a Destination - Step 3
Locations in the
world - Local, Eastern Pacific, South Pacific, Caribbean,
Indian Ocean, Atlantic, Red Sea
Where do you want
to go? Based on what you now know and have decided, its time
to decide where you want to go. Local Dive destinations in most
parts of the country have fantastic places to dive. Check out
your local Dive Shops and or Dive Clubs and they can give you
California Dive Destinations)
Off the Eastern
Pacific we have a wide range of destinations: from the waters
off Alaska, down to the Galapagos Islands and many in between.
All along the Eastern Pacific have a wide variety of dive destinations,
temperatures of water and sea life to enjoy. Both North and
South Americas offer some of the best diving in the world. It
does not just have to be warm to make for great diving. (See
Eastern Pacific Destinations)
The South Pacific
brings dreams of waving palms and beautiful people. This section
of our watery world offers some of the most diverse species
a diver can see. For most of us in the United States, we are
looking at least 10 to 20 hours of air travel to get to these
destinations and many times several stopovers to reach that
final paradise. (See
South Pacific Destinations)
diving is the best known to the novice traveler. Since it's
close to most US demarcations (Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles).
Most if the Islands in the Caribbean are just 2 to 5 hours away
and they offer warm clear waters to play in. The Caribbean has
some of the Top 10 dive destinations located in its waters,
Cozumel, Cayman's, Bonair, Roatan and many more. Planning a
dive adventure there many things should be considered. Foremost
is time of year that you will be traveling. Since September
through December can be the hurricane season. Check the International
Weather Info before deciding on a dive vacation during those
months. (See Caribbean Destinations)
sounds far away - it is! But, some of the best diving in the
world can be found there. Seychelles, Maldives, Thailand, East
Coast of Africa and many more tropical islands those are too
numerous to count. The blue waters of these destinations are
some of the best you will ever see. (See Indian Ocean Destinations)
The Atlantic Ocean
seems to be forgotten when thinking of dive destinations. But
what we find there are: Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas
and the West Indies. Many people think these places are in the
Caribbean Sea, but are mistaken. Go to your maps and see for
yourself. The Atlantic has a variety of different climates,
water temperatures and dive destinations. (See Atlantic Destinations)
Finally the Red
Sea, an area of mystery, political diversity, history and
fabulous diving beckons the hearty diver. Again, travel time
must be considered, but, what is happening in the world as far
as politics, now decides when is the best time to go to this
popular destination. Because of its location in the world, the
Red Sea can be a mixture of wonder and excitement. When traveling
here, one must split their attention between the wonders of
the sea, to the history that surrounds it. (See Red Sea Destinations)
Get an idea of
airline flight schedules, connections, discounts and stopovers
Many International airlines offer better pricing and amenities
than our domestic airlines. But, some destinations are only
available with US carriers. Flying to Micronesia requires you
to fly on Continental Airlines. They say its best to arrive
late in the day when crossing the International Date Line, this
allows you to get a nights rest and lets your body adjust to
the travel time.
When flying to the
Caribbean from the West Coast, it is sometimes better to take
the Red Eye and arrive early and sleep on the plane. Your flight
should only be 5 to 8 hours, depending on where in the Caribbean
you may be traveling too. This allows you to get settled in
and maybe to just do a check out dive before the week of diving
Make sure your connection
time allows you plenty of time to run from one terminal to another.
This is a typical problem out of Houston and Dallas. Forty-five
minutes should be a minimum at those airports. Remember, when
returning to the US through Miami or Dallas, you will have to
go through customs there and this means re-checking you bags
to their final destination. Again, you still have to get to
your departure terminal before the flight leaves.
Check with your airline
if any discounts are available when flying on mid-week, weekend
and Red Eye flights. This could save you a lot of money while
booking your flight.
Take a look at the
stopovers you may have going to or from your destination. Some
of the stopovers can be in major terminal, or in small one building,
hot, muggy and interesting locales. Bring your book or something
to amuse yourself, because some stopovers can last for hours,
and sometime days. If at all possible try to minimize any stopovers
that you can by booking direct flights.
To help book flights,
car rentals, cruises and much more for your next vacation, go
to Diving Links, to book online.
Type of location - All-Inclusive, family, honeymoon,
out of the way, budget, luxury, Live Aboard
Knowing what type
of location that you will be staying helps on deciding what
location you want to stay at. Don't be surprised when you arrive
and find that the resort is nothing like you were told it would
resorts packages include transfers to and from the airport,
all meals, unlimited snacks, unlimited beverages (including
premium brand liquor), hotel taxes, tips, land and water sports
including scuba diving with equipment and instruction, snorkeling,
water skiing, windsurfing, hobie cats, canoes, sunfish aquatrykes,
paddle boats and more.
are now big business. More and more families are getting into
diving and resorts are responding to that. Many have day care
centers, training for younger divers, other attractions for
the whole family. Many resorts have accommodations that fit
the family budget, and the rooms to handle them. Check with
the resort of your choice to see what they have available.
Many divers are spending
their honeymoons at dive vacation resorts. Most divers
traveling today are couples. Many resorts make available wedding
facilities and banquet rooms for their clients. Planning the
best event of your life at some exotic destinations is becoming
more and more popular for couples that are divers.
