Dive Packing Guide – What to bring on a Scuba Holiday?

Dive Packing Guide – What to bring on a Scuba Holiday?

You just booked your first Scuba Diving Holiday since you started diving.

So what do you bring with you for the trip overseas?

Well, you’ll pack the usual: clothes, sun lotion, camera, toiletries…those kinds of things of course. But where do you fit all of your dive equipment?

Don’t worry! Here’s a step-by-step guide to all you need to bring and what you should just leave at home.

Traveling With Full Gear

Traveling With Full Scuba Gear

Dario Sabljak

First thing is to just let your dive tank and weights at home, unless you are going on a dive expedition to a deserted island. They are way too heavy and they are included in the dive trip.

Since diving with your own equipment is of course the way to go you can pack your wetsuit, BCD, regulator, fins, mask, snorkel, etc. Having familiar equipment doesn’t just improve the dive experience it also will save you money not having to rent that gear.

Good rule of thumb, pack two bags: one for your scuba equipment and one for your normal stuff.

Watch how much each of your bags weighs though. If you are traveling with full dive equipment some airlines will give you a 10 kg extra baggage allowance. But remember to check this before purchasing the ticket in case the airline doesn’t give the extra 10 kg. This could end up costing you a lot more.

Limited in Weight

A young woman wearing scuba gear

YOu cna bring mask, fin snorkel even on non-diving holidays - Jason Stitt

If you’re limited in weight you might need to cut back on some of the dive gear you bring. Baggage weight is normally 20 kg and 2/3 of this weight probably goes to the normal travel stuff.

The kind of diving and travel you are doing will help you choose which pieces of your dive gear you can rent and what you can leave behind.

Bringing your mask and snorkel is always a good idea, even if you are not on a scuba holiday. These are lightweight and you can use them to snorkel off any beach.

Read the Full Snorkeling Guide.

Your regulator and BCD are lifesavers, so if you can, bring them! The regulator is the most important piece of dive equipment and it’s very comfortable having your own BCD to use. Besides, having these two pieces of equipment will save you the most money not having to rent them for the dive trips.

Scuba Diving Tank

Would you bring your dive tank? - zhu difeng

There are positives and negatives to renting fins. Keep in mind there is nothing worse than a pair of fins that don’t fit right. If you are going to be using open heel fins you’ll probably be ok renting these because you can always bring your own boots.

Check what the water temperatures are where you’re traveling to before packing your own wetsuit. It’s no use bringing an 8 mm wetsuit to 29°C water or a shorty for 18°C water. If you get cold easily then bring your own wetsuit being it fits you nice and tight. However if getting cold isn’t a worry, then just rent one to keep the baggage weight down.

Always bring your computer, this is really expensive to rent. Besides it’s always nice to know how it works and know you can trust it.

Bottom line…the decision of what to bring is up to you. Ask yourself what you will need and what you can do without. It’s also a good idea to check with your dive operator if there are pieces of dive equipment they don’t supply for rental.

Dive Equipment Made for Travel

Diving equipment on tropical beach

Elena Yakusheva

Scuba gear is becoming easier to bring on a dive holiday these days.

Lightweight equipment is  easy to bring and weighing as little as 11 kg for a full set of dive gear.

Many of the big brands are now offering this type of dive equipment, at fair prices. This might be worth checking out if you need to buy new dive equipment.

What Not to bring

Diving weights

Don't bring weights - Zpyder

You don’t want to bring things along on your scuba holiday that you really don’t need, especially because a lot can be rented or borrowed from the dive centers. Make a mental checklist: 1) do I really need this or can I do without it and 2) could I borrow this at the dive spot without extra cost.

  • Once again remember you don’t really need to bring scuba tanks or weights for your trip. They take up a lot of space, weight, and due to security checks it makes it difficult to bring on the plane.
  • Also there probably isn’t going to be any need for a big box of tools. All dive centers have tools that you can use. If you feel the need to bring your own tools, just bring a small set and some basic spare parts like o-rings, etc.

How about you? Do you have a packing list that works for you? Share your ideas of the perfect packing with all of our readers! Leave a comment below!

