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7 Tips for Snorkeling Trips

Updated on September 13, 2013

How to Enjoy Snorkeling Trips More

A snorkeling trip can be an amazing experience where you get to see incredible underwater life and many brightly colored fish and coral formations.

Trips in places like Maui in Hawaii or the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, or many other places around the world offer fantastic snorkeling trips that give many people a once in a lifetime experience.

Or, a snorkeling trip can be very disappointing if you don’t have the right gear, and don’t prepare for it correctly. You could end up with water continuously filling your mask. You could get dehydrated from not having proper fluid intake. Or you could even not see anything because your mask is fogging up.

In this article you will get some tips and ideas for how to enjoy your next snorkeling adventure to the fullest and ensure you don’t have a disappointing experience

Great Snorkeling Picture
Great Snorkeling Picture | Source
Snorkel Gear - Mask and Snorkel
Snorkel Gear - Mask and Snorkel | Source

1. How to Defog your Snorkel Mask or Goggles

Snorkel masks or goggles build up fog on the inside that makes it difficult or even impossible to see the amazing underwater scenes. This can be very frustrating for those who are going on a once in a lifetime snorkeling trip to an exotic location.

Here are 3 tips that I have used and found successful for clearing snorkel masks of fog

Anti Fog Spray or Liquid – Many dive shops and online snorkel gear websites sell defogging liquid that you can use to put on the inside of your mask or goggles before snorkeling that helps prevent fogging on the lenses. I have used several different brands of this anti-fog liquid and it does work well. The only drawback is it can be a little pricey for a small bottle.

Spit/saliva – This is not very clamorous, but it does work very well. Simply spitting a little saliva on the inside of the mask or goggles, rubbing it around, then rinsing can help prevent any fogging during your next snorkeling trip. Some people don’t like to do this for whatever reason, but the fact that it is simple, easy and free makes it my first choice whenever I go snorkeling.

Toothpaste – If you have a new snorkel mask, or a mask that always fogs up, no matter what you use to try to defog it, then this might be a solution for you. New snorkel masks often have protective oil or even just oil from hands on them that can cause them to fog. Using toothpaste to clean off this coat of oil often eliminates fogging problems. This can be done at home with some plain toothpaste that does not have any mint, cinnamon or any other flavoring.

Use about a nickel sized amount of plain toothpaste on each lenses of your snorkel mask (or each side, if your mask is one piece). Using your fingers, rub the toothpaste all around the lenses making sure to cover all the surface area. Next, rinse the mask thoroughly and let it dry in a way that water does not pool on the lenses.

This should eliminate your fogging problems.

What Gear You Need for a Snorkel Trip

Snorkeling is very simple, you only need a few things before you can enjoy your next snorkeling trip. Here is what you need for snorkeling:

  • Mask or Goggles
  • Snorkel
  • Fins

You may also want some of the following items, depending where you will be snorkeling:

  • Wet-suit
  • Gloves
  • Booties

2. Check All Equipment Before Starting the Trip

To avoid any problems developing while you are on your snorkeling trip, be sure to check your gear before you leave. Even if you rented the equipment (in which case, you should check it at the rental place), do a thorough check that each piece is working properly.

For the mask, make sure it is airtight by putting it on your face, then submerging your head in water. Adjust the straps to make sure they are not broken or stuck.

Check that your snorkel does not leak, and has a clear air passage.

Make sure your fins have good straps and can adjust properly.

Check any other gear, such as wetsuits, booties, and gloves for holes or problems.

It is much better to find a problem before you leave on a snorkel trip when you can actually do something to fix it.

3. Proper Fitting Gear

While checking your gear for problems, also make sure it will fit you. The last thing you want is to get to your snorkeling destination only to find your wetsuit won’t fit or your mask is too tight and can’t be adjusted.

So whether you are renting equipment or are buying it, always try it on or test to make sure it will fir you and is comfortable to use.

Sunscreen SPF

When choosing what sunscreen to use, consider using a high SPF, 30 or more, and check that it is waterproof and will not wash off.

Also reapply sunscreen if you are out more than a couple hours. It can quickly wash off or lose its effectiveness.

