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A scuba diving vacation can be an excellent way to explore a new locale for both experienced and new divers, and many areas, especially in the tropics, cater to scuba divers. A few things should be taken into account when planning a scuba diving vacation to make sure that it goes smoothly, and that divers spend the maximum amount of time possible in the water, rather than dealing with arrangements. While some divers may prefer to use the services of a travel agency, others can save money and plan a custom trip uniquely suited to their needs.
The first thing to think about is your level of scuba diving experience. If you have never dived before and are interested in learning, you may want to consider a tropical vacation to a resort which offers scuba diving lessons, or to a region where instructors are readily available. Try to arrange equipment rental and lessons beforehand, if possible, to ensure that fins, masks, tanks, gauges, and other gear will be waiting for you. Once at the location, you can take one on one lessons or group classes in scuba diving, earning a temporary certification which will allow you to investigate the wonders of the undersea world for the duration of your stay. If you get hooked, and you probably will, you can look into advanced certification.
If you are a more experienced diver with your own equipment, you have more options. In addition to adventuring in the tropics, you can explore other marine environments, as long as you have appropriate protective gear. If you are flying, be aware that all scuba equipment except for tanks is allowed on aircraft. Tanks, however, need to be completely depressurized, with their regulators removed. You may want to consider shipping your tanks through a service or looking into equipment rental. In addition, if you intend to spearfish, plan on renting your equipment on the other end.
There are a number of options for how you spend your scuba diving vacation. You can stay at a tropical resort or hotel near the beach with ready access to good dive spots, or you can stay in accommodations nearly anywhere and rent a car for transport. Many oceanfront resorts offer short scuba cruises, which will take divers out for a day of adventuring and return them in the evening. You can also attend a long term scuba diving cruise, staying on board a boat for several days or weeks. Accommodations on scuba cruises vary from fairly luxurious to very plain, and costs will vary accordingly.
Many scuba enthusiast groups offer reviews of various locations around the world, along with recommendations for good dive spots. In most cases, dives are given difficulty ratings, so that you can make an informed choice about whether or not a dive is appropriate to your level of ability. Scuba enthusiasts can also tell you where to rent the best equipment, and who the best scuba diving instructors in the area are.
I once made scuba diving plans for my family through a small company located near the resort where we were staying for the week. I made the reservations with the diving company online months ahead of time. I could have gone through the resort, but I was able to set up the excursion for much less by doing it myself.
The company I booked with was smaller than the company the resort recommended, but once you're in the water there's not much difference, so I was satisfied.
I think a cruise designed specifically for divers would be ideal. I like the idea of staying on a ship and just sailing to various scuba diving locations, putting on my gear, dropping into the water and then returning to the ship when the diving is completed for the day.
While I haven't done a trip like the fantasy one I mentioned above, I have taken a cruise, and set up scuba diving trips in each port where we docked. I was able to dive all day and then return to the ship before we headed to the next port, where I continued my routine.
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