My bags: a big one for diving equipment and clothes, a small one for photo equipment ...
My bags: a big one for diving equipment and clothes, a small one for photo equipment ...

Luggage: which diving bag to choose for travel?

#Prepairs 1TP3 Extended #rip

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


My diving equipment and underwater photography gear now take up the lion's share of my luggage. Impossible for me to travel light as before! But the basic principle remains valid: I must be able to carry my dive bag and all my stuff on my own.

Disclaimer : this is NOT a sponsored article, I am not affiliated with ANY of the brands I mention below in this article. I have been investing little by little, year after year, especially in computer, photographic and diving equipment...

My diving travel bag since July 2018

I invested in a new rolling bag in 2018 to replace the previous one (see below). I wanted it to be designed in the same way:

  • a bag large enough to hold my diving equipment, clothes and accessories for underwater photography;
  • and opens in two compartments, like a wallet. Practical to separate the diving gear from the rest.

Again, I opted for a discreet bag, with no brand name written in big letters on it. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than displaying the name or logo of a diving equipment manufacturer on your luggage. It signals that there are valuable things inside, and that you are potentially a (very) rich tourist...

I chose a reliable modelThis is the name of a well-known luggage brand (Eastpack) that guarantees its products for thirty years. Its name : Transver L.

Here are my current luggage: a big Eastpack wheel bag (right), a Ikea wheeled cabin bag with detachable backpack (left). (Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Roissy, July 2018)
Here are my current luggage: a big Eastpack wheel bag (right), a Ikea wheeled cabin bag with detachable backpack (left). (Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Roissy, July 2018)

This big Eastpack wheeled bag is less cheap than my previous Decathlon bag, and a bit bigger (121 liters). I hope it will last as long or even longer!

So far, I am very satisfied with it. It is sturdy, handy, practical and does not attract attention.

Underwater photo logistics

I don't carry my stuff in a backpack like when I was 20 years old... I now carry a whole equipment for underwater photography so I had to completely rethink the organization of my luggage!

The solution of the big bag on wheels was quickly obvious.

Because in addition to the SLR camera and its waterproof case that I keep in my small cabin luggage, I have to carry the heavy gear that goes with it: the stage (support) with its two handles, the flashes and their batteries, the arms of the flashes, the charger for these flashes, the cables, etc. I put you some pictures below, to give you an idea of the mess...

Yes, I do not really look like a mermaid with all my photographic bazaar under water! (Philippines, May 2018 - Photo by Steven Weinberg)
Yes, I don't really look like a mermaid with all my photographic junk underwater! (Philippines, May 2018 - Photo by Steven Weinberg)
My paraphernalia for underwater photography.
The same rig, dismantled...
There you go ! The device is ready to accompany me under the water! (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)
My current configuration (since 2016), with two flashes.
The little bazaar that I steal on a trip to be able to take photos under water ... Right, my camera with its new lens 100mm macro. Only the most fragile elements, namely the camera and lenses, its box and portholes, remain in my cabin bag. I put everything else in the hold. (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)
The little mess I have to deal with when I travel to take underwater pictures... And again, the dome and the lens for wide angle pictures are not on the picture. On the right, my camera with its 100mm macro lens. Only the most fragile items (camera, lenses, housing and portholes) remain in my carry-on bag. I put everything else in the hold (Romblon, Philippines, March 2017)

The thorny issue of "carry-on" baggage

In addition to my big wheeled luggage intended to go in the hold during air travel, I have with me a "small" cabin bag, also with wheels, bulky and convertible into a backpack, found in the store of a large Swedish furniture chain (Ikea)

The interest is that it divides into two small bags through a zip:
- the rear part, which rolls up and is stacked to the authorized standard cabin size ;
- the front part, which turns into a mini backpack perfect for my MacBook Pro 15′ computer and my papers. All zips can be secured with small padlocks.

I divide in this "two in one" cabin baggage everything that is fragile and/or precious and that I do not want to put in the hold:

In the main part of the rolling bag: the Ikelite waterproof case for my 7D and its two windows (wide angle dome + macro window), the Canon Eos 7D and its lenses, the fragile electronic equipment (dive computer and backup hard drive), a fleece jacket for transportation (especially in Asia where the air conditioning is often pushed to the limit) and a mini emergency exchange (in case the hold luggage containing the clothes did not follow, a precaution I take since it happened to me in 2015) → Leaving on an island far from everything).

In the little detachable bag: my 15-inch MacBook Pro, my iPhone, money and papers, and my airplane survival kit (mask, earplugs, compression socks, toothbrush). I usually keep this detachable bag with me on the plane, tucked under the seat in front of me, and place the other in the overhead bin.

NB. I've had this nifty convertible carry-on bag since 2016 (before, I had a silly little backpack, which weighed a bit heavy on my shoulders, with all that bardas, in airport hallways)... I'm thrilled with my find, this new little rolling bag is perfectly suited for air travel!

The question of overweight luggage

As I said above, I only put one big rolling bag in the hold. This rolling luggage, divided in two compartments like a "wallet", contains :

  • on one side, my complete diving equipment ;
  • on the other side, some clothes and heavy accessories related to underwater photography that I mentioned above (the flashes and their batteries of a model authorized in the hold, the charger for these batteries, the arms of the flashes and the plate of the housing, among others).

Good thing it rolls, this bag! The whole thing easily reaches 28-29 kg... 😱

Because of the extra weight of my photo accessories (about 5 kg more), I can't stay within the 20-23 kg limit usually allowed in economy class on international flights. I therefore prefer to travel from/to France, on airlines serving Asia that allow 30 kg in the hold at no extra cost (Emirates Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines...).

