While written with live-aboards in mind, a number of these tips also apply to other dive-centric holidays. Once out of the water, all that’s left to do is dry your gear, relax, soak up the sun and de-gas. The latter mostly happens naturally, but there are a few things you can do to help the process along.
1) Drink plenty of water. Dehydration causes your blood to thicken and run more slowly through your veins, slowing down the transport and release of stored nitrogen. So drink enough to keep you heading to the head often.
2) Take a dose of acetylsalicylic acid, such as aspirin. This mild painkiller has been known to help the blood move nitrogen out of your body and reduce the risk of decompression illness. This step is purely optional and should not replace drinking plenty of water and observing 24-hour surface interval.
3) Relax. Stress, for reasons not fully understood, seems also to slow the release of nitrogen. So take full advantage of your holiday and have nothing to do but bask in the sun, read books and recharge.
4) It’s customary to tip the crew in cash at the end of your trip. Amounts vary — £35/€40/$55 per guest for a week of live-aboard in the Red Sea is standard, or around 10 percent of your total trip cost elsewhere. The total is divided among the crew according to boat rules. Check with your travel company what local rates and customs are where you’re going. After that, all there is left to do is to head to the airport and start planning your next live-aboard adventure. Happy trails!