First of all, think about every other time you’ve packed for a trip, and then forget about that.
After two very different experiences on The Yacht Week, I’ve still got a thing or two to learn. But most important to know is that it’s not going to be like any other trip you’ve ever planned. Nope. Take a look at what you’ve already got in your suitcase, and remove half. Consider this your packing guide for The Yacht Week.
WHAT TO WEAR
You might think you’ll spend a lot of time dressing up. In reality, you’ll spend half the trip in your swimwear. It’s glorious.
You’ll have seven nights on the yacht. MOST nights you’re somewhere partying on land. But you’ll also have at least one night where you’ll just party on the yachts, no dress code required.
For the essentials, I recommend:
- Five or seven casual outfits (jean shorts/skirts and t-shirts, casual dresses…1-2 of each)
- Three or four dresses, including one “fancy” dress
- One pair of flip-flops and/or boat shoes
- One pair of dressy sandals/shoes (definitely NO high heels)
- Five bikinis/swimming trunks (yes, you can recycle)
- Socks if you’re wearing dress shoes
- Sunglasses (prob not your super fancy ones, cuz they’ll either get destroyed or lost)
- Basic cosmetics
- Baby wipes
I’ve brought a notebook and a book along twice with me, and both times I’ve never used them.
There’s one TYW promo video with a girl jogging. Who jogs on The Yacht Week? Anyway, don’t pack your gym clothes and just have fun. I guess that’s why most girls have bodies like supermodels and I’m all here eating chips at the computer.
But since there are also theme nights, you’ll want to check ahead of time to see what’s in store. You can do this by asking your skipper, or by checking out some of the Facebook groups (you’ll automatically be invited into an official TYW group for your week as well). In Croatia, for example, there’s a White Party (all white clothing), a dressy night, and at least one opportunity to smear face paint everywhere and party hard.
On the final day, during the regatta, many people will dress up in elaborate costumes. Or some people will do this anyway at various points throughout the week. So it’s a good idea to discuss themed costumes ahead of time with your mates, or at least bring one funny/cute/whatever costume along for the ride.
Let me stress this when I say The Yacht Week is NOT the time to be high maintenance or all that worried about general appearance. Let’s be real here – hygiene just isn’t a priority. Showering is such a pain in the ass, I tended to just the shower on deck rather than in the bathrooms. Make-up is cool, but you’re probably gonna sweat it off. Hairdryers, straighteners, and curling irons? Leave ‘em home.
(Do bring a brush though. Those tangles are brutal.)
It’s SUPER important to pack light, because there isn’t much room onboard to begin with. Carry on is a great option, but then you won’t be able to bring any fun inflatables with you. You can buy those at most ports anyway, but if you’ve got a giant pizza or something, you’ll probably wanna bring it along.
If you’ve already been travelling for awhile (like I was) and don’t want to bring a lot of stuff with you on the yacht, you can pack a smaller bag and leave your bigger bag at the luggage check in at the marina. It’s usually not too pricey.
Definitely bring a camera! Or use your smartphone. I’d be hesitant to bring any super expensive equipment, like DSLRs. Every week has its own photographers/videographers, and usually you’ll get featured at least once. (I haven’t in two years. Ginger discrimination.)
You’ll also need a European adapter/converter. An extra battery pack for charging phones is really handy – sometimes you’ll go a few days without being able to charge your electronics via shore power, and our yacht’s USB port didn’t work…so sometimes we went without music.
Some yachts have WiFi, but it’s often pretty dodgy. If you really want to check in from time to time, grab a pay-as-you-go SIM card before sailing. Or you know, just shut up and enjoy the week.
Three things I think are necessary:
- Anti-nausea medication
- Anti-diarrhea medications
Not even gonna bother explaining those, but I needed them all at some point or another.
Nothing is too weird for The Yacht Week! Bring whatever you want to spice things up a bit: wigs, costumes, water guns, ridiculous swimwear, group t-shirts, and DO NOT forget your country flags! I’ve forgotten TWO YEARS in a row now. The shame.
Omg. Cannot stress enough. Might I recommend World Nomads? I’m completely 100% loyal to them. On my last trip I fell off the boat and smashed up my face and knees. Some dude broke his leg. Drinking + yachts can be tricky.
FOODS AND DRANKS
I’ll let you decide that on your own – no two boats are the same. And I know that in some destinations, often TYW will prepare your gear for you in advance.
Keep in mind that storage space is super limited, ESPECIALLY fridge space. Other than the mini fridge, there’s usually a large cooler or two for beverages. In most ports you can usually get ice, or people selling ice will show up at your boat.
But keep the fresh foods to a minimum. Cheese can go bad really quick, believe me.
Our staples were:
- Fruits (watermelon, bananas, apples)
Sounds super simple, I know. But cooking up elaborate meals is a pain, and so is cleaning. We usually ate out at a restaurant most evenings.
When it comes to alcohol, load up big time. Try to stick to supermarkets instead of the shops at the marina, because prices will be much cheaper. Beer takes up a lot of room so hard liquor is often best, but since my poor Irish liver reacts violently to anything other than beer and champagne, that’s what I stuck to.
EMBRACE IT ALL! The sheer maddening beauty of all things The Yacht Week. GO NAKED! WHO CARES?! PACK NOTHING. Oh, to be on the Adriatic again.