Overweight fees are rarely a problem on the local airlines I often fly (Indonesian, Malaysian, Filipino): they are very low compared to Europe. You can either pre-pay them when you book online, or pay them at check-in, and they are then sometimes charged with "discount" at the customer's head (and especially the customer's, when she makes a big smile at the check-in counter and says hello in the local language)... 😉

For flights between Asian countries, I often use Air Asia which allows me to buy, at the time of booking, additional kilos beyond the basic 15kg for checked luggage, up to a total of 30kg...

Watch out for Emirates: During the stopover in Dubai, this company has the habit of checking again the weight of the hand luggage of the travelers. Employees are waiting for you with a scale, just before the access to the boarding room... Better not to exceed the 7 kg allowedFor photographers, they are very strict, the extra kilo is charged at full price (and impossible to board the plane without paying). For photographers: I advise you to take everything heavy out of your cabin bag. The easiest way is to wear your camera around your neck and to put your lenses in a multi-pocket jacket...

2010-2018: my first wheeled bag

This is the bag that faithfully accompanied me from 2010 to 2018, in all my diving trips: a 90-liter wheeled bag, light and cheap, found in a large chain of sports stores (Decathlon), in early 2010 (this Newfeel bag is no longer sold today).

Its two compartment design was very practical. My complete diving equipment was stored on one side. The clothes and part of my underwater photography bardas on the other.

I completely revised my luggage logistics starting in 2010, when I started to carry more substantial photo equipment to make underwater images. I talk about it in these articles:

→ No more backpacks, long live the wheelie bag!

→ Photo Equipment and Dive Gear

I have unapologetically given up my "backpacker" status carrying all of her stuff on my back/shoulder. It's much less exhausting to be a "rollpackeuse"... 😂

This compact, unobtrusive wheeled bag attracted much less attention than the bulky diver travel bags, which all have a prominent brand name written across the top. It lasted eight years, with 3 to 4 trips per year and was often abused!

My bags: a big one for diving equipment and clothes, a small one for photo equipment ...
My bags: a big one for the diving equipment and clothes, a small one for the photo equipment...

I was very happy with it, until it let go of me in May 2018 when I returned from a trip to the Philippines.

The handle ended up coming off its rail and the two corners at the bottom front were all frayed. On the other hand, the zippers still held and the whole canvas was still in good condition. Quite sturdy, so despite its very small price, a very good investment.

Until 2009: my backpacker's luggage

The picture below was my backpacking gear, before 2010. I was then a backpacker, a "backpacketeer". I had not yet invested in a waterproof case to take my SLR camera underwater (Canon Eos 7D), which today represents a whole new set of equipment to carry.

Big backpack (green) + diving bag (black) + small backpack "cabin".
Large backpack (green) + diving bag (black) + small "cabin" backpack.

I would then travel with the following three pieces of luggage:

  • 1. A big backpack (green stuff) for clothes and the rest (10-12 kg)
  • 2. A sausage bag with shoulder strap for diving equipment (10-11 kg)
  • 3. A small backpackMy "cabin" luggage, where I stored my compact camera of the time and its small case, the laptop and the small fragile and/or precious things (iPhone, papers, money)...

All of this was within the usual limits of economy class luggage at the time: about 20 kilos in the hold (my two big bags) + a few kilos in the cabin.

Clothes: the tropical minimum

And what else do you put in your luggage for a trip to Southeast Asia or tropical islands? As little as possible! 😎 🌴 As I've traveled around Asia, I've thus learned to pack only the essentials. I've compiled a small summary list below.

Long live summer clothes! My usual destinations have the same climate: hot and humid. I don't have to worry about buying anything: if I need something, I buy it on the spot (and it's much cheaper than in France). No problem to get flip-flops, tee-shirts or sarongs in Asia!

Clothes: tops

  • some strapless tops for the "beach" places
  • two T-shirts covering the shoulders and several thin long-sleeved tunics. Both to respect certain places and situations (cities, Muslim countries, temples) and as protection against mosquitoes at night. Preferably things that are easy to wash and match with any stocking.
  • a small fleece jacket for all air-conditioned places that are often in "fridge" mode (plane, bus, boat, shopping malls, etc.)

Clothing: stockings

  • cropped trousers
  • long trousers (for travel by plane, and for places and circumstances where it is not better, as a woman, to be bare legs)
  • a skirt and/or a summer dress with straps
  • one or two shorts

Undergarments

  • panties and bras: simple and comfortable
  • in sufficient quantity for a week

At the feet

  • a pair of canvas sneakers that I wear on the plane, which I use only when I have to walk a little
  • a pair of flip-flops that don't weigh anything in the bag and that I have almost permanently on my feet

I'm not a trekker, so I don't bother with heavy hiking boots or socks...

My indispensable accessories

  • 3 or 4 bathing suits (I'm in the water all the time, I like to change)
  • 2 to 3 pareos or sarongs (one "clean", one or two others for the beach and sea outings, I often buy new ones on the spot)
  • a hammock (one of these light models as found everywhere in Asia)
  • Sun glasses

I do not take bath towel for a long time, it is now everywhere.

Toilet stuff

  • Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel or soap, toothpaste, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc. Before, I used to take them in minimal quantities in small bottles for the arrival, because I often bought my toiletries on the spot to save weight in my luggage. Now, I use biodegradable products to pollute as little as possible and as they are not easy to find when traveling, I take the necessary quantity with me.
  • Toothbrush, hairbrush, hair elastics, tweezers, razor, etc.

Girls' special: Whether you are tampons, cup or pads, it is better to think of taking your sanitary protections with you, we are not sure to find the solution that we prefer everywhere, especially tampons...

Médocs: small pharmacy for sores

My first-aid kit has been getting smaller and smaller during my travels, mostly to Asia and the Indo-Pacific archipelagos... Keep in mind that in tourist areas and big cities, there are usually medical facilities in case of a real problem.

