Packing Tips For That Dive Trip
I travel around the world at least 6x a year and I am on an airplane at least 3-4x a month domestically or internationally. I rack up hundreds of thousands of miles a year which means I live out of my suit case, airports and hotels, more than I live at home. If I get really lucky, I try to attach a diving trip on to the front or back end of a business trip. So how do I pack and what do I take with me, especially when I go diving?
First of all, I have to admit I usually take way too much with me on most trips. I try taking less each time, but it is tough because I always think I may need something when usually I don’t. In fact, I get frustrated at the end of the trip when I realize I didn't touch 5-10% of the things I brought.
Second, I get too comfortable because I get to upgrade with my frequent flyer status on some flights and with all my miles it allows me to take more weight or bags which makes me lazier knowing I can take more. However, since I am getting older, the weight and the pain of lugging more is not good so I still try to carry less.
So here are some basic tips:
If you go for a 7 day dive trip, pack clothes for 3-4 days. Why? You can always wash your clothes like I do in the shower, tub or by using the hotel laundry. When diving, I usually pack two swim suits and wash one each day (pack my own bar of soap just for that purpose) and wash a T-shirt each day and wear the other. I usually wear sandals and I am set with a pair of shorts. Oh yeah, I do the same with underwear; NO, I don’t turn them inside out and YES, I do wash them daily.
Pack small toiletries in a zip lock bag like you do with a carry-on luggage. It’s only a week and most items last at least that long so don't pack a large bottle of shampoo or lotion, etc. This is also helpful in case they lose your luggage, your all set. Don’t forget suntan lotion and insect repellent. I love using Off mosquito insect repellent lotion versus the spray on type because I found it much more effective and lasts longer.
Pack your dive gear in one hard shell rolling (4 wheel) suit case (light weight) and if possible, most of your clothes for the dive trip. Use a TSA lock. Then pack in a rolling bag or another light weight rolling suit case (30”) your clothes that you need for your business trip. Again, only what you absolutely need. If you do this right, there should be room for your souvenirs in this bag or your extra camera gear.
Make a check list and check it twice. Mask, fins, regulator, dive computer, BCD, wet suit (rent if possible), booties, rechargeable batteries (pack in carry on, especially lithium ion batteries), extra batteries for all electronic items, especially hard to find ones like your dive computer, camera, etc. If you’re on a remote island it can be difficult to get a battery when you need it or it can cost 5x or more for what you’d pay at home.