While packing, use your phone to take a photo of what it is in each bag. This is a great way to back up a claim to the airline or insurance company in case of loss, read in the Dive Center Business Magazine.
Having a lock will deter the opportunistic thief. Use TSA locks, any other locks will be cut off if security needs to inspect the bag, read in the Dive Center Business Magazine.
Consider packing things that you can give away at the end of your trip. Pack clothing that you can donate to hotel staff or a local organization at the end of the trip. You can be giving back some and making space for souvenirs on the return trip, read in the Dive Center Business Magazine.
Take a picture of your passport on your phone and write down your diver certification and DAN number. Always good to have in case of loss, said Risa Winograd, California.
Pack a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops inside your carry-on in case your luggage is lost/delayed and it's hot at your destination, said Risa Winograd, California.
Check Trip Advisor for dive operators and read the reviews.
I've met great dive instructors and stayed in great places using social media, said Risa Winograd, California.
Use Mango Languages to learn the basic language of where you are going and how to ask for directions and where the bathroom is :) said Risa Winograd, California.
Carry small bills for tips until you get the currency of where you are going. And a few protein bars just in case of low blood sugar, said Risa Winograd, California.
Bring your own basic dive gear - mask, wetsuit, booties and regulator.
I always feel better using my own personal gear, said Risa Winograd, California.
Travel with essential oils.
For instance, Peppermint oil keeps my sinuses clear and prevents headaches. I also carry ear drops for pre-drying my ears, said Risa Winograd, California.
PATIENCE IS IMPORTANT
Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. Life is much too short to be angry & annoyed all the time. Did you miss your bus? No worries, there will be another one. ATMs out of money? Great! Take an unplanned road trip over to the next town and explore. Sometimes freakouts happen regardless. Just take a deep breath and remind yourself that it could be worse, said Matthew Karsten.
PACK EAR PLUGS
I love my earplugs! Muffle the sounds of crying babies, drunk Australians, barking dogs, honking horns, dormitory sex, natural gas salesmen, and more. A traveler’s best friend, said Matthew Karsten.
STASH EXTRA CASH
Cash is king around the world. To cover your ass in an emergency, make sure to stash some in a few different places. I recommend at least a couple hundred dollars worth. If you lose your wallet, your card stops working, or the ATMs run out of money, you’ll be glad you did. Some of my favorite stash spots include socks, under shoe inserts, a toiletry bag, around the frame of a backpack, even sewn behind a patch on your bag, said Matthew Karsten.
IN CASE YOU GET STRANDED IN LONDON
Last time we flew from LA to visit my family in Hungary, we missed our connection in London. As it was the last flight of the day we were stranded. With the tube on strike and a tired baby, we did not have our hopes up about our options. At our airline desk we got lucky and they put us up in a super nice hotel right at Terminal 5 (Sofitel). We did not even have to leave the airport, making our unplanned overnight stay a smooth transition, said Szilvia Gogh.
ENROLL IN THE GLOBAL ENTRY PROGRAM
If you have not already, enroll in the Global Entry Program! It makes coming back to the USA after a long trip a breeze. No more waiting in the lines when all you want to do is go home, have a shower and sleep after a transatlantic flight. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports, said Hilaire Brosio.
TAKE A LIGHT WEIGHT TOTE FOR THE EXTRA LUGGAGE
Pack a light weight but durable shopping or tote bag in an easy to get to location in your checked luggage. If you are overweight at check-in, transfer a few heavier items to the tote, drop your purse in on top and you’ll still be within size/weight regulations, said Jerri Moore.
OPT FOR TRAIN RIDES OVER FLIGHTS
For shorter travels, take a train ride. It is often faster than going trough security at airports, take taxis to the city. It is also so much more scenic. Plus, train stations tend to be located at the heart of the city, unlike airports, said Szilvia Gogh, Los Angeles.
TAKE SAMPLE SIZE PRODUCTS FOR SHORT TRIPS
Visit your local beauty supplier and ask for a variety of sample size products before your next weekend getaway. Not only your bag will be lighter, but it also gives you a chance to try different products, said Lisa Jover, Los Angeles.
BEST TIME TO PACK YOUR BAGS
Packing for a trip is infinitely easier when you’ve just done laundry, said Csilla Gogh, Hungary.
BRING A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE THAT CLIPS ON YOUR BAG
You will save a tremendous amount of money by not buying $7 waters at airports, said Csilla Gogh, Hungary.
IF YOU TAKE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
If you take prescription medications, keep them in the original containers, with the pharmacy label, & in quantities reasonably consistent with personal use. Have a letter from the prescribing physician to attest the prescriptions are legitimate. This is especially important with meds like Vicodin, Percoset, etc., although if you're taking these is is unlikely you'd be in any condition to be flying for a diving trip, said Ryan Skaalen.
WEAR FLIP-FLOPS TO THE AIRPORT
Wear flip-flops to the airport, as they are quickly doffed & donned at the TSA checkpoints. Although on my last flight a couple months ago, I just left them in my carry-on & went barefoot, said Ryan Skaalen.
USE VISA AND MASTERCARD INSTEAD OF TRAVELERS CHECKS
Instead of using travelers checks, make a large over-payment on a Visa or MasterCard, leaving a credit balance on the card that you can spend on your trip. Visa & MasterCard are accepted more readily than travelers checks in many places, said Ryan Skaalen.
BEST SEAT IN THE PLANE
After first class, the choices center on your priorities. For comfort and a smooth ride, pick a seat over the wings. For silence, sit as far forward as possible, but avoid the galley and rest rooms. For leg room, try the first row or seats beside the emergency exits.
