Before starting planning, the key to an efficient trip organisation is to know what you want. The start of a trip project can come from many things: a photograph of a landscape that seems surreal, an animal you love, and you would like to see in its natural habitat, a foreign language you want to practice or a good friend you promised to visit on the other side of the world.
However, with always more options, so many places to see, how do I make sure it is the kind of trip I’m after? To do so there are useful tools out there that will help you discover new ideas and save your favourites. By building a routine around these, I always make sure I have enough information before starting planning my next underwater adventure.
Pinterest is a goldmine of ideas
When you have no idea where to start, Pinterest is the best place to look for inspiration. More like a visual search engine than another social media, users create pins by mixing beautiful pictures with catching titles. Type a few keywords in the search box like “scuba diving ” and “travel”, and you’ll find lots of new ideas.
For the last couple of months, I’ve become addicted to Pinterest to dig into many of my interests. On my account, I created boards for every destination I’ve been to, or I’m planning to visit one day. I’m mixing my own content with my best finds by theme. Have a look at my account and join me on Pinterest!
I’m a loyal reader of fellow dive travel bloggers
I believe that you can’t blog if you don’t read other blogs. And if these bloggers are into the same kind of things than me, what more can I ask for?
While top 10 lists are good to get a quick understanding of what’s on offer in a destination, it’s the bloggers who are describing their experience in detail that interest me the most.
So have a look around, find the bloggers that fit your travel style, and read through their experience to get an idea if this is for you. Pinterest is a great way to find travel blogs. On another side, the travel section of PADI’s blog is also full of dive trip ideas!
Here are my top 3 favourite bloggers who also love adventure travel and scuba diving like me:
- Arianwen, UK, of Beyond Blighty
- Marlies, Netherlands, of Dive o’clock
- Juliette, New Zealand, of Snorkels to Snow
I collect scuba diving books
The Internet is not everything. That may be a little old fashion, but I love books. There is something exciting about looking for information on paper and turning pages. There is also something soothing about being surrounded by books in my work area. A few books about scuba diving all over the world or general travel books are always excellent references to have nearby to complete and maybe challenge the information you find online. Here are my favourite books, the ones that I use all the time:
- “100 diving sites“: By far my favourite scuba diving book. I bought it at Kuala Lumpur Airport for almost nothing on my way back home after my divemaster training, and it has remained the book I always make sure to consult before any trip project. It mainly focuses on recreational tropical diving, but it also features a good number of cold water diving destinations too.
- “Ultimate diving adventures“: the perfect complement for advanced divers. This book focuses on more technical dives with the details of the best wreck dive sites in the world but also adventure dives including animal encounters or challenging scenic dives (not many books mention St Kilda in Scotland where you can dive a tunnel crossing below an island).
- “The place to be today“, by Lonely Planet: This is my reference book to check for marine animal migrations or cultural festivals all around the world. I also like reading it randomly to pick new ideas based on where I’d like to travel.
I keep track of my ideas with my World Dive Map
Since school, I always loved geography and maps. I always had an atlas book at home, and then one day the internet brought us Google Maps. Then I started creating many maps with it, logging all the places I had been and all the places I wanted to go. One day, even before worldadventuredivers.com was created, I started my World Dive Map by pinning places I was dreaming about and where I thought there could be some exciting diving. Step by step, after years of research, I have 150 of the best adventure dive sites in the world on this map!
The map helps me to refocus when there are too many things I want to do at the same time and check if I could associate in one trip some of my dream dive sites located in neighbouring regions.
Deep Dive Scanner app helps me to go into the details
The latest add-on to my routine is using the power of one app on my smartphone. If it’s good to find inspiration and start defining the layout of a future adventure, at some points you need detailed information to check if it is worth it or feasible based on your training and experience in scuba diving. And this is precisely what the Deep Dive Scanner app is doing for me!
When you open the app, a world map will appear, but it seems due to the massive database behind you need to zoom in at the scale of one country to see the dive sites appearing. This is why it’s an excellent tool once you made a bit of prior research about which area you want to visit and dive. In my case, I’m going soon to Hawaii and I could quickly see that my initial choice of visiting only Maui and Big Island, was a good choice from a scuba diving point of view thanks to an impressive concentration of dive sites on these two islands. Flights between islands are not cheap in Hawaii, so the Deep Dive Scanner app helped me narrow down my trip to the two best islands for me.
Another important aspect for future trip planning is to locate where most dive sites are located. You need to take into account two things: dive centres usually go to the closer sites based on where they are, and scuba diving is often early in the morning, so you don’t want to sleep on the opposite side of the island. This way, I quickly identified that Kihei in Maui and Kona in Big Island were the most practical scuba diving base.
However, a concentration of dive sites is not everything. You want to make sure that the dive sites are worth based on your interests (marine life, wrecks, etc.) and that you have the appropriate training to dive there. So by tapping on the dive site, you will find all the key information to decide if you can do it or no based on your training and experience in scuba diving: maximum depth, currents, GPS coordinates, pictures, identification of typical marine life. Now I know I want to go to Molokini Crater near Maui and explore a dive site called “Tako Flats” if possible!
The important point is to understand that the content is created by the community of scuba divers using the app. So how does the app incentives users to create or complete information on dive sites worldwide? I think Deep Dive Scanner found the trick, they reward active members who share with the community by giving them points they will able to redeem in discount for their future scuba diving holiday! Users get points for every action (rate a dive spot, write a review, upload pictures and mention
marine species), and as soon as he reaches a certain level in points, he becomes a diver, then an explorer, an expert, and a photographer (beginner/amateur/professional).
I think rewarding active members is a great way to keep the community involved in participating in the long-run. So if active users from all over the world keep their local dive sites up-to-date, we are talking about a super accurate database. Today Deep Dive Scanner counts more than 9000 registered dive sites across all continents and oceans! I have started on my side to add information about the French Riviera!
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This post is sponsored by Deep Dive Scanner. As always, all my views and opinions are my own and reflect honestly my experience. This article contains affiliate links. It means that if you decide to buy something, I will receive a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. If you like World Adventure Divers, thank you for supporting my work! 🙂
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