Diving Vacations - What To Know Before The Trip

Published on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Make sure you have dive insurance for you next SCUBA vacation.

Diving vacations, whether it’s the entire trip or just a day’s activity, are increasingly popular but it’s important that your clients are informed before embarking on a tropical diving trip. Smart travel agents and tour operators understand the importance of preparing their clients for this unique vacation style, whether it’s recommending a local dive center to refresh skills or become certified before leaving home. Here are just a couple of the many you’re your scuba divering clients should consider in order to avoid complications and insure their health and well-being on a vacation that includes a fair amount of diving.

Before The Trip - Tips and Dive Insurance

A healthy, successful trip always begins with preparation. The editors at Dive Training Magazine regularly devote attention to such issues. Most recently, an article in the April 2015 issue encouraged travelers to check in with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel section.

There your travelers will find information about mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as chikungunya, dengue fever and malaria, and how to minimize contact. Tip: Travelers should pack a can of Deet and wear long-sleeved clothing and pants when out in the evenings. They should also remember to pack an inexpensive bottle of drops to prevent swimmers ear, available over-the-counter at any drug store.

Of course, the most important preparation before leaving home is to make sure the travel insurance will cover cases of emergency. Dive insurance like SCUBA coverage varies by traveler’s state of residency, depth of the dives and certification.

Here’s another tip from the editors at Dive Training: Enroll in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Among the many benefits of this program is information on nearby medical and recompression facilities as well as the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In the case of an emergency, they can help to arrange transportation, medical help and more.

Of course, the most important preparation before leaving home is to make sure the travel insurance will cover cases of emergency. Dive insurance like SCUBA coverage varies by traveler’s state of residency, depth of the dives and certification. Discuss these aspects with your client and contact RoamRight directly to make sure your travelers have the right travel insurance coverage.

What Not to Eat and Drink

After arriving to a beautiful beach location, your clients will likely want to relax and maybe have a drink or two. Conscientious divers though should either avoid alcohol prior to their dives or keep it to a bare minimum. Alcohol is a diuretic and contributes to dehydration.

“Dehydration makes you more susceptible to decompression sickness, otherwise known as the bends," said Karen Berger, a PADI-certified diver for nearly 20 years wrote in her book Scuba Diving: A Trailside Guide

“A glass of wine or a beer with dinner is probably fine, but diving all day and partying all night may raise the risk of decompression issues when you dive the next day,” wrote Berger, who reinforces that drinking while on the dive boat and then operating technical life-support equipment is never smart.

You might consider limiting your coffee intake and laying off energy drinks. These include caffeine, which is also diuretic.

Remind your travelers to be alert to what foods are consumed the day of the dive. Meat and greasy foods require much more stomach acid than grains and fruits to digest. An excess of acid in the stomach contributes to the likelihood of motion sickness when out on the water. If travelers are at all prone to motion sickness, they should consult with their doctor about the best approach for their system.

To minimize the risk of decompression sickness, travelers should keep dives to around 30 to 50 feet. 

Being ill underwater leads to greater risk of dive-related drowning, and hydration between dives is absolutely essential. Gatorade is perfect because straight water sits on the stomach, which is particularly of note if travelers are at all prone to motion sickness.

To minimize the risk of decompression sickness, travelers should keep dives to around 30 to 50 feet. Anything over 80 feet increases the likelihood of decompression sickness and diving in more shallow areas usually means more things to see, which is the entire point in the first place. 

Understanding The Gear

When helping to plan a diving vacation, stress to your travelers that they should take plenty of time to get familiar with their gear, especially the gauges. They shouldn’t depend on the dive master to monitor the nitrogen. It’s the diver’s responsibility.

“The most important piece of gear for a diver who rents gear is a computer or phone app to track and monitor your own nitrogen level,” writes Berger. “On trips with multiple dives, you really need your own data and computers are much better than charts.”

Apple offers a free app on iPhones. Android also has a log book for divers. Travelers should download them in advance, get familiar with them and use them religiously. Safety in diving starts with the diver. 

Want to learn more about dive insurance from RoamRight? Contact us to protect your travelers.

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