If you’re new to the yachting industry, it might seem like an impossible task to fit all your essentials in a tiny bag. Once you’re on board, there is minimal space to store your belongings and you don’t want to be THAT crew member who rolls a giant suitcase down the dock. Here’s a quick guide on what and how to pack:
Choose a Good Bag
You will need a sturdy duffel bag that’s easily collapsible (saves with bag storage once on the yacht) with optional wheels for easy transport. Bags like these have more room inside them than it appears. As you’re packing, you will begin to notice that there are little corners of space throughout the bag. Try to pack your clothes as efficiently as possible by rolling each item rather than folding (which helps with wrinkles), which leaves space for bulkier items like toiletries.
Mix and Match
You don’t need to bring your entire closet’s worth of clothes with you. Closet space is limited in crew cabins, so you won’t have anywhere to store them! Opt for a few tops and bottoms in basic colors that you can easily mix and match. Yachting is pretty casual, so leave the heels and flashy items at home. For the job hunt, a pair of shorts/skort and a polo should suffice. It’s ok to bring at least 1-2 smarter outfits to wear in an interview or for dinner out with an owner/guests (on occasion). A good pair of sunglasses, running shoes (for hiking or to keep fit), flip flops, a watch (to stay punctual) and a swimsuit is also handy. You’ll be spending most of your time in crew uniform anyway, so don’t go too overboard with bringing lots of clothing options.
It’s no secret yachties love their gadgets. Some common gadgets crew bring on board: GoPro (to catch all the cool underwater adventures), laptop, ipad/kindle for reading or browsing when you have some downtime, and a nice camera (if you’re really into photography or capturing some beautiful shots while at sea). It might also be a good idea to have a hard drive with some movies downloaded ahead of time in case wifi is not available while out at sea. Something that might also be very helpful for sleeping in close quarters is a pair of noise cancelling headphones!
If you’re particular about a certain brand or product, definitely bring your own toiletries. However, many yachts provide basic crew toiletries, so you don’t have to go crazy packing too much before you step on board. Just have enough to get you through the job hunt if you’re on a strict budget.
Bring some items that you know will help you relax and feel more at home, wherever you go. Photos of family or friends, journal, a good book, essential oils, a sleeping mask…whatever helps you feel at peace, even while away from family and friends. You’ll need moments of comfort when stress runs high.
When In Doubt…
Throw it out (aka, don’t bring it)! If you’re debating on bringing that hair straightener or your guitar, don’t do it. Save space and make your life easier down the road. Odds are, you’re not going to use it anyway! Only bring the bare necessities.
What are some of your packing techniques? Tell us below!
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