Plan Your Dream Boating Vacation Now

Did you know January 31 is National “Plan a Vacation Day?” There’s no better time to begin planning your dream boating vacation!

Start by picking a dream boating destination 

Your dream vacation doesn’t have to be exotic and expensive. For many travelers, a dream vacation can be going back to a familiar place they love. Knowing the spot can take a lot of the complexity out of the planning process. But for those yearning for something new, here are just five of hundreds of exotic dream boating vacations in the U.S. and around the world:

1. The San Juan Islands, United States

The San Juans are great for whale watching and are conveniently outfitted for sailing, power boating and charters. Small communities offer ready boater access and have some of the best restaurants on the West Coast. (NOAA Nautical Chart 18421)

Nautical chart of the San Juan Islands.

2. The Grenadines, Caribbean

Whether power boating or sailing, The Grenadines have 32 islands, deep blue waters and white sand beaches. (Imray Chart B-30).

3. Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Next to The Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea, this is an obvious mecca for snorkeling and diving. Tropical fish and sea turtles abound. (SHOM Nautical Chart SHOM6671)

4. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Also known as the Spice Island, Zanzibar is in the Indian Ocean. If you go in July, you can attend the Zanzibar International Film Festival. The temperature is nearly a constant 81 degrees. (NGA Nautical Chart 701).

Zanzibar is known for exotic spices and gourmet food. (Photo courtesy of @bmlabrosse via Instagram)

5. Annapolis, Maryland

Close to home, the waters of Annapolis are just off Chesapeake Bay. The bay is full of state parks and is an ideal spot for fishing, swimming, crabbing, hiking and social events. (NOAA Nautical Chart 12270).

To begin the vacation planning process, make a list of details to consider

Vacation planning can carry its own challenges. If the trip involves boating, special preparation and to-do lists are especially important. But a methodical planning effort will make that dream vacation a reality. 

Here are some key tasks to add when making that list:

  • Renting a boat unless you have your own
  • Preparing your boat for the trip
    • Checking fluid levels, hoses and fuel lines
    • Inspecting the hull
    • Testing the VHF radio
    • Making sure you have adequate fuel
    • Looking over the sails, rigging and lines
    • Firing up the generators to make sure they work
  • Having access to accurate electronic charts and paper back-ups
  • Packing the right clothing
  • Updating passports if crossing international waters
  • Arranging pet accommodations (or plan for them to join you!)
  • Securing docking reservations and fees

The time to start is now

There is a lot to do to make that dream vacation a reality, which is probably why National Plan a Vacation Day is early in the year! So, start planning that dream boating vacation NOW! All the attention to detail will pay dividends when you actually get on the water and begin to enjoy that special trip.


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