Essential Packing Tips for Your Scuba Diving Trip

Duane Newman   Jun 01, 2023

scuba travel gear packing

Let's Go Diving!

Are you excited about your upcoming scuba diving adventure? As you prepare to explore the mesmerizing world beneath the waves, it's crucial to pack wisely to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. From essential scuba gear to clothing and accessories, proper packing is key to maximizing your diving experience. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essentials and offer valuable tips to help you pack efficiently for your scuba diving trip. So, let's dive in and get ready for an unforgettable underwater exploration!

Know Your Dive Destination:

Understanding the climate, water temperature, and dive conditions at your destination is vital for packing appropriately. Research and gather information about the dive site's conditions, but don't worry if you're traveling on one of our trips! Simply reach out to your knowledgeable trip leader, who will provide you with detailed insights and guidance on what to expect. This way, you can pack the right gear and clothing tailored to the specific conditions of your scuba diving adventure. Remember, your trip leader is there to ensure you have an amazing and well-prepared experience!

Essential Scuba Gear:

Make a checklist of the essential scuba gear you'll need for your trip. This includes:

  • Mask, snorkel, and fins (& boots): Ensure they fit properly and are comfortable for long hours in the water.
  • Wetsuit or drysuit: Choose the appropriate thickness based on the water temperature at your destination.
  • Regulator, BCD (Buoyancy Control Device), and dive computer: Check their functionality and get them serviced if needed.
  • SMB (surface marker buoy) and dive knife: These tools can come in handy during dives. Consider adding a reel to that SMB.

Dive Accessories:

Don't forget some of these dive accessories that can help make those dives more fun and memorable:

  • Dive lights: needed for night dives, but also great during the day for navigating through wrecks or just checking for interesting sea life hiding between rocks or under coral.
  • Underwater camera: Capture incredible moments and preserve memories.
  • Mesh Bag: Great for getting your gear from your room to the dive boat or dive site.
  • Dry bag: Essential to keep your phone, wallet, and other items dry with you on the dive boat.
  • Wet notes/dive slate: Don't forget important details from dive planning (like MOD, directions, etc) or about what your saw on the dive. Slates let you take these notes with you or make them while diving.

Spare Parts:

Create a save-a-dive kit and with spare parts and tools to ensure a hassle-free diving experience. Some items to consider for a save-a-dive kit include:

  • O-rings: The number one killer of a good dive is an a blown o-ring on your tank valve. Also, don't forget a small brass pick to make it easy to change the o-ring without damaging the tank valve.
  • Zip ties and mouthpiece: Hey, it happens, those zip ties break and let the mouthpiece come loose, and sometime a mouthpiece just decides it's been chewed for the last time. Be ready to repair either of these problems and continue diving.
  • Tools & parts: Hoses fail, and having the right size wrench(es) to remove hoses and extra LP & HP plugs to seal off the now empty ports are helpful in case you have to replace or remove anything from your regulator and want to keep diving.
  • Other extras: Other spare parts to consider include a fin buckle, mask strap, and snorkel keeper.

Don't forget to consider spare parts for any other specialized equipment you might be taking with you (like an underwater housing).

Not sure what you should take in a save-a-dive kit, or how to do some basic maintence on your gear? Consider taking the Equipment Specialist specialty.

Clothing and Personal Items:

Pack lightweight and comfortable clothing suitable for the climate at your destination. Don't forget to include the following:

  • Swimsuits, rash guards, or dive skins: These provide protection and comfort during dives.
  • Casual clothing for non-diving activities. But don't overpack, remember you'll probably be in your swim wear more that anything else, so shorts and shirts can get you through more days than they might at home.
  • Sun protection: Hats, sunglasses, and reef-safe sunscreen are essential.
  • Toiletries and personal items: Pack travel-sized toiletries, medications, and personal essentials.

Travel Documents and Insurance:

Ensure you have all necessary travel documents, including your passport, visas, and dive certifications. If you are traveling out of the country make sure to review the entry requirements for your destination country. If you are traveling on one of our trips we require you to have dive accident insurance, and some destinations require it as well. We recommend DAN Dive Accident Insurance and membership, they have many options to fit your needs and offer individual and family plans. Additionally, consider travel insurance that specifically covers scuba diving activities for peace of mind. We use DAN Travel Insurance for our dive travel. At a minimum we recommend basic travel insurance with trip interruption protection.

Packing Tips

Here are some additional tips to optimize your packing process:

  • Use a checklist: Create a comprehensive checklist to ensure you don't forget any important items.
  • Carry-on important and sensitive gear: We travel with our regulator, dive computer, and a pair of swim-wear in our carry-on, so we have the basics to start enjoying our diving right away, even if some checked luggage gets lost or arrives late.
  • Pack strategically: Organize your gear in separate bags or compartments to keep things tidy and easily accessible. Use space-saver vacuum seal bags for compressible items like clothing to reduce space and keep them dry and separated from dive gear.
  • Pack light: Only bring what you need to minimize excess baggage and make traveling more convenient.
  • Protect fragile items: Use padded bags or protective cases for delicate gear like cameras or dive computers. If you have room you can pack your mask in the plastic box it came in.
  • Check airline restrictions: Familiarize yourself with the airline's baggage policies, weight limits, and restrictions on dive equipment.


Properly packing for a scuba diving trip is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. By understanding the dive destination, packing essential gear, and following these valuable tips, you'll be well-prepared for your underwater adventure. So, get organized, double-check your checklist, and get ready to dive into the wonders that await beneath the surface!

Remember, happy divers are well-prepared divers! Safe travels and happy diving!