There’s nothing more exciting than planning a scuba diving vacation, although knowing what to look for can be confusing. Decisions like taking your own gear, buying your own gear and how many days to dive all require a lot of thought.
Here’s a simple guide that will help you plan your scuba diving vacation packages. Also there’s a recommendation on the location you could consider depending on the type of dive experience you’re looking for
What’s your level of interest in diving?
If you’re like me, I like at least 70-80% diving on my vacations, but scuba diving vacation packages can start with a 4-7 day commitment. Knowing upfront on how many days you want to dive can help shape the type of packages you will want to source.
Also the greater the number of days you want to dive, the more likely there’s good scuba diving vacation package deals. If you don’t want to dive for close to a week I recommend not getting a scuba diving vacation package.
How many people going with you are divers?
We all know all you need is a dive buddy, but sometimes it’s really nice to have a bigger group of people. If your group is larger (4 or more), many hotels can offer both villa style accommodation as well as onsite dive shop packages. Be sure to call the hotel upfront and ask them what they can do for your scuba diving vacation package. If you aren’t sure of the hotel options a scuba diving travel agent can be another source but know that the price likely includes a fee. A word of caution for large groups, pick a dive buddy that wants to see the same things you do. That way if you don’t want to do the same dives as the larger group, you can veer off with your dive buddy.
If it’s a solo or duo-style scuba diving vacation package you are looking for, then I recommend staying at a dive shop that offers vacation packages. What you trade off here is the luxury you may want from a hotel. If that doesn’t suit you and you want a lot of days diving, call hotels directly and ask if they’ll put together a package that will include a deal for the dives or diving equipment. Some hotels may be open to upgrading your room because you plan to dive many days with them. The key is to ask.
Are you on a budget?
For those on a tight budget, I recommend spending the money on flights and heading to Asia. Once you’re there your money can go a long way. The diving experience will be unlike any other. If you can’t go as far, then head to Dominican Republic and get a good scuba diving vacation package that is attached to an all-inclusive hotel.
Another way to get scuba diving deals is to take your own mask, snorkel and fins, you can save up to $20 -$30 a day. It all adds up based on the number of days you’re diving.
Do you want a package that includes accommodation?
The best value for scuba diving vacation packages will be with accommodation. If you’re an avid scuba diver this will be great option because most of the dives happen in the morning, with breakfast. For scuba diving deals that don’t include accommodation, push for deals that include only a one-time payment for equipment vs. a daily use cost.
Will you be taking your own gear?
I never used to do this. I found it a real waste of time. However, I’ve turned a corner and will now always travel with my mask, snorkel and fins. Some of my worst scuba diving experiences had to do with a mask that didn’t work for me. I can’t stress the importance of a good mask and how it’s ability to fog up or take water can ruin a dive – and there’s no way out, you only know when you’re in the ocean.
I’ve also known people to take their own BCD, if buoyance is an issue for you I can see why you may want your own, but if not, it’s a lot of luggage and weight that may be better filled with bikini’s and shoes.