Equipment that fits properly is worth investing in. Photo credit: James Stokes.
Planning a scuba holiday this year? Whether you’re looking at Cuba holidays or other destinations worldwide, take time to plan your diving adventure.
In this guest post, diving expert Ben Stokes shares his packing tips for scuba holidays.
Stokes is the co-founder of adventure travel company Dive Safari Asia. He has over 2,500 dives across 4 continents and regularly leads expeditions in remote corners of South East Asia. See www.divesafariasia.com for more details.
Let’s face it, investing in dive kit is not cheap.
Dive gear also takes up a large chunk of your baggage allowance so before you start splashing out it’s worth giving it a little thought as to what’s best for you when it comes to buying gear.
BCD and Regulator set. Photo credit: James Stokes.
Here are my 10 Packing Tips For A Scuba Holiday:
1. A good and responsible scuba operation will be able to rent you all the equipment you’ll ever need for a recreational dive. If you’re turning up empty-handed, ask to see the gear first. It doesn’t take an expert to see if it’s been well looked after or left to fade away. If it’s the latter, try another dive centre.
2. The first pieces of kit you should invest in are a mask, snorkel and fins. If these items don’t fit properly, then you’re not going to enjoy your dive. Make sure you try everything on first. A helpful sales rep from a dive store can help with this.
3. Dive computers can be put on the wrist or as a console attached to your regulator (breathing apparatus). It tells you how deep you are, how long you can spend at any given depth and when to ascend. Knowing these things at a turn of your head means you can relax and enjoy the dive more easily.
Kitting up before the dive. Photo credit: James Stokes.
4. So you’ve got your basic kit, what next? Well for me, it’s a wetsuit. A rental wetsuit that doesn’t quite fit is going to rub and be a little uncomfortable. Consider the people who’ve been in the wetsuit before you.
5. Regulators are basically what control your air flow between your tank and your lungs. These things rarely fail so that shouldn’t be a major concern. It’s more about the comfort factor, being familiar with how it functions and how much air you can take from it.
6. BCD or Buoyancy Control Devices should be considered next. Choose something that will suit your needs, spending more money doesn’t necessarily get you something better. If you have a store where you can try it on first, this is always best.
Checking the dive computer after a dive. Photo credit: James Stokes.
7. Now buy a bag to put it in. Something padded will protect your equipment but again it’s worth thinking about weight.
8. Most international airlines offer baggage allowance of between 20Kg and 30Kg. If you’re using an internal connection, you’re almost certainly going to pay extra for anything over 20Kg’s.
9. If you’re planning your own travel arrangements and finding a dive centre on arrival, make sure you shop around. Don’t go for the cheapest option – they all have overheads, if they’re cheaper than the rest they’re probably cutting corners.
10. Make use of a respectable tour operator when planning trips. They get preferential rates from suppliers, should be able to offer plenty of advice and you’ll be financially protected. Now go diving!