AVOID JET LAG
For the relief of tiredness associated with air travel use No-Jet-Lag tablets. Chew one tablet on each take-off, one about every two hours, one after landing, and feel you are in the right time-zone at arrival, said Szilvia Gogh, Los Angeles.
USE BRIGT COLOR LUGGAGE TAGS
In the forest of black bags your bag tag will stand out and locating your bag will become much easier than before, said Julia Tavella, Los Angeles.
ZIP-LOCK BAGS TO KEEP WET AND DRY SEPARATED
Take a big dry bag or a zip-lock bag with you for your next dive day! After the dive you can put your wet bathing suit and towel in it, so the rest of your luggage can stay dry, said Linda Tearthon, Prague, Czech Republic.
USE FABRIC SOFTENER SHEETS
When the bugs and mosquitoes are killing you and nothing works, try to rub yourself with fabric softener or put a few sheets in your pocket, said Danielle Della Flora, Hilliard, Ohio.
When the sun and water causes chopped lips, apply a good amount of Vaseline before you go to bed and by the next morning they will be silky again, said Danielle Della Flora, Hilliard, Ohio.
KEEP A TRAVEL SIZE TOOTHPASTE IN YOUR MASK BOX
Sometimes the initial one rub is just not enough to remove all the silicon from the inside of your mask to prevent it from fogging up, said Lisa Jover, California.
LEARN ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION
If you have not been able to find anything out about the airport that you are visiting then ask one of the airline staff, or the government tourism booth (if they have one at the airport) for some assistance, or tips on the best way of travelling.
ALWAYS CARRY PEN AND PAPER
It comes handy when you need to fill out custom papers at airports, write down phone numbers or directions quickly, said Judy Simmons, Dublin, Ireland.
USE CACTUS JUICE
I was in a constant battle with mosquitoes while in Honduras. Somebody told me to put cactus juice on my body (the locals sell it). It worked miracles, said Danielle Indursky, New Jersey.
WHEN NO WATER IS AVAILABLE
Bring prepackaged moist towelettes or antiseptic hand gel/soap for cleaning hands when traveling through places where no water is available, said Anette Santiago, Milano, Italy.
PROTECT YOUR CAMERA
If you have a small point and shoot camera (that they tell you not to carry in it's underwater housing when traveling) get a small soap container from the drug store or 99 cents store and use that for your camera. It's cheap and offers more protection than a cloth case, said Susy Horowitz, Pasadena, California.
USE YOUR MILES There's no advantage in holding on to frequent-flyer miles, as there's no way of knowing whether they'll be worth anything down the road. Miles typically expire within 18 months (though that deadline may be deferred if you keep your account active, either by flying or using an airline-reward credit card that is linked to your account), so get a free flight — or golf clubs, electronics, magazines or anything else the airline lets you trade miles for — while you can.
READ TRAVEL REVIEWS User-review sites have changed the way most people plan their travel, giving us an enormously useful tool for evaluating hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and the like. TripAdvisor.com is the big kahuna, with more than 20 million reviews, mostly of hotels — but also less traditional lodging like B&Bs, villas and private homes — as well as restaurants and attractions.
ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO KEEP CHARGHER AND WHAT YOU WANT TO CHARGE IN THE SAME BAG I just learned this one the hard way. I inadvertently left a bag behind at the dive shop where we met up to start our Baja trip. All my chargers (as well as camera, GoPro, laptop, binoculars) were in the bag left behind. I had my Nook but couldn’t recharge the battery. But the good news... a friend on the trip lent me his spare camera so I could still take pictures, said Susy Horowitz, CA
DISCOVER THE DIVERSITY OF USE ONE HAIRCLIP CAN OFFER
When I was on a river raft trip I discovered the gripping hairclip (the one with a spring, I have yet to find anyone who knows the proper name for that type of clip) had many uses. Besides using it to clip up my hair, it doubled as a carabiner, clothespin and sarong pin. Definitely take along one or two of those when you travel, said Susy Horowitz, CA
PROGRAM YOUR DESTINATION INTO YOUR GPS AND TURN IT ON WHEN IN A TAXI
Taxi drivers can't take advantage of going the "long way" when your GPS is saying
"turn right" out loud, said Denna MCN.
BRING A PAIR OF SOCKS WHEN FLYING
Even on hot and humid days you might get cold on the air-conditioned plane.
ALWAYS HAVE CHEWING GUM
Chewing bubble gum not only helps you avoid bad breath, it reduces hunger and makes equalizing easier on flights.
EMAIL YOURSELF YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
I created a folder in my email box labeled "travel" and keep my itinerary, a scanned version of my passport and my credit cards in it. In case my cards get stolen, I can call my bank, in case I loose my bag with my important papers, I can look up and re-print my tickets and go to the embassy to request a new passport without much hassle, said Rita Grayson, Montenegro.
EVERY NIGHT IN A DIFFERENT HOTEL
When I shoot the "Amazing Race," we sleep in a different country, different hotel every night. It is hard to remember the current room number, so I started taking a photo of the room number on the door every morning I leave, said Rob Vuona, California.
HOW TO GET A WHOLE ROW TO YOURSELVES
When there are three seats in a row on an airplane and you are traveling with your other half, book one aisle and one window seat. Bet on the fact that nobody will request a middle seat, said Rob Vuona, California.
An alternative to small padlocks for luggage is split rings (key rings that you slide your keys onto). They are inexpensive and easy to find. They make a great deterrent against theft without having to worry about re-setting a padlock, said Kathy from Anaheim, California.
I use a spiral notebook to write down specifics about pictures I have taken. Nothing frustrates me more than looking at a picture and not remembering where it was taken, said Joel from Arizona.
