What to Pack for a Snorkeling Trip: Essentials Needed for your Snorkeling Experience

Are you planning a snorkeling trip soon? Not quite sure what you should pack and what you don’t need to pack? You are not alone, because the packing side of things is always one of the most stressful and frustrating parts of going away anywhere.

Perhaps this is your first time, or you have only been on short day trips before. It may even be that you’ve been on some longer-term excursions before and suffered due to a lack of planning and not packing appropriately. Some people pack lightly and go on short excursions, whereas other keen snorkelers wear floatation belts and take underwater camera equipment. Everyone has different packing preferences, but no one enjoys being unprepared. Whatever the reason, don’t worry because we have you covered.

In the following post we have put together what we feel is a complete and indispensable snorkeling trip packing list.

It is worth noting though, that as all diving and snorkeling trips are different, the exact items you pack may be different from what we’ve included below. Having said that, in preparing this list, we have tried to cover all bases and taken into consideration the different types of diving trips and destinations.

We have put together the ultimate snorkeling packing list and divided it into easy digestible chunks, so that you can get everything you need ready for your trip.

scuba diving and snorkeling packing list

The Ultimate Snorkeling Packing List

Travelling Essentials

To get our snorkeling packing check list off to a flying start, this first section is the kind of things you will need to pack for most snorkeling trips.

  • Passport and travel documents
  • Insurance information
  • Smartphone with appropriate map apps
  • Sunglasses
  • Duct tape
  • Utility knife
  • Maps and Satnav or GPS system
  • Cash money


Additional Items (If driving)

Regardless if you are going on a snorkeling trip somewhere close by or abroad, you may still choose to hire a car (that is of course if you are not bringing your own with you). In that case, if you are driving for any part of your trip, there are additional items to the above part of the list that you will need, as featured below. You may also like to check our Road Trip Packing List.

  • Driver’s License, registration details and car insurance documents
  • Roadside kit for emergencies
  • Extra fuel and extra oil, if you run out or are nowhere near a gas station
  • Scissors
  • Flashlight
  • Spare tire
  • Car jack
  • Jump leads
  • Additional set of car keys
  • Rubbish bag
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues


Health, Safety and Personal Essentials

In order to enjoy your snorkeling trip as fully as possible, you need to prepare for the worst. That includes packing all important medical, safety and personal items. Don’t be alarmed if this looks like an incredibly big list, as many of the items are small and lightweight.

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel or soap
  • Electric razor or disposable razors
  • Shaving foam, gel or cream
  • Waxing strips
  • Hairbrush and hairspray/mousse (if you use it)
  • Portable hairdryer and possible curling tongs/straighteners
  • Biodegradable and coral reef-safe sunscreen
  • Painkillers
  • Prescription medication
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ice and heat packs
  • Sunburn treatment
  • Band-aids
  • Insect repellent
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Rubber bands and hair ties
  • Reading glasses (If you need them)
  • Sleep masks and ear plugs
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Umbrellas
  • Toilet paper (in case you come across facilities without any or in the middle of nowhere and have the call of nature)
  • Sanitary products

Diving and Snorkeling Essentials

scuba diving and Snorkeling essentials

As diving and snorkeling are obviously the main reasons for taking your trip, you need to make sure that you pack all the specialist equipment. The items you take from the following list may differ slightly, depending on where you are diving and when, but consider packing:

  • Diving mask (Check this list of some of the best scuba masks available right now)
  • Snorkel
  • BCD (for deeper and longer dives)
  • Diving fins
  • Water shoes (for shallow snorkeling areas where diving fins may be prohibited)
  • Wetsuit and/or dry suit
  • Mask defogger (some diving groups and tour operators will provide these, but unless you know for sure you are going to get one, it may be best to invest in your own)
  • Diving gloves
  • Rash guards
  • Mesh bag (that you can wear like a backpack while snorkeling and keep your sunscreen, sunglasses and other items in)
  • Binoculars
  • Dive computer
  • Diving wristwatch
  • Underwater camera and gear (Consider buying a sports camera like a GoPro, if you haven’t already done so, for better quality images and footage)
  • Waterproof flashlight
  • Fish guide
  • Bird guide
  • Robust water bottle
  • Daypack
  • Swim towel
  • Beach towel
  • Beach bag
  • Utility knife


Clothing Essentials (for when you are not diving)

It goes without saying that you are not going to spend your entire time on your trip underwater, as much as you may like or want to. Therefore, you need to pack a sufficient amount of clothes for the times when you are on dry land, including:

  • Suitable clothing for the weather (shorts, skirts, t-shirts, cardigans)
  • Rain jacket
  • Sun hat
  • At least two swimsuits and coverups


Food and Drink

Food and drink is obviously very important too. Like many of the other sections of this list, it will depend on where you are going, where you are staying and how long you are out on diving excursions. But even if you are staying at a hotel or some other kind of accommodation that provides you with meals and food, you should still consider packing the following:

  • Robust, travel-ready cooler
  • Thermo-insulated water bottle
  • Adequate supply of bottled water
  • Food and handy snacks, such as trail mix, crackers, cereal, nuts, jerky, fruit, granola bars, popcorn
  • Corkscrew and bottle opener
  • Bags for rubbish


Entertainment Essentials

Just as we noted for day clothing, there will be times when you are not under the water and exploring. So, whether it’s during travel or just in your downtime before and after dives, you need to ensure you have enough to keep you entertained. So, consider packing some of the following items:

  • Diving journal and pens
  • iPad, MP4 player, Laptop and possibly even portable DVD player
  • SD card with playlists, in case you can’t get a signal and access your streaming services
  • Physical books, Kindle or even audiobooks
  • Headphones and wireless speakers
  • Charging cables for all electronic devices


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