What To Pack On Your Next Liveaboard Diving Vacation
Liveaboards usually don’t provide diving equipment other than tanks, so you need to bring your wetsuit or wetsuits, gloves, hoodie, mask, fins, snorkel, BCD, dive computer and any personal dive accessories you like to carry. Organise any rental gear before leaving port and make sure you have everything you need including for the trip.
If you are doing daily repetitive dives and night dives it is “nice” to be able to get into a dry wetsuit when the sun goes down. You will be chilled after multiple dives, even in the tropics, so check with the tour operator, if there is room on the boat and in your luggage, go for it! Also, it’s a good idea to have extra layers of thermal protection and a water or at least windproof jacket.
Bring the usual toiletries that you have at home. You will feel more comfortable if you use your own toiletries. Refillable travel size bottles will do, you don’t need to bring along your two-liter economy pack shampoo, make sure any sunscreens you bring are reef friendly.
You don’t have to carry dozens of items of clothing. Liveaboard is meant to be a relaxing vacation. While you will meet other people on the boat, it is fine to wear casual outfits all the time. A couple of pairs of pants, t-shirts, your swimsuit, and warm (fleece) jacket will do, quick dry T Shirts and Shorts are preferable. What is important to realize is that even though the dive sites might be in tropical locations, multiple days of diving will lower your body temperature, so the jacket will come handy, also remember a decent pair of deck shoes or sandals
Underwear & PJ’s
Bring about half a dozen pairs of underwear for the sake of cleanliness and health or better still 2-3 pair of quick-drying underwear from any good outdoor or camping store. Also bring something light and comfortable to sleep in, if you are sharing a cabin and are used to sleeping “au natural” at home, it may not be the most practical thing to do on a liveaboard.
Micro Fiber Towel
One of the best investments you can make for a scuba diving trip or even a beach vacation. Microfiber towels have the same drying power as a normal bath towel and yet, when folded and rolled up fit into a space about 1/5th that of the normal towel. A microfiber towel is a must for repetitive diving, it will easily dry you off and dries out very quickly also. You can leave in the sun during the surface interval and your next dive, which is plenty of time for it to dry out completely
Clothes Pegs or Clamps
If you are using any of the items in 6 or 7 above, or even if you are washing other items of clothing, then clothes peg’s or small utility clamps are ideal to hang them onto the rails or secure elsewhere and prevent them from blowing away or over the side. This is done on vessels used by Dive operators like Black beards Cruises, Bahamas. Many divers leave there pegs or clamps on board at the end of the trip but it is always a good idea to take your own. These can be bought at any Home Depot or online at Amazon very cheaply.
Space may be limited on a liveaboard, depending upon the type of boat you are on and the number of divers and crew, you can always find a nice spot somewhere on deck. An inflatable cushion makes even the hardest deck your comfortable corner in paradise.
Having your own water bottle on a liveaboard is a great idea. Get one you can use for water, cold and hot drinks and one that has a detachable lid or screw-top so you can keep it at the side of your bunk when the boat is underway, and/or at night
In case you are on medication, bring what you need. It might be wise to have a copy of the prescription for any medications you need, for a resupply, and to show customs officers. Given that you may do 3 – 4 dives every day while on a liveaboard, we strongly recommend that you to bring antibiotic ear drops. Ear infection can easily effect any scuba diver, and you definitely would not want to miss out because of it. Also bring a small first aid kit
Multimedia entertainment such as TVs and DVD movies are usually provided on the boat. If you have to carry something for amusement, bring a portable music player or a tablet plus earphones. If you use a streaming music service such as Apple Music or Spotify remember that you will not always be in range of cellphone and internet service when sailing offshore so you should make sure to download your favorite “Diving Vacation Playlist”
Digital cameras and GoPro
You wouldn’t want to miss on filming and recording your liveaboard adventure. Make sure the camera battery is fully charged and that you have packed a spare, Liveaboards usually offer a charging station for your underwater cameras as well.
If you are using a GoPro use some form of attachment in the vent it gets knocked out of your hand, a “floating hand grip” is available for GoPro’s, these are normally brightly coloured and will return the GoPro to the surface where they are easier to spot.
Waterproof bags are a must for boat diving, use a hold all type bag to pack your belongings for travel, this way you can carry the bag with you during flight and save money by only checking your dive equipment. A smaller 5 or 10 liter bag can be packed and this can be used to keep any clothing or gear on deck such as your music player, logbook, paperback etc
Dive Trip Saver
The dive operator will carry spares, however if you are diving with upwards of 10 or 12 other divers it is wise to have your own “Dive Save Kit” which should include the following spares and accessories, Dive Mask, Fin Straps, O ring Kit, Silicone Lube, Batteries for Dive Computer