Should I rent or bring my own scuba equipment on a dive vacation?
The question of renting or bringing your own scuba diving equipment on vacation becomes more and more relevant each day as the airlines keep hitting us in the wallet with fees.
Here are a couple of things to consider about renting…
Are you just going to one place? If you are going to multiple destinations or will be traveling around a country for a couple of weeks you might think about renting your gear so you don’t have to drag it around.
Are you flying on small domestic airlines? If you are headed to Palau, you’ll fly in on a large jet with plenty of space but if you are flying to an out island of a small country, you will find luggage restrictions that inhibit the amount of gear you take. One trip to Little Cayman, it took us two weeks to get our luggage home….there simply was no space on the plane! Check carefully!
Is the equipment reliable at your scuba vacation destination? Remember, many remote destinations do not have easy access to gear parts (think about how many neck and valve o-rings you see leaking on tanks in many resorts). If you are concerned but have space limitations take your most important dive equipment: regulator and computer and mask and rent the BCD and fins which are the most bulky anyways. If you do decide to rent your equipment, consider bringing along your own safety gear such as your Dive Alert and safety sausage.
How much “other” luggage do you have? If you must travel with four pairs of shoes, your camping gear, twelve matching outfits, your running gear etc….. it might not be worth it to pay for extra baggage on the airlines and haul it around with you. It just depends on what is most important to you. Personally, we pack the dive gear first and then with whatever weight is leftover, shove a few shorts and t-shirts in the bag. For more ideas on packing check out our recent blogs on adventure packing and adventure packing lists.
If you decide to take your own scuba diving equipment a couple of things to consider….
When was it last serviced? Inevitably, gear breaks just after it’s been serviced. We have seen this time after time after time. If you have your gear serviced before you go, TEST IT. Go to a local dive shop with a pool or find a pool somewhere, get in and use the gear. Otherwise, you will pay to have it serviced, pay for extra luggage and then be mad when it breaks and then have to pay again to rent gear on location!
Test it anyways. If your gear has been sitting in the closet for a year, even if you don’t have it serviced, test it. Better safe than sorry. Check battery levels on your computer!!!
Comfort level with your own dive equipment. Most people are most comfortable with their own gear. If this is the case, then take it by all means. Even after 7500 dives I feel the most comfortable in my own gear. Especially if you are an occasional diver, you’ll want the comfort and fit of your own equipment, you know where all the buttons are and all the little things you like to have, are probably still in the BCD pocket.
Now here’s a cool option! Global Dive Expeditions has a unique gear rental program. You call, we haul. We rent the latest top of the line AquaLung, Suunto and SeaQuest gear and we bring it with us for you to use on our guided expeditions. No worries about “local” gear, no wasting your weight allowance, no rinsing, packing servicing…. NOTHING! We are the ONLY dive expedition company that has this program. Many of our guests who have their own gear, leave it at home and rent from us. They know what they are getting and are comfortable in our gear trip after trip, year after year.
To your adventures!
Live Adventurously is a premium provider of SCUBA diving vacations and advice on SCUBA diving travel & the adventure lifestyle. We provide our friends the experiences and knowledge to live an extraordinary life through adventure.