Updated on February 27, 2020

You probably already know there are many reasons to be a scuba diver. You travel, meet new people, see marine life… But you also need quite a bit of gear and when you travel you don’t want to forget anything back home.

Are you planning to go on a dive vacation or liveaboard trip and not sure what to bring? No worries. Here’s our packing list to make sure that you don’t leave anything behind!




Now that airlines have drastically reduced passenger’s baggage allowance, the weight and size of your diving equipment are important factors to consider. Experienced divers know the value of diving with their your own gear, you know it works and it’s more comfortable. If you plan to go on diving trips often, an investment in quality travel equipment is worth while. Here’s our list of what equipment to pack, along with a few recommendations of lightweight gear.





We use and recommend Cressi’s Travelight, it’s light but still has all the features of a traditional BCD. Other great options are the Aqualung Zuma and the ScubaPro X-One. All of these options fold down small, saving you lots of room.  

Best Scuba BCDs of the Year >>




Aqualung’s Mikron, Apex Flight and Atomic Aquatics T3 are all great travel regs because they are lightweight all while maintaining high quality and durability. Braided hoses also help cut down on weight and are more flexible, which allows them to pack easier than traditional hoses.  

Best Diving Regulators of the Year >>




Full gauge consules can be very bulky and heavy. Traveling with a small pressure gauge like this Cressi Mini SPG can save you some serious weight.

Best Scuba Gauges of the Year >>




Aqualung Hot Shot and Hollis F2 fins are designed to fit into carry on sized luggage.

Best Diving Fins of the Year >>




If traveling to a warm water destination you can consider taking full foot fins and leaving your booties behind. For longer trips, especially in cold water, booties help keep you warm and prevent the painful blisters that full foot fins can give you.

Best Dive Boots of the Year >>




If you are planning on renting most of your gear I do recommend you consider getting your own mask. A poorly fitting rental mask that leaks or cases you pain can ruin a dive.

Best Diving Masks of the Year >>

Best Dry Snorkels of the Year >>




A dive computer is another one of those pieces of gear it’s just so much better to have your own. You don’t want to be guessing what some alarm or setting means while you are underwater. Many companies are designing watch style computers such as the ScubaPro Meridian.

Best Dive Computers of the Year >>

Best Air-Integrated Dive Computers of the Year >>




If you are planning in diving in strong currents, gloves can save your hands from getting torn up while hanging on to rocks.

Best Diving Gloves of the Year >>




Traveling with a wetsuit can be a pain because of the bulkiness of it. However, it can be worth it to have the peace of mind that you have a suit that fits you well and will keep you warm when it comes time for your dives.

Best Diving Wetsuits of the Year >>




Surface markers and whistles help the boat captain find you if you need to before the rest of your group.

Best Diving SBMs of the Year >>




If you are planning on night diving it’s best to bring your own light.

Best Dive Lights of the Year >>




To transport your gear from to the dive resort or boat it’s handy to have a mesh bag like this ScubaPro Mesh Backback Sack Bag.




When going on a dive vacation you don’t need nearly as many clothes as you would on a normal vacation because most of the time you are going to be under water or relaxing (in your swim gear) before the next dive.

  • Quick Dry T -shirt or tanks 
  • Quick Dry Shorts
  • Swim Suit
  • Rash Guard
  • Light windbreaker or rain jacket

  • Long pants 
  • Sweater
  • Travel Towel
  • Sturdy walking sandals




If you enjoy taking pictures underwater make sure to bring all of your chargers. Nothing ruins your plans more than a camera with a flat battery.

  • Camera
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobes
  • Extra SD Cards
  • Extra Battery Cables




Here’s some extras that you shouldn’t forget. Remember sunblock and a hat to protect yourself from the sun during side trips and times lounging around the dive boat. Putting a wetsuit on over sun burnt skin isn’t fun! Dive boats can be noisy, especially if you get a cabin near the engine room. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s good to bring a set of earplugs. 

  • Earplugs
  • Anti Fog
  • Toiletries
  • Bug Spray
  • Glasses
  • Motion Sickness Tablets

  • Contacts, Solution and Case
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses 
  • Rubbing Alcohol



Be sure to pack all of your C cards. Some dive locations are in remote areas where internet is scarce, don’t rely on the dive center being able to look you up in the system. 

  • Passport
  • Flight Tickets / E-ticket Confirmation
  • Certification Cards 

  • Nitrox Card 
  • Dive Insurance Card
  • Log Book




Many dive boats and dive centers will have spare parts but if you want to be safe it’s always best to bring your own. Also a USB pen drive is useful for sharing and copying pictures from your dive buddies. 