4. Sunscreen and Protective clothing

Remember to bring and use sunscreen while enjoying that snorkel trip to Maui or the Great Barrier Reef. Forgetting your sunscreen might not bother you while you are on the snorkel trip, but you will be in pain the next day!

Another option is to wear a rash guard shirt like surfers use. These protect the surfers from getting any rashes while laying on their surfboard, but they also protect them from the sun. So consider using a rash guard shirt that will protect your skin.

Water is Vital!
Water is Vital! | Source

5. Drink and Bring Lots of Water and Sports Drinks

Dehydration is more common than you would expect on snorkeling trips. The long hours in the sun and in the salt water can quickly cause someone to become dehydrated.

Avoid this by drinking water both before and after snorkeling, and also bring sports drinks that will replenish valuable minerals that could be lost if it is particularly warm.

Sports drinks also help remove the salt water taste from your mouth after a few hours in the ocean.

6. Bring an Energy Filled Snack (Or Lunch for Day Trips)

Along the same lines as drinking plenty of water, it is also very important that your body has enough fuel to keep you enjoying the snorkeling. Swimming is a full body workout that uses many different muscles. These muscles need something to keep them going, so enjoy a healthy breakfast before any snorkeling adventure, and bring a snack that will give you an energy boost.

Snacks can be nuts, energy bars, trail mix or many other possibilities. Just be sure it will be easy for your body to turn It into energy, and make sure you give at least 3o minutes between eating and swimming.

Underwater Pictures

A Parrot Fish
A Parrot Fish | Source

7. Buy and Use an Underwater Camera

You can buy very cheap disposable cameras that can make it easy to remember all the amazing underwater things you saw. There are also many digital cameras that are waterproof and reasonably priced as well. You might not think about it now, but having pictures of that crazy sea creature you saw will give a lot of credibility to your story…

If you enjoyed this article, please leave your thoughts, suggestions or a story about your own snorkeling adventures in the comments.

Thanks for reading!


Submit a Comment

  • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

    Ed Palumbo 

    4 years ago from Tualatin, OR

    I enjoyed this well-written article! My activity as a scuba diver was initiated by my snorkeling, which allowed me to move easily and to be comfortable underwater. I continue to snorkel when I travel lightly, and it's excellent exercise. I applaud the suggestion to use an underwater camera.

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    cam8510 - sounds like fun! I visited lake Michigan a few times but it was so cold after living on a tropical island! But I always heard there were great shipwrecks there. Thanks for dropping by!

  • cam8510 profile image

    Chris Mills 

    5 years ago from Hartford, CT

    Thanks internpete. I really enjoyed this article. I snorkled in Hawaii once and that was great. Otherwise, I have done some on Lake Michigan where I live and have been able to see some awesome shipwrecks. Next summer I plan on doing some free diving.

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    freecampingaussie - Wow, a whale? Sounds amazing! I love snorkeling too! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • freecampingaussie profile image


    6 years ago from Southern Spain

    Snorkeling is awesome seeing another life under the water ! We loved snorkeling at Ningaloo Reef WA as well as Whitsundays QLD ! I saw a whale while in the water .. Have hubs about both trips . Enjoyed your tips here and voting you up.

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Faith Reaper - I am glad you enjoyed this hub and I hope you get a chance to go snorkeling because it is an amazing underwater world that God has created! Thanks for your comment!

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 

    6 years ago from southern USA

    I have always wanted to go snorkeling!!! I have heard about the beauty of the under the sea world, and you have captured it here in this hub so well. Stunning. God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    GetitScene - Thanks for stopping by, and that is awesome you have been able to snorkel so much!

  • GetitScene profile image

    Dale Anderson 

    6 years ago from The High Seas

    I've snorkeled in a lot of places and these tips are right on the money. Good advice.

  • internpete profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter V 

    6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    teaches12345 - Glad this will help! I have had a lot of experience over the years living on a tropical island dealing with goggles and trying to keep them clean/unfoggy. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    Thanks for the information. Our visitors use goggles in the pool and at the beach. This will help us to keep them clean and useable. Voted up.


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