Manta Divers December, 2010 Travel Tips
December is here and many of us are looking forward to a trip this winter. Travel has certainly changed from the fun days of friendly skies and no security checks, but if we plan ahead, travel can be relatively painless. I have put together a checklist for before, during and after you take off that will hopefully make things a bit less stressful the next time you venture out.
Tasks to be done well before the travel date:
- Check the expiration of your passport. It must be valid for 6 months after your return date.
- Check with your cell phone service provider for rates at your destination if you plan to use it while on your trip.
- Activate dive computer a week or so before your trip to check battery and leave enough time for battery replacement.
- Check over all gear and have it serviced if it is due.
- Leave a copy of your passport, travel itineraries and contact phone numbers with someone at home.
- Stop your papers, mail and any other items regularly delivered to your home, or have a trusted person pick these up for you.
- Make arrangements for pet care.
- Notify your bank or credit card companies that you will be traveling and let them know where you are going.
- Even if you do not intend to use your phone while on vacation, you may want to have it incase of emergency or to call your ride when you return home, but TURN IT OFF as soon as you are out of the area covered by your plan.
- If you are taking prescription medications, be sure you have enough to get your through the vacation as well as extras in case of a delay during your return journey.
- Check baggage restrictions and fees charged by your air carrier and be prepared to pay for overweight bags.
- Pack your c-card and dive log
- Check the weather at your destination a few days before you leave, so you can pack anything needed for atypical weather.
Stuff for the carryon:
- Small container of hand sanitizer
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Prescription medications for the trip plus several extra days just in case
- Reading for the flight
- Dive computers
- Pen for filling out immigration forms
- Protein bars or some other snack to get you through your travel day.
- Change of clothes if there is room.
Stuff for your main bag:
- BC, Reg, mask , fins, booties and snorkel
- Wetsuit, small bottle of defog
- If you will be transporting your gear onto and off of the boat, you should bring a mesh dive bag for easier handling.
- A dry bag for on the boat is also a good idea.
- T-shirts (the number will depend on whether or not laundry service is available where you are going.)
- Unmentionables, socks
- Swimsuit and cover-up
- Comfortable shoes for traveling and touring, and sandals for the beach
- Sunscreen. *Be sure to put the container into a ziplock bag and/or place a piece of plastic over the opening and screw the cover over it. This will prevent the changing pressure during your flight from forcing sunscreen out of the container and all over the inside of your luggage.
- Dental floss, moisturizer, deodorant and any other personal items in travel sized containers. Check with the resort. Many of them supply shampoo, lotion, etc. and it is therefore not necessary for you to bring them.
What to wear on travel day:
If you are traveling from a cool climate to somewhere warm, it is a good idea to wear layers so you will be comfortable in transit to the airport, in the plane, when you arrive and when you return. A sweatsuit works well, especially since you can avoid wearing a belt that will set off the metal detector. You will have to remove your hoodie when you go through security, but it will come in handy if you have some unexpectedly cool weather or rain on your trip. The chest pocket on a shirt or a travel wallet is a handy place to keep your passport and documents such as boarding passes, as you will be asked for them often as you navigate the airport. You will be required to take your shoes off as well, so slip-ons may speed things up. It is always a good idea to check for the latest TSA requirements prior to travel so there are no surprises. If you have to bring a pair of jeans, wear these and any other heavier (weight) clothing on the travel day to save your baggage allowance. If you have to bring a pair of jeans, wear these and any other heavier (weight) clothing on the travel day to save your baggage allowance.
Finally, get your mind right for travel. Arrive in plenty of time, expect lines, and always remember that there is a beach, sunshine and diving at the end of this tunnel and that makes it all worth it.
In Other News………..
Give the gift of Diving this Christmas. Want to really knock the socks off someone and give the best gift ever? Treat them to Manta Diver training. We sell gift certificates for all of our diving and diving specialty classes. A "Try Scuba" certificate is a perfect stocking stuffer. Give your friend a fun evening or afternoon playing around under the water, and you may end up with a new dive buddy in the deal.
Don’t forget to sign up for our Marine Ecosystems class, December 6, and 13 at 6:30 at the shop. Learn about the ocean, its inhabitants and how to identify them, and ways to be a good eco-diver. This class is open to snorkelers as well.
Easy Computer Nitrox Class: December 14 at 6:30pm in the Manta Divers’ classroom. Learn how to safely dive with enriched air and reap the benefits of longer bottom times and added energy at the end of your dive day.
There's still time to take advantage of Manta Divers' fantastic price on our trip to Bonaire, March 12-19, 2011! Airfares for this week have gone up more than $350, but our price is still low!
If you don’t want to get another tie, bottle of after shave or slippers for Christmas, come on in and fill out a Diver’s Wishlist. Help your friends to select what you really want for Christmas.