Scuba diving can make a great addition to a tropical vacation. If you own your gear, you can usually save money at your destination by traveling with it. But traveling with scuba gear can present some difficulties, particularly if you’re unaware of its ins and outs. If you’re planning to take your scuba gear with you on a trip, plan for the following things.
– Manage your weights. Diving weights and scuba tanks are by far the heaviest pieces of scuba equipment, so avoid taking them on the plane – you may end up over your airline’s weight limit. Most areas you’ll travel to for diving will have options available for renting tanks and weights, and companies that run organized dives usually include them in their prices. You may also want to invest in a portable luggage scale to be sure your bags aren’t too heavy.
– Pack equipment inside of other equipment to protect it. Start with your dive jacket in the center of the bag, then pack your fins around it to offer additional protection. If you can, bring a scuba mask that fits inside your fins, and include a spare mask, as replacing masks while on a trip can be expensive. Also always remember that your dive knife must be checked and cannot be carried on a plane.
– When purchasing your equipment, opt for lightweight pieces of gear. Regulators with plastic components are a good choice, as are fins without metal-spring straps.
– Carry your diving gear, regulators, and diving computer on the plane. Because these pieces of dive gear are expensive and sensitive, you want them with you as you travel. The last thing you need is a lost or damaged item ruining your vacation.
– Pick the right airline. Some carriers cater to divers more than others, and their baggage allowances will reflect that. Look for an airline that offers special concessions to divers or that has a very good basic baggage allowance.