If you’re an avid diver with a family, this is more than likely a dilemma that crosses your mind every time you book a holiday. Your kids want to go to Disneyland, your partner wants to lie on the beach and all you want to do is pull on your gear and descend into 27’c pristine crystal clear waters with 30+ metre vis. If you know this feeling, you are definitely not alone. So how do you find a location that can entertain the whole family without too much of a compromise from anyone?
Before you start booking, sit down with the family and discuss what you all want from your latest adventure. Ensure that all of you have the same expectations before you go; share with them how much diving you hope to do, whether work through whether that’s conducive with the rest of your family’s plans.
Work out the logistics of your holiday. You know that you will most likely dive in the morning, so arrange for the rest of the family to do the activities they want to do at the same time. Perhaps the kids can go on a tour, or your other half can go for a massage or a round of golf? Once you’ve all returned from your individual activities, you can go for an afternoon outing. The great thing is, that night you’ll all have something exciting to share over dinner!
If you’ve gotten this far your nearly there; all that is left is to start scouting locations or contact a travel agent who can source that ideal location for you. There are surprising number of destinations that fit the bill of ‘activities for non divers, action for the juniors and scuba time for the dive hard of the family. In most cases, for a combination of divers and non divers Liveaboards are instantly ruled out, but don’t despair there are numerous great locations where diving is within close proximity to shore, Pina Coladas, a soft bed and a great ocean view at the end of the day.
Ok, now for the serious stuff… the location! There are so many exciting and unique diving locations all around the world, and it can be hard to choose one! Here are just a few of our top picks to get the creative juices flowing… we hope you’ll love these places as much as we do.
Pick #1 Savusavu, Fiji
This little piece of heaven hidden away in Fiji is a divers dream. Not only is it home to world class luxury resorts, it also has a range of activities to keep the whole family busy all week. As well as scuba diving, some of the activities include snorkelling, mountain biking, golf, tennis, swimming, kayaking, fishing, sailing, trekking, waterfalls, rainforest, local rugby games, shopping, village tours and even oyster farm visits.
While this is a more premium option, it will offer something for every taste, allowing you and your family to experience everything true paradise has to offer.
Pick #2 Palau, Micronesia
Palau is an extremely popular diving destination, and while each year it is visited by large numbers of divers, there is still a number of activities a family with slightly older kids can enjoy.
Experience a natural spa at the Milky Way, laze on the beach with a book, visit the aquarium or museums, take a boat ride or educate the teens with a little World War history. If your family are more action packed you can’t go past quad bike jungle tours, kayaking through the rock islands, helicopter tour of the islands, hands on dolphin experiences and last but not least snorkelling in Jellyfish Lake – a bucket list experience for divers and non-divers alike!
Tropical and pristine, Palau’s natural beauty will take the breath away from even the most resistant person.
Pick #3 Brunei
If you’re looking for more cost effective, slightly less mainstream, but still exciting family holiday location; don’t go past Brunei. This small Islamic country is run by the Sultan of Brunei and exhibits a rich cultural experience for the whole family. With a variety of attractions including the Sultan’s remarkable palace, water village tours, mosques and markets; this would be an eye opening, varied and unique experience for your whole family. Reefs are located less than 10 minutes from the shore and the preferred dive operator offer other water sports activities including banana boat rides, Jet Ski use and other exciting water sports, so your family will be kept busy whilst you enjoy the varied wrecks and reefs.
Post Brunei, plan a trip to the Ulu Ulu Rainforest, located in the jungle of Tembourang. You can stay in traditional timber long house style housing stylishly divided into private rooming. Be sure to do the Dawn Canopy walk for a truly unique experience, and a gentle float down the river in kayaks is a must.
NB: Don’t worry, while you are expected to dress and act modestly in public in Brunei, Sharia law does not apply to tourists.
If these locations are not for you, there is a huge world of great destinations to expore, it just takes a little creativity. You never know what little gem of a dive spot might be hiding out there……
Need inspiration for your next holiday? Diving or not, we can help you plan your dream trip. Have a look at some great destinations here, or contact us to get the ball rolling.