You've got your plane ticket, booked your hotel, and you're about to embark on the Dive trip of a lifetime. Here are a few great tips and tricks to take a look at before you leave.
1. Start by packing wrinkle resistant clothing; clothes made from microfiber, rayon, and easy-care silk and tensile are perfect for travel. Little or no care required.
2. Button buttons and zip zippers. Avoid wrinkles by carefully folding garments along seam and normal crease lines and pack in plastic packing bags.
3. Pack heavy items (such as shoes and hair dryers) on bottom of luggage (the wheeled side!); light items on top.
4. Excess room in luggage causes clothes to shift thus wrinkle - take up space with air inflated plastic zip bags.
5. Pack shoes in shoe bags.
6. Unpack and hang garments as soon as you arrive at your destination. Ask for more hangers or pack plenty of our inflatable hangers (perfect for air dry laundry too).
7. Hang items in shower to naturally steam out wrinkles.
8. When all else fails - use the hotel iron and ironing board - a quick touch up does wonders for your appearance. International hotels often have in-room pant pressers. Or take along your own Travel Iron.
Save money and packing space by doing laundry on the go. Pack these essentials:
• A gentle laundry soap that works in cold as well as warm water.
• A sink stopper.
• Pack a kitchen-sized trash bag along with your clothes. You can then put your dirty clothes into the trash bag so that you know which clothes are clean and which are dirty.
Dive Travel Tip
Critical Pre-trip Preparations:
Make sure your passport and/or visa are up to date. Many countries require that you have at least 6 months of validity left on your passport before you enter. It takes about 6 weeks to obtain a passport and 6 months for a visa, but you should allow longer during peak travel times.
Visit your physician for a complete physical and for all required immunizations. Check your medical insurance to determine whether your policy covers illnesses, accidents or injuries outside the U.S. Keep medications in their original packaging to avoid problems. Ask your pharmacist to make smaller travel-sized bottles for prescriptions.
Don’t forget your scuba diving certification card! No certification card? No diving! Give a copy of your full itinerary to a trusted friend or relative at home.
Re-confirm your ticket 24 hours before a domestic flight and 72 hours before an international trip. Check with your airport to find out how early to arrive; check-in times vary by airport and season.
Learn About Your Destination:
Consult the U.S. Department of State website (www.state.gov) for reports, travel warnings and other announcements regarding travel to the places you plan to visit. Research your destination! Read everything you can get your hands on – guidebooks, magazines, newspaper articles, and websites – to brush up on local customs, laws, language, appropriate dress, climate, currency, cuisine, etc.
Book flights, hotels, etc. far in advance to avoid unnecessary fees and undue hassles – especially during peak travel times, including spring break and the winter holidays. Visit your local dive store to ask about recommended gear lists for your destination. Many dive stores also plan dive vacations – a great place to get started.
Dive Gear Repair
Fix a Zipper
Broken zipper tooth on a dive gear bag? Stitch the damaged section closed to prevent further separation until you can repair properly or replace.
Dive Travel Tip
Carry the minimum number of valuables, and plan places to conceal them. Your passport, cash and credit cards are most secure when locked in a hotel safe. When you have to carry them on your person, you may wish to put them in various places rather than all in one wallet or pouch.
Place a small identifying sticker on the outside of your passport to help distinguish it when traveling in groups. Put your name, address and telephone numbers inside and outside of each piece of luggage. Use covered luggage tags to avoid casual observation of your identity or nationality.
How to Pack Your Dive Gear
Before you leave, lay out all your dive gear and position items in relation to how you will wear them. Starting with the last item you will need, begin packing your bag. Wrap your fins in a towel and pack flat on the bottom or side of your bag. Always pack your mask, regulator, dive computer and other sensitive equipment in their protective cases.
For travel, fold your wet suit as follows to minimize bulk and stress on the suit:
1) Lay suit flat and fold legs up– avoid folding across the zipper;
2) Fold arms across the chest forming an “X”;
3) Place folded suit flat in your bag.
On the way home, disperse dryer sheets throughout your gear bag to minimize odors.
What to Bring
• The amount of stuff you think you need is directly related to the size of your luggage. Get a smaller bag and you’ll make do with fewer things.
• There’s really no difference between packing for a week and packing for a month or longer.
• If you think something might come in handy, leave it at home. If you know you can’t get along without it, bring it.
• Limit yourself to one pair of shoes, or, at most, one pair of shoes and one pair of sandals or flip-flops.
• Don’t fret if it turns out you really did need that extra sweater, or if you run out of toothpaste. Wherever you’re going, they have these things for sale.
• Downsize toiletries. Pick up travel-size versions of your favorite products whenever you see them, not just when you're getting ready to travel. If you can't find miniatures, buy small plastic bottles and decant from larger products.
• Wear your heaviest shoes, sweater, and jacket. That way, you don't have to pack them.
Originally Published: May 30, 2011