Scuba diving is a sport that is found all over the planet. From the high corners of the Arctic to the sweltering tropics of the equator, every year water loving adventurers push the limits of scuba diving and step out of their comfort zone to find new places to scuba dive.
Given the crazy places, people are finding to dive; traveling is unavoidable be it by land, air, boat…
Keep these four important questions in the back of your mind when planning your next scuba diving vacation. They could make or break your diving experience.
One of the biggest reasons people dive is to see the breathtaking marine wildlife. The thing about wildlife – especially of aquatic variety – is that they are very nomadic and often unpredictable.
From the poles to the tropics, to the depths and then back into the shallows… Scientists have studied aquatic animals for decades and are still attempting to make breakthroughs on fauna migrations and seasonality.
As with any wild animal, you are never 100% guaranteed to spot what you are looking for so why not give yourself the best opportunity to see them. By doing a little background research, and talking to people who have previously visited your prospective dive location, you can get the scoop on which animals typically frequent the area around your travel dates.
Catching a glimpse of that elusive megafauna species you have dying to dive with doesn’t happen every day, and by figuring out the right time of year, you are giving yourself the best possible chance at a dive for the memory books.
Important Note: Just because it’s the prime time of year on land does not mean that it will be the prime time to be underwater.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – scuba diving is not a cheap hobby.
When you add several days of scuba diving, on top of your travel tickets and accommodation costs, it’s quite the financial investment.
The question that most divers struggle with before traveling is the infamous query; to bring or not to bring personal diving equipment?
If you’re looking for a straightforward yes or no answer – well let me tell you right now, it’s not as simple as that. There are so many logistics to take into account such as; how long are you there for, how many dives are you planning on doing, what is the cost of equipment rental, how much baggage space do you have…
Packing your own equipment is definitely a pro’s and con’s trade-off. Joey and my general rule of thumb is to always bring with us our mask, dive computer and regulators. After tonnes of dives all over the world, we have learned that diving is a high-risk sport and knowing that your mask fits you correctly, your dive computer has a fresh battery, and your regulators (aka your breathing lifeline) are in good working condition makes for a much more enjoyable dive.
In the whirlwind of travel preparation, it’s easy to let transportation slip from your mind.
How you are getting to and more importantly FROM your destination, is a question that lots of divers fail to plan into their dive trip. Air travel affects our bodies, whether we realize it or not, and while this may not be a concern for land travelers, as a diver it should not be overlooked.
Even though commercial airplanes have pressurized cabins, divers still are at risk for decompression sickness. As much as airplane cabin pressure work for the average human, for a diver the cabin pressure is still lower than ground-level atmospheric pressure. Effects can be the same when you ascend from your dive too quickly.
Sufficient to say that if your body has been diving, you will want to make sure you have sufficiently off-gassed before you board your flight.
True, there are a few reputable dive organizations that have different dive-fly recommendations, each one hinging on; the number of dives, depth, and decompression dives, erring on the conservative side and leaving ample buffer between your last dive and your flight home is all part of smart dive planning.
A good dive travel practice, and one that Joey and I follow to the letter, is to allow a surface interval of 24 hours or more before heading into the air after a dive. Safety first!
Important Note: No plane, no problem – right? Wrong, heading up a mountain soon after a dive, can have the same effects as taking an airplane, so make sure you take that into your trip consideration as well.
I have heard countless scuba-horror stories from other fellow divers, about unprofessional shops and untrained dive buddies.
As a traveling scuba diver, shop around and check out the different dive businesses in the area before venturing out on a dive. Visiting a scuba shop the day before your planned dive can tell you a lot about a business. It allows you to ask questions, fill out the paperwork and gauge the company professionalism.
Where dive buddies are concerned, when possible always try to travel with your own dive buddy – someone you know is qualified and would trust with your life if something were to happen underwater. If you are a solo traveler and are paired up onsite, don’t be afraid to make small talk and ask your new buddy about their scuba experience. Simple questions can give you a good idea of how experienced and knowledgeable your dive buddy will be. Some good questions to ask include: how often do you dive? When was your last dive? Do you dive in cold water? Have you dove with this company before?
While I know there are tonnes of accomplished divers out there, some harder to recognize at first glance over other, generally speaking someone who travels with all their own equipment, or are frequent cold water divers make solid and reliable dive buddies.
It takes some careful planning to execute that perfect dive trip. Traveling on its own has lots of components to think about, and by adding diving to the mix, your vacation organization can get tricky. By keeping these four crucial dive travel questions in the back of your mind, you are ensuring that you set yourself up for a safe and fantastic dive vacation.
What kinds of questions do you like to keep in mind when you are about to head on a dive trip?
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Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Black scuba diving turtle fins
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB