We work hard to make your dive vacation easy! Get answers to all your questions about dive travel. This section is divided into 3 areas: Travel Tips, a Dive Trip Packing List, and information on Travel & Dive Insurance. If you have a question that’s not answered here, contact us to get your questions answered. If you have other tips, please let us know!
Make your dive travel adventure as relaxing as possible by reading through our travel tips before you go! To get the most out of your adventure, here are a few tips:
Think ahead about your destination and what you will need in terms of clothing and wetsuit warmth. Ask about temperatures of the air and water.
Think ahead about the type of place you are staying. If it is a resort, is it fancy or casual? Is there a dress code at dinner? If you are diving off a live aboard, you’ll need less formal clothing and more bathing suits and shorts!
Think about your luggage. If it is older, it may weigh a lot. Shop around for luggage that is lighter and the correct size for checked and carry-on. Your local dive shop will have the newest, lightest luggage, that still protects your valuable dive gear.
Airline Luggage Restrictions
Check your airline’s website for checked and carry-on luggage regulations and weights. If you have further questions, contact DATA. Luggage regulations change from time to time. Some airlines offer free international checked luggage for 2 pieces under 50 lbs. each. Some charge for the second piece, only. Check to see the weight/size restriction for your carry on luggage.
Identify Your Luggage
Identify your luggage with a luggage tag on the outside AND the inside. If the luggage tag is missing on the outside, and your bag is delayed, it is easier to identify if there is identification on the inside, too. Mark your luggage with a ribbon or something to identify it when claiming it.
Pack your medication, cameras, change of clothes, bathing suit, prescription glasses (if you year contacts), mask, and anything you cannot do without upon arrival, IF your luggage is delayed or you are stranded in an airport.
Pack and use sunscreen, even in the morning and late afternoon. No fun to be burned!
Pack a first aid kit.
Your Dive Gear
Think about your dive gear. Does it need to be serviced? If so, do so 3 months in advance of your trip, to be sure it is ready. Better to have it serviced, then to have a problem at 50 ft. Also, check it out in the pool or lake before going on your trip after serviced to be sure it is good to go.
Practice your dive skills in a pool or lake before you go, especially if it has been a while since diving. Your local dive shop may have “pool time” or you can ask a pool person if you can practice. If it has been a really long time since diving, ask a dive shop about a refresher course. They are usually not very expensive, and well worth getting comfortable with your skills again.
To rent locally or at your destination? Typically, your local dive shop will have gear that is better serviced and less used than your destination. Ask about their rental pricing and compare to your dive destination. DATA can help you with this information. If you are practicing in the pool, you can request to use the same type of gear that you’ll be renting.
Get your body checked out (teeth, too), if needed, before your trip.
Check the Center for Disease Control Website for recommended suggested vaccinations before you travel. Is your tetanus shot up to date? It is suggested that travelers have vaccinations for Hepatitis B and C, as well.
Plan your budget for the trip. If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, you’ll need less money than if you only have breakfast included. Are you a shopper? Plan ahead for your purchases. Also….read about credit cards, next!
If you plan to use your credit cards, contact the company of each card you are using BEFORE you go. Let them know your travel dates and destination. If you do not, they most likely will block your card, as it appears stolen. Identity theft is on the rise, and they want to protect you. Also, ask your company if they charge a fee for exchanging your foreign charges into U.S. currency.
Leave your itinerary and emergency contact numbers with your family or friends while gone, just in case.
Keep some of your cash in a separate location in your purse or backpack, incase your wallet is lost or stolen. Use your safe in your room for your valuable.
Keep a copy of your passport picture page separate from your passport, in case it is lost or stolen. It will be easier to get a replacement at the country’s U.S. Embassy with that information.
This is your vacation! Once you are beyond the borders of the U.S., cultures are different. Many countries move much more slowly than we do. Time is about relationships, not about the clock. Be patient. If something is bothering you, ask yourself if your expectation is realistic OR if it is something to let go. If it is a problem, ask your group leader, tour leader, dive shop, or hotel representative if they can help you. Patience and kindness are the key. Be a reasonable American.
Dive Trip Packing List
(Helpful for Snorkelers and Non-Divers, too!)
Suggested Items to Bring and other Details
Waterproof Container (small) for credit cards and/or money and/or Dry Bag
Hat, Jacket, comfortable shoes and/or sandals
Motion Sickness Medication, especially if you think you may get sea sick
Ear Drops (Dry Ear)
Diving and/or Snorkeling Equipment
Lock for Equipment Storage at Dive Shop
Save-a-Dive Kit (for your personal equipment, i.e., mask and fin strap, flashlight bulb,
computer battery, etc.
Boat/Beach Equipment Bag
U/W Light for Diving and/or Snorkeling
Safety Light for Night Diving
Tip Money ($1 bills ~$50 for a one-week trip)
Credit Card for Room Check-In & Room Charges
Small Gift for your Maid at Hotel – lipstick, nail polish, Pain Relievers OR $1 bills
Please pack certain items in your carry-on luggage: Camera, Medication, Dive Mask, one change of clothes for the islands, one bathing suit, toiletries, and anything else you cannot do without if your luggage is delayed.
Most airlines charge a fee for the second checked bag, weighing no more than 50 lbs. Some airlines charge a fee for the first bag as well. Please check your airline’s website for up-to-date baggage allowances. Also, please take batteries out of flashlights when packing, or your light could be taken away.
The water temperature may be on the cool side, 78 to 80 degrees. (Check with DATA for your destination. This may seem warm, but after 2 or more dives or snorkeling, your body will get cold.) Our average body temperature is 98.6 degrees. We recommend a 2mm or 3mm wetsuit to keep you warm. Some people like thicker neoprene and/or a hooded vest. An additional benefit is protection from the sun and any stinging marine life in the ocean.
When you shop in another country, sometimes a friendly barter is allowed and expected. Cash is the norm in a barter situation. Please call your credit card company before you leave and let them know you may be using your credit card, location, and dates away. This will prevent them from putting a hold on your card due to security.
Take an afternoon or the entire day to travel around your destination. Ask your group leader and/or concierge about tours, renting a car, and points of interest. Other group members may be interested in going as well. Your group leader can arrange a group outing, and may get discounted rates.
Most of all, enjoy your vacation … relax!
Travel Insurance & Dive Insurance
Why purchase insurance for your trip? It is the same for any other part of your life! You are covered, if something goes wrong. Different travel insurances have different coverages and different costs. Think about your needs. What do you need covered?
Why buy Travel Insurance?
- You would like to have your trip refunded in case of sickness, injury, or death of an immediate family member, before you leave or during your vacation?
- You have an immediate family member who is elderly, and would like the comfort of knowing that you could have your trip refunded or the funds to leave your vacation to assist them, if needed?
- You would like to be compensated in case of travel delay, cancellations or baggage loss?
- You would like the assurance that if you need medical assistance on your trip, it will be covered?
Why buy Dive Insurance?
The other type of insurance if specifically for divers. Dive Insurance is very important, as divers are at higher risk, than the normal traveler. Some dive centers and resorts require that you purchase dive insurance before you travel. If, for example, a diver needs to get to a hyperbaric chamber due to decompression illness, transportation and chamber treatments are VERY expensive. The cost of Dive Insurance is VERY reasonable. There are different diver insurance suppliers. For suggestions on divers insurance, please feel free to contact DATA.