I’ve been a qualified scuba diver for over 15 years.
Unfortunately for me, there was a long period when I forgot how incredible it is. In the past two years, I’ve reignited my passion for scuba, visiting some of the world’s best locations, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Great Blue Hole in Belize and Mexico’s cenotes, and achieving Stress and Rescue certification just a few weeks ago in Thailand.
In all of these popular locations, there were a huge number of dive schools to choose from and it was very difficult to know who to book with. That’s why I was really excited to hear about a relatively new website called TribloO, which acts as a totally unbiased comparison and booking site for divers around the world.
TribloO makes the process really straightforward and saves you loads of time. Below are a few reasons why it’s exactly what the diving community needs.
DIVE SCHOOLS REVIEWED BY EXPERT DIVERS
To conduct its reviews, TribloO only uses experienced divers who’ve travelled the world, diving in variable conditions with different dive schools. This way they ensure that each reviewer can be objective, drawing on previous experience for comparison, and using their wealth of knowledge to provide accurate feedback on key aspects such as safety, staff competency, gear quality, atmosphere, service, and consideration for the environment.
Reviewers have to provide evidence of their qualifications and experience, and they sign a declaration promising to follow ‘8 commandments’, stating, among other things, that they won’t tell the school it’s being reviewed until the review is complete, they won’t negotiate favours in return for biased reviews, and they will be honest and transparent at all times.
DISCOUNTS FOR DIVERS
When a dive school passes the criteria for inclusion on the site, they’re invited to become a member. Many schools who sign up to be a part of TribloO agree to offer divers up to a 15% discount for bookings through the site.
TribloO recognises that many divers are travellers with fluid itineraries. Backpackers don’t like to be held down to specific dates and will usually avoid making a booking rather than make one that might mess up their plans. Booking with TribloO is non-commital. This means that you can contact the dive school closer to the date you intend to dive with them to confirm or change your plans.
DIVE SCHOOL INFORMATION
A comprehensive search tool enables you to search for a dive school depending on location, time of year, what you’d like to see, which course or activity you’d like to do, distance from the ocean, and many other factors.
There’s a huge amount of information on every school that’s listed on TribloO. On their main page, it lists perks such as specialist courses offered, unique access to dive sites or additional services. There are usually photographs and videos, as well as a map of the school’s location and a detailed background on the history of the dive school and its team.
A ‘Details’ tab lists useful information, including languages spoken, payment details, diving schedules and practical information about the area.
Other tabs include ‘Fares’, other things ‘To do in the Area’, further information on local ‘Dive Sites’ and any ‘Comments’ by past visitors.
All together, it provides a great way to compare dive schools to ensure you’re choosing one that suits your needs, as well as enabling you to find out everything you could possibly need to know before booking. You can even access real-time weather conditions for the dive school you’re interested in.
If you’re not even sure where you want to go yet, you can swat up on the best dive sites each country has to offer. As well as learning about the marine life and opportunities for specialist dives, there’s information and links for activities in the area, advice on visas, health and safety, weather charts, and a list of the most highly recommended dive centres.
SPECIALIST DIVING AND FURTHER INFORMATION
If you’re looking for something specialist, such as family diving, disability diving, or expert options like deep, wreck, technical or cave dives, you can search for schools using these criteria too. Results will display as either a list (ordered by rating) or on a map. The site also includes some very useful information on prerequisites for the various qualifications, as well as a scuba diving glossary of useful terms.
BENEFITS FOR DIVE SCHOOLS
Being listed as a high-quality dive school on a website that’s rapidly gained popularity since its inception two years ago is certainly a positive boost for companies’ reputations, but schools recommended on TribloO also enjoy increased e-visibility, global traffic and bookings.
I used TribloO for the first time last week to book some diving in the Philippines. I won’t be there for a couple of months and don’t know my arrival date or itinerary, but that wasn’t an issue because my chosen recommended school – Equation Dive and Travel – is happy to be flexible.
In order to book with them, I first had to set up an account on TribloO. The process was really straightforward. After I’d filled out my details, I received a confirmatory email with my login and password. The email was in French, but it was easy enough to decipher! I then made my booking using rough dates for when I think I’ll be there.
The dive school got back to me in less than a day to confirm my request. Since then, they’ve sent a few emails with recommendations for accommodation, suggestions for other places to dive in the country, and more information on their different dive packages.
There’s no reason not to use TribloO. It doesn’t ask for your card details and you don’t have to pay for membership. Once you’ve found a school, correspondence passes over to them and you continue as though you’d approached them yourself – only with a likely discount and the knowledge that connoisseur divers have selected the best dive schools for your needs.