Leading up to my trip on The Yacht Week Croatia, I read several blog posts, along with The Yacht Week’s own tips, to help me figure out what to pack. One tip that was pretty universal and which proved to be spot on was to pack in a soft duffel. There is absolutely, positively no extra space for large pieces of luggage or, really, anything unnecessary on these yachts. Our crew was a grand total of 10 people, which actually gave us a small amount of extra space, since each boat can technically sleep 12. With our smaller crew, our hostess was able to take the room with bunk beds. We used the top bunk to store our empty bags, which freed up a bit of space in the cabins.
I am what you’d call a chronic over-packer. I always return from trips with several days’ worth of extra clothing, toiletries, etc. I once went over the fifty-pound weight limit for a five-night work trip… to Hawaii. At the airline counter, I was urged to put some items in my carry-on to avoid the extra fees. The airline employee was baffled when I pulled three pairs of jeans out of my bag. “You will not need jeans in Hawaii!” she said. Spoiler alert: I did not need jeans in Hawaii. I sent them home mid-week in a box, along with several pairs of heels and my extra tradeshow materials.
It’s gotten a little better over the years, but I’m still stubborn in my ways. I was absolutely determined to not be that girl on this trip, however. This is what made the final cut:
- 5 dresses, (including one for the white party)
- 3 pairs of shorts (white and black linen, lightweight denim cut-offs)
- 6 tanks (mix of dressy and casual)
- 1 long-sleeved chambray button down
- 1 lightweight sweater
- 7 swimsuits (the one area in which I did not skimp!)
- 2 convertible bras plus a few bralettes
- More underwear than one could possibly need (this will never change!)
- 2 cover-ups
- 4 pairs of pajamas (I was away for a total of 10 nights)
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 1 pair of cheap flip flops (you’ll want them for showers)
- 3 pairs of sandals
- 1 beach towel
- A few pairs of earrings, 2-3 versatile necklaces
- 2 bandanas – great for sailing!
- 1 small clutch for off-the-boat parties
- Minimal makeup/travel-sized beauty essentials
- Baby wipes
- Small props for regatta day costumes
- 1 small, easy-to-inflate float
I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself! The above list did me right, and my bag was an easy-to-manage 35 pounds. Somehow, I still returned with unworn pieces including a dress and a couple tanks.
A big concern for me was how I was going to manage my hair, without the luxury of hot tools. Several weeks out, I experimented with different products to see how I could create passable beachy waves. I packed travel-sized bottles of Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse and Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. These two products were my winning combination.
My packing list had me completely boat-ready, with the exception of sunscreen, which I picked up once arriving in Split. It’s also totally doable to skip the float and just grab one while there, if you aren’t too choosy. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d strip anything from this list.
A quick note for the guys: Our dudes were pretty well set with shorts, tees and swimsuits, but a lot of the guys underestimated the fancier evening parties. Make sure you’ve got at least four or five nicer shirts for those. And don’t forget that chambray, either. Everyone on our boat had one. #chambraylife
One thing that I will be remembering for the future is to pack a beach towel that isn’t white. My beach towel blended in on the boat amongst everyone’s bath towels, and ended up getting used by one of the guys after his evening “shower” in the sea. That towel ended up getting sacrificed to the Yacht Week gods, along with a pair of sandals that looked like they had been run over by a car. Don’t bring anything you can’t imagine parting with, because anything and everything might be destroyed by wear and tear, champagne showers or other natural disasters.
Another thing I won’t forget? Bloody Mary ingredients. Horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco: nowhere to be found in the supermarkets of Croatia. Duly noted for next time.
Last but not least, bring some clothespins for hanging bathing suits or other wet clothing. Suits never seemed to dry completely while hanging inside the cabins, so hanging them on deck is ideal.
Headed to The Yacht Week and not sure what to pack or leave behind? Hit me up in the comments and I’ll be happy to throw in my two cents!