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Tips on planning your Sabah diving holiday

Top Tips for Planning Your Diving Holiday

As the peak holiday months appear on the horizon, you’re probably starting to plan for this year’s Summer adventures in diving! Maybe you’ve booked your flights already. Or perhaps you’re still debating where to go. It could even be that you’re reading this having not yet committed to trying diving for the very first time. Whatever stage you’re at in your holiday planning, we are here to offer tips to ensure your trip is a roaring success!

What’s the Occasion?

Firstly, what kind of holiday are you planning? Are you an experienced diver planning a dedicated diving break? Or will your dive form just one part of your vacation? 


We see many celebratory holidays; a birthday, a wedding or a honeymoon. What better way to begin your marriage than sharing a spectacular dive experience? And Summer is just the season to jet off to Sabah to enjoy a honeymoon dive spectacular! The last thing you want when celebrating is anything going wrong – so plan and then plan some more!

First Timer

If you want to try diving for the first time, ensure that you choose the correct course and consider your location. A PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience is a one-day course that will reveal the world of diving to you. Alternatively, you can dedicate four days to a more structured learning experience with a PADI Open Water Diver Course. This will guide you to become a certified PADI Open water Diver. 

Family Holidays

Travelling as a family can feel limiting when it comes to diving experiences. When you are attempting to balance everyone’s interests it can feel as if you are all making compromises. So why not choose a family diving course that gives you shared memories and experiences? 

Choosing Sabah

A great deal of planning a balanced holiday comes down to location. Sabah is a year-round dive destination. But why is it such a great place to choose for this Summer’s holiday?

Underwater Benefits

Although diving is great in Sabah all year round, conditions here from June to September are ideal. Sipadan diving will bring you right at the heart of one of the most spectacular marine environments on the planet. From here, you can explore reef habitats and come face to face with turtles and even rays and sharks!

Planning Your Itinerary

As each visitor and each break is unique, we know that it can be hard to identify which course or tour is ideal for your needs. This is why at Borneo Dream we offer a personal service and can guide you through the options available to you. When diving, it’s vital that you have the correct accreditations, so we will make sure you’ve undertaken the right courses that open up a world of diving tours to you. 

When You’re Not Diving

Part of why Sabah is such a great location for diverse groups is that there is so much to do when you’re NOT diving. From luxurious island relaxation retreats to adventurous wildlife treks in the rainforests of the national park, this location has everything to offer. 

A Question of Travel

Once you’ve identified your ideal location and experiences, what about getting the packing right? There’s a fine balance of being prepared and over-packing and we are here to help you to gauge it right!

Organised Packing

Remember, you don’t need to buy all the gear before a dive trip. Especially if you are early on in your diving journey, renting kit is an ideal solution. Check out typical weather patterns (short range forecasts can be unreliable) and ensure that you are kitted out with both hot and wet weather gear. If you are bringing your own dive kit, write a full list to ensure that you’ve remembered everything. Don’t forget that you can rent additional items if your baggage allowance is limited. 

Managing Jet Lag

If you’re travelling through time zones to arrive at your dive destination, you’ll have to manage some extent of jet lag. Key things to remember are to stay hydrated, maximise your exposure to natural light and ‘bank’ your sleep prior to your trip to help you to manage tiredness at the other end. 

Health Checks

We’re talking about the health of both you and your gear. Depending on where you’re setting out from, where you’re going and how long your trip is, you may need vaccinations. So check World Health Organisation advice. It’s worth getting your dive gear serviced prior to a diving break, and invest in a good gear bag to ensure that everything arrives intact.  

Any Extras?

The key to minimising stress on a trip or vacation is to plan for the unexpected. This could be financial or logistical aspects. The best way to minimise unforeseen circumstances is through communication. By liaising with an experienced and forthcoming tour operator, you will find that you consider many aspects that you may otherwise overlook. 

Plan Your Costs

The worst kind of extra is one that carries a large financial price tag. Check what any package or tour excludes. This could be anything from lunches on an open water dive tour to what is part of a resort accommodation booking. It can be easy to forget about transfers when you book a dive course or tour. So check the locations of your accommodation and your dives and allocate some funds to transportation.

Making Memories

Whether it’s your first or fifteenth diving holiday, think about how you will record your experiences. Allocate costs to either rent underwater photography equipment or purchase any images included in an experience. Don’t underestimate the power of underwater photography in recording your dive experience!


Local conservation is central to many wildlife focussed areas, and Sabah is no different. Many tours and dive courses, depending on their location, require an additional permit to undertake dives. At Borneo Dream, we will always highlight if this is the case so that you don’t end up short.

When you’re planning a dedicated diving holiday – or a holiday that includes a dive experience – the process is that much easier when you find a trustworthy operator. At Borneo Dream, we are here to offer advice and ensure that we are upfront with costs. So you can look forward to your holiday knowing that you won’t have any unwanted surprises! 

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