One of my favourite and most memorable trips was all the way back in 2006. Whilst I was staying with my husband (then boyfriend) in the USA, we decided to take an impromptu getaway to Orlando, Florida. As I was only a two hour flight away, we were on a plane the very next day and an amazing week ensued, culminating in a day spent at Discovery Cove. This was to be my first of many experiences of snorkelling. There we actually snorkelled with sting rays, swam with dolphins and spent the entire day chilling in artificial reefs full of colourful fish. This was to be a tiny taster and since then I have always packed my snorkel kit with me when traveling and we’ve swum and dived in a ton of exotic destinations. There is something completely surreal and magical to me about exploring underwater. As you might know from previous posts, I’m a big fan of nature and wildlife experiences and snorkeling and scuba diving are near the top of that list!
Although I’m a mum now, I’m not going to let that limit me and I’ve been taking William swimming since he was 6 weeks old! I fully intend to embrace the sea as a family and dive right back into it next time we’re on holiday even though it’s going to be a few years before he’s joining us out on the reef. My original scuba gear is getting a little bit dated now and I think it’s really important to invest in good quality equipment that will last a long time.
Simply Scuba is a British based Dive Shop that won Retailer of the Year in Diver & Sport Diver Magazine. They sell everything you need whether you’re a first time snorkeler or a diving pro and specifically have children’s kit so can cater for the whole family.
If you’re thinking about teaching your kids to snorkel or dive, here are my top 5 tips
- Start getting kids used to the water and swimming from a young age in your local pool.
- Buy your own kit from shops such as Simply Scuba as it will be more comfortable, better quality and give you and your kids chance to get used to it.
- Practice in the pool before taking your new kit out into the open water.
- Be aware of temperature and research your holiday destination. You may find a wet suit a surprisingly inexpensive buy that allows for a lot more exploration and time in the water.
- Dive training is available at indoor pools in the UK, as well as at most holiday destinations.
Dive training from a PADI instructor can be taken from age 10, resulting in the Junior Open Water Divers certification but kids as young as 8 can be part of the PADI Seal Team and start learning. Those younger than 10 can still enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the ocean with family and you’ll find that local centres offer swimming lessons from newborn up. Snorkelling and Scuba Diving are definitely things you can do together as a family.
One thing that my friends frequently ask about when I’m swimming is my glasses. I’m blind as a bat without them and my husband is even worse. Although I can wear contact lenses, my husband can’t as they irritate his eyes. I was really impressed to find out that Simply Scuba offer prescription snorkel masks, as this is a way that those with poor eyesight can still get an amazing experience of the underwater world. You can get a long sighted (me!), short sighted and bifocal lens and they even offer mask fitting for you. Each eye is fitted separate, so it’s not problem if your eyesight is different in each eye. You really want to be able to see everything in as much detail as possible when you’re scuba diving so you don’t miss a thing.
I’m really looking forward to sharing the wonder of the underwater world with William in the future!
This post was written in collaboration with Simply Scuba.