The Dos And Don’ts Of Snorkeling - [101 Beginners Guide]

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Snorkeling is one of the best ways to explore the underwater world. It's also a great way to get in shape and improve your fitness level. If you're new to snorkeling, this article will teach you everything you need to know so that your first time out won't be your last! It would be best if you never went snorkeling without a life vest, a first-aid kit, a knife, some sunscreen, and your favorite tunes.

Along with those necessities, you must always bring some emergency contact information with you and any medication you need on the day of your trip. Whether you are diving with sharks or not, every snorkeler must follow several dos and don'ts after hiring a professional for their safety. Snorkeling is one of the best ways to get up close and personal with all sorts of wildlife. It's also one of the most accessible ways to see some of our beautiful oceans. It all sounds impressive, but before you go off and buy your snorkel gear, there are a few Dos and Don'ts to keep in mind.

The Dos of snorkeling

1 Do: Use a Snorkel

-If you're new at it, do try a simple diving mask with a single breathing tube so you can concentrate on holding your body in an upright position and floating.

-If you're more experienced, get a full face mask that will allow you to breathe easily and see everything underwater just like fish do.

2 Do: Use Seasickness Medicine

Seasickness is the main reason people quit snorkeling, so it's important to take medicine before heading out, especially if you're planning an excursion to your local snorkeling spot. The drug will help combat dizziness, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms of seasickness.

3 Do: Take Your Time

You don't need to rush when you snorkel; start by floating in the water and getting comfortable while breathing through your snorkel. Once you feel confident and relaxed, start gliding your hands and feet to move around.

4 Do: Take a Tour

The best way to appreciate snorkeling is by a tour with a guide who can help you find the best sites for catching a glimpse of colorful fish, coral reefs, and other sea life. Leave the planning to the experts, and they'll show you a fantastic time.

5 Do: Buy Your Snorkeling Gear

If you plan on snorkeling regularly, it's worth buying your gear. There are lots of top brands available online and in sporting goods retailers. Getting a suitable mask is essential because there are so many different types to choose from.

6 Do. A goggle with a skirt is better than a mask for avoiding the saltwater from your eyes.

7 Do. Wear clothes that are tight to your body, as they're less likely to get caught on anything underwater.

8 Do. Be mindful of temperature and currents when swimming in cold water, as you may need a wetsuit or a dry suit.

9 Do. Shut out all light so your eyes can quickly adjust to the darkness - even the smallest amount of daylight could ruin your experience.

10 Do. Find the right gear for yourself. There are lots of options on the market for different types of activity, so it's worth spending time looking around at what's out there. 

11 Do. One option might be more suitable for snorkeling in a pool or a protected bay, while another could be better for exploring coral reefs and rocky areas.

12 Do. Choose the location well. The presence of sharks, jellyfish, large waves, and strong currents can all make a place unsuitable for snorkeling. Besides being one of the most popular outdoor activities globally, it's also easier to find good places to do it, as you'll often see signs regulating where snorkeling is allowed. 

13 Do. Keep an eye on your gear. Once you've got everything set up, always take a moment to check for damage or anything that may need to be repaired before going in the water. It can also be a good idea to carry extra equipment with you, just in case.

14 Do. Keep your gear accessible. If you're not wearing the right shoes for snorkeling, make sure they're close enough to grab quickly and anything else that you want easy access to. 

15 Do. Wear suitable clothing. To get the full benefits and enjoyment of snorkeling, you need to make sure you're dressed for it. Rash vests and other suitable clothing will be made from materials that won't get uncomfortable when wet and will protect your skin from sunburn.

16 Do. Decide on your snorkeling destination carefully. It's best to choose a calm and clear place of obstacles such as rocks, corals, or boats.

17 Do. Don't forget to clear your mask. Make sure you don't have any hair, dirt, or other objects around or in front of your face. The last thing you want is to go snorkeling with something obscuring your view, so always check before getting in the water.

