Scuba diving and travel: the best places to dive and how to get certified on vacation

Learning to dive while on vacation has been a must-do activity for many travelers. “With the world opening up again, we’re seeing an upward trend in people going on vacation and getting certified,” says Julie Andersen, Global Brand Director for PADI Worldwide.

And for those who are already certified, there are incredible places around the world just waiting to be explored.

Get certified on vacation

Learning to dive has always been an essential experience for those who love adventure. After many people had to put their travel wishlists on hold for the past few years, people are now prioritizing these must-haves and making them a reality.

“Current travel trends show that people are traveling slower and longer now, with a focus on enriching, fulfilling and holistic experiences,” Andersen says. Learning to dive on vacation offers people a chance to truly disconnect from the outside world and be in the moment, focusing on themselves and being with nature. And as a bonus, diving also offers an incredible experience of well-being, both physical and mental.

Traveling to get certified means you can start your scuba diving journey anytime, anywhere and have an amazing experience both above and below the surface.

Those who get certified to dive on a trip – in a beautiful location – are usually the ones who make diving a part of their lives. “As someone certified in a lake near Chicago in 40 degree water, I’m always jealous of someone who saw a whale shark on their first diving experience in Mexico,” Andersen says. “Especially since I spent seven years chasing that experience. Of course, it makes me more sensitive to diving in tropical destinations.

The best way to get the most out of your journey to becoming certified is to complete all of your training locally – both online and in the pool – in advance. PADI offers online training so you can complete your training anywhere, and with over 6,600 dive centers worldwide, there’s likely to be one near you to complete your pool skills. This way, your vacation time can be spent on your four open water dives during the first few days, maximizing the rest of your time as an Official Certified PADI Open Water Diver.

You can earn a PADI Diver certification in 186 countries around the world at over 6,600 PADI Dive Centers and Resorts.

Best dive destinations in the world

Literally every continent has incredible dive destinations for all levels of diving. Whatever your speed – from gliding through crystal clear waters with schools of manta rays and whale sharks, to diving through the underwater forests off Cape Town with Cape fur seals and seven-eared sharks gills – there are far-flung and local destinations to explore.

Places like Egypt, Bahamas, Mozambique, Tahiti, Mexico, Bonaire, Maldives, Australia, Belize, Fiji, Saint Lucia and Thailand have incredible underwater visibility, Warm water, weak currents, easy surface conditions and epic coral and sea life are favorites. for new divers as well as experienced divers. Once you’ve earned your PADI Advanced Open Water certification, more adventurous dive destinations are on the table including the Galapagos, South Africa, Tonga, Iceland, California, Costa Rica, Yap and even Antarctica might be on your list.

One of the most amazing things about diving is the incredible places the sport can take you. “I’ve visited destinations I never dreamed of before being a diver – from the Solomon Islands and the Mapelo Seamounts to the Okavango Delta and Myanmar with my PADI certification card in my wallet” , explains Andersen. “It’s not just about spending time underwater, it’s also about spending time in these amazing destinations meeting the local community, experiencing the culture and venturing far beyond what you thought. imaginable. Diving will change you forever.

Diving is a “choose your own” adventure experience. It could be getting into the water with marine megafauna like killer whales cruising through fjords in Iceland or swimming with whale sharks in the waters off Madagascar with lemurs calling in the distance. If you were to ask a dozen divers what a great dive destination is, they would have a different answer. Wherever there is a coastline, a great adventure is likely waiting for you.

The benefits of diving

There are many advantages when it comes to diving. Many travelers find that they feel better mentally and physically. Diving is a great opportunity to become more aware of your breathing, improve your fitness, improve your quality of sleep, and connect with a community whose values ​​are similar to yours.

Of the over one million people certified each year, half of them are Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) courses that people take before taking the next step to becoming officially certified. The DSD program is a good way to give diving a shot.

Additionally, there is great pressure in the community to make diving accessible to everyone. “Not only are we actively encouraging many more women, families and young people to take up the sport with initiatives like Women’s Scuba Day, but we have also launched an adaptive diving program and are working with several non-profit organizations. lucrative to enable people with physical or mental challenges to dive as well,” says Andersen.

PADI Travel is a way for travelers to book dive trips and offers a wide selection of liveaboards and dive centers. From solo and family trips to immersive local experiences, seeing the world both above and below the water is a must-do vacation list.

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