If you’re into islands, water activities, raging, or if you simply have Instagram… you’ve probably heard of The Yacht Week. The Yacht Week is known as the home of the floating festival which takes place from June – September each year in Europe ranging from Montenegro, Greece, and to the ever popular and most famous route – Croatia. There’s also a British Virgin Islands route during the winter months which has an option that rings in the new year.
Like many people, I heard of The Yacht Week and immediately proceeded to peruse through their website and all the Instagram content I could possibly find. I was not disappointed with what I found. I was sold! I called up one of my good friends and told her “we have to make this happen next year!” As expected, she was down. All that was left to do was put a plan in place and book it!
I read many blogs and reviews where people referred to this week as the best week of their life. I knew it would be a blast but, the best week of my life? That’s a huge statement.
After the trip ended, I can honestly say, TYW was one of the top three best weeks of my life, if not the best. It truly lived up to ALL of the hype. I did tons of research before booking TYW and I made some very strategic decisions in the planning process which I believe set me up for success. Here are 6 tips to make your yacht week successful.
1.) CHOOSE YOUR CREW WISELY
Having the right crew could potentially make or break your entire experience. Be honest with yourself! If you know there are certain personalities or people that you can’t be around for more than a few days (dare I say hours,) don’t bother asking them to join your crew. Don’t get desperate for warm bodies to fill up slots on the yacht. If you only have a few solid friends who are able to go but not enough to fill up an entire yacht, utilize “Official The Yacht Week Crew Finder” Facebook group to find other like-minded individuals to go in on a yacht together. Take your time reading people’s “ads” and chat with them to make sure they are a good fit. My two long-time friends and I joined a yacht with three couples and a solo traveler. Our group of ten hit it off and still keep in touch today. I can’t emphasize this enough. Your yacht week will only be as good as your crew. Choose carefully!
*Cleanliness is really important on TYW considering living quarters are very small and so many people are constantly moving in and out of the water. Make sure the pals you decide to roll with prioritize tidying up and keeping things as clean as possible.
2.) CHOOSE THE ROUTE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR CREW
TYW breaks down its routes based on pace. There are slower-paced routes suited to those who want to spend more time relaxing. For me, I wanted the whole SHABANG! We opted for Croatia – Original route. This route is described as a fast-paced route with lots of parties and many more boats than the other routes. We wanted a crazy experience so we were mentally prepared for long nights, loud music, and lots of alcohol. This may not be for everyone but it was the perfect choice for us.
3.) BE REAL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
TYW has several tiers of yachts that can be booked ranging from standard up to premium plus. As with anything, you get what you pay for. In many cases, the more you pay, the more amenities and space you’ll get. Be sure to figure out what type of experience you want to have and make sure those desires fit into your budget. We mentally prepared to spend around 800 USD on the yacht when we first decided we were going. We booked a premium yacht with no A/C and no hostess. After the exchange rate, we spent about $825 USD, so we were pretty close to our target price. We booked a large catamaran which had lots of common room space and nice finishings. The hostess wasn’t necessary for us since we had plenty of people on our yacht who enjoyed cooking. We chose a week in mid-June when night temperatures were in the 60s which made sleeping conditions comfortable without A/C. If you’re going in July or August and have trouble sleeping in the heat, booking a yacht without A/C might not be a good move. If your budget doesn’t allow for a yacht with A/C, consider booking in early June or in September when it’s a bit cooler but still good for swimming during the day. This can save you a few hundred dollars and help you get a few extra hours of sleep! It’s all about being creative with your budget and making it work for you and your needs!
*Be sure to take out lots of cash. You’ll end up paying for your portion of many group dinners and drinks in cash instead of your credit card. Also, don’t forget to set aside cash for port fees, groceries, to tip your skipper, and to tip your hostess if you choose to book a hostess. Whatever you think is necessary for cash, take out double. We blew through our cash a lot earlier than intended.
4.) DON’T FLY IN THE DAY OF
The boat is going to leave with or without you. The last thing you want to deal with is trying to make your way to one of the islands to meet up with your boatmates. Sh*t happens! Flights get delayed or canceled all the time. It’s not worth the risk. If you choose one of the routes in Europe, I recommend flying into mainland Europe several days before and making your way to the city where your starting marina is located at least a day and a half early. This way, if anything goes wrong, you have multiple options. You can try to get rescheduled on a later flight. If that isn’t possible, you can likely take a train, bus, or even a car to your starting marina and not miss any of the TYW festivities. I have a personal testimony of why this point is so important. Flying in early saved me a major headache.
5.) PACK LIGHT AND ACCORDINGLY
- Bring a carry-on, not a checked bag. Space is limited in the cabins.
- Bring a light jacket. It may be summer but some nights can be chilly.
- Bring motion-sickness medicine. Even if you think it won’t be an issue, it doesn’t hurt.
- Bring lots of sunscreen, and lotion or oil. Protect your skin and prevent ashiness!!!
- Bring insect repellant.
- Bring a waterproof case for your phone
- Bring a floatie — don’t be that guy begging to use someone else’s float!
- Bring water shoes and/or shower shoes (cheap flip-flops).
- Bring an aux cord
- Bring a USB car charger for electronics. When the boat is docked the outlets don’t work.
- Bring a cap and a nice pair of sunnies. This was a game changer on super hot days.
- DON’T overpack. You’re going to wear a swimsuit most of the day almost every day.
- DON’T waste space packing towels. The boat already has them.
- DON’T pack heels. Everything is wet and it’s simply not safe for heels.
6.) PACE YOURSELF AND TREAT YO SELF!
As cliche as it may sound… it’s not a sprint my friend. I read multiple blogs and message boards before going, so I had a good idea of which parties I should save my energy for and which were worth an appearance, but not a full-on rage. For the welcome party, we decided to have a few drinks, dance a bit, then head back to the yacht to make sure we had plenty of energy for our first full day. Vis was one of the islands I really wanted to explore so we were well-rested when we got there. We rented scooters, drove around, found a secluded beach, ate dinner at Fort George, and partied the night away at the Tropical Retro party. When I tell you THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFEEEEE, I kid you not. We stayed out very late, danced for hours, and threw back our fair share of shots. I would have been bummed if we went too hard the night before and were unable to fully enjoy ourselves here.
The party highlights for me were Tropical Retro at Fort George, Riviera Chic at Carpe Diem Hvar, and the Circle Raft! If you only have three days per week to go hard, these three parties are worth all your energy!
In the spirit of TREAT YO SELF, we decided as a group to get bottle service at the Riviera Chic party. This was the best decision we made! It was extremely crowded during this party so it was nice to have a home-base, somewhere to sit, and a dedicated waiter. We also really wanted to splurge a little so this was the perfect opportunity to do so. No regrets! I recommend splurging on bottle service and/or a really bomb dinner at least once during TYW. It’s worth it!
At the end of my experience, I knew I was walking away with new lifelong friends, a ton of epic memories, and a banging tan that left my melanin extra poppin! TYW lived up to the hype, without question. I highly recommend! I hope you find these tips helpful in making TYW one of the best weeks of your life!
Who’s going to TYW this year? Anyone planning to go in the future? Let me know in the comments!