Clubs usually don't have official holiday organisers, so it's up to individual members to get it organised. Volunteers are usually highly welcomed, it can be a laborious hassle but there are benefits.
Organise a diving holiday
The benefits of organising the holiday are:
- You get what you want, less compromising.
- As a holiday is not strictly a club event, it doesn't have to be club-members first, so if you've got diving friends outside of the club, you can invite them along first.
- It can be cheaper too as some operators let you go free if the number of participants are large enough, typically 12. Traditionally though the money saved is usually shared amongst the participants.
The club can act as a "bank", (but check with the treasurer first) with each participant paying a deposit into the club and the club pays a single cheque to the tour operator. It should be noted that the club will not subsidise the trip and the organiser is responsible for ensuring the accounts balance.
It can be a complicated process so it is a good idea to deputise some jobs.
Getting commitment can be hard and it is best to get non-refundable and significant deposit as early as possible. If participants can't go after giving a deposit they should sell their place to someone else or loose their deposit. If the trip is a non-starter, then you can simply return the cheque's.
In many cases it is not worth planning by committee, all you end up with is a compromised solution, If you're the hard work, just decide where and when suits you then see who else wants to go.
Once the decision is made to go ahead, make the dates well known to avoid others trying to plan different trips at same time. Finally, make sure you're covered for tour operator problems or unplanned cancellations.
Qualifications when abroad
BSAC affiliates to CMAS, so your BSAC qualifications are recognised all over world. Make sure you take qualification logbook, logbook and medical certificate or self-certificate. If preferred, get a "c-card" from BSAC, which looks like a credit card with your photo and qualifications on.
Some operators insist on charging for "orientation" dives before doing any serious diving. Their claim is that it is to be sure you're a safe diver, but frankly it's just a scam to get you to part with some more money.
Get proof of insurance cover
Some operators (especially American) may want to see proof of 3rd party insurance cover before you dive. The D.O. or club Secretary can give you copy of the BSAC indemnity certificate which is renewed annually. Note that the BSAC membership is not valid and hence your insurance, unless your medical/self certification is in date and you are fully paid up.
Take sensible equipment for diving abroad
Get details of the water temperature for your destination and time of year, and bear in mind that the deeper you go the colder it may get. Use this chart to determine the suit required.
Take the following equipment as a minimum:
- Mask, fins and snorkel.
- Stab jacket.
- Small knife.
- Regulators - check the dive operator has the same fittings as you (DIN or A Clamp).
- Dive Computer and memo mouse or equivalent.
- Small torch - take larger one as well if night diving.
- Spares equipment.
- Gloves - especially if cold, or if there are strong currents and you may need to hang on to rocks etc. Note that in some areas gloves are forbidden e.g., the Red Sea, as this encourages the no touch approach.
First aid equipment
It is possible to get ear infections in the tropics. To avoid this rinse both ears with fresh water after every dive and dry thoroughly. If you are susceptible, take special acid based, ear-drops to prevent "swimmer's ear".
Probably the most important part of any diving equipment is sun protection and don't forget the vinegar for stings.