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. 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 the most 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/SWIMWEAR - as many as you have/can fit! You will live in these so if you have 7, bring 7 (one for everyday)
SUNDRESSES - bring at least 3-5. If dresses aren't your thing, swap these out for shorts and tops
COVERUPS - like I said, you'll spend all day everyday in a bikini so bring a handful of coverups to switch between. Bring 1-3 of these
LIGHT JACKET - depending on the route and time of year it can be cold, especially while sailing
WHITE PARTY OUTFIT - Most, if not all, routes have a white party so make sure to bring an all white outfit! I believe they call this "Riviera Chic" now
NIGHT OUT DRESS - I would bring at least one nicer dress (non-sundress). Check the itinerary for your route but there's almost always at least one dressier night
SANDALS - you could technically just wear flip flops 24/7 if you want but I always changed into slightly nicer sandals each night
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, you'll need it all! You are in the sun all day everyday during Yacht Week so do not skimp on this. There's nowhere to buy more during the week so if you run out you'll have to borrow from other people. Also highly recommend the SPF powder above.
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 the Sephora #lipstories lipstick in "First Class", partly because of the name (haha) and because it's super reasonably priced at $8.
WET BRUSH - not to be dramatic but this is one of the best purchases I've ever made (especially for less than $8). I use it always but especially during Yacht Week!
AFTER SUN CREAM
DEODORANT - go with waterproof
TANNING - I would do it before you go and also bring it with you to reapply. The TanTowels make this really easy! Just don't apply it right before putting on your white party dress (oops).
DRY SHAMPOO - 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 - coordinate this with your boatmates if possible. You do not need to each bring one.
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)
BEACH TOWEL - your boat will provide bath towels but you do need to bring a beach towel
FLOATS - one of the most important things! ;) 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 Last year we brought these child sized animal floats (3 for $11!) and they were a HIT.
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!
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 - the one I used isn't sold anymore but this one looks sufficient
- 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!
OTHER FUN FINDS
GLITTER & FACE JEWELS
JEWELRY? If it’s cheap, sure! It's an easy way to spice up an outfit (especially if you are repeating items) but you might not want to even want to spend the time dealing with putting it on
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 ;)