The worst part of my dive trip is always the flight to the destination. I hate the lines, I hate the terrible customer service, and I LOATH the cramped seats. Another thing that is causing more and more trouble for divers that travel is the restrictions on luggage. Especially if you are lucky enough to travel to more remote places your bag needs to be smaller and you may have a limited number you can bring per person.
I went through stages as I diver with bringing my gear on dive trips. At first I didn’t have enough money to own my own gear so I rented everything. Next I started bringing along my snorkel gear, then I jumped straight into everything except weights and a tank. Then the more I dove the more I became comfortable with any type of gear. Now in an effort to save money and packing space I have narrowed my gear down.
For live-a-board dive trips when you can be diving up to 5 dives a day I stick to lugging around my whole kit. I think the best way to do this is by investing some time and money into finding a good travel BCD. You can also save on space by finding a good travel reg and a set of light full-foot fins.
For land-based trips I check what style of BCD the shop offers and then look through some reviews to see if someone mentions the quality of the rental gear at the shop. I would rather use a simple BCD from the shop than haul my own integrated BCD all over the world. I also like to use dive shop fins rather than carry my own. But I do dive slowly and I don’t like to cover a lot of ground on my dives if you are an underwater speedster you may want to haul your own around. Keep in mind boots add a lot of weight to your gear and never dry before flying so if you do bring your own fins consider investing in some full-foots.
More and more dive centers are also offering camera-rig rentals. I hate lugging my underwater housing for my DSL camera around, especially for longer trips, so I call ahead and inquire about renting housings, or full camera set-ups. Just don’t forget your SD cards!
The things I always take on all my dive trips are:
Happy Travels! May you all have the miles to upgrade to business class!!