Globally, the risk of contracting a serious illness is minimal for a Western traveler who is in good health, well nourished, and whose vaccinations are up to date. And if it happens, you will not treat yourself: you will consult a doctor on the spot or you will use the services of a travel assistance/insurance company.

So I'm happy here to give common sense advice, for small problems on the trip, not for serious situations. These tips obviously can not replace a medical opinion. But given the exorbitant price of some drugs (which often will not be used), the best is to take with you only enough to treat small disorders and small sores.

Covid-19. This article dates from before the pandemic... In addition to the basic health recommendations recalled here, if you manage to travel despite the restrictions imposed by the sanitary situation related to the coronavirus, remember to take the precautions to protect yourself and others: mask, distancing, hand washing (soap and hydroalcoholic gel)

The really useful stuff

Problems most likely to be faced: the famous tourista (traveler's diarrhea) and small wounds (bites, scratches, cuts, blisters, which heal poorly in a humid climate and can become infected).

So, what is really useful in a travel first-aid kit: it is at least an anti-diarrhea, as well as bandages sterile and a disinfectant type Betadine (be careful on all the small wounds on the feet, since we walk all the time barefoot, in flip-flops, that can get infected very easily). I have now with me also adapted waterproof bandages to protect a wound when I dive, the salt water only making the situation worse otherwise...

Possibly antibioticsIf you know that you will spend time far from any city (where you can find a doctor and/or a pharmacy). For example, I once had to find a pharmacy in a hurry between two planes in Indonesia, in order to get antibiotics for three days, in order to stop the infection of a palm blister (sic!) which had degenerated.

For small ordinary ailments, I also take a few pills ofanti-pain with paracetamolDoliprane or equivalent.

Finally, very useful for the diver that I am: some drops to treat otitis externa (caused by poorly rinsed ears after immersions). The most effective for this type of infection, among those I tested: those named Ottopain in Indonesia or Panotile in France.

Mosquitoes and malaria

The malaria (also called malaria) is an infectious disease potentially deadly, caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, transmitted by mosquitoes when they bite us.

Malaria does not occur everywhere in equatorial or tropical regions of the world, nor in the same country considered a malaria-endemic zone. By this I mean: there is no need to take preventive treatment when you go to Phuket, for example... For malaria-infested areas, it is obviously advisable to consult a doctor before leaving. He alone can properly inform you about the risks of contamination where you are going and how best to prevent them.

This is not a matter to be taken lightly. As many travelers on the internet rightly remind us, it only takes one bite from a mosquito carrying the parasite to be infected for life...

My weapon against mosquitoes.

For me, it is rare that I take an anti-malarial treatment. I am often asked the question and I am always a little embarrassed to answer, knowing that it can influence the decision of other people. But it is a personal choice, and I assume the risk for myself, knowingly.

My decision is not a substitute for medical advice and is not a recommendation. Everyone to take responsibility with their health.

I usually stick to the simplest basic precautions, which have proven their worth: mosquito repellent, long sleeves and pants at dusk if needed, careful closure of the net around the bed if there is one and the room is not closed.

I invite you to read this excellent article published by François du blog Tourdumondiste, which explains everything very well, with serious information (sourced) and advice → Should I take malaria medication when travelling?

Malaria is not the only thing to worry about: mosquitoes can also transmit the dengue...in particular. Protecting yourself with repellent and long clothing is therefore a basic precaution in all cases.

Techno: an indispensable superfluous

Now, I admit, I'm getting a little loaded. I'm addicted to my toys! I used to travel for a long time without a computer, back when I was a real backpacker, but that's over. Back then, in order to connect to the web and keep this blog up to date during my travels, I used to spend hours in local internet cafes...

1. Laptop

The first time I decided to go with a laptop, I first opted for a light and not too expensive netbook (a laptop), the small Medion Akoya (read here → My technomade mini-computer). But from 2010, when I acquired my Canon 7D SLR camera who is doing HD videoI gave it up: this little computer was not powerful enough...

Instead, I took my old 15-inch MacBook Pro. Only, it gave me a fright when it fell out of order, with a nice black screen: it didn't like the humidity and the heat at all. It came back to life afterwards, but this machine was already starting to be obsolete at that time. Technological toys are evolving at full speed!!!

So, in January 2011, I fell for a 13 inch MacBook AirIt was one of the first generation, very light, very good. I loved it and traveled with it for many years. But in the same way, it ended up not being enough for me, with the stock of Raw photos and videos I was accumulating... Its slowness, facing new software and ever larger files, became exasperating.

My MacBook Air. At Ankermi, in Maumere. Flores, Indonesia, July 2011.
My MacBook Air 11 inches, at Ankermi Happy Dive, in Maumere. (Flores, Indonesia, July 2011)

So, in June 2016, I invested in a new machine, capable of processing a lot of large files without dragging and which should be able to last several years: a MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Display from mid-2015 (photo below).

Nice, my blogger's office! (Lembeh, Sulawesi, July 2017)
Nice, my diving traveler blogger desk! (Lembeh, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2017)

I bought it reconditioned (these are computers that have been used in a store presentation and that have been refurbished for sale afterwards, it allows a consequent saving, compared to a new model) on the Refurb Store from the brand to the apple.

I took care to choose a model with a lot of power (16Gb of RAM + 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 processor) and storage (1TB of flash memory), in order to be able to process heavy photo and video files, and in the hope that it won't be obsolete too quickly...

With the amount of underwater pictures I make now, I can't imagine traveling without a computer. I can write my texts whenever I want, from my room or my terrace, sort my pictures as I go along on LightroomI was able to connect to the internet, either by using a wifi connection when there is one, or by using the shared connection of my iPhone in which I put a local SIM card (it's not expensive at all in Asia, very convenient to connect via the mobile network).

