By Jane Herbert of Regaldive
Single travel is on the up, and diving is no exception. Scuba diving is the perfect activity for the solo traveller – divers are generally an inclusive and sociable bunch and the fact that you spend a lot of time underwater admiring the marine life and not uttering a single word makes for plenty of fun exchanges back on the surface.
With your certification, you can travel the world with the guarantee of like-minded company amongst fellow dive enthusiasts.
So how do independent travellers and single parents dip their toes into the world of scuba diving and ensure their valuable holiday time is a success?
Learning to dive
With 70% of the world covered in water, scuba diving is the passport to a world of discovery. From the moment you take your first breath underwater, you’ll be hooked. You need to be in reasonable health and feel confident in the water but you don’t need to be an expert swimmer.
There are several ways of starting out but the best way to ensure you get the most out of diving is to learn in the warm clear waters of your chosen holiday destination. We offer learn to dive experiences throughout the Red Sea, and in more than 20 other destinations around the world including Oman, the Caribbean, Bali and the Maldives.
Would-be divers who sign up for a learn to dive course will usually find themselves in small groups of other individuals as they learn the essential basics. The most popular course is the PADI Open Water and from the start you’re with a group of like-minded new friends which is perfect for those travelling alone.
The Red Sea, one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world, is the ideal place to start, with its long-established dive centres, professional trainers and access to stunning reefs, many within easy access for the learner and recently-qualified diver. Choosing a hotel that offers a dive centre on site means you don’t need to travel far and makes it easier to socialise after a day in the water.
The Camel Dive Hotel in popular Sharm el Sheikh is one of our favourites for solo travellers. It’s in the heart of this lively resort, with good value accommodation and its own excellent dive centre, plus restaurants on site.
If you’re looking for a quieter pace, consider a stay at a dedicated divers’ resort such as Roots Club in El Quseir.
The charming Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo are also popular with beginner divers and offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel at home.
Diving for single parents
Scuba diving’s buddy system means that you will always be partnered with another diver. For single parents, diving is a wonderful opportunity to share an exciting new experience with your child. It’s especially good for spending some quality bonding time with an active teenager.
Children as young as eight can learn to dive with the PADI Bubblemaker course, a great option for parents who are experienced divers and want to encourage their own children to participate in the sport.
For parents of teenagers, learning to dive together provides the ideal opportunity for kids to learn new skills on an equal footing with their parent. From age ten years, youngsters can follow the PADI Open Water Course – the only difference from the adult course is a depth limitation which changes as the child gains in age.
We offer buddy diving course deals throughout the year at many resorts which mean two can learn for the price of one – an added incentive to learn to dive together.
If you’re travelling with children, consider an All Inclusive hotel to save on food and drink bills or opt for a resort that offers other activities to enjoy during your stay.
Hotels with on-site house reefs are perfect as you can build up water confidence with snorkelling and get to grips with scuba gear in shallow water. The Red Sea’s Coral Garden Resort in Safaga and the Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge in Soma Bay both offer fantastic house reefs just steps away from the hotel. The Breakers also has the monopoly on kitesurfing and other watersports, plus two golf courses and a golf academy to keep even the most active of holidaymakers happy on holiday.
Already an experienced diver?
Many experienced divers who travel alone opt to join a liveaboard as these boats offer the chance to visit a greater range of remote and challenging dive sites. If you’re serious about your diving, liveaboards are the way to go with some itineraries featuring as many as five dives a day allowing you to really maximise your diving. We offer liveaboard trips in over 12 world class dive destinations including the Red Sea, Maldives, Indonesia, Philippines and the Galapagos.
Liveaboards are perfect for the independent traveller, as cabin spaces are sold individually with solo guests usually allocated a cabin with another single guest of the same sex (no supplement) – or even given a cabin to themselves if the boat isn’t full. With the average number of guests on a liveaboard around 18, these trips provide a great opportunity to share your holiday with a small group of fellow divers and make new friends for life – perhaps even finding a new buddy for your next adventure!
Find out more about our diving holidays for singles.