YACHT WEEK; THE ORIGIN OF WANDERLUST
My yacht week “career” started in Greece in 2013. My newly found friend Art (who I met waiting in line at Tomorrowland the year before) invited me on his boat, as a girl dropped out. I didn’t have any plans for the summer and I was bit by the travel bug, so I said yes.
To be honest, I was soo nervous about everything. Staying on a boat alone with 6 strangers? All American? Was my English good enough?
But I was determine to take on new challenges and I wanted new travel friends!
The crystal clear water in the British Virgin Islands
It couldn’t have turned out better!
If you don’t know what Yacht Week is, you can read more about it HERE.
First of all, going alone was the best decision ever! It’s still the trip where I’ve made the most friends. I know it sounds scary, but there are plenty of other people going alone.
Tip for solo travelers!
If you want to travel solo, but you’re a bit afraid not to have your bestie by your side, make sure to connect with your crew on beforehand. Most crews have group messages on Facebook or WhatsApp. You start planning your trip months before, and you will definitely find some people you connect with. Maybe you could even set up a Skype call! I also promise you that the convo is very easy going. Your hardest decision will be if you are going to dress out as a mermaid or a superhero.
What to think about before deciding route
Do you want a huge group with 50-70 boats? Then you’re probably looking at the original route Croatia
Do you want a “calmer” yacht week with less partying? Then Italy is probably for you
One of our many raft parties in Croatia
Depending on your expectations, you can choose your destination. I would also recommend looking at pictures from previous years! You can join some of the Facebook groups TYW withdrawals, TYW Croatia, Thailand etc. to look for advise, people to join your boat or if you would like to join another boat.
My favorite Yacht Week is Greece. Probably because it was my first experience, but also because the scenery in Greece is astonishing. The route is not too big and not too small (even though it is now bigger than when I first went). And even though I’ve been to 5 yacht weeks by now, I would still consider going again since every time is a new experience. You meet different people and experience different things each day!
Your skipper will become your good friend end of the week!
Skipper and/or hostess
Even though you are a certified skipper, I would not recommend that you sign up to be a skipper on your own boat. First of all, you will not enjoy the vacation like the others as you will have to wake up early in the mornings to prepare the boat. Then there is also insurance issues. The skippers working for The Yacht Week are ensured as employees, but as you will have to get your own travel insurance, it all depends on your terms and conditions with your insurance company. It’s just not worth it! Instead, sign up for the Skipper Academy and become a skipper through The Yacht Week.
I have personally never had a hostess as it’s quite expensive. But sometimes it’s definitely worth it. I think you need to think about your crew. Do you have a master chef on board who enjoys cooking and cleaning? Then you might not need a hostess. Also bear in mind that you will most likely live of pasta and not cook anything complicated anyways. You will also eat some meals out as there are lots of nice restaurants at the destinations. In my opinion, the best reason to get a hostess is that the boat will be clean. Just imagine 7-10 people on a boat for a week, it get’s DIRTY!
Also keep in mind that having a skipper and/or a hostess will withdraw one or two spots on the boat! So you are not just paying for them, but also for their spot on the boat.
Don’t pack too much! Not only is there limited space on the boat, but also because you will be carrying your duffle bag (you have to bring a soft bag to be able to put it away on the boat) around the ports. And to be honest, you will be in your bikini 90% of your time anyways. Some things not to forget:
– sunscreen. This is really important as the sun is dangerous at sea! I always bring spf 50+ as well as spf 30 for later on in the week. Aloe Vera is great to bring as you will likely burn one day.
– bikinis. I love bikinis and usually bring at least 7. This is not necessary, but I would at least bring 3 so that you will have some options for activities.
– a sweatshirt. In some of the destinations it will get chilly at night, even though it’s a tropical climate. a warm hoodie will be nice in the evenings.
– party props. Be creative! Bring anything funny that will fit in to tropical beach parties and raft parties (party hats, lights to pimp out your boat etc.)
– costumes/fancy dress. Batman suit or mermaid tail? Talk to your crew and set up themes for each day where you will dress out in funky outfits!
– small day bag/party bag. Bring a small bag with zipper to keep your phone and wallet in. Even better if it’s waterproof or water resistant!
– waterproof phone case. This is really important as you don’t want your phone to get damaged. Also, choose one that floats as there’s a big chance that you will drop it from the boat. In the BVIs about 10 of my friends lost their phone to the ocean (RIP).
– GoPro or other waterproof camera. You want to document each and every moment of this trip, bring a good camera and lots of memory cards.
–waterproof makeup. This is a life saver! You will be in the water most of the time and you don’t want to look like a panda bear, trust me.
– white dress. In most of the Yacht Weeks you will have a white party where everyone is suppose to wear white. Bring a nice beach dress for this occasion. I would recommend to bring an extra one just in case. I had a little “accident” where one of my crew mates spilled red wine on my white dress just before the white party.
– (makeup) wipes. You will use them for anything and everything.
– mosquito repellent. This is essential for me, as I’m very allergic. I need strong stuff, as normal spray won’t do. This is especially important in Thailand and the BVIs as the climate is tropical.
– First aid kit. Just make sure one of you bring one. You will most likely need it.
– Country flag. To put on the boat!
– Inflatable things. Anything from a flamingo to floating drink holders for the raft parties.
– AUX cable. You only need one of two for the boat. But this is great as you will be able to play music from your phone.
– travel charger. This is great as you will not always have power on the boat.
– travel adapter depending on your destination.
– flowy summer clothes. Think comfy and beachy.
You will be able to buy things in a super markets before you sail off. But keep in mind that they might be small and not have specific things you need.
And don’t forget to double check your travel insurance! Being on a boat is not risk free, and you don’t want to end up paying $$$ for hospital bills. I’ve seen many accidents during yacht week, so unfortunately things do happen.
Read more about each destination in my other Yacht Week guides! (coming soon!)