How to Pack for The Yacht Week
Before heading to The Yacht Week last summer, I tried to do some research on what to expect but didn't have much success. I've since done a post on everything I think you need to know, but one important piece that I think deserves more attention is what to pack. The Yacht Week is, as they say, nothing like the real world after all!
One outstanding question I had before I arrived was “what do you actually do everyday?”. Without understanding that it’s pretty hard to figure out what to bring and you’ll likely overpack, wanting to be prepared for anything and everything. Overpacking and feeling unprepared are the worst, so here’s the gist: you wake up, eat breakfast on your boat, sail to a bay or something to swim, eat lunch, sail to your destination, hang out for a bit or go explore town, go out for the night. Sounds like a lot of bikini time? Bingo.
The photos make it look pretty glamorous so you might think you’ll be dressing up a lot but you won’t, I promise. You probably won’t even put makeup on or brush your hair most days. One night you don’t even get off the boat so you’ll party all night in your bikini. If you get a shower in, you’ll be lucky. It’s not a glamorous experience, but it is amazing.
So what do you bring to the best week of your life? Here's what I'd suggest!
- Bikinis - as many as you have/can fit! You live in these so if you have 7, bring 7 (one for everyday). Some of my favs are this colorful Kiini one, this colorful Mara Hoffman one, this red Marysia scalloped one, this L*Space wrap one, and this one from Forever 21
- Sundresses (3-5) - or shorts + tops if you prefer that. Love these dresses from ASOS, Tularosa, Cleobella, this top from Tularosa, and these shorts by Frame and One Teaspoon
- Coverups (1-3) - like I said, you'll spend all day everyday in a bikini so bring a handful of coverups to switch between. Shopbop, O'Neill, ASOS, Blue Life
- Light jacket - depending on the route and time of year it can be cold, especially while sailing. I own and love this one by Tularosa and this embroidered one might be a bit fancy but it's gorgeous
- Nicer dress (1) - check the itinerary for your route but there's almost always at least one dressier night. Love this red Tularosa number
- White party outfit - most, if not all, routes have a white party so make sure to bring an all white outfit!
As I said above, most days you probably won't even put makeup on and many days the only shower you'll get will be off the back of the boat. You'll spend your days in sunglasses and bikinis so bring some fun lip colors and get ready for the most low maintenance week of your life!
- Sunscreen - face, lips, body. Also recommend this SPF powder!
- Makeup - keep it minimal. My go-to's are this primer (it's called Hangover, how could you not?) and this tinted SPF
- Lipstick - since you won't be wearing much if any makeup, lipstick is a fun way to spice up your look a bit. The brighter, the better in my opinion! I love MAC Lady Danger and Pink Pigeon, Bite Pickled Ginger, Hourglass gloss. The Bite lip mask is great too as is the Bite agave lip collection which is a scrub, a mask, and balm
- Face wipes
- Wet brush - can't live without this! Don't skip it
- Body moisturizer
- After sun cream
- Deodorant - go with waterproof
- Shampoo/Conditioner/Body wash
- Tanning - tinted body lotion + for face / Tan Towel (throw one in your bag to use there)
- Dry shampoo - THE best. Again, you'll be lucky if you even get a shower in so do not skip out on this stuff!
- Beach wave spray
- Vitamins + pain relievers - definitely do not forget the pain relief :)
- Small first aid kit
- Motion sickness bands
- Beach towel - your boat will provide bath towels but you do need to bring a beach towel. If you want something less bulky these Le Jacquard Francais ones are amazing
- Sunglasses - you'll be in these all day everyday so maybe bring a few! A pair of colored lens ones are a great option for the white party (you know, since everyone is wearing all white)
- Seaband - my skipper said if you felt "seasick" you were actually hungover ("no one gets seasick"), but I liked having these just to be safe
- Country flag - to hang from your boat. EVERYONE brings these! Do not forget yours (we did)!
- Boat lights - certainly not mandatory but they are pretty and will help you find your boat at night!
- Floats - one of the most important things! ;) Cactus, toucan, American flag, mermaid shell, giraffe
- Pro tip: don't bring a REALLY big one because there won't be room for it on the boat and they are extremely hard to navigate in the water. You don't want your floatie to get in the way of your social game! Also your skipper will absolutely hate you :P
Keep two things in mind for technology: (1) you won't always have access to power and (2) you likely won't care about your phone, checking and posting to social media, etc. and therefore you won't care about point #1 :)
- Camera - keep in mind each event has a professional photographer, too! If you need camera recommendations, mine are here
- GoPro - great option since it is waterproof, of course! Also because it is small & therefore easy to transport
- GoPro pole and/or tripod
- SD card - make sure it's class 10 so it can keep up!
- Chargers - for cameras, phone, other electronics
- External charger - bring a Mophie or two just to be safe
- Waterproof phone case - I have the Lifeproof one and it's great
- Universal adapter
- Aux cable - can't go without music!
- 12v usb cigarette lighter plug - to charge phones when you aren't docked
AND, OF COURSE, REGATTA COSTUMES!!
Aside from the circle raft and the famous white party, regatta day is where it's at! For those that don't know, a regatta is a boat race, although during The Yacht Week it's not much of a race but more of a slow crawl. More important than the actual race, however, is the fact that everyone dresses up in costume with their crew. Make sure when you are deciding on your theme that you also get something for your skipper and hostess!
- Boat shoes? Nope. I read this on a lot of blogs before I went and almost bought some and lugged them around Europe for a month and thank goodness I did not. I’d skip these
- Heels? Not unless you want to break your ankle(s), seriously. Plus no one else will be wearing them so you’ll look like a fool ;)
- Jewelry? If it’s cheap, sure, but I doubt you’ll even want to spend the time dealing with putting it on