The Intro

Last Summer 2017, I was fortunate enough to travel with 9 of my other closest friends to experience a once in a life time sailing trip around the Adriatic Sea.  This isn’t a typical sailing trip that ends at sunset, however, this epic, non-stop party atmosphere with an equal dose of both men and women from all around the world in their 20s and 30s that lasts for 7 days.  That’s right, a full week.  On a boat in Croatia.  And rightly so, this amazing trip is called The Yacht Week.

The 10 of sailed on the Croatia Black route alongside an armada of 30 other boats, hopping from various islands, bars, beaches and parties.  Now if you just booked this awesome adventure, you might be wondering, what do I need to pack?  Well apparel wise, for us men, I can tell you that you don’t need much other than cycling through your favorite retro-shirt, pineapple swim trunks, and loud bro tank.  I don’t need to tell you what clothes to pack, as you should know that.  I will tell you what other essentials you should bring to make your trip more enjoyable.

Keep in mind that space in the boat is very limited so please, leave the hard sided suitcases at home and carry a foldable rolling duffle bag, or something similar that can collapse into one of the boats’ small closets.  We sailed on a Bavaria 50 foot cruiser, which was one of the larger boats in the fleet and we still felt cramped with the 10 of us plus the skipper and hostess due to all the booze, food and water we stockpiled in every nook and cranny instead.

Loading the boat with all our food and drink for the week!

The Men’s Packing List

You will want to overpack then not pack enough goodies and regret not having all the things you wanted in the middle of the Adriatic Sea.  Below are a list of things I brought with me on The Yacht Week.

1. Rolling Duffle Bag

This 35in rolling duffle bag carries a lot of heft while being extremely lightweight and can easily be packed down into a small form factor.  It is my go to bag for when I go on trips that last 7-10 days long.  This bag was perfect for The Yacht Week as I was able to unpack most of my clothes for the entire week and put them in the closets while folding this into the boat storage.  I didn’t need it again until it was time to disembark.

2. A cool floaty!

Everyone on Yacht Week has a bright party floaty.  Without one, you will feel left out during the epic circle raft party or the tunnel raft party that happens toward the end of the trip.  I opted for the bright watermelon floaty as it was the perfect size to fit into my duffle bag while remaining small enough for me to blow up with my own lungs.  Just keep in mind that these all have to be inflated on the boat so make friends with a friendly yacht who sports a nifty electric inflatable pump or show off your mega lung capacity to your lady friends.

3. Portable battery charger

This is a must buy if you want to keep Instagramming or Snapchating your day on the boat.  Grab a slim 10,000mah like this one and it will be able to charge your iPhone or Android device nearly 3 times.  The only power ports on the boat are down in the living room area and there are usually none up on the main deck where everyone hangs out at.  This Anker charger is also great for those long day trips away from the yacht so you can be sure your GoPro and smartphone will always be charged.

4. Quick dry microfiber travel towel

The Yacht Week boats provide a towel for you however that should be reserved as your shower towel.  You will want a travel towel for the beach and ocean water that packs very small but also dries quickly for those multi-session dips into the water.  This towel worked amazingly for me and even though it has a different texture that is unlike any normal bath towel, it dried amazingly well and I was able to roll it up very tightly to fit into my duffle bag.

5. Waterproof pouch for your smartphone

Again, another must have for the yacht.  You will be around water, beer, liquor and other fluids everywhere.  How much would it suck if your phone died because it got wet or if it accidentally dropped into the ocean? Grab one of these and take plenty of pictures and video during the circle raft party!

6. Flags to show off your country pride and other interests

Every boat on The Yacht Week will be flying flags on the mast.  Multiple flags actually.  Make sure you bring your countries flag and any other flags to easily identify your boat out of the 50 that are docked on the marina.  Just remember to take it down before you disembark and not forget like we did 🙂

7. Sperry’s Boat Shoes

Boat decks are notoriously slippery when wet and many will not get away with just wearing flip flops.  Ensure your feet are extra protected by getting yourself a pair of boat shoes, that way you can ensure you won’t accidentally kick your toe on an anchor.

8. LED Solar Lights

Your boat will be the best looking yacht at night if you have these hung around the railings.  Not to mention, they will help you attract people for the after parties after the clubs close out.  At night, the boats are extremely dark and you can make it easier to help identify your boat by having these solar powered lights.

9. GoPro with Floating Selfie-Stick

You will want to be able to capture the best memories during this trip and many of them will be in the water.  You don’t want to lose your expensive GoPro to the ocean, so ensure you pick up a selfie stick that can float like this one.

10. Reusable Water Bottle

While you will have glassware and cups on the boat, you will want to stay extremely hydrated in the strong Adriatic sun.  I brought my HydroFlask with me and it kept my water ice cold, which was extremely refreshing after taking a dip in the ocean in the 90 degree Croatian waters.

11. Retro T-Shirt for the Tropical Retro Party

If you are ever caught at a Yacht Week themed party without a sweet costume, you 1) won’t be let in, 2) feel left out 3) regret you didn’t get that awesome outfit for this epic party.  Make sure you read up on the themes and prepare accordingly. I wore this shirt during the Fort George party and I blended right in 🙂

12. Travel SIM for Europe

Because I was traveling through Europe for a week prior to The Yacht Week, I purchased two of these 7 day SIM cards which were loaded with 10GB of 4G LTE data.  I wanted to have data throughout the entire trip so I could navigate the foreign cities and subway systems intelligently.  Your boat will come with WiFi however my experience with it is that it comes with extremely limited data that is shared amongst 12 other individuals which will eventually slow down to a crawl.  Don’t let your Instagram followers down by not posting real time to your story!  This SIM worked so well that I was even able to live stream to Facebook.  These SIM cards will work if your phone is unlocked from your carrier, which was the case for my Verizon iPhone 7.  Normal international data pricing from Verizon would have costed me $10 a day and only limited to 500MB of data, so grabbing this SIM card was a no brainer.

13. Poopourri for the adventurous sea dumper

S.O.S. was a well known term on our boat which stood for Sh!t On Shore.  Usually, these yachts don’t have the proper plumbing or sewage system to properly dispose of the goods, but there may be times of emergency where you can’t wait to do the deed at one of the marina bathrooms.  If you really need to, you’ll want to save the embarrassing smells and spray the toilet down with this magical potion before you go.

14. Travel Hammock

This is a must bring for the yacht as it will attract friends over to lay in and hang out.  Actually, bring two, because someone from your ship will be jealous and want to kick you off of it.  You will have room on the bow of the boat to hang these up and don’t be surprised if you pass out on one of these each night like I did.  Besides, who likes to sleep indoor in the hot rooms when you can doze off outside in the starry night of the Adriatic Sea?  We wished we brought ours from home since we paid a premium at one of the local Croatian sport shops for two of these.