  • Electrical Voltage Converter/ Adapter
  • USB drive  



For more of our top scuba diving gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer's guides:

Dive Computers

Scuba Diving Masks

Scuba Regulators

Scuba BCDs

Scuba Diving Fins

Wetsuits for Diving

Dive Watches

25 Responses

  1. noel

    I’m not a diver, but this looks comprehensive and I love the pictures that show the equiptment. Thanks for sharing the post.

  2. Elaine J. Masters

    Good list. My dive adventures involve packing as light as possible and renting what I need when I get there. I do pack my own regulator/computer plus mask and fins to give me flexibility. It also depends on how many legs there are to the trip!

    • Amanda Zeisset

      That’s a great way to go about it Elaine. If I’m planning a long trip that only includes a few days of diving I don’t mind renting some gear as well.

  3. Lesley Carter

    Great list! Even if you dive all the time, it’s still nice to have a check list. Obviously, I’m big on lists 😉

    • Amanda Zeisset

      I’m hopeless without lists. Typically I only remember I forgot something once we get to the dive site. After some ruined dives, I decided to make this list!

  4. Meg Jerrard

    Thansk so much for this – so generous of you to share such a complete list! I’m gearing up to do my scuba cert so hopefully there’ll be a lot of scuba travel in the future. I went on a joint snorkel/scuba trip once and one of the scuba divers forgot the housing for their camera, so I really appreciate the section of photographers. Need to be able to show off photos from the trip!

    • Amanda Zeisset

      That’s awesome that you are learning to dive Meg! It’s a truly life changing experience. Where do you plan to do your cert? I always check this list when I’m preparing my dive bag. Missing just one little thing can mean I have to cancel the dive.

  5. Carolan & Macrae - One Modern Couple

    This is a great list! We’ve just started diving and it helps to know exactly what we should start accumulating for our own diving gear – up until now it’s been through dive shops. We’ll be holding on to this to check-off as we go!

    • Amanda Zeisset

      It’s a bit overwhelming at the start but if you do your research and invest in good quality equipment, your gear should last for years. If you have any diving friends my suggestion is to ask if you can try out their gear before you buy. I did that with a friend’s BCD. It was so comfortable I replaced mine straight away.

  6. Mia

    Now this is a list! You’ve provided information, photographs and a way to download for later. I’m no diver but I can see the value in this for those who are. I know some people have their own equipment and some rent but this would also be good for those who do a combination of the two. Great layout as well!

    • Amanda Zeisset

      Thanks Mia, I’m glad you enjoyed it. That’s right, before investing in all the gear, another option is to buy the essentials and rent the rest. Have you ever thought about trying scuba diving?

  7. Lauren @ Justin Plus Lauren

    Wow – there’s so much stuff you have to bring! Haha. But makes a lot of sense. Thank you for this list! I’ve never been scuba diving, though I’m rather intrigued to try it!

    • Amanda Zeisset

      Diving is a gear intensive sport, like most activities that allow you to do things that otherwise would be humanly impossible haha. You should give it a go! Be careful though, it’s highly addicting!

  8. Jennifer @ Made all the Difference Travel Blog

    I agree with most of this list but would like to add Werther’s Original hard candy caramels for getting the taste of the sea out of your mouth and not leaving an after taste for your next dive. (Never eat onion before diving worst mistake of my life)

    Also glad you have included a windbreaker. Doesn’t matter the temp, I am almost always cold in between dives.

    • Amanda Zeisset

      Awesome tips Jennifer! I never though of the Werther’s Original. Also great advice on not eating onions before a dive, I’ve made that mistake too.

  9. Laura

    I’ve always just rented too. I’d love to have my own gear, but the cost and the trouble of trekking it there has stopped me from doing it.

    • Amanda Zeisset

      I used to always rent as well but now after having my own gear, I couldn’t go back! At the bare minimum I always have a mask and computer on me. I only carry the rest of my kit if I’m going on a diving trip.

  10. Sophie

    Great list for those planning to go on a dive any time soon! Helpful! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Lindsay Nieminen

    Wow i think you have everything! i love a good list as well! while i haven’t done much diving and don’t own any of my own gear its always nice to know i can quickly pull this up for all of the little extra’s like earplugs! someone always has to think of the little things! thanks

  12. I Left Home

    Great list, and really helpful for those who are starting out on their diving travel adventures. I remember when I started travelling with dive gear at the beginning I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to manage to bring everything I needed with me! Now as a dive instructor, travelling with dive gear has become second nature!

  13. jean brice

    Hey, great share…..

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information. Me and my friends are planning a trip to Maldives and we all are really excited about going for scuba diving experience.

    Your list is definitely going to help us to pack our luggage in a better way.

  14. Jens

    If you love the sea life then Scuba diving is the correct choice! But be sure that you have a good training and knowledge about it for your own safety.