2. Photo and video equipment

Since January 2010, I travel with a SLR camera that also makes video, the Canon Eos 7D (nothing to do with the small digital compact Canon Powershot A95 who used to accompany me). I am very happy with it, even if it is quite heavy and cumbersome.

It has never let me down, it is robust, tolerates well the wet conditions I regularly inflict on it, and is capable of making superb images underwater.

I haven't renewed this equipment yet (it's a big budget, especially since I'd have to buy a new housing for a new camera, these things are not interchangeable, and a housing costs roughly the same price as the body 😱 ).

Before, I also had a compact camera as a backup, for terrestrial pictures, but the iPhone has now become my second camera. In just a few years, the quality of the smartphone sensor has become excellent.

In 2019, I acquired a mini-SLR as a secondary camera for terrestrial photography, the Canon Eos 250D. Extremely light, cheap, it is considered a "beginners" SLR. But it seems to me to have the right technology to be a practical and versatile camera for travel. I will talk about it when I have tested it more in the field. It was becoming complicated for me to take the 7D out of the housing after each dive when I needed it for pictures I didn't want to take with the iPhone.

For the 7D, I carry several 32GB and 16GB memory cards, a spare battery and its charger. For the 250D, I have two SD memory cards, one 8GB inherited from an old camera, one 32GB with a fast flow, adapted to the video, as well as a spare battery and the charger.

My goals (see here → Photo and diving: my equipment) are interchangeable on both housings.

Finally, I also have a 500GB SSD portable hard drive to back up photos and videos (I unload and store the originals on my MacBook Pro).

For underwater shooting, as I explained above, I also carry the Ikelite housing for my SLR (as well as its accessories: the flashes and their charger, the flash arms, the cords, the stage, the portholes...).

3. iPhone

I was also talking about it above. I currently have the iPhone X and it's really my second camera now. It allows me to make images without attracting attentionIn Asia, everyone takes out his smartphone to take pictures! We always have it at hand, really practical.

For all communications (phone, SMS, internet), I put a local SIM the time of the trip, it allows to have access to internet in 3G and 4G when there is network and it avoids the roaming fees. It serves as a "modem" to the computer via connection sharing, when there is no wifi available and I only have the local telephone network to connect to the internet.

NB. In this month of June 2019, just discovered with spite that the new iPhone XR and XS allow recently the use of e-SIMBut not the iPhone X I have... Too bad for me, the e-SIM is virtual, so you can keep your usual number associated to the iPhone without a physical SIM. So you can slip a second physical SIM card in the device, for example a local SIM, without losing the first number... The perfect kind of thing for me!

4. Cables

In modest accommodations, it is rare to have more than one electrical outlet. And it is sometimes installed in strange places, in height, or near the door, or in an inaccessible corner behind the bed... So I take a strip, to connect all this little world more easily. I check before leaving the type of taking the country to take the adapter (but if you forget, you can find it on site).

I also have a USB key, a memory card reader to download my photos and of course the cable and plug for iPhone.

  Between Two Journeys

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  1. it's a baggage that weighs how many pounds all that?
    It's not a joke, I would really like to know how much you travel with, because your list seems very good, and I always have too many kilos, it's really a handicap that "weighs" me down when traveling.

    And still there is no multi-climate as when you travel in a country, half tropical-beach and half mountains at 4000 m. Between the shoes of small hike, and the "polar, windbreaker, anorak" ...

    The iPod, a good idea. Do you travel with an iPod of how much?

    thank you for your information.

  2. @Joce: The backpack weighs about 12kg, sometimes it even went up to 14kg... All the cables, batteries, electrical equipment are heavy. I can't afford to go beyond that, as I also have the diving bag which weighs about 10kg [EDIT: rather 11-12kg, now that I put the regulator with the rest]. Most companies tolerate a total of 20-22kg in the hold, but not much more.
    As for my iPod, it is an old model, which is "only" 60GB.
    😉

  3. Hello Corinne, I take note of your backpack which seems to be well organized, I would have for my part the hiking shoes in addition but well, I can have them on my feet in the plane. It's the diving bag that worries me more. Mine alone weighs 20 kg, problem... I have a stab a little too heavy, halcyon, great but not easy to carry. Maybe I could buy a lighter one for the trip. I'm going to travel from South India to New Zealand between September 2009 and May 2010, I'll go through Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and finally NZ. What material do you bring? Thanks for your answer

  4. @debullenbulle: Hello, and welcome to Petites Bulles d'Ailleurs! With a name like that, you're in the right place 😉

    My dive bag, which is in 8-9kg, contains:
    - mask
    - Mares AdvantiX-3 fins
    - boots
    - stab Seac Sub Pro Lady XS (I will invest in a lighter one one day)
    - combi 5mm (before I took a 3mm, much lighter)
    - accessories: soft snorkel, small parachute, knife, lamp (without batteries for transport)

    Tip #1: the bag itself is very light, I think that's where I save weight compared to others: a simple mesh bag with a zipper, slipped into a duffel bag that closes at the top (all found in a large chain of sports stores that encourages us to be "All in shape"). It's the black and grey bag with orange piping you see on the picture.

    Tip #2: I keep my regulator (Legend ACD) in my "carry-on" bag when I fly, to lighten the weight in the hold.

    I'm envious of your trip... Just the kind of itinerary I would do if I had a few months of freedom and some money to spare.
    Good preparations!
    8)

  5. Hello Corinne, yes I will look for a light stab because mine has a stainless plate of 6 lbs and a support also in stainless. I had mourned my equipment but thanks to you I made the decision to bring it. It's great to share your experience. Thank you for sharing your experience. Whatever you think I am not very rich but it seems to me that a longer trip is cheaper, maybe I will find some work, who knows... And then life leads you sometimes to a crossroads that smells of adventure. I trust the return trip. I know that I will be amply energized by Asia.
    Your blog motivates and reassures me. I'm going alone too, to celebrate my 50th birthday. I really like the idea of downloading chapters from Lonely Planet, really clever.

