The best places to dive and how to get a certificate on vacation

Learning to dive while on vacation has been an important activity for many travelers. “As the world opens up again, we’re seeing an upward trend in people vacationing and becoming certified,” says Julie Andersen, global brand manager for PADI Worldwide.

And for those already certified, there are amazing places around the world waiting to be discovered.

Get a certificate on vacation

Learning to dive has always been a bucket list experience for those who love adventure. After many people have had to put their travel wish lists on hold over the past few years, people are now prioritizing these must-do items and making them a reality.

“Current travel trends show that people are traveling slower and for longer now, with an emphasis on enriching, realizing and inclusive experiences,” Andersen says. Learning to dive on vacation gives people a chance to really disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the moment – focus on themselves and be with nature. And as a bonus, diving offers an incredibly healthy experience as well, both physically and mentally.

Traveling for certification means that you can start your scuba diving journey anytime, anywhere and have an incredible experience above and below the surface.

Those who get certified to dive during a trip – in a beautiful place – are usually the ones who make diving a part of their lives. “As someone who got certified in a lake near Chicago in 40°C, I am always jealous of someone who saw a whale shark on their first dive in Mexico,” Andersen says. “Especially since I spent seven years chasing that experience. Of course, it makes me even more appreciative of diving into tropical destinations.”

The best way to get the most out of your journey to becoming certified is to complete all of your training locally – whether online or in the pool – ahead of time. PADI offers e-learning so you can complete your education anywhere, and with more than 6,600 dive centers around the world, there is likely to be one near you to complete your pool skills. This way, your vacation time can be spent doing four open water dives over the course of the first few days, maximizing the time remaining as an Official PADI Open Water Certified Diver.

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

The best diving destinations in the world

Literally, every continent has incredible diving destinations for every level of diving. Whatever your speed – from gliding in crystal clear waters with manta rays and whale sharks, to diving into the underwater forests off Cape Town’s coast with fur seals and seven-gill sharks – there are destinations far and local to explore.

Places like Egypt, Bahamas, Mozambique, Tahiti, Mexico, Bonaire, Maldives, Australia, Belize, Fiji, Saint Lucia and Thailand have amazing underwater visibility, warm waters, low current, easy surface conditions, marine life, and epic coral reefs are favorites for new divers and advanced divers alike. Once you earn your PADI Advanced Open Water certification, you’ll find more adventurous diving destinations on the table, including the Galapagos, South Africa, Tonga, Iceland, California, Costa Rica, Yap, and even Antarctica.

One of the most amazing things about diving is the amazing places that sport can take you. “I’ve gone to destinations I never dreamed of before becoming a diver – from the Solomon Islands and Mapelo Seamounts to the Okavango Delta and Myanmar with a PADI credit card in my wallet,” Andersen says. “It is not only about time underwater, but also time spent in these wonderful destinations meeting the local community, learning about culture and adventure that is far beyond what you ever imagined. Diving will change you forever.”

Diving is a “choose your own” adventure experience. It can be getting into the water with huge marine animals like Orcas navigating the fjords of Iceland or swimming with whale sharks in the waters off the coast of Madagascar with lemurs calling in the distance. If you ask a dozen divers about a great diving destination, they will have a different answer. Wherever there is a coastline, it is likely that a wonderful adventure awaits.

Diving benefits

There are many benefits 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 breath, enhance your fitness, improve the quality of your sleep and come into contact with a community whose values ​​are similar to yours.

Of the more than a million individuals certified each year, half are Discovery Dive (DSD) courses that people take before taking the next step to becoming officially certified. DSD is a good way to give diving a chance.

Also, there is a huge push in the community to make diving more affordable. “Not only do we encourage many more women, families and young people to enter the sport with initiatives like Women’s Dive Day, we have also launched an adaptive diving program and work with several non-profit organizations to enable individuals with physical or mental challenges to dive,” Andersen says.

PADI Travel is one way for travelers to book diving trips and offers a wide range of live boards and dive resorts. From solo and family trips to immersive local experiences, seeing the world from above and below the water is a wonderful vacation.

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