18 Do. Carefully watch what you're doing. Snorkeling is not a time for heavy exertion, so try to limit swimming and other strenuous activities while you're under the water.

19 Do. Don't snorkel alone if you can avoid it. It's always safest to be with someone else in case there are any problems.

NB: Make sure to use the right snorkel for your face shape.

If you're new to snorkeling, don't try out your best friend's mask on your face. 

You probably have the wrong size, and the result may be a headache, a feeling of unease, or a poor view once you jump into the sea.

The Don'ts of snorkeling 

1. Don't forget to bring extra snorkel tubes of material if needed.

Most people don't realize that there are two types of snorkels. One is the traditional J- tube snorkel, and one is a dry snorkel.  The latter keeps water out of your mouth because it has an upper valve the diver breathes through. Not only do you need to bring both types, but also be sure to pack extra parts for them as well.

2. Know how to position yourself for the best snorkeling and breathing.

There are several tips that you need to follow when positioning yourself in the water:

  • Remember to keep your mouth closed with a natural "kiss" with the upper lip over the top of your teeth;
  • Tuck your elbows into your sides;
  • Keep your back straight;
  • Tilt your head slightly backward while slightly pushing out your chin; and
  • Let the snorkel tube be supported by positioning it between your upper lip and teeth.

3. Don't push yourself beyond limits when snorkeling.

Snorkeling is not for all people, especially those who have different physical conditions. People with asthma, lung ailments, heart disease, and other diseases that affect breathing cannot take part in snorkeling at all, or they must check first with their doctor for advice about the possible risk of snorkeling. 

4. Don't use your arms to pull yourself forward when you swim.

You will swim faster if you kick and use your arms in a swimming motion. Dragging your arms against the water will exhaust you quickly and can even make you feel nauseous, too, if done excessively.

5. Don't forget to practice with snorkel gear at least once before entering the open sea.

Even if you've been using snorkeling gear for a long time, it is still recommended to practice on your own first at home before going out. This way, you will be less nervous and more confident when diving with sharks or other fish.

6. Don't forget to wear the right amount of sunscreen.

You may be wearing a life vest, but you will still feel sunburn if you don't apply sunscreen on your face.

7. Don't forget to bring an underwater camera or video camera.

Some people love taking pictures when they do snorkeling, while others prefer capturing every moment through videos. Not only can it help you relive the experience, but also help you show your friends and family what it looks like under the sea.

8. Don't forget to bring some cash for accessories like accessories, snacks, sunscreen (if not already provided), mask defogger, etc.

Besides utility bills, snorkeling trips may also require you to pay for optional items. Some companies charge extra for special gear, while others are more accommodating, so this will depend on your snorkeling trip provider.

9. Don't forget to bring some sun lotion too if the place offers shade.

Remember that you cannot simply ask someone to pass it to you while underwater because of the noise, so if you forget to put some, it will be too late when you realize the mistake.

10. Don't forget to bring high-energy snacks.

It is recommended that hungry snorkelers eat hearty meals before diving in if they feel nauseous while floating underwater. The water pressure may cause your stomach to churn, so keep your food inside.

11. Don't forget to keep your mask dry by tilting it in the opposite direction of water flow when you are not using it.

12.For children, don't let them wear heavy equipment unless necessary.

Not only will they be overwhelmed with all the snorkeling gears, but they may also feel tired in case they cannot swim properly 

13. For children, don't let them stay underwater for too long.

It is also recommended to bring a schedule when you go snorkeling with kids so that adults can take turns. Some sea animals bite like jellyfish, and their sting could be very dangerous for young children. 

14. For children, don't let them go too deep into the sea.

Although shallow snorkeling can be fun for kids, keep them at least three feet underwater only. Remember that even if the visibility is good around you, it does not mean no sea animals are living under you, so observe your surroundings first.

15. For children, don't put your face too close to the surface of the sea because water droplets may irritate their eyes.

Also, remember that kids have sensitive skin, so it is best to apply sunscreen on them afterward.

