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Your dive travel checklist…

Taking a trip away this holiday season? Dive holidays are a fantastic way to unwind after a busy year, and with the stress of everything leading up to Christmas, it is never more welcome.

Let’s be honest, something that can really ruin your dive trip is getting to your dream diving location and realising in your pre holiday excitement/haste to get out the door you forgot to pack an essential . Like i don’t know…. your dive computer which you had every intention of wearing on the plane but it’s still sitting on the bedside table- not that i know anyone who would do that!

Of course hiring a computer is a solvable problem irritating but fixable. Leaving an essential like your mask and staring down the barrel of 2 weeks’ of constantly clearing a fogging, leaking dive shop mask.

Don’t despair – We’ve written a checklist of the most important things to pack and organise before you go on your next diving holiday!

Before You Pack

  1. Check the current water temperature at the location where you’re diving. A good site is, but any other site you may use will suffice.
  2. Service your regs and BCD – Gear failing when you’re in a foreign country…… not fun!
  3. Check your dive bag is cleaned out and not salty from last trip. Also, is it light enough? With baggage allowances getting stricter, there is never a better time to invest in a lighter dive travel bag. If your bag is on wheels, a duffel could be a much easier option.
  4. Mark your own dive equipment – it all looks the same on a dive boat!

Dive Essentials Checklist

  • Dive Certificate/ card and log book
  • Proof of dive insurance/ emergency evacuation information
  • Emergency kit – e.g. O rings, sea gold, spare fin strap, spare mask strap, silicon grease, cable ties, spare battery for dive computer (optional), spare clips.

Dive Gear Checklist

  • Mask, boots, fins, snorkel
  • Regulator & alternate air source
  • Presure & depth guage, compass and/or dive computer
  • BCD/ integrated weight pockets
  • Correct exposure protection for local water temps
  • Wetsuit/ dive skin, layers, hooded vest (optional for extra protection)
  • Dive torch (with lanyard)
  • Camera, underwater housing and charger
  • Gloves (optional)

Dive Gear Packing Tips

  • Always pack the BCD at the bottom, and then open it up and pack the wetsuit inside the straps.
  • If you’re not carrying your regs on board, wrap them up inside the wetsuit and put them in the middle of the bag to maximise protection. Alternatively a reg bag is a great option to protect them.
  • Using a mask box is a great option as an emergency kit box, it’s compact, tough, waterproof and keeps everything in one place.
  • Carry your dive computer on board with you. It’s small and valuable and depending on your model, you could wear it as a watch when travelling.
  • A dive bag without brand logos all over it can definitely be a safer option, especially when travelling to certain countries, you don’t want to advertise you’re carrying expensive gear.
  • Locks go a long way. Remember to lock your bag up with a US approved baggage lock. Should you wish for extra security, you also always have the option of investing in a titanium mesh to wrap around your bag.

Other Gear Checklist

  • Raincoat/ windbreaker
  • Jumper/ hoodie (for afternoons or warming up after a dive)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Thongs/ sandals
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, a hat & sunscreen
  • Waterproof dry bag
  • Multiple pairs of shorts
  • multiple t-shirts/ singlets
  • Bathers!
  • Comfortable, loose fitting pants
  • Reading material
  • Toiletries (remembering no liquids over 100 ml and packed into small glad bags incase of leaking)

‘Non-Diving’ Essentials

  • Passport & wallet
  • Relevant visas (where required)
  • Airline tickets and any accommodation / diving vouchers
  • Luggage locks/ keys
  • Relevant vaccinations and medications (where required)
  • Itinerary and a photocopy of your passport (stored separately to your passport)
  • Money for overseas (cash, credit cards etc.)
  • Advise your bank you are travelling so your credit card isn’t frozen when used in a foreign country.

For The Photographers

Do a practice set up of all of your gear before you go, that way you know you have everything and nothing missing. Also, make sure you charge all equipment in the days leading up the trip.

  • Camera and housing
  • Video and housing
  • Wide angle and telephoto lens
  • Lens cleaning fluid and tissue
  • ‘O’ ring grease, moisture munchers
  • Strobes and chargers
  • Digital storage memory cards (and set up a cloud backup)
  • Spares – batteries, bulbs etc.


Keep this checklist close to you for your next dive holiday and make your next diving holiday a breeze! Bon Voyage!Tonga - Dive- Matafonua. Photo- Darren Rice-3