Planning the Perfect Scuba Diving Vacation
So you finally got certified and now you are ready for your first big scuba diving adventure! You may be wondering how to plan a fun and memorable vacation to try your new sport. You could easily just book a ready-made tour with a travel agent, but it is very easy and quite satisfying to make your own custom adventure.
Pick a destination. This will have a lot to do with the budget you have allotted for the trip, as airfare is a lot more expensive the further you fly. Whether you will be driving to a nearby dive spot or flying half way around the world, it is important to research the destination. Great tips can often be gained from the dive school where you were certified. Instructors and clubs affiliated with the school or shop can provide a wealth of information, personal stories, and even photos from numerous dive destinations.
Once you know where you are going, decide whether you will bring your own equipment or rent gear on site. Unless you are driving to your location it is usually much easier to simply use rental gear. It may be wise to bring your own mask, as it is small, lightweight, and known to fit well; a leaky mask will ruin any dive! The other things you must take from home are your dive log and proof of certification.
Select a reputable scuba shop or tour boat to work with. Hopefully you have received a positive referral from one of your research sources on which company to use. Find out if there are deals for booking multiple boat dives and/or equipment rental packages. Get a list of dive sites and a rating of the difficulty level for each dive when planning your excursions.
Search for accommodations that suit your budget and comfort requirements. Some hotels may have dive packages available at a good discount. As a way to save money consider looking for hotels or condos with kitchens and plan to prepare some of your own meals.
Since you won’t spend all your time under water, consider other recreational amenities available such as water sports, tennis courts, golf courses, bike rentals and, of course, a nice beach. Find out what dining options are close to your choice of lodging and whether there are local grocery stores nearby. Decide if you want peace and quiet or exciting nightlife while considering the location of your hotel.
Now that the planning is done, sit back and enjoy the anticipation of a great scuba diving trip. If you haven’t been diving recently, you may want to take a refresher course at your local dive shop or school just before you leave. Bon voyage!