  6. @debullenbulle: The main thing is that you are able to carry everything (duffel bag + clothes bag) by yourself. That's really the determining factor. Beyond 20 kilos, it's a pain anyway. At worst, you leave without a stab and you rent one on the spot. During my first trips, when I didn't have all my gear yet, this is what I did. And then, on such a long trip, when it comes to clothes and so on, you can buy stuff along the way, as you go along, and unload other stuff, according to your needs at the time.

    I didn't think you were "rich", on the contrary, what you say is very true: the longer the trip, the more it's worth it. Besides, your trip looks like a project that is secretly maturing in me and that I will probably realize one day... During my trips, I met a lot of people, neither more nor less wealthy than you or me, who were traveling on a long term basis, working a little bit, here and there, from one dive center to another, according to the encounters, the desires, the opportunities. And lugging their gear around! Really, Asia is a fabulous destination for small budgets and "solo travelers".

    For my part, I am not yet at a "crossroads" I am satisfied for the moment with my vacation periods to travel, but I come back each time more frustrated (always too short!), with the desire to leave again...
    🙄

  7. Hello Corinne,
    In fact, I put my nice big stab for sale on diver.com. Too much tech for me anyway. Thanks for your prompt and thoughtful reply. See you Cô

  8. Hello

    I am very impressed by your blog and post very practical and super clear for who wants to get started on long distance trips!

    I just wanted to react to two pieces of information: the traveler's "first aid kit" and malaria.

    Pharmacy kit : I personally travel a little bit heavier than you because, even if you can find a lot of products in the capital cities (although for Biafine, for example, it's not easy !), the more remote areas don't often offer much (I think for example in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, some parts of Thailand or the Philippines, etc.). Moreover, a significant proportion of pharmaceutical products available in Asia are counterfeit and to pass the door of a place marked "Pharmacy" is seldom a pledge of quality, thus prudence.
    Another thing about aspirin: this product, although very common in France, is far from being harmless. It inhibits - in particular - platelet aggregation and, as such, is unusable in dengue areas (South East Asia, South America, Africa) because there is an increased risk of bleeding. It is therefore recommended to use paracetamol instead.

    Malaria : one could understand from your sentence that malaria transmitting mosquitoes "flee" from tourists. Unfortunately this is not the case! Many tourist areas are also impaludent. So, once again, be careful, the best thing is to get information about your destination and to consult a doctor specialized in tropical medicine if necessary. And since the goal is not to be bitten, sleeping under a mosquito net is an excellent thing!

    The tropics are great, don't bring back bad memories!

    @+
    Ben

  9. @Ben: Hello and welcome to Petites Bulles d'Ailleurs! Thank you for your comments, which I can only agree with, of course. Very right about the paracetamol and the mosquito net.

    My point here on the little travel pharmacy was to "play it down". It goes without saying that if tourists were scaring away malaria-carrying mosquitoes, it would be known... 😆 I dare to hope that I was not misunderstood on this point! Of course, I recommend consulting before leaving to get professional advice and a suitable prescription. Once informed, each person opts for prevention and the solutions they feel are best suited to their case: it's a matter of personal responsibility.

    It's just that I've sometimes seen people pack a mind-boggling (and very expensive) pharmaceutical arsenal just to spend a week in Phuket... 😯

  10. Can you give me the tip to go to Phuket as cheaply as possible, by Malaysia or other? Your site is remarkable, thank you.

  11. @Marie-Christine: Thanks for the compliment... 😉
    There is no real "tip" to go to Phuket as cheap as possible. The best way is to check the prices of flights to big hubs in the area, such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore... As well as the promotions of companies like Thai Airways or Malaysia Airlines. Once in Bangkok, KL or Singapore, you can take a cheap flight with Air Asia to the final destination, Phuket in your case.
    For my part, to find the cheapest fares, I use a very good search engine, which allows me to indicate several departure and return dates: Partirou.com. Then I will see directly on the websites of the indicated airlines.
    Good preparations!
    🙂

  12. Hello,

    Great site!!!! 😉

    Full of advice, beautiful design, etc.
    No, really! Deserves to be known!

    We are leaving Bali early and I also plan to create a blog on our different trips. I intend to promote your blog.

    Good continuation
    😀

    Lili
    from Yaya & Lili

  13. @ Yaya & Lili: Welcome to my Little Bubbles of Elsewhere! I'm so glad you like the walk... And thank you for this nice comment. Let me know when you launch your blog, I'll go for a walk. Good preparations!
    8)

  14. Written by Ben (see above):
    "Pharmacy kit : I personally travel a little bit heavier than you because, even if you can find a lot of products in the capital cities (although for Biafine, for example, it's not easy !), the more remote areas don't offer much (I think for example in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, some parts of Thailand or the Philippines, etc.). Moreover, a significant proportion of pharmaceutical products available in Asia are counterfeit and to pass the door of a place marked "Pharmacy" is seldom a pledge of quality, thus prudence.
    Another thing about aspirin: this product, although very common in France, is far from being harmless. It inhibits platelet aggregation and, as such, cannot be used in dengue areas (South East Asia, South America, Africa) because there is an increased risk of bleeding. It is therefore recommended to use paracetamol instead.

    +1

  15. @John: Are you the virtual clone of Ben, who left the same comment (very relevant, this said), word for word, a little higher?
    EDIT: I just figured it out... you're quoting Ben, actually, and "plussoying" with the +1... 😆
    I rectify the presentation of your comment, so that it is clearer.

