A crucial part of any scuba diving trip is your dive trip packing list. Whether you’re new to diving or you’re a seasoned diver, your scuba diving essentials are a huge part of planning your trip, from preparing your scuba diving equipment list to making sure you have all the necessary safety gear and diving equipment.
Use our handy scuba diving packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything for your trip!
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
Scuba diving equipment list and essentials
As someone who has dove all over the world, I can say with a lot of certainty that the standard of the equipment from dive shop to dive shop varies DRASTICALLY. So if you do decide to borrow equipment be sure to do your research and check reviews about the equipment maintenance!
Personally, I always travel with my own mask, fins, and dive computer. If I have the space in my luggage then I’ll bring my BCD and Regulator. And if I can squeeze it in I’ll bring my wet suit. Plus as many accessories as I need for the place I’m diving, and I can fit in!
Quick Tip: Pop your email below to get a handy printable scuba diving checklist PDF to take with you!
Scuba gear checklist: Safety equipment
Safety is of course paramount when planning for a diving trip. Checking you have the right gear for your dive trip is essential. But you also need to make sure that your gear is well-maintained, clean, and checked regularly for wear and tear.
Your dive mask is essential and should be well-cleaned and maintained, checked for watertightness, and washed in fresh water after each use.
You may prefer to bring your own mask, and fins or rent them, well-fitted fins make a big difference in propulsion and dive efficiency. I personally prefer to take my own as I hate getting given crappie fins by a dive shop. I love these travel-friendly ones.
I know most divers don’t travel with a full regulator set and pretty much all dive centers will rent you one of these. But personally, if I can fit it into my luggage allowance, and I’m planning on doing enough dives to make it worth my while taking it. Then I do take my own regulator.
A Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) is essential for controlling your buoyancy, allowing you to sink initially and return to the surface but also to maintain neutral buoyancy while in the water. This is a piece of gear that can be rented but many people will choose to invest in their own BCD.
Depending on how buoyant you are and your own body weight, you may need a weight system for proper weighting. The weight will vary person-to-person but dive centers will be able to supply more weights for you as needed. I never pack weights, that would be crazy! They will have them on the boat for you to use for free.
Depending on your dive level and experience, you may wish to carry a dive computer with you for monitoring and safety.
Personally, I think everyone, even beginners should dive with a dive computer and it really is best to invest in your own one so you can get familiar with it. I wrote a whole blog post about dive computers for beginners you can read here.
Also, consider your surface signaling devices such as a whistle or dive flags for communication. Don’t forget to brush up on your diving hand signals too!
Scuba gear checklist: Exposure Protection
Depending on the destination, locations, and conditions of your dive, you will need to consider what to wear for scuba diving at that location.
Consider the possible variations in your normal gear that could be required for specific dives, including a dry suit rather than a wet suit, any dive boots, gloves, dive hood or other thermal insulating gear, or rash guards and dive skin for sun protection.
If you’re someone who often finds yourself cold in the water, investing in a full suit with a higher thickness might be the best option as many dive centers will only have standard thickness suits for the destination’s conditions.
Scuba gear checklist: Dive accessories
These dive accessories are great additions to your scuba dive equipment list to enhance your dive experience.
A dive light is a helpful addition if you’re diving in low visibility conditions or planning any cave dives or wreck diving.
A dive knife is a useful piece of kit for safety and utility purposes.
A surface marker buoy (SMB) is often supplied if you’re diving with a dive school or liveaboard, but is a good piece of gear to check on so you can ascend safely. Since hearing a few horror stories I always pack one of these now it doesn’t take up much space and it really could save your life if you get lost from your group and need to surface alone.
If you’re diving for education or research purposes, a dive slate can be useful for underwater writing, note-taking, or communication.
Quick Tip: If you’re interested in doing liveaboard diving, you can book your trip here.
Scuba gear checklist: Other essential scuba dive gear
While many additional dive accessories might not be essential for your scuba trip checklist, these items can enhance the quality and experience of your dive.
An essential part of your scuba diving equipment list should be your dive log book, Dive certification card, and any other relevant documents that a certified dive center may require before allowing you to rent gear or go out on their dives.
Snorkeling gear can be a great addition to your kit for surface intervals and more relaxed surface activities between dives.
A dive bag is really helpful for keeping your gear organized, while a dry bag is a great addition to take your personal belongings on the boat with you and make sure they’re watertight, such as your phone, camera, snacks, or towel.
Cleaning and drying your gear after dives is important to keep gear well-maintained and often gear hangers or drying clips can come in handy here.
Speaking of maintenance, if you’re traveling with your own scuba gear rather than renting, you might want to carry a basic repair and maintenance kit with you as repairs at resorts can be costly.
Scuba gear checklist: Personal items and travel essentials
If you’re traveling abroad or taking a longer holiday as part of your scuba trip, don’t forget the other personal items and travel essentials that you’ll need as well as your scuba diving equipment list!
If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need relevant travel documents including passport, visas, and any other travel documents specific to your destination.
Travel insurance that specifically covers scuba diving is essential – check before you travel as many travel insurers will not cover scuba diving as standard. I recommend HeyMondo or SafetyWing for insurance.
As well as your usual travel toiletries, don’t forget any additional toiletries or first aid supplies for your destination: sunscreen (even better if it’s reef-safe sunscreen for diving), aftersun, insect repellant, and waterproof plasters.
An old towel for drying off after dives is a great tip, so you’re not using the same towel for your showers or using hotel towels!
Make sure you’re keeping a record of your dives, either digitally or you can bring your physical logbook or dive diary for relevant notes about your dives.
Full Scuba Dive Equipment list:
- Dive mask and snorkel
- Regulator set
- Buoyancy Control Device
- Weight system
- Dive computer
- Wet suit or dry suit
- Dive boots, gloves, and hood
- Rash guard
- Dive light
- Dive knife
- Dive slate
- Snorkel gear
- Dive bag
- Dry bag
- Gear hangers
- Repair kit
- PADI card or dive documents
- Spare batteries
- Adapters and chargers
- Passport and travel documents
- Travel Insurance
With everything on this scuba dive checklist, you’re ready for your scuba dive trip!
Scuba Diving Travel Guide Planning
⛴️ Where can I book Liveaboard Diving trips?
You can book your liveaboard diving trips in here. They have a lot of dates available and a lot of countries you can choose from.
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?
I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.
🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?