DO YOU TRAVEL A LOT? ENROLL IN THE TRUSTED TRAVELER PROGRAM
Trusted Traveler Programs provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks at airports. Apply online, go in for an interview and zip trough airport in the fast lane, said Gloria Bella, San Francisco.
KEEP YOUR GEAR DRY
If you're using a duffel bag or suitcase and are concerned about them getting wet (due to rain or travel on boats) line the inside with a heavy duty plastic garbage bag and pack
everything inside the bag. That way, even if your duffel or suitcase gets wet and soaks through, your contents will stay dry, said Susy Horowitz, Burbank, California.
DON'T SPEAK THAI OR VIETNAMESE?
When traveling to foreign countries, ask the hotel receptionist to write down the hotel's Name and address in their native language, so when the taxi driver throws his hands up and shake his head not understanding where do you want to go, just hand him the piece of paper, said Blythe Alison-Mayne, Santa Monica CA
MAKE SURE TO HAVE WHAT YOU NEED NEAR YOU
When travelling with your carryon and "personal item" make sure that everything you will want to use on the flight is in the item you place under your seat. That way you don't have to get anything out of overhead which is inconvenient at best and may not be reachable if you have to stay in your seat because of turbulance, said Susy Horowitz, Burbank, CA
ENROLL IN AIRLINES FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM
I enrolled in Bangkok Airways frequent flyer program to earn extra baggage allowance. Several airlines offer free membership programs with tons of benefits. This one allows me to check-in an extra 10kg (22lbs) bag for my scuba gear, suggested Szilvia Gogh, Redondo Beach.
ROOM SERVICE SOMETIMES IS YOUR BEST BET
Whenever travelling late at night, call your hotel and order room service dinner, so when you arrive and check-in, dinner is already there. You might arrive so late that all restaurants are closed, but won't be hungry, suggested Hilaire Brosio.
USE FREE PADDED FEDEX ENVELOPES
No need to spend a lot of money on computer bags when you can pick up a free padded envelope at Fedex that fits laptops like a glove, suggested Hilaire Brosio.
USE AN OLD CD AS A SIGNALING DEVICE
Don't find yourself drifting away unnoticed. on the surface after your dive. Pack an old CD in your BCD's pocket and use it as a surface signaling device (an old mirror will do the job as well), suggested Hilaire Brosio.
DATA PLAN FOR iPHONE
Your iPhone will cost you if you take it (One Europe trip where I made no calls cost $527) as it continues to get mail, etc. Buy a "Data Plan" for $20 before your go and save the other $507 for something fun, suggested Scott Stoughton.
OLD CLOTHES MAKE GREAT GIFT
Take old clothes with you if diving in Third World countries. Wash at end of trip and give t shirts etc away to local kids. They love them, said Terri Allen, Melbourne, Australia.
SET UP A DIFFERENT EMAIL FOR ALL YOUR MAJOR TRIPS
I always set up a new email account for my travels so that I can give it out to people but still protect myself from spam and possible identity theft as all of my other emails are either attached to my websites or paid mac accounts. This also keeps your emails separate from your work or personal emails and if you later find that you want you can give someone your real email address you can. I do one for each trip so that if someone emails me I can narrow down on which trip or location I met them. The new email should not reveal any personal information in the address. Don't use your first or last name, street, or business. Since I generally set up a new blog for each vacation or assignment I use whatever I call the blog so that people I meet can log on see pictures that I've taken of them or the location and are still able to reach me. If you're writing a blog do not activate the date portion until you get home, said Nicci Freeman, California.
PACK PLENTY CONTACT LENSES
Make sure to pack enough contact lenses. If you wear disposables pack an extra weeks worth, if you don't use disposables get some before you leave in case you lose one or both of them while diving or swimming. Also bring enough contact lens solution with you. I can't tell you the number of times I've tried to find lens solution in third world countries and it was either not available or more expensive than gold. Don't forget your glasses either in case something occurs in which you can't wear your contacts, said Nicci Freeman, California.
THE PROPER WAY TO TAKE PICTURES OF LOCALS
Bring small tokens from home to give to the locals. I usually keep a stack of postcards from home, or even pictures I've taken of home to give out to locals. I will generally trade the pictures or the postcards for them allowing me to take a picture of them. I've also found that carrying my fujifilm instant camera helps me in a great number of these cases as I allow them to take a picture that they can keep and they will then be more comfortable when I photograph them, said Nicci Freeman, California.
BRING TOKENS FOR LOCALS AND USE THE SPACE FOR SOUVENIRS BACK
I tend to load up my suitcase on the way their with small toys and books to give away and use the empty space to fill up with souvenirs on the way back, said Nicci Freeman, California.
Bring Your Own! I started to pack a bottle of my favorite liquor when traveling to remote places to avoid being charged often ten times the price I pay at home for a vodka tonic, said Hilaire Brosio, Redondo Beach, California.
BRING A SMALL PACK OF PAPER TISSUE WHEN ON THE ROAD
Paper tissue has so many more use than just to stop a runny nose: use it to clean your face on a hot day, many public bathrooms do not equip the toilets with paper, pack leftover food in it for the road are just a few of many, said Erika Mentes from Austria.
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A STUDENT CARD
I saved so much money flashing my Student ID at various museums, theaters, concerts, buying boat and train tickets throughout Asia, Europe and America, said Szilvia Gogh, Venice, California.
LISTEN SAFETY BRIEFINGS
Spare that five minutes to listen the safety briefing each time you are flying! Not all aircrafts are built the same. Always take a mental note where the nearest exit is located, said Szilvia Gogh, Venice, California.
