But what should I REALLY pack?
If you find yourself packing for a liveaboard dive trip—especially if it’s your first one—you may be a bit confused about what to take with you. Well, I’m here to help. I would like to lend you both my dive experience AND my liveaboard vacation experience.
Once you’ve settled on your liveaboard dive trip, it’s time to start planning what you’ll take. This is a very exciting time, and chances are, you’ll want to take everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink because the very term ‘liveaboard’ suggests that you’ll be relocating your entire life onto a small-ish to medium vessel for at least a week. Let’s re-examine that thought.
First, your actual living quarters will be approximately the size of the smallest guest bathroom in your home. So if the brochure says storage capacity for your clothing and personal items will be located at the head of your bed, this actually means that your items will be AT THE HEAD OF YOUR BED. If you take too much, you will run out of bed in which to sleep.
Moving on to your packing possibilities, let’s think about what to put into the suitcase itself. When the liveaboard dive company points out that the dress is “casual,” take this very literally. When packing for vacations, I tend to add a few extra just-in-case items. You might find yourself thinking you’ll need a pair of dressy shorts in case you run upon a dressy-casual restaurant, or maybe you’ll need a flowy-casual sundress for evenings on the beach…just in case. You will NOT need these items.
When packing your suitcase at home, begin by following these steps:
- Remove your favorite suitcase from the closet and place it on the bed.
- Select your favorite vacation and resort ensembles, pairing them with matching shoes and accessories. Stack these in organized piles inside the suitcase.
- Pack extra outfits for enchanted evenings and spontaneous vacation adventures.
- Add several swimsuits and cover-ups. Don’t forget matching flip-flops.
- Pack a large bag of toiletries, including make-up, sunscreen, razors, and other various travelling necessities.
- Toss in a couple pairs of comfy shorts and tees for afternoon and over-swimsuit lounging.
- Throw in a book or two for lazy afternoons in the sun.
Ok, now that you’ve packed your suitcase, make sure everything fits inside. Now, go back to your closet. Grab a duffel bag. Return to the suitcase, and do the following:
- Remove the swimsuits and place them in the duffel.
- Grab a beach towel.
- Pick your favorite and MOST COMFY pair of flip-flops. ONE PAIR.
- Take out ONLY the slubby, comfy shorts and tees. Pack these in the duffel.
- Throw in your undies, a small bottle of shampoo, soap, sunscreen, DRAMAMINE (if you tend to get barfy while at sea), and any other very necessary toiletries.
- Ok, take a book for relaxing in the sun if you want.
- Leave the rest of the resort wear and the giant suitcase behind on your bed. It will be there waiting for you when you return.
Trust me on this. You will not need more than the bare minimum while living on a boat.
Much of your time will be spent under the water. And when you are not under the water, you will be soaking up the sun on deck or snoozing or simply looking forward to the next dive. There’s no need to get fancy. The only other people who are going to see you are the other divers, and they will most definitely not be looking fancy either.
Oh, and take all your dive gear. You’ll need that. But it’s already packed in your other ginormous dive bag. We’re talking personal stuff here, and you don’t need much.
Now, go DIVE!