Planning the perfect scuba diving trip can be a stressful experience, especially for those under pressure to make the most of their precious time off. There are many different factors to consider – including choosing a destination, picking the optimum time to travel and packing in a way that won’t break the budget with airline overweight fees. It's better to plan your scuba trip carefully and look forward to a hassle-free trip of a lifetime instead and we've put this article together so you can do just that!
Select your destination:
In order to have the best possible experience abroad, research the places you'd like before you travel. If you want to dive with a particular marine species, you’ll need to choose your destination according to where that species is most prevalent. For example, those interested in tec diving might dream of a trip to Malta; while wreck divers will find their version of paradise in places like Chuuk Lagoon or the North Carolina coast or Saint Brandon, home to vibrant coral reefs and the most amazing marine creatures, fauna and flora. Check out our diving trip!
Choosing your travel dates:
Your next step is to figure out the best time to travel to your chosen destination. This may be dictated by seasonal conditions, including water temperature, visibility and swell (the latter being particularly relevant for liveaboard trips if you’re prone to seasickness). Topside weather is also a factor. If you have chosen a destination based especially on its marine life, you need to make sure that you travel at the best time to see your target species. While shark diving is possible in South Africa all year round, for example, tiger sharks are only present at Aliwal Shoal during the warmer summer months (that’s the southern hemisphere summer, of course). Many marine species are migratory, and you’ll need to time your trip carefully to catch them.
Diving is serious!
Remember that even though you’re on holiday, diving is a serious sport and requires your full attention in order to avoid accidents. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, you’ve eaten in the morning and that you haven’t drunk too much alcohol the night before. All of these factors not only affect how much you will enjoy your dives (hangovers and boats are not a fun combo!), but they can actually increase your risk of getting decompression sickness.
Adequate SCUBA insurance cover is an absolute must-have and a Divers Alert Network (DAN) scuba dive accident insurance policy should be top of your list of ‘things to do before I travel’. Going scuba diving abroad without a specialized scuba insurance policy in place is risky at best and insane at worst and a DAN insurance policy is there to protect you from any unexpected expenses that may arise should things go catastrophically wrong during your trip.
These tips should help you when planning your next diving trip. There are many locations across the world yet there are some rare places that should be on every divers bucket list!