BRING THE CAMERA MANUAL
Traveling through airports with huge camera systems can be challenging, even more so when one does not speak the local language. Taking the camera manual with pictures will ensure custom officials that you are not trying to sneak in a bomb, said Hilaire Brosio, Redondo Beach, California.
Always have small bills with you to tip the locals on the street helping you get around. Especially be well prepared to give a lot of "baksis" when traveling to Egypt, said Hilaire Brosio, Redondo Beach, California.
BRING A SAMPLE SIZE CREME WHEN FLYING
Airplanes always make my skin dry. I pick up samples when I get a chance in beauty shops and take them in my carry-on when flying. It is small and disposable, said Viviana Groth from Puerto Rico.
DON'T ARGUE WITH FLIGHT ATTENDATS
Especially, when you sit in an exit row and had a few drinks. The days of smiling, relaxed, beautiful and charming stewardesses are long gone. These days all flight crews seem to be on the edge looking out for those terrorists and they will be quick to escort you off the plane before the flight leaves for your destination, said Szilvia Gogh, Venice, California.
TRAVEL CANDLE (in a tin) is always nice to make your hotel room a little more like 'home' and it's relaxing after the day's dives. (where to buy: $ 1.99- 2.99 Ross stores, Target). I always bring 2 or 3, then leave them for the maid, said Valentina from Denmark.
ALLERGY PILLOW COVER ( I never leave home without mine) those hotel pillows are disgusting, plus it blocks DUST MITES, ALLERGENS, and is HEALTHIER. (*note* I write my name in Sharpie so 1) the maid doesn't switch it and 2) I can see through the pillowcase and I remember to take it with me when I leave! (where to buy: $ 4.99- 6.99 Bed, Bath and Beyond), said Valentina from Denmark.
ROOM SPRAY This is great-especially with a room-mate! Avoid those 'telltale' smells from the restroom! Plus, musty wetsuit smells will also be wiped out! (where to buy: Bath and Bodyworks $ 5.00, or $1.99 "Oust" from Target- is tiny and about 2 inches tall), said Valentina from Denmark.
EMERGENCY C- these little packets are great also on the plane to avoid getting sick. (where to buy: $6.99-9.99 big box of 30 several flavors. Available at Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, most heatlh food stores), said Valentina from Denmark.
ZIPLOCK BAGS - in a few different sizes. Great for : 1) leaky stuff you may bring back 2) seashells you collect 3) putting all the brochures and little mementos for your scrapbook in one place 4) coins from the country you visited, said Valentina from Holland.
CAT/DOG FOOD PELLETS- 1/2 to 1 cup to feed the fish. It's great because when they are in your BC, they soften slowly and by the time you find the fishes, they will be 'perfect'! (hahaha) and then you get that AWESOME shot with all those fish in it, said Valentina from Denmark.
HOW TO KEEP THE BUGS AWAY
Before leaving home I always do the final rinse of my shorts and tops I am packing. In
the rinse I put about 1/4 of a small bottle of insect repellent containing DEET in the
final rinse stage of the wash. This does not harm the clothes (I have been doing this to
the same shorts for 2 years) It lasts for a good few washes if you only wash in cold
water and bugs will hate you, said Geraldine Hayes, Tasmania, Australia.
PREVENT "BALI BELLY"
I always take Pepto-Bismol tabs or caps just before I get on the plane for another country. Then I continue to take the prescribed dose daily along with one package of Emergency C. I have found that this morning cocktail helps to coat my stomach and " knock on wood" helps to prevent getting "Bali Belly". I have also found that if one dose develop this awful
interruption on ones trip, that this combination helps to replace Electrolytes lost with diarrhea and vomiting. The Pepto-Bismol coats the stomach and the Emergency C replaces the Electrolytes. Also a script from your doctor for an overseas GI infection helps if you need it. Remember that even over the counter medications can have side effects, said Eileen Kenny, Burbank, California.
ROLL UP YOUR DAILY APPAREL IN ONE BUNCH
When I travel, I pick out my daily apparel before I leave on my trip. I roll up my panty, t-shirt and bra for each day in the pants I will wear them with. This way no miss-matching will occur, said Julia Tavella, Glendale, California
PRINT ALL YOUR CONFIRMATIONS TWICE
When you print out your e-tickets, car rental, hotel info and vouchers, etc. always make a second copy and place it in another bag. I lost the sheet with my e-ticket print-out for my Air Niugini flight but luckily had a second copy in my dive bag I could get out and use.
It saved the day for me, said Susy Horowitz, Burbank, California
AVOID ROOMS BY THE ELEVATOR
When you get to the hotel/motel, try to avoid a room by the elevator, especially if it's a hydraulic one. Once stayed in such a room. All night long, there were the alternating sounds of the hydraulic compressor going up, & the whooosh of the depressurizing fluid going down. I felt like I was sleeping with Darth Vader, said Ryan Skaalen.
IF YOU'VE HAD JOINT REPLACEMENT
If you've had joint replacement or other surgery where larger metal appliances were implanted, have a letter from the surgeon attesting to this fact to show the TSA agents when you set off the metal detectors. This is not my personal experience, a friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon, & once mentioned how many such letters he's written during a travel-related conversation, said Ryan Skaalen.
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE
Check your health insurance coverage for international coverage and should buy additional travel insurance. American Express offers a Travel Assurance plan for a flat fee of $28.99 per trip, said Celia Fargo, Cape Coral, Florida.
TRAVEL HEALTH TIP
Get appropriate immunizations for your destination. Visit a travel clinic months before your next exotic trip and make sure to have a dental check-up (especially if traveling for 3 months or more), said Maria Tasner, Budapest, Hungary.