16. Don't forget to bring extra water for your family, especially if you are traveling in the summer.

The weather may be scorching during the summer months, so bring enough water for everyone to hydrate them first before snorkeling, especially during hot days.

17. When it comes to gear, don't forget to clean your mask after every use.

Take the time to wipe off any excess dirt or debris that may be stuck on it, as this can affect the performance of the mask.

18. Don't forget to stay hydrated even if you're not underwater yet.

Don't let your skin breathe too much because excess sweat may lead to dehydration and other health problems, so stay hydrated first before going on a snorkeling trip, even if you're not diving in yet.

19. Don't forget to carry a towel when snorkeling.

You may feel exhausted after a session of snorkeling, and it is best to dry your hair with a towel before going back on the boat again.

20. Don't wear too many oils or cologne before snorkeling.

It is best to be natural down there because some sea animals are susceptible to smells that may lead them not to approach the snorkeler at all. 

21. Don't wear too much jewelry when you go snorkeling.

Keep in mind that your resistance will drop underwater with the added weight of the apparatus, so wear as little as possible.

22. Don't forget to bring a friend with you if you are going alone or if it's your first time going snorkeling.

It will be easier for beginners to navigate around and even buy snacks because a company may accept cash only. The guide may not understand a word of what you're saying if you're a foreigner so keep some money on the side just in case.

23. Don't let your limbs drift away from your body.

Remember that they will naturally float upwards when underwater, so use a weight belt to help you stay at the surface longer. It is best to snorkel with a friend and use a weight belt for both of you to stay afloat.

24. Don't forget your sunscreen when going out in the sea.

Seawater can reflect the sun's rays, even more, making it more harmful than ever, especially if you're surrounded by sea animals that sting like jellyfish or stingrays. The saltwater may also sting your eyes, so bring some eye drops or contact lenses first.

25. Don't forget to check the weather before snorkeling

Some sea animals can only be seen during certain seasons, so even if you have already booked an excursion, it is best to check with the local marine life experts first if it's the right time to dive in.

26. Don't forget to ask as many questions as you can before snorkeling, especially if this is your first time.

It will be best to study certain sea animals and their habitat so that you'll know what to look for down there. If possible, go to a popular spot with a good reputation because these are the safest spots in the area most of the time.

27. Don't be too ambitious during your first snorkeling trip.

Remember that you won't see everything even if you've been scuba diving before so take it easy and enjoy the beauty of nature while you still can. 

28. Don't forget to check the equipment before you snorkel down.

Ensure that all gears are working fine and won't slip around when underwater as this may hinder your movements and put you at risk of drowning, so be very careful with it. If possible, go for a dry suit if it's your first time buying snorkeling gears.

29. Don't rush your underwater experience.

Enjoy every moment out there, and don't be too ambitious about seeing everything under the sea because this will only put you at risk of getting exhausted or even drowning if you become too careless about it.

30. Do not ignore the advice of the local marine life experts.

If you are in a popular snorkeling spot, there's always an expert at the scene who can guide you to specific areas that are safe for your first try at it. Make sure that they know what they're talking about, though, because some of them may only be on board for the show, and their main job is still elsewhere.

31. Don't make any loud noises when snorkeling.

Some sea animals are susceptible to sound waves, and you wouldn't want a hungry shark to approach you just because you're making a scene, suitable? So if possible, keep the noise down during your underwater adventure, even if it's only you.


Snorkeling is one of the most accessible ways to see some of our beautiful oceans. It's also one of the best ways to get up close and personal with all sorts of wildlife.

Before you go off and buy your snorkel gear, there are a few Dos and Don'ts to keep in mind.

The first step is finding the right gear for yourself—there are lots on the market for different types of activity, so it's worth taking time to look around at what's out there.

One option might be more suitable for snorkeling in a pool or bay, while another could be better for exploring coral reefs and rocky areas; make sure your destination is calm, clear, has no obstacles, and there is someone with you.