It’s no secret that a diving holiday is a brilliant holiday. There’s a 100% guarantee that you’ll see something incredible, not least because you’re spending time in the ocean and meeting like minded people along the way. But not everyone in your group may be a diver, you may be new to diving and may not want to do it for the full trip. So, here are a few tips to help you have fun and live the dream whilst you’re not beneath the waves.
- Phone your dive centre in advance to make sure you’re getting all the kit you need. You don’t want to get caught out!
- Check out your dive centre on Trip Advisor first – you need to know it’s legit. Of course, most dive centres are excellent but make sure you know what you’re booking.
- Not diving all week? Don’t lounge by the pool – Explore the country!
- … But use common sense when it comes to eating the local food – There’s nothing wrong with trying the local cuisine – It really adds to the trip, but go easy on the salads if you’re diving in somewhere like Egypt and decide to eat out. Same goes for chicken, especially if you’re scheduled to dive the next day. Sick divers can be a liability. (Plus you may miss some of the underwater action!)
- If you’re planning on spending lots of time underwater, invest in some coral – friendly sun cream.
You never forget the first time you go diving properly, whether that’s down in Stoney Cove on a chilly UK morning or off a dive boat straight into the Red Sea. It’s strangely addictive, once you’ve got the diving bug, well, you’re stuck with it. Although it is a wonderful experience, not many people can spend their entire holiday diving, and for the poorer traveller, it’s not always an option, as let’s face it, diving can be expensive, especially if you don’t have your own kit. To help you make the most of your trip, here are some travel tips for when you’re above the water.
- If you’re diving “backpacker” style (rather than staying on a liveaboard or an upmarket hotel) have an explore around the nearest town. Hidden gems can so often be missed when you’re travelling, perhaps because they’re overshadowed by the main tourist sites (such as the Pyramids in Egypt, or Yucatan in Mexico).
- Connect with other divers. One of the wonderful things about diving is the opportunity to meet new people (especially if you go on a solo dive trip, as everybody needs a dive buddy!) Lifelong friends and helpful guides are never too far away – you just need to have the confidence to say hello. (Key thing here is to not keep to yourself too much if you’re on a dive boat – That applies to both guests, instructors and dive boat team.)
- Try AirBnB or couch surfer (within reason) rather than mainstream hotels – It’s a much cheaper option which opens up greater opportunities to dive more (depending on how long your trip is.)
- TripAdvisor beforehand – Dodgy kit = dead divers. Not all dive centres are legitimate. Look for PADI, BISAC or SSI certification. By extension, if you dive with a private instructor, make sure you ask for relevant certification. (DiveMaster, Instructor and Master Scuba Diver cards should be on hand at all times, along with PADI, BISAC OR SSI identification.
- Bring a dive knife – There’s been a fair amount of debate as to whether divers should carry knives. If you do, it goes without saying that caution should be taken at all times. You don’t want to cut yourself, your buddy nor your kit. However, a knife could potentially save your life, should you accidentally get caught in rock or a kelp forest. Additionally, you never know when you could come across an animal in need – be that a whale trapped in fishing line or a turtle wrapped In plastic film. Do ensure that you are competent and safe when attempting to remove any plastic from an animal. But having a knife may help you remove it more easily.
There you have it, some tips and tricks to make the most of a dive trip. Have fun, be safe and #livethedream