BE AWARE OF AIRLINE REGULATIONS
I found out recently that American Airlines does not take responsibility for anything "that can break" on domestic flights (US) according to their travel policy, said Szilvia Gogh, Los Angeles, CA.
PACK ITEMS THAT CAN LEAK IN PLASTIC BAGS
Pack all items that can leak or ooze in plastic bags. That way you don't have to worry about toiletries leaking on your clothes.
PREVENT LOST LUGGAGE
Add your name to the inside and outside of your bag in case your luggage tag accidentally removed in transit. The easiest way for airline employees to find you is to make an extra copy of your itinerary and place it inside your bag.
IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT
If you miss your flight and there's just time to catch another, go right to the other airline's departure gate instead of to its ticket counter. If it has an empty seat, the second airline will usually honor the ticket for the flight you missed, said Petra Smith, London, UK.
BRING THROW AWAY CLOTHES
Before you pack, find out about laundry facilities so you don't over pack. If facilities are not available, take old clothes that you will not miss and throw out after using them. It will provide room for new stuff to take home, said Jacqueline Santos, Guadalajara, Mexico.
DO NOT CARRY YOUR PASSPORT AROUND
Do not carry your passport around, leave it in the safe in your hotel. A photocopy will suffice if local law states that you need to, said Szilvia Gogh, Budapest, Hungary.
CHECK WHETHER YOU NEED TO RECONFIRM YOUR FLIGHT
Check on your first day whether you need to reconfirm your next flight, if so do it then. Some airlines do not require this anymore but it is still worthwhile calling them so that they at least have your contact details, in case the flight is delayed or whatever, said Grace Vince, Bulgaria.
BRING YOUR OWN MINI ALCOHOL
When flying for a longer stretch with friends, we buy the mini alcohols at the airport and put them in a TSA approved zip-loc bag to enable us to board the plane with them, said Tori Hens, Abeline, TX.
USE A DRY-BAG INSIDE YOUR GEAR BAG
Putting your dripping wetsuit into a dry-bag inside your regular gear bag, will help you avoid making the car wet and salty while driving home from your scuba experience, said Jessica Klein, Portland, OR.
PRINT OUT AIRPORT MAPS
The internet has wonderful maps of airports available. I have printed up copies and taken them along, making changing airplanes much easier. I have also looked at the lay-out of the planes to see where my seat was located, said Julie Manya, Barcelona, Spain.
AVOID CHECKING A BAG
This is true of any air travel really, you don't want to see how airport crew handles your luggage. "Fragile" has very little meaning, if anything. You will not have to worry about searching for the right baggage claim or talk to an agent if a bag gets lost. By keeping everything with you, there's less chance of error, said Jill Reef, San Francisco, CA.
BRING GUM ALONG WITH YOU
It not only helps you equalize when flying, but help you feel "fresh" when traveling overnight, said Rita Grayson, Montenegro.
BRING A SMALL BACK-UP LIGHT
It can serve double duty: You can use it for diving and it comes handy when the electricity goes out in your hotel room or boat bunk, said Edina Smith, London, UK.
TAKE PICTURES OF ALL YOUR STUFF WHEN TRAVEL
I take a digital picture of all my clothes, scuba gear, toiletries, gadgets... I carry with me to my dive destinations. I print it out a few times. I leave one at home and I take another with my papers. Just in case my luggage gets lost, I know exactly what to claim, said Eo Ong, Los Angeles, CA.
USE YOUR SCUBA MASK WHEN CHOPPING ONION
Most people end up in tears when preparing onions. No more crying when you do it wearing your mask. You might look a bit silly, but it works, said Julia Tavella, Cancun, Mexico.
NEVER PUT YOUR ADDRESS ON YOUR LAGGUAGE TAG
Some travelers returned after their vacation only to find out that somebody broke into their house while they were diving. My friend, who works at an airport suggested to only put the phone number on my lagguage tag, because airlines always call before deliver lost bags, said Tamy Reiley, Cancun, Mexico.
PUT A FEMININE PAD INTO YOUR CAMERA HOUSING
When water leaks into the camera housing, it will drip down. The pad absorbs the water and saves your camera, said Heather Dan, Florida.
USE HAIR CONDITIONER TO PUT ON YOUR WETSUIT EASIER
Have you ever broke your nails while pulling up that wetsuit? Combine water and hair conditioner 9:1 ratio in a small bottle, apply it to your body and the wetsuit will slide up, said Jill Hens, New Finland, Canada.
PACK A PAIR OF SOCKS WHEN FLYING
Even when it is hot and humid outside, and one would not think about socks, onboard an airplane it is always freezing -thanks to the air conditioning, said Helen Smith, Zimbabwe.
TAKE A LOW-LIMIT CREDIT CARD WITH YOU FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
I have a $2000 limit credit card, just so I can use it when I travel. I leave my high-limit or no limit credit cards at home. This way, if somebody takes my credit card and spends all that is on it -can not do too much demage, said Gloria Clark, San Francisco.
BRING AN EMPTY BOTTLE WITH YOU WHEN FLYING
With these days of security measures at airports, travelers can not prepare and bring their own water to avoid dehydration while flying. I usually take a small bottle of water with me all the time that I drink just before passing through security check -and keep my empty bottle. Once onboard, I asked the flight attendants to fill it up, said Szilvia Gogh, Los Angeles.
DRESS NICE WHEN TRAVEL
You never know... you might get an opportunity to upgrade your economy class seat to business or first class. You will have a better chance if you are dressed appropriately, said Patricia Kajtar, Malta.
