How to Pack for The Yacht Week and Bucketlust
Wondering 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 come up with a Yacht Week packing list 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 - a list of all the Yacht Week essentials!
PS. Going to Bucketlust instead? As it is founded by ex-Yacht Weekers, your packing list will be nearly the same.
HOW TO PACK FOR THE YACHT WEEK AND BUCKETLUST:
Whether you are packing for general sailing holidays Croatia, Sail Week Croatia, Bucketlust, or the Yacht Week specifically, the clothes you pack will be more or less the same. I have now been to Yacht Week and Yacht Week Greece and this is what I recommend:
BIKINIS/SWIMWEAR. As many as you have/can fit! You will live in these so if you have 7, bring 7 (one for everyday).
If you haven’t tried Boys + Arrows yet - you must. Their seamless bottoms are by far the most comfortable I have EVER tried (and I own over 50 bikinis). Click here for my favorite bikinis! I also love this brand (I have black + gold and the navy colorful one), this brand, this brand, and this brand.
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 but same thing. These can be a bit hard to find to be honest! I generally shop for these in two different places: click here for the first and click here for the second!
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.
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. Click here for my favorite face SPF. I also always carry a mineral powder sunscreen brush with me at all times to put on top and lock in the SPF. Click here for the one I use and recommend.
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! Click here for the one I've been loving from Sephora (especially because it’s called “First Class” and it seems like good upgrade karma, haha).
MAKEUP. Keep it minimal. Click here for the primer I bring (it's called "The Hangover", what could be more perfect?!) and here for my favorite BB cream. Highlighter is not a bad idea either! Click here for the inexpensive drugstore one I use.
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! If you don't already own one, you NEED this. Click here to see the latest prices.
BODY MOISTURIZER. Click here for the one I bring! It smells like absolute heaven and is perfect for the Yacht Week. Everytime I smell it now it takes me right back to Greece.
AFTER SUN CREAM.
DEODORANT. Click here for a good waterproof option.
LEAK PROOF TOILETRY BOTTLES. These are an absolute must. I cannot even tell you how many travel containers I went through before I discovered these. They are completely leakproof, so easy to fill due to the large opening, and they are even food safe! Use them for shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, salad dressing — anything! Click here for the ones I use.
HANGING TOILETRY BAG. I keep this filled at all times with every toiletry I need for any trip. That way it’s so easy to just grab and throw in my bag without any thought or worries of forgetting something important. This one in particular is the absolute best I have ever found. So much so that pretty much anytime I travel to visit a friend and they see this toiletry bag they ask who makes it and go buy the same one themselves immediately! Click here to get one yourself.
SELF TANNER. I personally don’t love showing up in my bikini white as a ghost so I always self tan prior to arrival! I would do it before you go and also bring it with you to reapply. Just don't apply it right before putting on your white party dress (oops). Click here for my favorite bronzing mousse. If you don’t have a tanning mitt (you’ll need one to apply it), click here for my new favorite. For your face, I am loving these self-tanning drops that you mix into your moisturizer. Click here for those! I use the dark ones.
FACE MASK. I always bring Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask on all travels because the container is perfect for travel, it’s ultra-nourishing, and doesn’t look crazy when on. You can even apply it as a primer under your makeup if you are extremely dry! Click here to see the latest prices.
DRY SHAMPOO. Again, you'll be lucky if you even get a shower in so do not skip out on this stuff! Click here for the best one, here for a less effective but also less expensive one, and here for my favorite powder option.
BEACH WAVE SPRAY. Because you won't be able to do your hair in any other way really!
VITAMINS + PAIN RELIEVERS. Definitely do not forget the pain relief :) Click here for the ones I always pack.
SMALL FIRST AID KIT. Coordinate this with your boatmates if possible. You do not need to each bring one. Click here for the one I recommend.
DRAMAMINE. Better safe than sorry, trust me! You likely won't be able to pick any up there so do this now. Click here to see the latest prices (make sure you get these non-drowsy natural ones).
SEA BAND. This is an anti-nausea wristband! Again, better safe than sorry. Click here to see the latest prices.
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)! For classic options, click here for my favorite Quay aviators (I have numerous pairs), click here for my round Ray-Bans, and click here for my all time favorite black on black Ray-Bans that are often hard to track down because they sell out consistently.
For fun inexpensive options, click here.
BEACH TOWEL. Your boat will provide bath towels but you do need to bring a beach towel. Click here for my favorite quick drying colorful travel beach towels.
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. Last year we brought child sized animal floats (3 for $11!) and they were a HIT. Click here for those.
SEABAND. My first skipper said if you felt "seasick" you were actually hungover ("no one gets seasick") but I don't believe him. Bring these. Click here to see the latest prices.
COUNTRY FLAG. To hang from your boat. EVERYONE brings these, do not forget yours. Click here if you are American.
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! Click here to see the latest prices for my Sony a7II. If you don't need a full frame camera (if you aren't sure what that means, you don't need one!), I recommend the Sony a6500 instead. Click here to see the latest prices.
GORPO. Great option since it is waterproof, of course! Also because it is small and therefore easy to transport. Click here to see the latest prices.
CAMERA FLOAT. Unless you want your camera(s) to sink, grab one of these! Click here to see the latest prices.
SD CARD. Always bring back up! Make sure they are at least class 10 so that your camera can keep up. Click here for the ones I use.
CHARGERS. For cameras, phone, other electronics.
EXTERNAL CHARGER. Bring a Mophie or two just to be safe because, again, you often will not have access to power! If you plan on using your phone for photos this is must. Click here for the one I use.
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE. I always bring an external hard drive (or two) and make sure to back up my photos at least every night. If you don't want to lose your precious once in a lifetime Yacht Week photos, this is a must. You never know what might happen. Click here for my external hard drives.
WATERPROOF PHONE CASE. I am an incredibly organized, responsible adult (I've basically never lost or broken anything in my life) yet I still dropped my phone in a pool. Bring a waterproof case! Click here to see the latest prices.
UNIVERSAL ADAPTER. Got to have these if you are leaving the country! Click here for the one I always pack because it works anywhere in the world. If you are going to the EU, I recommend also picking up a 6-pack of these!
AUX CABLE. Can't go without music!
USB CIGARETTE LIGHTER PLUG. To charge phones when you aren't docked. Click here to see the latest prices.
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. Last year glitter was running rapant at The Yacht Week but if you want to one up that, get some face jewels! I've rounded up the best options below:
HAIR ACCESSORIES. You can't really do your hair to round up some scrunchies, hair scarfs, headbands, and more! Click here for my favorite ones.
HATS. If you want to be EXTRA extra, bring personalized sun hats for the whole gang! Click here to see the latest prices.
BAGS. Don't bring anything too expensive, but you'll want a crossbody (or similar) to hold your phone, money, ID, etc. at night.
OTHER WATER TOYS. Man do they have some fun water toys these days! Click below to shop my favorites.
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, I promise ;)