Know Before You Go – Liveaboards

  • Pack Warm
The whole purpose of staying on a liveaboard is to dive and dive and dive! The more you dive, the less time your body has to warm up and the colder and colder you will get, even in 30C water, this being said, it’s worth taking up a bit of space in your suitcase for warm clothes. I bring a boat coat (a neoprene jacket with a fuzzy inside that can go overtop of my wetsuit and is wind-protecting), a pair of sweatpants, fuzzy socks and a sweater. I tend to get cold on planes so the sweater and sweat pants are worn for cold flights and double as warm on boat clothes. There is no need for bringing double! I also tend to bring a wetsuit regardless of the water temperature, usually a 5mm or 3mm long suit to ensure thermal and general protection. Always pack a wetsuit that is thicker than you would dive for a single dive at the same temperature. For example, if the water was 28C and I would normally dive a 1mm suit, I bring a 3mm for liveaboards.
  • Double Up On Swimwear And Half Your Clothes

A normal liveaboard itinerary consists of 4-5 daily dives, with a few hours in-between each dive. I recommend bringing 3 or 4 swimsuits so you can change out of the wet one in-between dives and leave it to dry. This means you don’t have to sit in a wet suit for meal times and can be fully dry and warm between dives. Swimsuits are normally pretty small and don’t take up much room, plus they’ll all get used, so pack heavy on the suits and not so much on clothes. 2 t-shirts and shorts will be fine for a week-long trip, the trips tend to be very casual so just something to lounge about in. The majority of the time I have a swimsuit on with a boat coat over the top and my clothes aren’t even touched until dinner time when I’m fully dry and diving is finished. There is no need for a new outfit daily! Some liveaboards offer day trips so just check that what you pack is culturally appropriate if you leave the boat.

  • Clothes Pegs Are Worth Your While

This one is pretty self-explanatory but you’re on a boat, it’s windy when it’s moving and if you want to dry clothes, bring some clothes pegs to keep them on the line then tie ties around the line for added security.

  • Chargers On Boats

Each boat is different but the likelihood is there are not an extraordinary number of charging ports, so it’s worth bringing a

power bank for phones and a multi-charger point for camera and dive light charging. On many liveaboards there is a specific changing station and no charging in the cabins so everyone is charging at once, therefore adding points to the station can help make sure you have access to a plug for charging and cameras and dive lights are always dive-ready. It’s also worth noting that often liveaboards go outside of cell range and Wi-Fi can be patchy so your phone isn’t of huge use anyway, maybe bring a book or Kindle!
  • Your Dive Gear!

Saving space on clothes means you can take more dive gear with you, after all the purpose of the trip is to dive! Lots of liveaboards do have rental gear, but if you have your own gear, it’s worth bringing. There is no need for all forms of scuba accessories and 4 different masks to wear or anything like that, just the usual gear will suffice. Check the location requirements before you arrive, you may well need a snorkel or surface marker buoy depending on where you’re going. I pack my regulators and dive computer in my carry-on because those are my two most important pieces of equipment and the rest gets checked into the suitcase where all clothes are.

Those are my five main liveaboard-specific points. Everything else that gets packed is the same or similar to resort diving. Things like your travel documents, certification cards, sunscreen and toiletries. When I go on liveaboards I often have a small carry-on backpack and a medium-sized check-in bag. I have managed to go on a liveaboard with only carry on including all my dive gear but I’d prefer to check in a bag and take my warm wetsuit. At the bottom of this blog, I’ve added a few links for liveaboard specifics that I find helpful and recommend to pack.

Share this post:

Looking for your next dive?
Get in touch with us?

Or call us on +44 (0)7787 821578

Related Posts

Dive Instructor, Scuba Diving
Holly Wakely Becomes One Of The Youngest PADI Course Director In The World!
Holly Wakely becomes one of the world’s youngest Course Directors Holly Wakely has already carved a name for herself in the diving industry and now, at the tender age of…
Learn More
Dive Instructor, Scuba Diving
What Does It Take To Become A Dive Instructor
What It Takes To Become A Dive Instructor! The life of a dive instructor looks incredible from the outside; getting to be in the water all day, on boats, having…
Learn More
Diving Skills, Scuba Diving
Little Bit Of A Night Diving Ramble
Some people say scuba diving is like being in outer space. I’ve not actually met an astronaut to confirm this yet, but realistically it would be because of our lack…
Learn More