Practicalities of diving
Some practical information about training providers, courses, diving as a family, introducing your children to diving, and our top tips for diving vacations.
Dive training providers
PADI is the most well known dive training organization, but there are many other well-respected dive training organizations around the world too, such as BSAC, SSI, NAUI, CMAS. However, one of the biggest advantages of being trained under the PADI system is that PADI is recognised worldwide.
Entry level training
The Open Water course is PADI’s entry-level qualification to scuba diving and will teach you all the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to dive with a buddy in environments and conditions similar to your training experience. The Open Water course doesn’t need to take over your whole vacation – it takes on average about 4–5 days to complete. Alternatively you can do a Referral course by completing the theory and confined water sessions before you leave the UK, allowing you to complete the Open Water Course in 2 days, while on vacation. You can speak to our fully-qualified in-house dive instructor for further advice about learning to dive.
If you’re a certified diver but haven’t dived in a while, it is recommended that you do a refresher dive or Scuba Review to refresh your underwater skills and knowledge.
You can continue your dive education by taking further dive training such as the Advanced Open Water Course – improve your buoyancy skills, experience diving at night or improve your knowledge of the underwater environment. Or, be a safer diver and a more aware buddy by completing the Rescue Diver Course. This course in particular will build your confidence underwater as you learn how to react to different situations and be able to handle them more effectively. Or choose your specialties to reach the highest non-professional level in the PADI system of diver education by becoming a Master Scuba Diver.
Families and diving
It’s common for many people to think that when they have a family, they must hang up their dive equipment put diving vacations on hold. This doesn’t have to be the case! The key is to find a hotel which has a dive center as well as a children’s club, or where babysitting can be arranged, so you can still go out and explore the underwater world, safe in the knowledge that your children are being well looked after. We offer plenty of properties that can cater to this.
Introduce your children to the blue planet
According to PADI training, children can learn to dive as early as 8 years old. The course for this age group is known as ‘Bubble Maker’ and will involve learning the basic skills of scuba diving in a pool or confined water environment. From age 10, children can complete the Junior Open Water Course, which can later be upgraded to the full adult Open Water Course when they reach 15 years of age.
Top tips for dive vacations
- Check how far away you are from the nearest Recompression Chamber/Decompression facilities
- If you're taking your own dive equipment, make sure you pack the right thickness wetsuit. This is totally dependant on your own physiology, but check average water temperatures as a guide
- As well as weather varying throughout the year, marine life will also vary, so check that you're traveling at the right time of year for the life that you want to see – although never guaranteed!
- Allow for any extras costs such as Marine Park fees, fuel surcharges, and diver taxes
- If you're taking your own equipment, make sure it's working properly and that regulators have been serviced (this is particularly important if it's been sitting at the back of the cupboard for a while)
- Respect the underwater world to help preserve the environment by adopting good diving practises, and consider your impact on aquatic life. ‘Take only pictures and leave only bubbles’.