BRING A BANDANA
Aside from keeping sweat out of your eyes, you can pour cool water on it and lay it across the back of your neck, to cool down. You can also use it for an emergency bandage, to keep your head cool, as a napkin, keep dust out of your nose and mouth, tie your hair back with it, carry shells in it, and to wrap your food it in (to keep bugs away), said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
PACK SOME POWER BARS
(or the like) in case the hotel has no room service etc. for those hunger cravings. Don't assume that even if the town has a store, that the food will be fresh especially not in third world towns! Pack a few small items (powerbars, package oatmeal, cereal bars, etc.) Every time I have brought them they went within a few days, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
PACK IMODIUM (Anti-diarrheal)
It is better safe than sorry... Some people have more sensitive stomach than others, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
PACK BUG SPRAY
...Always!, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
PACK POWDERED GATORADE
to mix with your bottled water. It is tasty and helps you to rehydrate, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
PACK a little DETERGENT
to rinse out your swimwear and wash undies with in room, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
BRING YOUR BUSINESS CARDS
for the new friends and networking you make and do, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
SEND STUFF HOME
if you feel you bag will be overweight, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
CALL YOUR BANK AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES
and let them know the dates you will be out and back. So they know it is you and not someone else buying stuff overseas, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
BUY CHEAP SUNGLASSES
so if they get lost or break -who cares!?, said Valentina Lomborg-Lumkin, Redondo Beach, CA.
BUY A CHEAP MAGNIFYING GLASS AND CARRY IT IN YOUR BC POCKET
As we age, our focal point changes! It really helps on pygmy seahorses. In fact, bring 2, because either your dive master or anyother diver will beg for it, said Rose Eder.
BRING COLORED PENCILS
Bring colored pencils to illustrate those strange creatures you find underwater! Lots of fun to share it on liveaboards, and it helps remembering the exact colors of that nudibranch, said Rose Eder.
PACK A VERY LONG CHIFFON SCARF
It is the most versatile item. It can dress up a simple black dress draped backward around the neck for evening; it is useful as a head covering for visiting shrines and temples and being appropriately respectful, even if you're not quite sure of the local protocols and traditions; in a pinch it can be an evening wrap and it takes up no space in a bag, said Julia Morris on Travel Tips.
DITCH THE PURSE
I've simply stopped carrying purses altogether. I carry a wallet on a lanyard. When not in use it remians under my shirt out of sight. When I need it, I can have cash, credit cards, identification and hotel keys. My car keys have a biner-type clip so I can quickly attach it to the lanyard, said N. Browning, New Mexico on Travel Tips.
STORE SOME MONEY AND PASSPORT IN YOUR BRA POCKET
One night while I was in Europe I was mugged far from my hostel. They took my bag, wallet and made me empty my pockets. I would have been stranded but I had stored some money, as well as a copy of my passport, in a pocket I had sewn into my bra. It turned out to be a life saver, said Michelle D'Marcko on Travel Tips.
SOMETIMES IT IS ALLOWABLE TO 'LIE'
When arriving at an airport alone I often find people interested in my 'travel arrangements'. I always tell them that my husband is coming on a later flight so that in case there is an air accident, the children won't be left orphaned. This has saved me from a lot of problems and unwanted attentions, especially from taxi drivers, said G. Longley on Travel Tips.
WEAR NEOPRENE SOCKS TO PROTECT YOUR PRETTY TOE NAILS
Use a pair of neoprene socks under your dive boots and you will prolong the time you can take between nail shop visits. It will save you time and money, said Kathy Scott, California.
IF YOU WANT TO BE TRULY "GREEN" TAKE NON-STOP FLIGHTS FOR TRAVEL
Non-stop flights use much less fuel, said Rita Grayson, Montenegro.
APPLY HAIR CONDITIONER ONTO YOUR HAIR TO PROTECT ITS COLOR
Before you jump into the pool or into the ocean just after you had your hair done, apply great ammount of hair conditioner onto your hair to avoid your pretty hair color fade, said Lisa Jover, California.
WHEN YOU WANT YOUR PICTURE TAKEN SOMEWHERE YOU TRAVEL ALONE, ASK A PERSON TO TAKE IT WITH A NICE CAMERA
Those who have a nice camera hanging around their neck, are likely know how to take a great picture. They will hopefully not cut off your feet and have you in focus, said Szilvia Gogh, California.
WEAR A WEDDING RING WHEN TRAVELLING
Even if you are not married, put a ring onto your finger! You will reduce the risk of guys hitting on you when they think that you are married. But again, if you want to be hit on, take it off, said Rita Grayson, Montenegro.
USE A CHAMOIS ON DIVE BOATS INSTEAD OF REGULAR TOWEL
A regular beach towel tends to get thrown around on a crowded dive boat, usually resulting in a soaked towel. Instead, get yourself a quick-dry camping towel from an outdoor store. They're like a chamois for drying your car - except they work for your body! They're small, efficient, plus they dry quickly even if they get really wet, said Lisa Speissegger.
USE PURE COCONUT OIL ON LONG HAIR
I have hair down to my butt and use coconut oil from root to tip and leave it in for days, rinsing through at night but not washing it. I add a little more each morning and then wash my hair every three or four days. It keeps the hair beautifully conditioned and knot-free. If you are a bit squeamish about having oil in your hair, slap it on the ends and leave it there all day, said Leanne Bentley, UK.
WHEN RENTING CARS, AND USING YOUR CREDIT CARD THAT PROVIDES (YOU THINK) INSURANCE
Before going abroad, or even in your home country, when renting a card and relying on your credit card company's insurance coverage, instead of paying the extra at the rental place... check what is included/excluded! Most cards, such as Amex have their coverage posted on their website, if not, call their 800 number to clarify. Amex for example does not insure cars in Italy, where you really could use the coverage.
