Posted by Bill Beard in Dive Travel

Dive Travel

After days, weeks, months or even years of research to find the perfect destination for your dive vacation, you are finally ready to make the plunge and plan your trip.

Now it’s time to look for the best option.  Will it be a live-aboard dive vessel, an all-inclusive resort with dive shop on site or a smaller boutique hotel with the dive shop at a neighboring location?  Budget and personal taste will be the biggest factors when planning your dive vacation.

Live-aboard dive operators can put you on some of the world’s best dive sites, and offers the convenience of having your accommodations, food and outstanding diving all in one place.  There are compartments for gear storage and rinse tanks on board and most have camera tables and common areas for viewing the day’s photos or videos.  The higher end boats are like being on a luxury cruise while others offer basic room, board and diving.  Most trips offer 7-10 days of diving with additional days required to reach your destination and return to port, so 10 to 14 days are needed to make the trip with fixed departure dates.   A live-aboard dive trip is a fantastic way to go if you have the time and the money.

A live-aboard trip can be the fantasy dive vacation you’ve dreamed about, but many times the cost can be staggering and 10-14 days might be more time than you can allow.  If time or budget constraints don’t make live-aboard diving a good fit for you, a more traditional land-based dive operator is a great way to go.  Whether your preference is a big-name resort like the Westin, Marriott or Hilton or a small, distinctive property, there is something to fit just about every taste and budget.

Sorting out all of the options can be daunting, but there are many knowledgeable travel agents who specialize in dive travel.  You will soon discover they have a wealth of information about both live-aboard options and land-based dive operators.  They often have the best rates, know the best time of year to travel to a destination and have special rates they can pass on to you.  Given enough information, they can guide you toward the optimum package for you at the time you can travel.

One thing you might want to consider whether you go on a live-aboard or dive with a land-based operator is to add a few days on to your trip to enjoy the local sites and culture.  You’ve traveled a good distance to your dive destination and may never have the opportunity to go there again.  One of the biggest expenses is getting there – not just the money you spend, but your precious vacation time – so why not get the most out of your trip! Plus, if you add a day or two onto the beginning of your trip, you will also be allowing time for delayed flights or luggage.

Whichever route you choose for your dive adventure, one thing every diver needs to put on the very top of their list is insurance to protect the money invested in their dive vacation.  Companies like Travel Guard offer  airfare or trip interruption insurance while companies like Dive Assure cover both dive accident and trip interruption.  Keep in mind that many remote regions might not have the most up to date medical facilities or a manned recompression chamber nearby (Dive Assure coverage can cover the cost of medical air evacuation when necessary).  Dive travel insurance provides protection and assistance if dive related services are needed.  Both individual and family coverage policies are available.  It is relatively inexpensive, but no matter the cost — no diver should ever travel without dive insurance.



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Bill Beard