Exceptional deals on diving vacations

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of December 4-10, 1997
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Exceptional deals on diving vacations
Question: I, along with a couple of friends, were recently diving-certified. We have never been to the Caribbean and would like to plan a trip this winter. We are looking for a vacation spot where we could get in some terrific dives geared toward the novice at an exceptional bargain.

Craig LaPierre
Royal Oak, MI

Adventure Adviser: This advice isn't exactly revolutionary, but I think it's the best way you'll find exceptional bargains.

First, plan your trip for the off-season. February through March is usually the busiest time in the Caribbean, with down-times in January and after Easter and spring break. Though it isn't the most opportune time, you will find better deals.

Also, consider becoming a member of PADI if you aren't already. Their affiliate organization, PADI International Resort Association, has special offers for members at resorts all over the Caribbean.

You'll also receive a slew of reduced-rate travel coupons for rental cars, airline tickets, hotels, etc. To find out about membership, call 800-729-7234.

Consider an all-inclusive resort like Club Med. Many people shy away from them because they seem a little overwhelming with activities day and night, but if you are going to the Caribbean to dive, you might as well take advantage of their all-inclusive packages.

Try the Club Med Turkoise in the Turks and Caicos. This is an excellent spot for beginner divers because the water is calm with 150-foot visibility. The weekly rate is approximately $1,200 per person, which includes everything except mixed drinks, which you can always pack in your suitcase.

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