USE A NEOPRENE MASK STRAP COVER IF YOU HAVE LONG HAIR
If you find that the rubber mask straps pull out most of your pretty, long hair -every time you take it off after diving, try using a neoprene cover over it. You can find cool, colorful ones in most scuba stores, just ask for it!
USE VITAMIN BOX'S MOISTURE ABSORBER
If you forget to pack your Moister Munchers when going on a dive trip, buy a box of vitamins and use the one from that box! You will get your essential vitamins and you can prevent fogging and corrosion of your camera, said Szilvia Gogh, Los Angeles.
USE NEOPRENE BELTS AROUND YOUR WAIST TO KEEP YOU WARM
When diving, there is no water warm enough for woman. Use those neoprene belts around your waist (under the wet suit) that others, who wants to loose weight, use when running. After diving I use something similar made of cotton under my t-shirts as well to keep my back and bladder warm. Even at summer it is not too hot... but a hot rum and tea works just fine as well after diving, said Csilla Gogh, Hungary.
PREPARE FOR FLIGHTS
I travel with Saline Nasal Spray and Eye Moisture Drops (vs. dry airplane air & traffic grit), Ear Plugs (vs. noise & wind), a large scarf or shawl (for warmth, privacy & darkness on planes, airports, etc) and a small tin of Nivea Creme (for lips, cuticles, face & body), said Kate Stewart, Brazil.
HOME MADE RAINCOAT
I carry a big plastic garbage sack, which can double as a rain jacket (once you make holes for your head & arms). This has kept many fellow diver warm, while I wore my own rain jacket, said Kate Stewart, Brazil.
BE NICE TO PEOPLE!
This is an obvious one: be extremely nice to the people at the reception desk where you stay, as well as to the maintenance men. Don't treat them as servants. Their help can be really crucial, said Diana Abrashkin, Lincoln, Massachusetts.
BUY A UNIVERSAL ADAPTER
Brookstone carries a universal adapter that will work on any electric plug anywhere ($25). You put your plug in it and it has many configurations to go into any foreign plug. But it is not a voltage transformer, said Diana Abrashkin, Lincoln, Massachusetts.
BUY A TINY LAPTOP CALLED SURF BEFORE YOUR NEXT TRIP
I bought a tiny laptop called Surf from target.com ($335 with shipping and handling) which I took with me to Dominica earlier this month. Although it is not a substitute for a real laptop or computer it works great for checking emails and it does have an SD slot I used for viewing my photos. This little guy even comes equipped with Skype to make cheap phonecalls from all over the world but I haven't tried that yet, said Suzy Horowitz, Los Angeles.
BRING RE-HEATABLE HANDWARMERS
for coldwater diving, put handwarmers in the pockets of your dive jacket. They help a lot, said Suzy Horowitz, Los Angeles.
BRING YOUR DIVE COAT
Even on the hottest days of summer, bring your dive coat. If nothing else it's great for wearing when you carry your wet gear off the boat so you don't get wet again, said Suzy Horowitz, Los Angeles.
WHEN TRAVELING ALONE...
I keep my huge tank banger on my backpack at all times that way, it deters people because it makes so much noise I pick it up and when I am on a crowded street, when I am not moving and I hear it “go off” that means someone is trying to get into my pack, said Quinnette Free, Burbank, California.
LEAVE YOUR BC ON YOUR TANK
It is much easier to wear a tank off the boat than to carry it off, said Suzy Horowitz, Los Angeles.
PREPARE FOR THE WORST, HOPE FOR THE BEST
I was one of those people who was stuck across the country (four blocks from the Pentagon to be exact) on 9-11. I now always take 2-3 days more underwear than I anticipate being gone (and pantyliners are a great way to stretch underwear too). I also throw in the cell phone charger, even if I don't think I'll be gone long enough to need it. If I'm anywhere I can drive home from I also throw take some CDs just in case.And, most important of all, before I leave home I put out 2 -3 extra days worth of pet food for the housesitter just in case, said Suzy Horowitz, Los Angeles.
BUY A CHEAP TOWEL
if you're ever in Florida buy the cheapest "beach towel" from the tourist trap stores you see all over the state. After about 5 or 10 washings they lose all body and fold up really, really small. They're ideal for drying yourself after one dive and pack really light and small, said Suzy Horowitz, Los Angeles.
WRITE YOUR NAME AND INFO ON YOUR DIVE GEAR IN INDELIBLE INK
This includes your fins and wetsuit and computer to deter theft and/or get back your misplaced gear. On black neoprene, you can use silver pens, said Diana Abrashkin, Massachusetts.
REMEMBER TO TAKE THE CHARGERS FOR YOUR CELLPHONE, iPOD AND PDA WITH YOU, said Diana Abrashkin, Massachusetts.
BUY A NICE BIG DUFFLE FOR YOUR DIVE GEAR THAT IS ANONYMOUS
i.e, not from a company which caters to divers and is advertised in dive magazines. Deters theft. One with wheels is even better, said Diana Abrashkin, Massachusetts.
ALWAYS GO TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE A TRIP AND GET A PRESCRIPTION OF ANTIBIOTICS & ANTIBIOTIC EAR DROPS (FOR SWIMMER'S EAR)
Nothing ruins a trip quicker than being sick. Do this especially when taking a live aboard - no returning to shore until the end of the week, said Becky Johnson, Kansas.