  16. Hello Corinne,

    Thank you for this blog which makes me travel a bit at work while waiting to leave for Borneo and Sipadan in 1 month... By the way, speaking of luggage, I was wondering if you had a torch and if you put it in the hold or in your hand luggage?
    I seem to remember that there were some concerns with the dive torches and airlift and when I search the internet and forums, I find as many versions as the internet can give... Do you have an opinion on this subject?
    Thank you in advance & long life to this blog.

    Aurélie

  17. @ Aurélie: Welcome to my Little Bubbles of Elsewhere !!!

    For the sub-lighting, I put everything in the hold. I only have a very small flashlight from which I simply remove the batteries, and an Ikelite flash for my camera, which I also travel separately from the "battery" part. That way, there is no danger of either of them lighting up by accident in the checked bag.

    You will enjoy Sipadan ... Good preparations!
    8)

  18. The French power strip was often unusable in Thailand. The problem is when you have to plug the fan on one of these inputs of the multi-socket, because the fans in Thailand, they have flat plugs as you know. And as often me too I found myself with only one plug in the room!!!
    I managed to travel this time with 10,5 kgs (I'm proud it's the 1st time) + the day bag, 20 l, containing the notebook and its cables. I came back with 15 kgs. no diving equipment like you, but also a lot of electronics, between computer, HD ext, USB keys, card reader, photo app. (small) and phone + chargers.
    Do you know Marie-Ange from http://www.unmondeailleurs.net/ a super diver too (and photographer).

  19. @Joce: I also have a flat plug adapter, to plug the power strip into... 😉
    Congratulations for the 10,5kg, it's true that it weighs, all these little things!!!
    Yes, I know Marie-Ange, we even met two years ago at the diving show!

  20. I also have a flat adapter, (and even full, bought in Bangkok,) on which to connect the power strip ... French.
    But there, already that only one plug (the adapter with flat plug it leans down to death on their plugs of ...
    well, you see, the adapter couldn't support the weight of the French power strip, which couldn't accept the flat plug of the fan either. it was leaning down to death...
    So, flat plug adapter + French multi-socket + flat plug adapter to plug in the fan, and the others (since multi-socket is made to plug in three devices in my case, chargers, computer ...
    I never got out of it, and I forced myself to use the electrically powered computer while staying on my terrace. Otherwise, on battery.
    When I talk about 10 kgs, it was the suitcase on wheels, because I also had the computer on my back and its stuff (1kg5)
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the story of your stay in Koh Yao Noi, it really helped me a lot to read you.

  21. Very beautiful site 🙂 Design, content, photos, I will take my marks there.

    As far as equipment is concerned, I try every day to get rid of useless things. I left with 10kg of luggage and I must have lost two kilos along the way. I realize that I don't need much anymore.

    Hardware: Mac Book Pro, adapter, Sony 550 camera, some cables. A good book, two outfits, a notebook, and that's it. I had opted for a tent and a sleeping bag, which I finally gave up.

    Good continuation,

    NowMadNow

  22. @Joce: I'm familiar with the trick of having the plug on the wall and everything leaning down. I have a trick: I have a mini-adapter with a flat plug I found in Thailand, which fits well and stays in place, on which I plug the power strip (which power strip is with a wire, so I can put it down, and it doesn't get stuck on the wall with the weight of all the little things to plug in...).
    😉

    NowMadNow: Welcome to my Little Bubbles! I'm glad you like it. I should update this section, because, since then, I have seriously equipped myself for underwater photography and it changes the game: with the housing for the SLR, the porthole, the support plate, the arm for the flash, the flash, the charger for the flash, the cable for the flash, I find myself with a lot (too much) of extra kilos to manage... Last time, with the clothes + the diving stuff (complete equipment of 10-11kg) + the photo equipment, I was around 26-27 kilos!!! 😯 But it's true that for the "clothes and personal stuff" part, it's easy to do very light.
    8)

  23. Hi !

    A quick question: how long did it take for your Macbook Pro to give up? I'm a bit worried about it...
    I plan to bring mine back brand new, practically 17p, on my trip to Asia. You had a suitable bag to protect it, I imagine. If you have any tips, that would be cool 🙂
    Anyway, great site, I feel like it's going to help me prepare well ^^ thanks to you. 🙄

  24. @Jasmineloo: After a few days. At first, the screen made me several times caprices before turning off for good. But when I came back to France, everything was fine. But it was a very old MacBook Pro... If yours is new, I don't think you have to worry too much. No particular advice to give you, except to have a cover, to protect it, to avoid shocks, during the transport. One thing is for sure, computers don't appreciate the heat and humidity of the air in tropical areas.
    8)

  25. Hello,
    oki good j hesitates to spend the dark side only for these few months to know take a pc ... : Mrgreen:
    otherwise I will inquire for the macbook air to know if it supports well, the CS5 (photoshop, flash, dreamweaver ...) but it seems to me that yes with the new processor ... ah ah, in any case thank you very much for your answer. ^^
    Have a nice trip, beautiful !!

  26. A girl who travels with so little is very rare! I remember a friend of mine who accompanied me during a trip to Spain last year and she took with her a lot of useless clothes for a week trip. Knowing also that she is a shopping enthusiast, she couldn't help but raid many stores on site. On the way back, her suitcase was way over the maximum weight allowed, but fortunately for her, the company did not weigh her hand luggage!

