This type of water bottle is my highest recommendation and my friend raved about how incredible this one is. We put ice cubes in ours, then water – and our ice cubes were still clinking at the end of the day! Cold, cold water is so refreshing on a hot day.

5. Snacks in a cooler

We love this inexpensive small cooler for day trips on the boat. We fill ours with a few small ice packs and then pack snacks like:

  • Tortilla roll-ups (with lunch meat, veggies, and cheese)
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh fruit (cherries, blueberries, or strawberries are our favorite)
  • Granola Bars

6. Shoes that can get wet

Sometimes you may decide to anchor near the shore and walk onto a beach. It’s helpful to have shoes that can go right in the water if you need on a rocky beach. These are my favorite Summer sandals that are all-purpose for me. These and these also look like nice options that are made for water.

7. A swimsuit

Although you may think you don’t want to swim, you just might change your mind after a few hours in the sun. Pack the swimsuit just in case!

(Sidenote. The older I get, the more I dislike wearing a swimsuit! However, I LOVE to swim, so I put on my swimsuit anyway. I prefer wearing a tankini top and swimsuit shorts bottoms. I think this striped tankini top and navy swim shorts are so cute.)

8. Lip Balm with sunscreen

Swollen, chapped, sunburned lips feel awful. Don’t forget take lip balm with sunscreen to give your lips a little love throughout the day. (See what I did there?;))

9. Binoculars

You just might see some whales in the distance! Have a pair of binoculars on hand to see them up closer.

10. Your wallet or cash

There are some really cute marinas in nooks and crannies around Vancouver Island. You just may stop at one with a store. Buying an ice cold Hagaan Daas salted caramel ice cream bar will be a special treat! You’ll need some moolah to do that. This is my husband’s favorite slim wallet that is so handy!

11. Sweatshirt/ Sweatpants

A boat driving into a sunset.
When you’re out on a boat ride adventure, remember the temperature can change dramatically in a hurry! Be sure to pack clothes for a change in weather.

Dressing in layers is the appropriate attire for boating adventures. Although the day might start sunny and hot – perfect for shorts and a tank top – it will most likely end up being chilly as the sun goes down. Packing a sweatshirt and sweatpants are perfect for the changes in weather temperature. (Also, if it looks rainy, definitely throw in some rain gear!!)

I have a sweatshirt very similar to this and I LOVE it. A pair of sweatpants are handy to just pull over a pair of shorts as the evening gets chilly.

12. Simple First Aid Kit

Although the boat you’re going on probably has its own first aid kit, I like to pack a small cosmetic bag with a few simple first aid items like band aides, tylenol or advil, & non- drowsy Dramamine (if someone gets seasick).

A boat motor with a water wake behind it.
Being prepared by packing the right items can help make a day out boating wonderful!

Want to see where we go boating?

I share lots of behind the scenes action of where we live here on Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada on my Instagram channel. In fact, I shared parts of the day that I pictured here on this post – along with the whales we spotted. Be sure to click over and follow me there so you don’t miss out on the fun.

More travel related posts:

My husband and I love travelling and exploring new places. Here are a few places I’ve written about before:

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  1. Great list for the must-haves for a day of boating, Rita! This would work for almost any type of day trip! Pinned!

  2. Fantastic list! We live on a lake in Georgia and you covered it all perfectly. Couldn’t have done it better.

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