How to find your SCUBA diving holiday - Part I
I will be writing a series of articles about finding the perfect holiday. This is the first part. Finally! So you have saved a whole year for your diving holiday, finally. time off from work. And you want it to be worth it, right! It can be hard nowadays to find the right holiday, especially when you get all these offers on your table. If you haven't been on a diving holiday before than use these tips te get you on the right track.
So, how do you know where to look? If you don't know where to look for diving holidays then a search engine like Google can get you started. Type in keywords like "diving holiday red sea" and you probably find what you are looking for. However. It is probably a wise idea to look for independant websites that provide you with information about diving destinations.
Most of the time those sites have reviews about dive centers and resorts. That's what you are looking for: reviews from customers. It is a good idea to look for diving forums and ask around about dive centers and resorts in certain areas. Make sure that the reply doesn't comes from the owner of the dive center himself :). Be careful with reading though guestbooks because site owners are likely to have removed all the negative feedback. A good site for example is the site from padi.com. PADI stands for Professional Association for Diving Instructors and is the market leader for diving education. On their website you can find dive centers listed by regions. You can be sure that those dive centers are checked by PADI which means that they will have to stand up to certain standards.
PADI also has the PADI travel network which is quite a good tour operator. Where to go? It depends on what you are looking for! There are many aspects that make a diving holiday your perfect diving holiday. The first thing that you probably will have to decide is whether to do a live-aboard or not. Live-aboard diving means a lot of dives, and usually not much activity on land. They usually offer the best diving and can be a bit more expensive than traditional boat/shore diving. Also think about boat diving or shore diving. Both types have their ups and downs. Shore diving can be more adventurious with exciting entries and exits. It can be a little bit more work than on a boat though. Boat dives can be very relaxing but for some people the surface interval is too boring.
Renting a whole boat with a dive club could be great fun!! If you are looking for more excentric holidays then think about camel dive safaris, yoga diving holidays, freediving and diving holidays etc. Their are companies out there that combine land excursions with SCUBA diving, offering a more complete package. What to look for at offers The best offers are usually the ones with flights, transfers and tax included. Make sure that you are aware of any additional costs. What you are looking for are offers that provide you with as much information as possible. Don't forget your research. Make sure that before you book your holiday, you have done the necessary research. Give the dive center a call, send a few emails. If you want to do a course, then talk to your instructor if possible. Get reviews from other customers.
Simply get to know as much as possible and follow your instinct. On the next article I will go deeper into finding your perfect diving holiday. I will discuss the regions of Asia, the Red Sea and the Caribbean.
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