Out of the Way
resorts are becoming popular because of the crowds that are
going to the more popular destinations. People want to go to
the more exotic, less traveled destinations and spending a lot
of time and money to get there. One place to mention is the
Island of Sipadan, off Borneo. This 30-acre island takes two
(2) days to get too and about 29 hours of flying time, with
two or more stopovers. But, it is one of the most fabulous dive
destinations in the world.
are all over the world. Most back packers seem to find them
first. There are no frills here. Rooms are small, if you have
hot water you are lucky and food is most often what the locals
eat. To some, this is the only way to go. One place to mention
is Utilia, Honduras.
are showing up all over the world and at the off the beaten
path destinations. Since people with money want to travel to
exotic location, they don't want to give up their way of living.
So, now you are seeing luxury resorts showing up in the South
Pacific, Indian Ocean and off the coast of Mexico. These resorts
are pricey, but offer the finer accommodations that those who
have, want. These resorts would fall into the category of All-Inclusive,
but add a few stars.
the way to dive it all! Live Aboards are becoming more popular
and divers are seeing their dive time on their vacations expanding.
Where at most resort having doing 2 or maybe 3 dives a day,
a Live Aboard allows you to do even more. If you stay with in
safety standards, you can have up to 7 dives or more a day.
They are able to bring you to dive locations most resorts are
not able to do. Most Live Aboards are All-Inclusive. The only
added price you may be looking at is transportation to the ship.
diving! You can dive as many tanks as your tables allow.
atmosphere on every deck.
boats are big, stable yachts. Length up too: 100 ft, beam
36 ft, speed 16 knots.
passenger number 22 (max 29).
air conditioned in every stateroom & common room.
cabin service every day, same as a quality hotel.
dining rooms, lounges, alfresco decks & sundecks.
comfort & privacy.
of the cabins have attractive ocean views.
Pro service, a big plus in all live-aboards.
Reef Ecology Certificate Courses.
resort course & Open Water diver courses for non-divers.
towels after every dive!! No kidding, funseekers. You will
love these touches.
dinghies for personalized dive service.
processing (E6) on board, a blessing on all live-aboards.
photo gear rentals available.
videos, deep-sea fishing also available, at extra cost.
& party nights
are always welcome on the most live-aboards, if they want
to accompany a significant other, or a travel buddy, on a
diving sojourn despite no desire to puff a reg.
Check on government
concerns, health concerns and travel documents that
may be needed. Since most exotic dive locations are located
in other parts of the world, it is always important to see what's
happening in that part of the world, before you travel. Check
national and International news agencies and contact the U.S.
State Department's bulletins that are issued on changing
world events. Government crisis's in one part of the world can
and most often do, affect other parts of the world.
affect everyone. Before taking off to a destination, it is always
a good idea to check with the CDC (Center
for Disease Control) for any out breaks in the area you
might be traveling. Contacting your local doctor and advising
him of where you may be going is a good idea too. He may suggest
some shots or medicines that may help if you come in contact
with something you shouldn't.
Having the correct
travel documents is always a good thing. A U.S.
Passport is the number one document every traveler today
should have. But, one thing most don't know is; it must be valid
for at least six months or more upon your arrival to
most destinations around the world. So, check the date of expiration
in advance to any travels, allowing you time to have a new one
issued before your trip.
Some places around
the world require a visa for entry into that country, check
with your tour operator or airline on which countries require
this item. One item most often forgot about is the departure
tax that is collected at most airports. This could be the amount
of $20 to $40, depending on the country. Some airlines collect
this fee at ticking, but don't rely on that. Stick that extra
$20 or $40 into your passport, so you won't be standing at the
gate watching your flight depart.
Type of diving offered - beginner, intermediate, advanced
and is there other things that can be done at the destination
Most dive destinations offer something for everyone. But, it
is important to check out what type of diving is available at
your destination of choice. Remember, you are trained for the
area in the world you were certified. So you may consider taking
an advance or specialty course prior to heading out for your
vacation. Some resorts offer: Drift diving, Walls, deep diving,
wrecks diving, cave and mixed gas diving. You need to be proficient
in these types of diving before you make a mistake and get in
Some resorts offer
these types of classes, so it is always good to see if they
are provided with your package. Resort courses (Dive
introductory classes) are only good for that destination, and
should not be mistaken for a full certification class. Most
of these classes offer the minimal about of training, and should
be viewed that way. Many a unsuspecting vacationer have gotten
hurt because they weren't informed of the risk.
Remember to always
have some sort of Dive Insurance purchased prior to heading
out for a dive vacation. Diveassure now becoming one
of the most popular coverages and can save you and your
family a lot of grief and financial worries if something happens
on a dive vacation. (Diving Links)
Who do you know
who has been there before?
Before booking any vacation, ask around to your friends, your
local dive shop or Dive Club to see if anyone has been to that
destination before. This can save you a lot of work. If you
know someone who does a lot of travel, they can provide you
with first hand knowledge about that resort you may be looking
at. Talk with local travel agent
It's always a good idea to see if your dive adventure vacation
offers the ability to call home! Some times events beyond your
control can cause family members nervous times, if they can't
contact you. Internet access and phone systems are the best
way to stay connected. Also, if your resort has TV, you too
can keep up on local and international situations. Leaving an
itinerary back at home is also a good idea.
- taxis, rental cars, bus service
Knowing what type of transportation is available once you get
to your destination is also a good idea. Some destinations require
long rides just to get to the resort. Check and see if the have
an old bus with no air, or comfortable transportation getting
you to your final destination. Flying many hours and arriving
to fine out that you have a three-hour ride to the resort in
a cart, is not a good way to start your dive vacation.