Scuba Travel

Many scuba divers will do most of their diving while on vacation. Unless you live in a coastal area, you will need to travel with your scuba gear. Here are some traveling tips for the scuba diver:

Insure yourself and your equipment. Travel insurance is never a wasted purchase. Assess the value of the scuba gear you will be bringing and contact a travel agent to get insurance for your gear. Buy international health insurance as well; in case you need medical attention while in a foreign country.

Get sundries at home. Some things are inevitably cheaper when you buy them before traveling. Once you get to your sunny vacation spot you may be shocked by the price of things like sunglasses, film, sunscreen, batteries, etc. Make sure you have any required prescription medication with you since it may not be available where you are going.

Do some research. Find scuba dive shops in the area you are visiting. Lots of dive shops have websites for exactly that reason. A few long-distance telephone calls will be cheaper than taking a taxi or renting a car to drive from shop to shop comparing prices and packages when you could be underwater. Find out what packages are offered, what scuba gear you will need to bring and learn other things like water temperature, visibility and preferred scuba diving locations.

Be prepared at the border. Have your passport and other documents secure and with you at all times. Before leaving on your scuba diving vacation make a photocopy of all your identification and store it in a safe place in your carry-on luggage.

Bring your scuba documents. Don't forget to bring your scuba certification card and scuba dive log. If you are completing open water requirements for your training make sure you have signed documents from your scuba instructor verifying completion of your classroom training.

Pack your scuba gear carefully. Packing in a special scuba gear bag is the best way to ensure the safety of your equipment. Gear bags which will hold a full scuba system for one person, or the minimal personal gear for two travelers, are available. Put your scuba mask in its protective case. Most scuba masks are packaged in a hard plastic case; if your mask didn't come with a protective case one can be purchased at any dive shop. Lay your swim fins end-to-end and upright in the gear bag and consider wrapping any sensitive or breakable equipment in a towel. Scuba divers who own their own regulators should consider bringing them on the plane in a carry-on bag.

Travel Light. Most scuba equipment, with the exception of masks, snorkels and swim fins, should be rented when you arrive. The hassle of bringing your own BCD is rarely worth the effort - and bringing your own scuba tank is just plain silly. You can not bring pressurized tanks onto a commercial airplane.

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