YOU CAN OFTEN GET "ALL RISK" INSURANCE FOR YOUR CAMERA AND DIVE EQUIPMENT THROUGH YOUR HOME OWNERS INSURANCE OR RENTERS INSURANCE
It is called a "Personal Articles Floater. There is no deductible and "All risk" can mean silly me I dropped my camera and it broke. The rates are about $10 a year for $1,000 in replacement value. Your insurer usually likes a receipt as proof of purchase and to establish replacement cost. The same policy can cover jewelry, suggests Jayne Walker.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE TSA APPROVED LOCK ON YOUR LUGGAGE, TRY USING ZIP TIES
The TSA can easily cut them off if they need to inspect your luggage, but it will deter petty theft by baggage handlers since they need to be cut with scissors or nail clippers to get them off so it's not an easy target. Don't forget to take nail clippers in your carry-on so you can get them off at your destination, and bring an extra set of zip ties to put on your luggage for the trip home, suggests Erika Tucker, Portland.
PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE
Make sure to get coverage that suits your needs! If you are a photographer, insure your equipment too!
GET TO KNOW THE HOTEL STAFF
Especially, if you travel alone! It comes handy when you need somebody to escort you to your room at a dark night.
WRITE DOWN THE NAME OF THE HOTEL YOU ARE STAYING
Ask at the front desk, to write down the address (in the native language as well) and phone number. Carry this with you!
HAVE YOUR PASSPORT ALWAYS VALID FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS
You can never know when a great travel opportunity might comes up. Be always ready for adventures on a last minute notice!
DON'T CHECK YOUR DIVE COMPUTER IN, CARRY IT ON WHILE FLYING
Dive computers don’t particularly like the unpressurized cabins where regular checked-in baggage travel.
BRING SNACKS WITH YOU WHEN FLYING
It can take for ever to get food after take off, if getting any. Mostly, on shorter flights they don’t even serve meals anymore.
REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR CERTIFICATION CARD AND DIVE INSURANCE
Smaller and non-PADI dive operators can not check your dive ratings via internet on the spot, and that can stop you from diving.
DRINK BOTTLED WATER
Don’t trust the locals in foreign countries to tell you if their water is safe to drink or not. Buy bottled water, WITH SEALED CAPS!
CHECK AIRLINE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCES
These days it often changes daily. Usually, on trans-Atlantic/trans-Pacific flights you can take two 50 lbs bags, while traveling within one continent you can check in one 44 lbs bags.
DON'T WANDER ON THE STREETS ALONE AFTER DARK
You are only asking for trouble if you do so!
HAVE PLENTY TAMPON WITH YOU
Never know, if in foreign countries and in remote islands they carry your favorites… While traveling, your period can start anytime, so always be ready!
TRAVEL IN PANTS WITH POCKETS
Carry your passport, credit cards, money, lip gloss in it while traveling, so you don’t have to get up from your seat to get things from your bag; also you don’t have to worry about people stealing your valuable items while you are asleep.
USE TSA APPROVED LOCKS ON YOUR BAGGAGE TSA
The TSA (Travel and Safety Administration) developed locks that security officers can open with special master keys. Be sure that you use these TSA-approved locks to keep your baggage safe!
RESERVE YOUR SEAT ASSIGNMENT IN ADVANCE
When buying airline tickets online, call the airline to get seat assignment immediately if no seat assignment is given. Due to overbooking, getting seat assignment in advance can reduce the risk of getting 'bumped'!
ORDER SPECIAL MEAL WHEN FLYING
People with special requests always get served first on flights (if they offer food at all). You need to reserve your special food at the time of booking, as doing it at the check in desk is normally too late to do so.
EAT GINGER TO AVOID MOTION SICKNESS
The ancients used to take it when going on a long trip on a boat. You can use it on dive boats as well as when flying. It's better than motion sickness drugs –it doesn’t make you sleepy.
HAVE A COPY WITH YOU OF ALL YOUR IMPORTANT PAPERS WHILE TRAVELING
Bring a copy of your passport, green card (if needed), driver license, credit cards (back as well, so you can see the phone numbers to call in case it gets stolen)
GET AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVING LICENSE
Not every country will recognize the one you got at home. Go to AAA (within the US) to get one!
DON'T KEEP ALL YOUR MONEY IN ONE PLACE
Just in case you get robbed… it is better to have one credit card and some cash hidden somewhere in your bag.
TRAVELER’S CHECKS ARE NOT ALWAYS GOOD
Within the US, it is great way to secure your money, but go to Europe… and you will be slammed with up to 18% transaction fee when you try and use them.
USE A DIFFERENT COLOR BAG
Purchase luggage that is a color other than black, because most everybody will have a black luggage out there; yours will stand out and it will be easier to spot.
"ADVERTISE" THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE
…in places with high crime. It is better that others think that somebody is waiting for you in your hotel.
DRESS IN LAYERS
While traveling you will experience temperature changes as you go in and out of terminals, countries…
ALWAYS HAVE ONE SET OF CLOTHS AND A PAIR OF BIKINIS IN YOUR CARRY-ON BAG
Just in case your checked in baggage gets delayed or stolen, at least you can go diving. :)
This thermal is beautifully soft to the touch. It has thermal properties to keep you cozy during the winter, yet cool at the summer. It does not wrinkle and it is light weight, making it perfect for travel.
H2O + girl = Miss Scuba logo on front side with azure blue color printing on warm gray long sleeve thermal.
Morro Bay Sea Otters
Half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, there is scuba divers dream, hiding in plain sight. San Luis Obispo County isn't thought of for it's diving and is usually only a stop for people on their way up or down the Pacific Coast Highway.
California sea otters are in the midst of their prime pupping season. Sea otter pups can be born anytime of the year, but prime pupping season is considered to be between the months of January and March. During this time, Sea Otters largely congregate inside the Bay and it isn't rare that you may find anywhere from 12-18 sea otters huddled or rafted together.
find more journeys here
OUR SPONSORS :