About The Author

Torben Lonne

Torben is a top skilled PADI MSDT instructor. He has worked several years with scuba diving in Indonesia and Thailand - and dived most of his life in most of the world. He is also the co-founder and chief-editor of DIVE.in you can always catch him here [email protected]


  1. Dee Shercliff

    My dive gear always gets packed first! BCD, dive boots, wet suit and snorkel in my main luggage, Regs, mask, computer, camera in the hand luggage. Clothes get shoved where ever they’ll fit! I normally hire fins as I find them very heavy and with boots the heel strap fins are normally fine. When I take the kids I can take more clothes, their cases are always half empty :)

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Dee, that is the way to travel! I like that you use your children luggage for clothes and your own only for dive gear. I found that dive centers often only have full-foot fins for rent, do you check before booking? Thanks for sharing!

  2. James Watkin

    Great tips. Thanks! I’m going to Cozumel next week so I’m planning what to bring :)

    • Torben Lonne

      You are welcome! Hope you have a great trip. I’m a tiny tiny bit jealous!

  3. Nicky Mass

    Just a quick idea: how about creating a packing list with easy check off marks, that we can download from http://www.dive.in and print?
    That would save me time and if you put your logo on that page, I would remember your name through out my dive vacation :)

    Just an idea :-)

  4. Ruth

    I agree with Dee, Never let your regs or computer go in checked luggage.

    Checked luggage can be thrown around whilst on its way to your destination. The cabin is pressurised and these expensive bits of kit are better protected with you at all times!

  5. Jim Olinger

    My wife and I travel frequently for dive trips and have a pretty good system. A small “under the seat” carry on for camera, dive computer and the like. Then a small backpack also as a carry on with our regulators and masks and a few items of clothing (tropical areas don’t require lot’s of clothing so you can save some weight here). We each check one bag and try to split our gear up so if a bag get’s lost we at least have some equipment (fins and wetsuits in one, BCD’s, booties and other equipment in another along with a few clothing items for each of us of packed in both cases…oh yeah and my wife’s hair dryer ALWAYS :<)
    If you use one airline frequently, try to get an airlines credit card where you can collect miles. This also give you priority boarding and usually 1, free checked bad pp. (not to mention the "reward travel" opportunities!)

  6. Lundy Castaway

    Snorlelling with the seals on Lundy Island in N Devon has become very popular over the last few years on our Dive boat Lundy Castaway. I normaly send out a simple check list of equipment needed for our trips for divers and snorkellers. We keep a few spares on board but its amazing how many people bring the unnecessary but forget thr basics.

  7. Noëlle

    I find it very, well, unique that you write “First thing is to just let your dive tank and weights at home, unless you are going on a dive expedition to a deserted island. They are way too heavy and they are included in the dive trip.”

    I make frequent trips around Europe (by car, sometimes more than 500 km/day) on which we always bring our own weights and tanks (and all other gear), so that at the spot we don’t have to look for a dive shop to rent equipment. We bring a list of places where we can refill our tanks and visit one of them on our way to/from the dive spot. This saves us not only money, but also a lot of time.

    Although I do agree on ditching tank and weights for air travel (tanks are usually not even allowed or only under certain conditions), when travelling by car, especially with a trailer or not too many people in a car, bringing your own weights and tanks can be a lot cheaper ;)

    • Torben Lonne

      Hi Noëlle,

      No, you are right, there are countless of examples where bringing your tank can save you a lot money and give the best dive experiences.

      The tank part, although not specified, was written towards air travel – thanks for the corrections :) Air travel with tanks will only give you extra hassle.


  8. Diane Sparks

    Very informative article! I never went scuba diving before so I don’t have any idea what I should take and what I shouldn’t. Thanks for the helpful tips:)

  9. Dan Marston

    i am interested fascinated in pursuing and taking scubadiving hopefully someday its my dream and hope to dive underneath the water unfortunately I’m not to that point yet its also gonna be dependent on whether I progress getting back into the water I haven’t been in the water in like 8 years the open water over 10 years first have to go through divepool in a swimming than get to the open water learn freediving than if I’m fortunate and lucky hopefully learn and take scuba within 2 or 3 years its also if my M D approves and clears it medically even if I ever make it to take scuba chances are I may not make it to take openwater certification and pass it again its my dream and hope of getting and making it there someday have hopes and thoughts for me that I will dive safe dive well all the best this year

    Dan Marston


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You should also read