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What To Pack For A Liveaboard Dive Trip

liveaboard boat on the water

The beauty of a liveaboard dive trip is that most of your time away is planned and organised for you. Once your scuba diving holiday is booked, all you really need to do is count down the days then kick back and enjoy the diving experience. That is, of course, once you’ve tackled the small matter of packing.

If you’re not sure what to pack for a liveaboard dive trip, it should go without saying that you won’t get very far without your passport, boarding pass and other relevant travel documents. You may also need to take proof of your diving ability, so check if this is needed with the trip provider first. With these necessities safely stowed away in a travel wallet, it’s your scuba diving travel equipment that will make up the bulk of what to pack for a liveaboard dive trip.

BCD

Most divers prefer to take their own equipment with them when they go on a liveaboard dive trip. This ensures you’re diving with gear you’re familiar with and confident using, but does mean that you’ll want to think carefully about how you pack and go for lightweight items to keep your baggage within inevitable regulations. Your BCD is one of the bulkiest but essential items to pack so look into lightweight options like the Cressi Travelight BCD if you’re investing in new gear before you jet off.

Regulator

Your regulator is another item that should be right at the top of your list when working out what to pack. Again, it’s worth making sure that yours is as light as possible although seasoned divers will be well aware that most modern regs are remarkably lightweight. Some divers choose to rent regulators on board. If you’re keen to save precious suitcase space this way, a quick email to the trip provider should give you a better idea of the different rental options onboard.

Mask

One item that almost all divers definitely do bring along themselves is their mask. An ill-fitting or uncomfortable mask can totally ruin the diving experience (and make it near impossible to stay safe) so it’s worth making sure that you’ve got yours with you and have tested it out for comfort and leaks back at home before you head away.

Fins

Despite being larger than some other items in your scuba diving travel kit bag, fins are usually pretty easy to get into your luggage as they can slot on top or down the side. Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of time in the water so it’s paramount that your fins are comfortable when heading off on a liveaboard. Open-heeled fins are usually your best bet, but whatever you find most comfortable make sure you have some spare straps and buckles with you just in case!

Dive Computer

It’s unlikely that you’ll forget your dive computer, particularly if you’ve got one like the Garmin Descent MK3i that doubles up as an everyday smartwatch. These multi-use dive computers are great for anybody who goes on liveaboard trips regularly as they’re so compact yet functional and we’d strongly recommend upgrading yours before you go away if you’re still using something old and clunky. You can find the best dive computer for you here.

Torch

A dive torch is also crucial, especially if your liveaboard schedule includes a spot of night diving. It’s wise to go for a small and compact one if you can, such as the Apeks Luna Mini Torch.

Other Dive Essentials

With the core of your dive equipment packed and ready to go, make sure that you set aside some time to get your final dive essentials together. Many liveaboard dive trips will require you to have your own surface marker buoy for safety purposes; if in doubt, ask your trip provider if there is anything in particular that you need to bring.

Camera Equipment

It’s always nice to be able to look back on memories from your trip and share the highlights with friends and family. Many divers will pack a specialist underwater camera to do this, although a special underwater housing for your phone can be a wiser choice as it eliminates the need to pack separate devices. If you go with this route, you can also use your pictures and videos straight away rather than having to wait to download them when you get home! Remember to pack all of the cables and chargers you will need to avoid disappointment once on board.

Everyday Clothing

When it comes to your everyday clothing, pack light. Most of your time away will be spent in the water or fast asleep so comfortable outfits for relaxing in the evening are the priority. Go mostly for lightweight clothing as this will free up space in your luggage and keep you cool in what is likely to be a warm climate. However, some warmer layers like a jacket or jumper will be key for travelling, dealing with the air-con and staying warm when first out of the water post-dive.

Local Currency

Your suitcase will be pretty full by this point, but the good news is that anything else you need to pack should be small and light. With this in mind, it’s always wise to take some of the local currency with you. You shouldn’t need much as your trip will probably have most if not all of your food, drink and diving costs included. However, it’s the norm to tip the crew as a thanks at the end of the trip and if you do need to pay for anything it’s always better to be safe than sorry and assume you’ll need cash.

Accessories & Entertainment

Last but not least, remember to take some things to keep you occupied in your downtime. Diving is tiring work and while you will want to make the most of your surroundings and enjoy food, drink and socialising, there will be occasions when you just want to retreat and relax. Headphones for music and podcasts, a good book and a pack of cards are all safe bets. If you don’t get around to using them on board you’ll at least be thankful you packed them when sat on the plane home!

Wherever you are heading, we hope you have the best time and would love to hear about your diving experiences when you return! If you need any advice about packing for your liveaboard dive trip or want to invest in some new, travelproof dive gear before you go, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the diving experts here at Aquanauts.