A few years ago over his spring break, my sister and I took my nephew to the Florida Keys to learn how to snorkel. We learned to snorkel when we were young — my dad, who was in the Army, was stationed in Hawai’i and we learned to swim with the fishes in the warm Hawai’ian waters. My nephew was about the age I was when I learned to snorkel, in kindergarten or the first grade.
After a few stop and starts, my nephew took to snorkeling like, well, a fish, so it wasn’t really a surprise when last year he asked me about SCUBA diving, knowing I’m a certified diver myself. That got me to thinking — aside from being a strong and confident swimmer, what other parameters go along with teaching kids to SCUBA dive?
According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, more widely known as PADI, kids 10 years old and older can take the Junior Open Water Diver course, as long as they can swim, of course. Online learning is available for kids 13 and older through the Open Water Diver course online, and kids ages 10 through 12 can learn via the PADI Open Water manual and DVD.
Upon completion of the Junior Open Water Diver course, and to be sure kids don’t exceed their limits, divers 10 and 11 years old must dive with a PADI professional or certified parent or guardian, and dives can’t go beyond 40 feet. Young divers between the ages of 12 and 14 must dive with a certified adult and dives can’t go beyond 60 feet. Rules change as young divers age and, after 15 years old, the depth and buddy restrictions default to those of regular PADI Open Water Divers.
If your kids are interested in SCUBA diving, not quite 10 years old but at least eight, or aren’t quite sure they want to get fully submerged into diving, check out PADI’s Bubblemaker and Seal Team programs. Bubblemaker goes as deep as six feet in its one-day program in a pool or confined water to introduce kids to SCUBA, while the Seal Team program is a bit more of an extensive pool program that covers basic diving skills along with taking underwater selfies, learning environmental awareness and practicing buoyancy.
If you have a young budding diver in the family, consider one of these programs and introduce him or her to the forever sport of SCUBA diving.
This October, take the whole family to London and take time to not only enjoy the classic sites but also these scary fun Halloween events and experiences. Whether it’s a spooky-filled trip to the London Zoo or a step into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, here are the three can’t-miss experiences:
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Medellín, Colombia, with us.
Make your family trip to Orlando so much more than just visiting the theme parks. Thanks to new vacation bundles from luxury hotels in Orlando, available as of Sept. 1, you can enjoy exclusive boating experiences during your trip.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Where can family travelers experience a truly unique (and possibly unusual) Halloween tradition? Look no further than Morro Bay, California, a city hosting the annual Witches Paddle. Just as it sounds, the Witches Paddle sees hundreds of people don witches’ costumes in honor of Halloween before taking to the water on stand-up paddleboards.