TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIVE TRIP

THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR BAGGAGE

In terms of equipment

It's no secret that divers love their equipment! Even so, everyone has their reference points and ways of doing things so good accessories are also a matter of safety! However, equipment is heavy and baggage weight in the hold is limited, so how should you pick what you need? For anyone who's not used to it, you should be aware that, as for cylinders, it is pointless in the vast majority of cases to carry heavy weight, you'll find everything you need on site! In terms of thermal protection, ask your travel agent or your reception structure about diving conditions in your destination and take the most suitable neoprene clothing, often just one thin piece of clothing is enough! The same goes for the clothes you'll wear on land... In terms of buoyancy compensators and regulators, protect your regulator properly in a suitable bag and tidy away the hoses properly. It is often possible to rent equivalent quality equipment to your own. Moreover, it is usually possible to book it in advance to make sure. Check the batteries for your computer and for your lights; they might be difficult to find when you get there, depending on your destination. Also be aware that lights that do not have leads are prohibited in the hold and should be opened in your transport bag. If lights come on in your bag by mistake, the heat they generate can cause fires, so airline security is particularly tough on this issue. In general, a travelling diver ends up including equipment weight and the bulk among their purchasing criteria when they renew their equipment, as equipment differs significantly.

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BE A RESPONSIBLE DIVER

This is not just about paying attention in the water !

Still talking about your baggage, try to avoid packaging and new containers that are 100% full, particularly for soaps, creams, shampoo, etc. Go for biodegradable products and quantities to match what you actually need during your trip, and remember to bring back your empty containers and used batteries. Some dive bag brands have included a pocket for this in their bag range. You should be aware that waste water is usually thrown into the sea on cruises, and that the recycling systems we have in France for our domestic waste or batteries simply don't exist in many destinations. So if we wish to look after the environment where we love to dive, it's up to us tourist divers to be on the look-out and be aware of our freshwater consumption as well !

A SUCCESSFUL TRIP MEANS PREPARING FOR THE WORST...

Let's get back to our tips for preparing your dive trip properly. When you've chosen this kind of trip, often abroad, each person has sacrificed time and money, made a commitment and part of their dreams are depending on it... So expectations are high ! Experience has shown me that any parts of the trip that were poorly anticipated or understood by the traveller could cause bad feelings or slight frustration. Let's take a look at what you should know to avoid this !

THE HAZARDS OF ENCOUNTERING A "NATURAL" AND "WILD" ENVIRONMENT!

Let's respect the underwater environment

First of all, in terms of encounters... Each destination promises its share of common or rare species, sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins, tuna, swordfish... However, the sea is a wild environment and it should remain so. Although, to divers' delight, these promises generally come good, happily they cannot be guaranteed. An encounter is just that... in all its intensity, precisely because it happens in an open, natural environment, with a wild species that might not be where it is expected ! Making sure otherwise would mean forcing the encounter and therefore no longer respecting the subject being observed or withdrawing the wild aspect of the animal, which happens in some places or can be seen in captivity. Each travelling diver should be aware and know how to appreciate each fleeting moment of a wild encounter for what it is, that it can never be guaranteed to maintain its beauty and its power.

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PAYING ATTENTION...

To the more "practical" aspects of the trip.

Certain misunderstandings or surprises that are partly due to the excitement of preparing a project, can be perceived coarsely or generate disappointment that can be avoided... Whilst travellers pay full attention to identifying the elements directly concerned with their sport, level of diving required, documents needed, medical check-ups, etc., they sometimes pay less attention to more "secondary" matters. This is how information that is usually in the documents received or explained on your travel agency's website can be "discovered" a little late and not anticipated by the traveller who might be caught out... Here are a few examples: waiting times for connections in an airport, management of documents and papers at borders that is sometimes surprising, supplements to be paid for food and drink or services that are not included in the flat rate for the trip, tips for the boat crew, organisation of the last day when you cannot dive and saturate your tissues with nitrogen just before a flight... So many little things that are often "normal" but that are much better understood and accepted if they are anticipated than if they are discovered too late!

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A FEW LAST TIPS

For a perfect trip !

To avoid disappointment, here are a few solutions :
- Choose well-known dive trip organisers before trying your hand at organising it yourself.
- Read the information carefully provided by the travel agency's websites and the documents you receive,
- Ask lots of questions, your contacts are professionals who are there to provide information and not to cause difficulties linked to misunderstandings,
- Particularly for your first trip, travel in a group with other divers who already know the destination, they will be able to reassure you and tell you about any downsides to avoid...

Now that you know everything about preparing your baggage, you won't get any more stressful surprises, and you'll know how to appreciate just what it means each time a wild animal crosses your path exactly where you hoped it might be, all we can do is wish you a great trip full of fabulous encounters, under the water and on the water !

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              ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

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              Dune

              Dune, Subea technical partner and diving club, is a company specialising in scuba diving and snorkeling set up in 1997 by Gérard Besse in Safaga, Egypt. Today, it's present in France and abroad (Maldives, Indonesia, etc.). Dune recently set up in La-Londe and the dive centre instructors are working in partnership with the Subea design team on the development of our products.

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