Let's be honest; most people overpack when they go on a trip. Sometimes, it's because of procrastination. Before you know it, your trip is upon you and you have X hours to throw everything you might possibly need into your suitcase before you go. Sometimes, overpacking happens intentionally. You like options. You want to have multiple outfits at the ready for any likely (and sometimes unlikely) scenario. Cool- whatever floats your boat right?
Well, packing for a sailing trip is a little different than packing for other trips. Whether you’ve decided to sail Italy, the Greek Islands, Croatia, or another top sailing destination, you will need certain types of clothing and you will need to pack STRATEGICALLY. So, understand this- overpacking will actually be more of a nuisance than a lifesaver in this situation.
Do not fret my friend. I have put together a packing guide to make sure you bring all the essentials necessary to enjoy a week at sea. You will find that this guide focuses primarily on clothing, accessories, and toiletries. There are other things like portable fans, a hammock, playing cards that you should consider packing to maximize the yacht week- get the details here.
The Ideal Travel Bag
First things first, the cabin you’ll be staying in will be tiny. Most cabins have small closets and a few drawers; overall the room is VERY limited. You will not want to take up precious space with a hard suitcase that can't be tucked away. Invest in a soft duffel bag. I opted for one that was carry-on size (21 inch) and could roll, as I knew I would tire quickly toting a week's worth of clothing around (through airport, to access public transportation, from taxi to the yacht, etc). It was also important to me that my duffle was a carry-on, because I was terrified of the possibility of my luggage being misplaced in transit from the States to my final destination. The chances of this happening to you are slim, but who wants to deal with the nightmare of trying to reconnect with their luggage, considering the uncertainty of time spent on each island (plus limited access to Wifi)? Just something to consider.
You will be in a swimsuit everyday. EVERYDAY. (Sometimes, twice a day ;-p) And the beautiful thing about that is, swimwear doesn't take up a lot of space! YAY. See below for the breakdown:
1-2x shorts for day wear (material should be light and dry quickly if wet)
2-3x shorts/mini skirts for night wear
9x tops (crops were my best friend!)
3 tops - easy to throw on tops for exploration during the day
6 tops- parties at night (may be less if you decide to bring more dresses instead)
1x white party attire
1x light sweater or waterproof jacket
2-3x sandals for day/night parties
(1 pair of wedges if you insist on some height, but my advice is to go for comfort)
1x boat shoes like Sperrys or canvas shoes like Keds or Converse (The boat will get slippery! AND there are times you will have to walk across several boats to get to land. Safety first).
*Note: I went the route of mixing and matching tops with skirts/shorts for the night parties. I found this gave me more flexibility than packing 7 dresses.
4x swim trunks
2x collared shirts
2-3x regular shorts (material should be light and should dry quickly if wet)
1 lightweight jacket
1x white party attire
1x boat shoes like Sperrys or canvas shoes like Keds or Converse (Non slip, non marking, closed toe shoes are the way to go!).
1-2x polarized sunglasses (I lost a pair of mine to Posideon, so it pays off to have a second pair handy!)
1-2x bag (e.g. backpack, beach bag, cross body)
necklaces, earrings, and bracelets
toothbrush & toothpaste
SPF 20-30 sunscreen
razor (although this could get tricky)
*Note: Highly recommended that you buy many of these items with your crew when you arrive at the marina on day 1. You really don't need 8 huge containers of suncreen or shampoo sprawled about the yacht. And if you try this, it means more packing room for clothes/accessories in your duffle :-p
BB cream or tinted moisturizer (waterproof and melt-proof coverage with SPF)
tinted lip balm (day) and lipstick
*Note: You will be in and out the water and it's going to be hot. So, you will not want to spend a lot time getting dolled up each day. This minimal route goes far if you just want that little pop.
What Not to Bring
A hard suitcase
Heavy clothing (i.e. denim)
High heels – heels and boats just don’t mix well!
Linen & Towels/Washcloths (they are provided for you, but you could always bring backups if space permits)
So in summary, LESS is more (except when it comes to swimsuits!).
Happy packing- an incredible sailing adventure awaits you!