Planning a sensational scuba vacation can sometimes be a very stressful endeavor, especially when you want to get the best value for that precious time off. So where do you start? Well, organization is key to reducing stress, so I suggest you start with these 5 basic steps. You know what is also key to reducing stress when it comes to your vacation? Ask your friendly dive travel specialist to help. That’s why I’m here. But back to the business of these 5 nuggets for creating your next delightful dive adventure. There are often many factors to consider when planning a scuba vacation, especially to more remote destinations, but some of the basics include choosing the destination, picking the best time of year to travel there, and how to pack for this destination without breaking the bank with overweight baggage fees. So to help you plan a dive trip that lives up to your expectations from start to finish, I’ve simplified the planning process into 5 basic steps.
Step 1: Where Do You Want to Go?
Step 2: What Type of Adventure Are You Considering?
Step 3: When to Go?
Your next step after narrowing down a possible destination is to research when is the best time of year to go. A prime travel window may be dictated by Mother Nature and seasonal conditions, including factors such as weather, water temps, visibility, and ocean conditions (especially for liveaboard options). For example, for the gamblers looking for low season pricing, the Caribbean during hurricane season may be an option, as long as you remember to purchase travel insurance to cover your bases.
Step 4: How Are You Going to Get There?
Step 5: Will This Destination Be Equipment Intensive?
When you combine all 4 steps above, the final step in this planning process is taking into consideration what type of gear will be needed. If you are an occasional diver with no gear of your own per se, you will need to factor in what equipment will be required at this destination and how the price of equipment rental will factor into your budget. If you are a prolific diver wisely set up with a full arsenal of lightweight travel gear, then you need to reflect on the type of diving you will be doing. How much photo gear are you lugging along and can you fit that into the airline weight limits? Are you night diving? Will packing your lights be worth the weight? Or would it be wiser and cheaper to rent lights from the destination dive operation? If you are a tec diver, no doubt you prefer your own equipment, so you will definitely need to research airline restrictions before jetting off on your next adventure.
Finally, prepare a checklist for yourself of everything you wish to pack, from clothing to toiletries to dive equipment, to make sure nothing is forgotten. I suggest you do a trial packing run at least the week before departure to figure out what needs to go, what could really stay, and how much it all weighs so there are no surprises at the airport or at your arrival at the resort. Remember, to avoid stress when luggage arrives late or goes missing, pack you most important and most valuable items in your carry-on baggage.