• Byron Kay @konafreediver

Why learn to Freedive in Hawaii?

There are few great freediving travel spots around the globe. The decision on which one to visit can be difficult. Places like Bali have extreme currents, terrorist bombings, volcanoes and 3rd world services. The Philippines has devastating cyclones, mediocre visibility, and more 3rd world living. Egypt is often in the middle of some kind of coup or another civil strife of some kind.


When you begin to contrast and compare destinations where you can learn to freedive there are many factors to consider. What's most important to you?



"a few months before the trip was scheduled the Balinese government decided it would schedule 'a day of silence' on the same day we were set to fly out canceling our flight"




Freediving Travel Factors:

  • Distance

  • Cost

  • Activities

  • Services

  • Safety



Distance = Time


We are not talking about distance to a great freediving destination in the draw-a-straight-line kind of way. We are talking about distance in the how long is it actually going to take you to get there kind of way. Some places take over a day to arrive. You can try to save some money and it will take even longer!


From Los Angeles

Coron, Philippines 22 hrs

Cebu, Philippines 19.5 hrs

Panglao, Philippines 21 hrs

Dahab, Egypt 23-39 hrs

Bali, Indonesia 24 hrs

Grand Cayman 9hrs

Kona, Hawaii 5.5 hrs


From New York

Coron, Philippines 22 hrs

Cebu, Philippines 21 hrs

Panglao, Philippines 20.5 hrs

Dahab, Egypt 14-19 hrs

Bali, Indonesia 24 hrs

Grand Cayman 4 hrs

Kona, Hawaii 13 hrs


Our dive travel group planned a trip to Bali more than a year in advance. The resort was booked the diving was set up. Then a few months before the trip was scheduled the Balinese government decided it would schedule 'a day of silence' on the same day we were set to fly out canceling our flight. So we had to scramble and find new flights and itineraries that were less than ideal. We had to reach out to the resort and book an extra day of stay making the trip longer than expected.



Cost


Once you book a flight you're now committed. Time to get accommodations and book your activities. Places like Bali, Philippines, and Egypt will be relatively inexpensive and even more so when there's civil strife or a recently erupted volcano. The freediving course or excursion may be less expensive as well. In the case of Bali you get what you pay for in that the extreme currents can make a whole day bust. The cost can also be indicative of the quality of training you will receive.



It will cost this much to learn to freedive to 40m (131 ft):

40m in Egypt $920

40m in Kona $894 With Kona Freedivers

40m in Bali $1070 from Freedive nusa

40m in Cayman $800 + E-learning with Divetech



Activities


Are you bringing the family or perhaps a significant other? Are they water people? Are you just interested in water activities or do you want more land-based opportunities? These are all things to consider when choosing a freediving destination. Places like Kona and Egypt will have some really spectacular opportunities on-shore. Places like the Philippines and Grand Cayman will be more limited with most of the opportunities surrounding water activities. Kona has some of the best ocean activities like snorkeling with manta rays, and swimming with dolphins and other large marine life. Learning to freedive here is easy because of the calm waters and clear water. Places like the Philippines will be more limited in that regard often having an abundance of smaller marine critters depending on where you go.





Services


This is a broad category but let's say you need to mail a souvenir because you can't fit it in your luggage. Or maybe someone in your party gets sick or injured and you need to visit the hospital. Some of the destinations listed here may have great first world services like Kona while others may be a little more 3rd world like Bali or long Island Bahamas. the longer you stay at a destination the more this becomes important. If you're preparing your own meals can you easily get to the grocery store and buy fresh food? Some places in the caribean and Egypt will be much more limited in this regard. Of course you may eat out but you have to be careful as some stomach bugs can last for days or weeks. 1st world places like Kona, Hawaii will have much less opportunity for these kind of occurrences.



Safety


This can be a bit more challenging to quantify without knowing all of the factors involved with your destination. Keep in mind some of these destinations require a passport while others like Hawaii do not. Anywhere you travel requiring a passport means you are not a citizen and may be treated differently for better or for worse. Should you plan to rent a car keep in mind you may need an international driver's license. You can visit the US government's travel advisory page to see if there are any serious threats in the destination you are researching.



Recommendations


Feeling daunted by all of the factors influencing your travel destination decision? Us too! We have done a lot of international travel and after all of it we decided to settle in Kona, Hawaii for a reason. But planning a trip even to Hawaii still takes some effort. You have to book flights, rental car, hotel, activities etc. That's why we developed Kona Ocean Camp. It's a 5 day camp that provides the opportunity to learn to freedive along with so much more. Yoga, ocean activities, camping, food, transportation and instant camaraderie are all provided. All you have to do is book a flight and we take care of the rest.


We recognize that you are busy and your vacation time is precious. Instead of spending it sitting in a plane, going through customs, and dealing with jet-lag, Kona Ocean Camp provides the experience you'd get in a beautiful tropical destination with the first-world ease of travel. Experience the outdoors in paradise with experienced guides taking care of every detail. Simply show up and they take care of the rest. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 😎🌴🌺🌊🐬



To see more about Kona Ocean Camp and why you should prioritize waking up on a beautiful black-sand beach dolphins jumping in the backdrop visit www.konaoceancamp.com










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