Hey guys! I'm crazy busy diving these days, so today's post is brought to you by the lovely Jess from Tripelio. Check out her author bio at the end for more info. Enjoy!
Packing is often the most frustrating part of any trip, and when you're packing for something like a dive trip where you need to both remember a lot of gear and figure out how to fit everything into your bag, it can be a nightmare. But if you can get through this step and make it to your dive spot with everything you need, it could be the trip of a lifetime. There's no sense reinventing the wheel though. Why not follow others' tried-and-tested packing tips:
Make a List of Gear
Even if you're not the list-making type, you might find it useful to make a list of the clothing and gear that you plan to bring with you. Of course, you'll want to start with swimsuits, underwear, sunscreen and medications, but what else do you need? Rather than creating your own list, you can use other divers' packing lists such as the ones here or here as a template. Add or subtract items as needed to fit your own needs.
Remember that it may be cheaper and easier to rent your dive equipment when you get to your destination rather than paying expensive baggage fees and lugging things with you, but it may not be as comfortable as your own gear. If you have any gear that you're really attached to and want to bring with you, make sure it's on the list!
Pack the Essentials Into Your Carry-on Bag
On the off chance that your checked bag gets lost or delayed en route, make sure you have everything that you absolutely need for your diving adventures. Depending on where you go, you'll likely find that you can replace any of your missing gear or rent it from the company you're diving with. But it's a bit more difficult if you have a prescription dive mask or an expensive dive computer, and it can be upsetting to lose items of sentimental value like your dive log.
The last thing you want is to have to delay or skip dives because your luggage didn't arrive with you, so do your best to carry on anything essential, expensive or irreplaceable. When you're packing your checked bag though, make sure you meet airline and TSA restrictions. The last thing you want is for your dive knife to be confiscated because you accidentally stuffed it into the wrong bag!
In terms of logistics, make sure you're placing your heavier items towards the bottom of your bag so that the center of balance is correct. Of course, it won't make your bag any lighter, but it will make it less awkward to carry and can make it feel a bit lighter. Roll your clothes so that they fit into every available space and don't wrinkle as easily, and pack them around fragile items like your scuba mask or camera. It's always a smart idea to throw at least one change of clothing into your carry-on bag just in case.
If the main activity you'll be engaging in is diving, you'll likely be spending most of your time in a swimsuit and probably don't need to pack all the shirts and shorts you own. Similarly, if you're going to be wearing mainly flip-flops or sandals, you don't need to pack a half dozen pairs of shoes. Do a little research to figure out what you might get up to when you're not diving and pack accordingly. Don't forget to leave a little space for souvenirs or gifts!
...But Don't Underpack
Although you may plan just to dive every day and go to sleep early, if you don't pack that going-out outfit, something will likely come up and you'll find yourself wishing you had it. You don't want to be that person who shows up at a fancy restaurant dressed in “travel clothes,” so make sure you've got at least one outfit that can be worn in a more formal situation. The more versatile, the better.
Organize Your Technology
When I travel, I like to bring my camera to document my journey, my phone in case of emergencies and my computer for dumping photos, keeping in touch with family and friends and watching Netflix on those nights in. If you just throw your cords in your bag though, you'll often find them somehow tangled in a giant knot when you reach your destination. Instead, coil your cords and use twist-ties to secure them.
And if you plan on watching Netflix while you're abroad or doing anything else that might be subject to geo-restrictions, you'll want to set up a VPN before you set out on your trip. Netflix and many other sites block their webpages from being viewed in foreign countries in case of possible copyright restrictions or governmental restrictions. If you use a VPN though, you can spoof your IP address and lead the site's servers to believe that you're still located back home.
Packing for your diving trip can be a headache, but if you plan well and get everything packed right, you'll soon be enjoying your adventure!
What's your dream dive spot? Are there any other packing tips you use when you take a diving trip? Tell us all about them below!
About the Author: My name is Jess Signet. My parents were travelers since before I was born. Even in the womb, I was able to travel all over the place! Boy, did things NOT change as I grew older! Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble I live in made me want to travel even further. Traveling is my drug and I’m addicted. (Please, no intervention!)
[Visit Jess over at her blog, Tripelio!]
[Visit Jess over at her blog, Tripelio!]