For a liveaboard snorkel or dive trip, you won’t need much. You’ll spend your days in and out of the water constantly so I think it’s important to have at least two bathing suits, and other clothes that you can pull on easily after your snorkel or dive. Follow this snorkeling liveaboard packing list for the necessities of what to bring! Click the turquoise links for more information on each recommended item.
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Liveaboard Packing List
Clothing a for 3-4 day trip
- 2 bathing suits
- 2 cover ups or sarongs, one long-sleeved if possible
- 2-3 dresses for evenings. I pack dresses because they can also double as cover-ups
- OR 2-3 t-shirts and 2-3 shorts or elastic waist/drawstring pants (beach shops in places like Phuket have tons)
- 1 UPF rashguard shirt
- Pajamas – bathrooms are shared, so bring something practical
- 1 sweatshirt or jacket, in case you get cold at night or after dives
- Sunhat or visor – I like this hat because it’s stylish and fits snugly. The boat will be windy when moving, so you might prefer a visor with an adjustable band.
- UPF headband – to keep your hairline from getting sunburnt while you’re in the water. I made fun of them until I got a weird forehead tan. Bonus: it holds your hair back in case you’re seasick.
- Recommended: 1 pair of yoga capris or pants – in case your backside gets really burnt (true story)
When I arrived at one liveaboard, they collected our shoes in a bag so we wouldn’t damage the slip-safe flooring. Generally flip-flops or watershoes are all you’ll need (if any) unless you’ll be taking trips ashore. If you’ll have a chance to hike on any islands, bring sneakers or hiking sandals.
- Underwater camera: Olympus TG-5 or Fujifilm FinePix XP120
- Mask, snorkel and flippers (if not provided by your tour company)
- Prescription snorkel mask – if you wear glasses, you can order a relatively inexpensive prescription mask. I recommend it!
- Beach towel (unless provided)
- Quick-dry bath towel
- Dive socks – you’ll be wearing flippers a lot. If you’ve ever had problems with them rubbing your feet and causing pain, try a pair of dive socks.
- Dry bag – these are a must for dinghy trips to islands or swimming in to islands from the boat. I always test mine first before I put a phone or camera in. You’ll press the air out and fold the top down several times before latching it to make it water-tight.
- A duffle bag or large backpack – there won’t be room in the cabins for large or hardside luggage.
- If you’re taking your own snorkeling equipment, consider a mesh bag. It will keep your stuff from getting mixed in with the boat’s equipment and you can easily rinse it out.
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Seadrops Anti-Fog for masks
- Spray leave-in conditioner and wide-tooth comb – if you have long hair, using a spray conditioner after you rinse off will help with tangles.
- Dramamine or Bonine – even people who haven’t had issues with boats before can get seasickness on smaller vessels. Bring some just in case!
- Earplugs – the sounds of the sea are nice, but if any of your fellow travelers snore, you might want these.
- Tampons (again, just in case)
- Small toiletry bag – you won’t be able to leave toiletries in the shared bathrooms, so I recommend a small bag so you can take along only what you need from your larger bag. I use an eBags drawstring shoe pouch.
- Sink packs of laundry detergent or soap sheets to rinse out your bathing suit, etc.
- Cash – ATMs tend to be few and far between at sea. Take cash to pay for things in villages along the way, any park admission fees or extras on board.
Check with your tour company too – they might have additional items that they recommend based on their boat and your destination.
Looking for a liveaboard adventure? Check out my Thailand Snorkeling Liveaboard post!