Snorkeling is a fun vacation activity that’s great for the entire family, but getting through TSA with diving gear can be a hassle. While there aren’t any rules against bringing snorkeling gear on a plane, there are luggage restrictions that you should be aware of.
If you’re ready to head out on that next adventure and want to go snorkeling, let’s find out: can you bring snorkel gear on a plane? Here are some great tips to get you started.
Can You Bring Snorkel Gear on a Plane in Your Carry On?
Yes, you can bring your snorkeling gear in your carry on. Depending on your luggage, it may be less expensive to bring everything in a compact carry-on bag instead of checking a suitcase.
Carry-on luggage needs to be under 30 lbs and fit within airline dimensions.
Can You Check Snorkel Gear With Your Luggage?
Yes! Flying with snorkeling gear is easier when you check the gear into your luggage. You must check some items like dive knives and spear guns. Other things like a mask and fins don’t have to be in checked luggage.
The only luggage you must check is anything considered “dangerous” by the TSA. These items include, but aren’t limited to:
- Dive knives
- Flare guns
- Spear guns
- Compressed air tanks
Keep in mind that you may not want to check everything. Checked bags can quickly become expensive if you exceed the weight limit (diving tanks get heavy!).
The Best Airline for Flying With Snorkeling Gear
There aren’t too many differences between airlines other than overweight baggage fees and which snacks you can eat on the plane. However, those baggage fees add up quickly and can become a significant cost during your short trip.
When flying domestically, Southwest has the best option when you fly with a lot of gear. You can check your first and second bag for free, while other airlines require you to pay a small fee of $30 for one bag, with an increased price for a second bag.
This free bag is great for anyone wondering, “can you bring snorkel gear on a plane” or are already planning on flying with snorkeling or scuba gear because you can split your heavy items into two suitcases and check them for free. This method frees your carry-on luggage for day clothes and souvenirs and ensures your more delicate items stay with you.
Can Snorkel Gear Fit in Carry-On Luggage?
Well, that depends on the size of your suitcase. Most snorkeling gear can fit in suitcases, but divers often prefer duffels because of their more flexible sizes.
To pack snorkel gear, you’ll want to place your wetsuit in first, and then your scuba fins can go on either side of the bag, and the mask at the very top. Some companies sell folding fins that make it easier to fit into checked luggage.
Alternatively, you can opt for a backpack as your carry-on bag or checked luggage. You’ll have to make sure the zippers are tightly shut. I use cable ties to ensure nothing comes undone when flying.
Is There Special Airline Luggage for Snorkeling Gear?
Yes, and they’re called gear bags. They’re designed with diving as the main focus and come with extra pockets and compartments to carry small items safely. There are locations to secure dive knives and spear guns. You can buy them at your local dive shop or wherever you purchase sports equipment.
If you don’t want to shell out the money for a gear bag, I’d suggest either a hard-capped suitcase or a duffel bag.
These suitcases offer an extra layer of protection from the tossing your own gear will receive when going down the luggage shutes. It’ll help protect the more delicate snorkeling gear, such as a mask or fins. However, these suitcases add about 10 lbs to your checked bag weight limit.
Hard suitcases will give you less space and are usually used for dive travel, not for snorkel gear.
Duffel Bags/Roller Bags
You can fit more gear and clothing into a duffel bag than a suitcase because the sides of the bag are so flexible. A mesh bag is great as a carry-on bag if you don’t want to check a bag. I suggest this option if you must trek to your hotel or campsite.
What Snorkeling Gear To Pack When Flying
Traveling with snorkel gear won’t be difficult if you know what you need to pack. The bare minimum you’ll need includes a mask, a snorkel, and a pair of fins. That’s it! If your destination has hot climates or frigid waters, you may need a wetsuit and reef-safe UV protection.
While dive knives, lights, and spears are typically associated with scuba diving, they’re great resources if you plan on snorkeling in deeper water or the early morning and late night. The water can be unpredictable, and you should do your research.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to leave space for personal items and other gear when you pack for your trip. A first aid kit, rash guard, clothing, and good water shoes are only the beginning.
Airport Security and Snorkel Gear
The TSA won’t give you a lot of trouble if you’re bringing the bare minimum, but they may have questions about knives and spear guns. If diving while on vacation, you may also have to bring air tanks and diving regulators. This equipment can make TSA a little nervous.
As standard practice, checking any “dangerous” item before your flight is good. For items with compressed air and/or batteries, you’ll need to depressurize the tanks and remove the batteries.
You can also complete a TSA PreCheck that will make the process easier and help you skip those long lines. Even if you check all your equipment, you should still bring a written list of items you’ll need for your trip. This way, you can answer any question about “what’s in the bag” without being uncertain.
In Summary: Can You Bring Snorkel Gear on a Plane?
The answer to the question, “Can you bring snorkel gear on a plane?” is yes.
Bringing snorkeling gear on a plane is much easier than bringing dive equipment. A mask, fins, and snorkel are not dangerous; you can bring them in a carry-on bag or as checked luggage. Just make sure you have enough room to bring home souvenirs, and you’re sure to have a great time no matter your destination!