  27. @Elyes: It doesn't matter if I'm a girl or not... You're comparing me with trips that have nothing to do with mine, in fact. As I fly to destinations where I intend to go scuba diving (and not shopping), and as I'm now also equipped with a waterproof housing for underwater photography, I don't really have anything else to bring. And then, in the tropics, a swimsuit and a sarong are often enough. I think, on the contrary, that I am much more loaded than your shopping friend, with all my diving bardas...
    🙄

    1. Hello,
      Starting for the first time in BDE cruises in Egypt next year, I am in search of solutions to fit all my gear (like you Ikelite and 7D box with big Hublot).
      I want to take my 13″ macbook pro with me as well.
      Could you give me stp the references of your cabin bag where you put all that stp?
      A big thank you in advance!

  28. Thank you for all your advice !

    Olala, that's quite a load for diving but I don't think we can do otherwise! I take note of the drops against ear infections, I had not thought of it. Every time I get my ears back because I know that it's quickly caught. Which ones do you take?
    The Macbook Air 11″ is really the computer made for travel. And I'm not talking about the new series with the return of the backlit keyboard and a powerful proc...

    Side clothing we go pretty light with my girlfriend, walking shoes (low) included, we arrive in the 9-10kg each!

  29. @Bruno: For ear infections: Otipax that I buy in France, works very well. In Malaysia, I found a bottle of Ottopain that was also very efficient. But all these things must be pretty much the same...

    The 11-inch MacBook Air was exactly the computer I dreamed of before it existed, when I bought a netbook and dreamed of seeing it display an apple at startup:
    https://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/mon-petit-ordi-de-technomade-20090128/

    And now I'm green with envy to discover the power of the new MacBook Air that just came out. If only I had waited a few more months... But that's how it is, when it comes to technology, new things are quickly outdated as soon as they are acquired.

    As for my diving gear and my underwater photo equipment, I don't plan to do without them, so yes: it's impossible to go light anymore.

  30. Hello Corinne,

    Congratulations on your site. It is pleasant to read and very inspiring. I'm going to Bali with my 5 years old boy and I want to introduce him to snorkeling. Do you have places around Bali that you recommend to practice snorkeling with a young child.

    Thank you for all your good advice.

    Brigitte

  31. Yes, really top the Macbook Air and I drool over the new 🙂.
    Thank you for the drops for the ears, I note, I take advantage of our passage in France to recharge our pharmacy!
    A +

  32. Hello,

    First of all, congratulations for this beautiful blog and the quality of the photos.

    For my next trips (a 5-day dive cruise in the Similans in early November), I hesitate to bring my own diving gear.
    For the wetsuit (I use a 3/5 mm kitesurfing wetsuit) OK; it's better for the hygiene and I don't like the rental shorties...
    But for the rest: stab, fins, mask, regulator. Is there really an interest given the weight constraints?

    Jean-Luc from Lorient

  33. @ Jean-Luc56: Thanks for the congratulations, it's always nice... 😀 As for the interest in carrying your diving gear, it's really a personal choice. I'd be you, I'd still take a mask and regulator.
    🙄

  34. Hello,
    I came across your site a bit by chance. I find the pictures beautiful. We are planning to go to South East Asia for 4 to 5 weeks this summer, but we are hesitant about where to go. We like to practice snorkelling, we avoid too touristic places.
    The country must not have too many health risks (child of 5 years). Do you have any leads to give me?

  35. @Ma': Hello Marion, and thank you for the compliment!!! 🙂
    I'm telling you nicely: you want one thing and its opposite, don't you?... 😉

    Let me explain: the advantage of the so-called "tourist" places, when you travel with a small child, is that you can find there all the infrastructures you may need in case of concern (medical equipment, transportation, communication, accommodation, etc.). If you want to avoid the tourist places, you choose a trip that will be less comfortable (longer, more complicated, farther) and that will involve more health "risks"...

    Personally, I would recommend "easy" destinations to travel to, such as Thailand (snorkeling: in the southern islands, on both sides), Malaysia (snorkeling: Perhentian Besar Island, Tioman Island), and Bali in Indonesia (snorkeling: Amed, Pemuteran).

    These are certainly tourist destinations, but you can find lots of peaceful corners anyway. Look a little in travel guides (Routard, Lonely Planet) on these destinations, it can already identify corners and islands that would suit your desires ...

    Good preparations !!!
    8)

  36. Hello and thank you for your answer,

    Yes, you're right what I'm looking for is contradictory ...
    Thailand and Bali: these are the 2 destinations I thought of. The choice will be difficult.
    We've been to Malaysia before, including Tioman and the Perhentians, but back then it was childless - backpacking and adventuring.
    And since then, I really want to discover other countries in Asia...

    Marion

  37. @Ma': Thailand or Bali... what a dilemma!!! 😀 Both have their attractions and are quite doable with a little one. Since you're going in the summer, maybe aim for Bali, rather, you'll be almost certain to have good weather wherever you go in the island. In Thailand, in this season, the southwest coast is very wet... Good preparation!!!
    8)

  38. I was inspired by this post to go to Israel. I don't dive but I had decided to go with only a carry-on bag for my 12 day trip... well, I won't do it again 🙂

  39. Bravo for this very useful blog with a person who works formidably well in his head ............. It is rare!

    For my next trips to Indonesia from where I return it will be of good help.

    do you have tips for snorkeling in Flores, Komodo, borneo?
    Michel

    1. @Michel: Thanks for the compliments on the blog! 🙂

      It is always difficult for me to advise people about snorkeling in particular, as I do not practice it. But in general, where there are good diving spots, there are also good places for snorkelers...

      So no, I don't really have a "snorkeling place" to recommend in Flores, Komodo, Borneo. You will find some everywhere, I guess... Otherwise, check the places where divers go, there are bound to be nice places to swim with fins, mask and snorkel nearby !

