Scuba diving is a popular hobby, but one that takes a good bit of commitment and practice. After you have taken lessons and plunged in, probably with nothing better to look at than the inside of a swimming pool, its time for a scuba diving resort vacation.
Many underwater sight-seers like to go to a resort with dedicated scuba diving equipment and guides to make the most of their experience. Knowing you do not have to lug your own tanks and suits to an unknown place is part of the luxury of a vacation.
Maybe the tropics are your thing. Any time of year is a good time to dive at sites near the equator in Africa, Central America, and Asia. If you happen to have a big budget, spend Christmas at the Great Barrier Reef and Easter at the Florida Keys.
Going to temperate dive sites takes a little more planning. Do you hope to see migratory fish? Will the water definitely be warm enough to dive by April? Remember, diving in cold water requires different equipment.
Do Your Research
Before dropping a few thousand dollars on a visit to a scuba diving resort check out what the guidebooks have to say, browse some magazines, and get reviews from other travelers. Set your budget, get an idea of what you want to see on your dive, and start making reservations.
First, a trip to the library is in order. Many libraries stock up-to-date travel guides, some dedicated to diving locations throughout the world. Or if you have decided on a locale, pick up a few travel guides for that country or state.
Next, go to a good bookstore or newsstand, and check out the recent magazines on dive sites. There are magazines that cover a huge array of scuba diving vacations at resorts, parks and islands all over the world.
By the time all this is done, you probably have narrowed the search to a few scuba diving resorts in a certain region. For the last step, use the internet to read reviews of the resorts you have in mind. One of the most extensive sites is thorntree.com, run by Lonely Planet. The site is free to use, and frequented by many serious and knowledgeable travelers. There are also sites just for scuba divers. Be sure to look for any complaints, especially safety oversights.