Planning your next dive destination means a lot more than just picking a spot you want to dive. Just as with any dive, preparation is the key to success. You should read all you can about your dive destination and make sure you have all of the most recent information.
That includes weather patterns and forecasts, charters, hotels, and transportation as well as anything else that pertains to your diving adventure. Even if you have been somewhere before, you need to make sure everything is still the same as the last time you were there.
Let’s talk about some of the normal things you need to have before you leave for your dive destination. Some of these tips apply to any type of vacation.
Is your passport up-to-date and signed? Have you checked to see if you will need a visa to enter the country that you plan to travel to for your dive? You can search online for travel warnings and announcements for the country that you plan to visit. There is also something called a Consular Information Sheet that explains all of the rules for visitors to a particular country and it can be found online as well.
Also search online for tourist information and local customs and services you might need. Being familiar with your dive destination is very important. Remember the unexpected can cost you money and possibly even ruin the whole trip.
You also need to plan for your flight to your dive destination. Traveling with your dive gear is much more involved than just taking a normal flight, especially with new security restrictions and other changes at airlines.
First of all, you need to plan your trip far in advance if you want things to run smoothly. You need to call the airline you are going to use and tell them all the diving equipment you will be bringing with you. You need to know if your choice of airline will allow for everything and what type of rules are applied to certain pieces of diving equipment.
Let’s get more specific about dive equipment and related items. I think everyone knows by now, any sharp instrument in your carry-on luggage will be confiscated. That expensive new dive knife you bought? Gone if you put it in your carry-on luggage. The same goes for all sharp objects like scissors, nail files, and even nail clippers.
Most dive destinations will be able to provide you with air tanks, but if you are thinking of taking a spare air tank, make sure you remove the valve so there is no compressed air in it at all. And keep in mind there are weight restrictions that differ for each airline. You will be charged extra for more weight or in some instances not be able to check in more than a specific weight at all.
Check with the airline that you are planning to use about weight restrictions well in advance. For instance, American Airlines at one time allowed you to take an extra air tank for an extra $90. They may have changed their policy by the time you read this. The last thing you want to do is show up at the airport the day you had planned to leave and find out you cannot board with your dive equipment.
Some pieces of dive equipment you may not see as a problem may very well be a problem with airport security, especially airport security in some of the countries you plan to visit.
If you take anything from reading this article, I hope it is that you need to plan your dive trip in advance, especially where the airlines are concerned. Have a great dive trip!