Diving or underwater exploration has remained one of the most fascinating activities for travelers and locals who want to see new sights and explore hidden places. Diving is also a unique way to combine travel with recreation, exercise, and an opportunity to observe natural phenomena that can’t be seen any other way. A dive trip is not as simple as it sounds. Since it involves traveling into a different environment with different pressures and visibility, there are things you need to know before jumping headfirst into your first diving trip. Understanding the basics of diving, researching and visiting dive sites, choosing the right gear, and organizing logistics are all part of planning your perfect dive trip. The tips listed below will help you get started on the right track.
Know the Basics of Diving
There are many types of diving, each with its own requirements and risks, but for recreational diving the most important thing to keep in mind is the risk of decompression sickness, or “the bends.” This is caused by gases building up in the bloodstream during a dive, and can be very dangerous, even fatal, if not treated properly. The three most important decompression factors for any diver are time, depth, and the breathing gases used. Using a table or computer program and following a set profile will help ensure you avoid any issues. Planning your dive is also very important, both for safety and to maximize your experience. You want to pick a location with a good visibility, that’s not too cold, and has plenty of marine life to see. You also want to make sure to follow all rules and regulations, like the dive depth and number of dives, and make sure the area is suitable for your skill level.
Research Your Dive Sites
Before booking a dive trip, do your research and pick the best dive sites for you and your skill level. You can ask your instructor for recommendations, do some online research, and check reviews written by other divers and travelers. Avoid booking a dive trip with an operator that has a low rating. Once you’ve picked a few sites, book them as soon as possible to get the best rates and selection of dates. If you’re booking a liveaboard, you can usually book up to a year in advance. If you’re on a liveaboard, you’ll want to pick a cabin as soon as possible, preferably during the high season, to get the best choice. To make sure you get the best experience, and don’t miss out on anything, visit the dive sites as a shore dive. This will allow you to get a better idea of the location, depth, and marine life, as well as how accessible it is, and how easy it is to get in and out.
Picking the Right Gear
Before you sign up for a dive trip, make sure you have the right gear. The two most important pieces of diving gear are the BCD (Buoyancy Control Device) and the fins. Your BCD is the vest that holds your weights and keeps you afloat, so it has to fit perfectly. If it’s too big, your weights will be under the water and won’t do their job. The fins are important because they’re what propels you forward underwater. There are different types of fins, and some are better for beginners than others. Other important gear for diving is a diving mask, regulator, and dive gloves. The mask and regulator are pretty standard, and are usually provided by your dive operator. The gloves are important for protecting your hands from cuts and scrapes while handling the coral reefs, as well as from the cold.
Before booking your dive trip, make sure you know what dive sites are nearby, and how accessible they are. For example, if you’re traveling to the Philippines, you can find amazing dive sites in Palau and Coron. If you’re in the Philippines, you can find a great dive spot in Anilao, The best places to dive in the Philippines are Apo Reef, Balabag Beach, Batangas, Bohol, Boracay Beach, Coron, El Nido, Malapascua, Moalboal Beach, Puerto Galera, Samal, Siargao Beach, and Surigao del Norte. You’ll also want to make sure you have the right travel insurance. Most dive operators require you to have travel insurance before signing up for a trip, but it’s a good idea to have your own just in case.
Diving is an activity enjoyed by millions of people around the world. If you’ve ever considered diving, or want to try it out, don’t be afraid to dive in headfirst. However, it’s important to know the basics of diving, as well as the risks involved, before you jump in. Knowing your skill level, picking the right dive sites, and packing the right gear will help you get the most out of your diving experience. And with the right planning, you can dive with minimal risk and maximum enjoyment!