A holiday to a dive destination doesn’t seem like a very obvious choice when you have kids. But kids aren’t a reason to give up your favorite hobby! We’ve traveled around South East Asia with our toddler son for ten months and dived at some of the world’s best dive locations. It’s very doable, and there are a lot of dive destinations that are great for family travel.
We’re both divers and the only downside to diving, now that we have our son, is that we usually can’t dive together. All the more reason to celebrate when we do get the chance to be buddies again! During our 10 months away we haven’t dived as much as we would have before we had kids, but the dives we did do were terrific.
Tips for a diving holiday with the family
Staying in a jungle tree house, a bungalow on the water, or doing a live-aboard on a boat, it’s all great when you’re traveling as a couple. When you’re going on a family holiday, it takes a bit more research and planning. Safety is an important factor, as well as entertainment. So, what to consider when you’re going on a diving holiday with kids?
Make sure to choose a shore diving destination or a location where dive sites can be reached by boat in a few minutes. The ideal scenario is to do two morning dives and be back to spend the afternoon with your family.
Find a dive destination that offers plenty of other activities on shore, so your family can do fun things while you’re away.
Make sure to book accommodation with a pool or near a beach where kids can swim. Our son loved spending his days in the pool.
If your kids are a bit older, look for a destination where you can snorkel from the beach.
If you and your partner are both divers and want to dive together, a hotel with a good kids club or a dive center that offers babysitting services might be an option.
Suitable destinations for a dive holiday kids
We haven’t been everywhere (it’s on our list though!) but these are some dive destinations that we’ve found are great for kids:
Dahab in the South Sinai desert is well known for its excellent shore diving. Most dive sites offer easy-access and a lot are suitable for snorkeling and swimming as well. During surface intervals you can relax on shore with your family. Dahab is laid-back, but has a lovely boulevard with shops and restaurants and offers plenty of other activities.
Dauin, near Dumaguete on Negros Oriental has numerous excellent dive resorts on the coast. A lot of the resorts have a swimming pool and are family friendly. The Dauin coast offers fantastic diving, only a short boat ride from the resorts.
Wall dives at Bunaken are spectacular. On this small island off the coast of Manado in North-Sulawesi you’ll find numerous all-inclusive resorts in different price ranges. Some beaches are suitable for swimming and dive sites are near the coast.
On Nusa Lembongan you’ll find accommodation in all price ranges, often with pool. Lembongan has a lovely beach and lots of restaurants. Here you get the chance to see Mola Molas, mantas, and whale sharks