Congrats. If you’ve booked Yacht Week and are about to embark on this epic floating adventure, then you’re about to have the best week of your life. You may not sleep for 7 days, you might be sick off the side of a fancy yacht, and you’ll definitely make so many friends from all over the world!
After last year, I couldn’t stop talking about Yacht Week. How amazing I found the experience, going to be every night and waking up on a new tiny island each day. Not to mention all of the parties, the sailing, and the beautiful people. However, there’s a few things we learned that we thought we should share.
If you’re a light traveler, lots of people from previous weeks are donating their floaties at the end of the week. Reach out in the facebook group or show up early at the Yacht Week check in where you’ll find a pile of homeless floaties waiting to make your week. There are also street vendors all over Split selling them for reasonable prices so there’s no reason to have to fly all the way to Croatia with one!
2. Drink wisely and responsibly.
Everyone gets PUMPED about the idea of buying booze in advance to prepare you for the best week ever. Let’s just say, don’t peak too early. There’s no reason to buy 5 bottles of vodka and 1 million beers. Everyone always drinks about half of what they buy in advance. You can ALWAYS get more on the islands. It’s more expensive but better than donating 6 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of vodka to the crew in the end. We get off the boat every day and night and the parties are all off the boat where you can’t bring in your own booze. Just think twice before getting 3 times more than you’ll need.
3. Same goes for food.
Last year we threw away 5 trash bags worth of food at the end of the week. What a waste. Nonperishables can be donated but that was only about 1/5th of our remains. Because so many people sleep through breakfast and you’ll spend a lot of time off the yachts, there’s no reason to get massive amounts of food. Start small and pick up stuff along the way if needed.
4. Take care of your skipper/hostess.
Keep in mind that you’re paying for your skipper/hostess’ meals unless you go to a TYW recommended restaurant where they’ll eat for free. There are some amazing restaurants on the islands that aren’t recommended (BLACK PEPPER ON HVAR!!!) but that’s totally up to you! Also, the recommended tip at the end is about $40-60 USD per person depending on how EPIC of a trip you had.
We’re talking PEDIALYTE, vitamin tablets, and ALL THE WATER. 2 liters per person, per day.
6. Extra Fees
Every boat sets up what is called a “kitty”- a communal pot of money that everyone contributes to for general mooring fees, water taxis, etc. These typically set you back an additional 250/300 USD per person. If you’re traveling with Legit Trips, these costs are included in your week but do vary based on how large your boat and crew are.
7. Prepare yourself.
Unless you’re splurging on your own room, you’re likely sharing a cabin slash tiny bed with someone else. Space is not abundant. It gets super bright in the mornings. You’re getting little sleep as it is, so make the most of what you do get by poppin’ some earplugs in and putting an eye mask on. The sun comes up early, and on nights when the boats are tied up together, people are constantly boat hopping and are partying hard.
8. Download the Day 8 app
If, like me, you have no earthly idea what the week’s itinerary is, this app will be your new best friend. Each day it will let you know what’s going on, where to be, and when. Not only that, but it connects you with your crew and other yacht weekers, while also offering a place to post your photos from the week.
9. Yacht Life
The Toilet. Ten pumps to the left, ten to the right, and eventually what went in will go down. You’ll have a new appreciation for land toilets and that one magic button you’ve always pressed.
During the course of The Yacht Week, there are three themed nights. Tropical Retro, Riviera, and Regatta Day. The latter was by far one of my favorites. The boats all sail together while each crew shows off their costumes in an attempt to win the best theme. Google “best yacht week regatta themes” for about a million ideas. We’ve done Under the Sea and Party Animals. Every theme just depends on what everyone puts into it. The more you try, the more fun it will be.
By the end of the week, your check liver light is going to be flashing HARD. Silly me, I packed a Kindle thinking I might have some time to chill out and read. Nope. Nope. Nope. Yacht Week is a giant party, from afternoon til the sun comes up. There will definitely be nights that you will drink until the sun comes up, because a lot of the parties don’t even begin until 11:00 PM. If you’re an old lady like me though, you’re going to equal parts love and hate this. “This is the best night of my life!” will be followed by “I’m never doing this again” as you face plant into bed.
12. Tables/bottle service
They’re going to suggest that you book a table at the big parties, but I personally did not think it was worth it. They were hardly exclusive at most of the venues, and there was always a minimum spend that resulted in wasting quite a bit of money just for a couple of drinks. There’s also the babysitting factor- which results in you hovering around your table of expensive alcohol praying that drunk strangers don’t drink it all. Pregame, buy a few at the party, mingle, and be free.
You’re going to want a comfortable recovery day or two post-yacht week, and your whole world is going to be rockin’ for a while. I was definitely “land sick” for two days. A good bed, a warm shower, and a flushing toilet will do wonders.
So there you have it, all the things I wish I’d known before Yacht Week began. It’s safe to say your bank account may see a deficit that hovers on either side of the $2,000 mark depending on the choices you make, so be prepared. That being said, can you really put a monetary value to one of the best weeks of your life? I think not.