This is a big one. First, remember what you’re getting for your money besides just the dive: A day on the water. A day in the sun. A picnic. A chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. Maybe one of those once-in-a-lifetime underwater experiences. The opportunity to watch members of the opposite sex struggle in and out of wetsuits.
Piggyback diving. A way to stretch both time and money is to piggyback dive trips on to business or family trips the travel is already paid for. How many times have you seen business people traveling with golf clubs or tennis rackets? Why not a mask and regulator?
Make your stay less expensive. Check to see if there are accommodations with cooking facilities, such as a condo or an efficiency. Buying a few groceries local and having one or two meals a day “at home” will save a bundle.
Reason for the season? High season is often simply a measure of how many people are on vacation from school and work or are fed up with winter and ready to go anywhere warmer. It does not mean it’s the best time to be there for diving, but it does mean higher prices and bigger crowds. Check your dive travel specialist for destinations where low season coincides with the best diving conditions.
Pay less, carry a big club. Dive clubs are able to negotiate group rates for diving and travel. Resorts will often offer free spaces for group leaders and the savings can be split among the entire group.
Watch the world. Keep up-to-date on your destinations. For example, the current global financial crisis is making some of the best diving in the world suddenly more affordable.
Tax actions. It’s about time the government paid for some of your diving. Expenses incurred while participating in diving activities like fish counts and reef surveys organized for non-profit corporations are tax-deductible. Your dear Uncle Sammy may be happy to pay for almost a third of these dive trips. Just don’t tell him how much fun they are. Also, any cost to join a marine-related non-profit organization that is considered a donation is deductible.
Solution: Realize what a great bargain you’re getting; scrimp and save; be a smart dive consumer.
- Factors to Consider Before Diving into a Business Loan (2009taxes.org)
- Little Deductions You May Miss (2009tax.org)