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Diving Holidays

Holiday Checklist

We've written this page to help anyone going on their first diving holiday abroad. It's fairly obvious stuff if you've done it before, but if you're new to diving, or if you haven't dived abroad before, then we hope you find it useful.

The first bit includes some general info and advice, while at the bottom of the page is a link to a checklist to help you pack (diving-related items only - whatever else you take is up to you!!).


Most foreign travel requires vaccinations; some countries even require proof of certain vaccinations as a condition of entry. Normally your GP will be your first point of call - they'll have records of any previous vaccinations you've had and so will be able to tell you when boosters are due. They will also be able to offer you advice on which jabs are necessary for the region(s) you're visiting, or else will be able to recommend a local travel clinic that can help.

Please don't leave things till the last minute - get in touch with your GP at least 6 weeks before you travel as some vaccinations take a while before becoming effective. Also, if you need several different jabs, it may be that you can't have them all in one visit.

Further info is available from the Fit for Travel or Nomad Travel websites, but please note that these are for general information only - you should always discuss your particular needs with your own doctor or nurse.

Diving Insurance

There are lots of "freebie" travel insurance policies around, but these almost certainly won't offer sufficient cover for diving. Similarly, many of the bargain policies available from supermarkets, travel agents etc. only offer very basic scuba cover.

For example, some policies only cover you to 18m maximum depth (or less), some don't cover certain types of emergency medical treatment, and some specifically exclude certain dive activities such as night- or wreck-diving.

So make sure the insurance you buy does actually provide an appropriate level of cover. Check any exclusions listed in the policy, or else use a specialist insurance provider who actually understands what divers need!

Dive Medical

This one's simple really - having a current dive medical makes a lot of sense health-wise, and is often a requirement at dive centres around the world.

If you go on holiday without a valid medical then it's just possible that they won't allow you to dive - so you're advised to get one! Either go to your own GP or else we can arrange it for you - see the medicals page for more information.

Dive Certification Card

This one's simple too - having a valid dive cert-card is a requirement at just about every dive centre anywhere around the world. If you go on holiday without a valid card it's quite likely that they won't allow you to dive at all, so make sure you remember to take it with you!

Also, some airline check-in desks now ask to see your cert-card to prove you're eligible for extra luggage allowance, so keep it readily available rather than being packed deep in the depths of your suitcase.

Luggage Allowance

Divers often qualify for extra luggage allowance to cover their dive kit (typically 10 kilos extra). However the exact allowances vary from trip to trip, so please take note of the allowance for each particular holiday.

Make sure you stick to your allowance. In these times of soaring fuel prices the airlines don't need much encouragement to slap on hefty excess baggage charges.

As mentioned above, some airlines now ask to see your cert-card to prove you're eligible for extra luggage allowance. Others may ask you to contact them prior to departure to reserve the extra weight, or else they may ask for a list of the equipment you're taking.

Make sure you pack sharp objects (dive tool kits, dive-knives etc.) in your suitcase rather than hand luggage. Otherwise (a) you'll have the object confiscated, and (b) you'll have some explaining to do!

Scuba Gear

For anyone new to diving, don't worry about packing your tank or weights - they're almost certainly included in your dive package so will be provided by the dive centre. Weight belts are also provided, although if you have your own then feel free to pack it - at least you know it'll fit properly!

Also not all dive centres offer both DIN and International fittings on scuba cylinders. For example if your regs have a DIN fitting then it's worth checking that the resort you're travelling to has cylinders that can accept them - otherwise you'll need to take an A-Clamp adapter along with you.

Lastly you should be aware that many resorts do not allow you to wear gloves while diving (to discourage people from touching anything).


Don't forget that if a fin-strap breaks or your computer battery runs out, then the dive centre may not stock what you need. Rather than have to buy or rent new kit, remember to take a basic set of spares with you; fin- and mask-straps, a fin-buckle, a spare computer battery, a spare torch bulb - that sort of thing. The chances are that if you have them you won't ever need them, but it's pretty certain what'll happen if you don't!!


Click here for a list of some of the things you might like to pack!

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