      8)

  40. Hello and thank you very much for making me dream about Raja Ampat. We are 4 from, a little trek in the jungle and to us the bubbles .......
    It is good the departure approaches D-12, the things are ready, it remains just a small detail about the exchange.
    I have a stopover in Jakarta, where I will do my visa. Is it better to change, compared to the exchange rate at the airport or when arriving in Sorong, so that it is more advantageous. Often it is not so good in the airports.
    In Sorong or go change: in a bank, in a hotel like Novotel or other.
    Are euros accepted without problem or should we also provide dollars?
    Thank you, see you soon and make us travel again, it's only good.
    cordially .
    Sylvie

  41. Hello!

    Your blog is great!

    I have a question, did you ever take your flippers on the plane with Airasia?

    Thank you!

    1. @Jean: when you say "on the plane", I guess you mean with me in the cabin??? As I explain in the article, my fins and all my diving gear go in the hold in my bag, whether on AirAsia or other airlines. I have no reason to take the fins out of said bag to take them in the cabin... 😉

  42. Hello Corinne
    First of all, congratulations for your super well documented site, we travel just by consulting it! Your journey is a little (a lot!) identical to mine. I travel almost exclusively to dive, since my first bubbles in 1990, day of my baptism, a revelation! I am also a photographer and videographer, but I stay with "light" equipment with a gun that still makes good pictures. I'm currently making my checklist to go on a cruise to Rajat Ampat (with Wallacea), and I would like to know if you have ever had problems with excess luggage on this destination? I have the same bag as you, but it's going to be quite compact, I also plan to put my camera gear and my clothes in it. And how does it work on domestic flights? Finally, I read that the water temperature was constant at 28° all year long, is it the case ? So a 3mm should be enough. Thanks again for this nice site and the beautiful pictures !

    1. @Marianne: no problem for the luggage until Raja Ampat. Usually, you are asked to pay for the extra kilos at check-in, but not always (it depends on the airline, the mood of the person at the counter and the customer's face). As it is at the Indonesian rate, this extra charge is quite affordable.
      Yes, the water is hot, we didn't lie to you 🙂 I am very cold, I can handle a 5mm at these temperatures, especially when we dive every day, several times a day. But a 3mm is basically enough, indeed. Good preparations!

  43. Hello,
    I appreciate any details you can provide. Is it possible to know the name of the new model of roller bag to put in hold that you acquired? I'm in the red sea soon and I'm looking for ^^
    Thank you and good bubbles 🙂

    1. @ Solène: it is an East Pack Tranverz L (large size) https://www.eastpak.com/oc-en/luggage-c140/tranverz-l-current-khaki-pEK63L73T+00+999.html Like my previous bag, it is in two compartments, and I put on one side the diving gear, on the other the clothes and a lot of other stuff (cables, non-fragile elements for underwater photography, etc.). It is a bit bulkier than the other one, but it seems more robust. I just tested it in Indonesia... I'm getting used to its size, a bit bigger than the previous one...

  44. great item for luggage
    I add: concerning the labels, I put 2 on the handles of the luggage, and a paper with my addresses inside the luggage.
    I take a picture of all my luggage on my iPhone, and I backup all my documents (plane tickets, hotel, passport) on my iPhone and on the cloud.
    As for my camera bag, I found a special photo backpack for my compaq and its flashes, I'm still too afraid to put my reflex in the water and ... it's heavy.
    I add to my waterproof case a set of O-rings backup, silicone grease of course ... etc
    And I make an exel file with all the things I have to put in my luggage so that at each trip I take back my list without forgetting anything ... hehe once my spouse had forgotten his bathing suits, things easy to buy in tropical countries ...

  45. Hello, thank you for this very informative article. Could you advise me on the purchase of photo and video equipment for diving. Thanks again

    1. Cortiana: hello, there are so many new cameras and housings available, in so many different price ranges, for photographers of various levels, that it is impossible for me to advise you on a particular type of equipment... Set a budget to start with and see what is accessible according to that. If you want to do underwater photography/video occasionally, don't spend too much... It might be worth looking at second-hand equipment. If you're already an image buff and have a good grasp of the principles of land photography, then you should see what type of camera is right for you... You can join the sub photo forum, where you'll find lots of advice and be able to ask questions to other enthusiasts: https://www.forum-photosub.fr/forum/

      And I add: if you read English, there is this site, which is a mine of information: https://www.uwphotographyguide.com/

  46. Thank you for the very appropriate and useful advice. They helped me to reassure myself and adapt my luggage and my diving bag.

    Nice summary, I'm going to bed more reassured

    Germain

  47. Good evening Corinne,
    A small practical question from a diver without much experience.
    Can the Eastpack be a good choice for a traveler with a big semi waterproof and a big stab?
    Thanks to you.

    1. @Hervé: good evening, it's difficult to evaluate... It depends on the amount of clothes you carry with you. The Eastpack I'm talking about is 121 liters. I have a hard time evaluating if it's enough for a big stab and a big semi-waterproof one, plus all the stuff you plan to carry with it or not. Maybe look at the volume of the big wheeled diving bags sold by well-known brands. In general, these bags are designed to hold only the diving gear. This will give you an idea of the size of the bag. Maybe this Eastpack bag will be too small for you, maybe you should consider a bigger one, I don't know.

      I manage to fit all my diving equipment on one side (so about half the volume, for a 5 mm wet suit and stab that is not too bulky, Legend regulator, fins, masks, booties, and parachute type accessories that go in the pockets of the stab). On the other side, I put very few clothes, two pareos, a toilet bag, a small pharmacy, a large bag containing cables, chargers and electrical connections, a slightly bulky case containing accessories for my camera housing: two large flashes with their batteries disconnected, the arms of the flashes and their floats, etc. So, roughly speaking, 60 liters on one side, 60 liters on the other...

      There you go, if that helps you better estimate how much volume you need... Happy prepping! 🙂

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