How to Have a Successful Dive Trip with a Non-Diver (with a list of suggestions)

A dive trip with a family member or friend that does not scuba dive can be challenging. In fact, if you are like me, I bet you worry if they will have a good time while you are scuba diving.

However, it is quite easy to keep them entertained and happy for the duration of your dive trip.

If you are new to traveling with a non-diver, or you are out of ideas and need some inspiration stay with me, because I’ll cover some creative activities you can do with your non-diver companion.

The first list of suggestions are water friendly and the second list has more land base options for you!

snorkeling on a dive trip

5 Creative Dive Trip Activities for a Non-Diver (Water Based)

1. Snorkeling

This is the number one activity you can share in your dive trip with a non-diver that can swim and enjoys being in the ocean.

You can rent snorkeling gear in most dive shops, however, to have a good experience I recommend getting your own mask, snorkel and fins.

The selection of your gear can be the difference between having a good time or an OK time. Therefore, I recommend getting properly fitted at your local dive shop.

Most dive shops have expert staff that will guide you throughout the fitting process of your new gear.

An added benefit to having your Non-Diver companion along is they will have the opportunity to interact with other divers and professionals. This may help convince them to get scuba certified!

Make sure you talk to the dive shop first, since some dive spots are not easy to snorkel.

2. Discover Scuba Diving

If your companion is interested in diving but is not sure about getting certified, they can do a DSD or Discover Scuba Diving.

Discover Scuba Diving is a PADI program created for people who want to experience diving without a certification.

A certified scuba instructor will lead this program in a very safe manner. Groups are no bigger than 4 participants per instructor.The sites are shallow and calm, where beginners can fully enjoy themselves without worry.

This tour includes an academic portion where the participants will learn about some basics, after that they will complete a short confined water session where they can practice some underwater skills.

If they are comfortable breathing with the Scuba gear, and they can complete the skills with no problems, the last step will be a dive or two in open water.

This is a great program because, after they complete the training, they can keep diving for the duration of your dive trip.

During this program, the sites will always be hand picked by the dive shop or instructor depending on weather conditions and diver’s comfort level.

If the non-diver traveler joining you is interested in diving, but is not sure about getting certified, this is the best activity by far!

Make sure you arrange this experience with your operator before your dive trip.

Discover Scuba Diving with Maira

3. Underwater Photo Session

Hiring a local underwater photographer is a great experience. Not only will they go home with some great shots, they will also learn how to be underwater models.

For this activity, your companion and the photographer will submerge underwater and take unique and creative pictures.

These photoshoots are becoming increasingly popular. You do not need to know how to swim, open your eyes underwater or even hold your breath for long periods of time.

Your photographer will guide you on everything you need to know. The sites are normally shallow where you can easily stand up.

The picture below is from a good friend of mine doing a photoshoot in la Riviera Maya.

To see the results of her work you can go to her Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/lizphylomeno/

Underwater Photo Session with link to photographer Liz Phylomeno

4. Free Diving

Free diving is a growing sport. It refers to the method of underwater diving by holding your breath for as long as you can until you return to the surface.

While it can be challenging, it is extremely rewarding.

If your non-diver companion likes to try new things, you can book a Free Diver course with your dive shop.

This certification is about control and inner power. They will learn how to be in nature on their own terms while holding their breath.

Make sure to ask your scuba operator if they have Free Diver courses available.

This is a sport that has been around for a long time, however, it started growing in popularity in recent years because of the astonishing photos being shared on social media.

5. Kayaking


Going out and about in a Kayak is a great way to feel nature and enjoy some physical activity. Most destinations will have Kayaks available for you to rent.

I recommend hiring a local guide to take you on a Kayak tour. There are sunset tours, river tours and even mangrove tours to see crocodiles! Check out this company in Cancun, they are doing a fantastic job with their Kayak tours.

A good example of a dive trip including a Kayak tour is HUATULCO.

free dive. dive trip

5 Creative Dive Trip Activities for a Non-Diver (Land Based)

1. Hiking

This is my number one dry activity because no matter which destination you choose, you can always go for a hike. It can be a nice long walk along the coast or a more intense hike through the nearby mountains.

There are amazing easygoing tours that will take you through beautiful trails so you can discover the land surrounding your dive sites.

You can decide to go together on a Sunset hike after the dives or you can send your non-diver friend on a hike while you enjoy the underwater world.

The picture below is from one of my trips to CABO PULMO. We did hikes almost every day after the dives.

hiking mar hosted trips

2. Rent a Bicycle or a Golf Cart

If you have good weather, renting a bicycle or a golf cart to explore the area can be a lot of fun! I am always for a biking tour, especially if there is a bicycle trail or if the destination is a small island.

Your non-diver companion will have a blast touring around on wheels.

A lot of destinations are trying to become more sustainable. For this reason, having bicycles as a way of transportation is key.

Playa del Carmen is a dive destination with a new public bicycle system that allows users to take a bike from any of their 44 stations and give it back on the nearest point of their destination. This is a great way to tour the city!

3. Food Tour

In most destinations you will encounter fascinating cuisine. If your companion is a Foodie, you can do a gastronomic tour that will keep all travelers happy!

You can start your gastronomic research with direct recommendations, after that, you can use the internet to find the most authentic restaurants near you while on your trip.

A great example of a dive trip with a Food Tour is HUATULCO. This trip includes a tasting with Mezcal, a traditional drink from the region.

You can make your own gastronomic tour by doing a little research online or look up a local expert on sites like Airbnb Experiences.

dive trip

4. Relaxing at the beach

A dive trip goes hand in hand with beach time. Bring a good book to read or a notebook to write or draw your thoughts.

Having me time is important and is always the preferable activity for the non-divers.

You may be surprised how often they are more than happy to lay in a hammock or by the pool waiting for the boat to come back!

5. Day Trips

There is always a beautiful hidden spot nearby. If your companion likes to explore, you can research prior to your trip for those amazing places.

In my dive trip to HUATULCO I’m taking all divers on a day trip to visit one of the most beautiful beach towns in all Mexico: Mazunte.

Mazunte beach dive trip

Dive Trips With Creative Activities Besides Scuba:

HUATULCO Activities included: Kayak, Hikes, Mezcal tasting, World famous beach day trip.

MAHAHUAL Activities included: Snorkel, Bike rides.

THE SEA OF CORTEZ Activities included: Snorkel with Whale Sharks.

CABO PULMO Activities included: Sunset Hikes, Snorkel.