Ask any experienced scuba diver and he or she will soon tell you that there is nothing like owning your own gear. Each time you go away on a scuba diving trip you will at first need to hire out scuba diving equipment. But what if you already own your equipment? How much of an advantage is this? The truth is, as any experienced diver would agree, owners of their own scuba diving equipment means you get to know your own stuff inside out.
There is certainly that element of safety in knowing your own equipment. Each time you put on your diving suit you will know exactly how to put it on and it will always fit like a glove. There is nothing worse than hiring a diving suit and finding it's a bit of a tight squeeze. Scuba diving equipment is best worn when it is your very own and not hired. But, there are some drawbacks with buying scuba gear and taking it with you on every dive.
Some of the world's best dive centers are located in the most far flung exotic centers of the globe; in Barbados, Bali, Thailand, Australia and off the coast to the Great Barrier Reef, there are hundreds of exotic locations littered all over the planet that are fantastic spots for diving. Let's say you come from Europe and want to travel down to the Great Barrier Reef for a diving experience of a lifetime, the cost of taking your (heavy) suit and cylinders will create a number of problems before you even take flight.
There are certainly occasions here where you should consider renting dive equipment, rather than hauling all your own stuff half way round the planet. Think carefully of the expense (the extra luggage fees could soon mount up) and the safety factors of taking cylinders on flights. I am sure most airlines would not entertain taking the cylinders.
So what are the factors behind owning v buying your dive equipment? Put simply if you are traveling by plane, hire your suit and cylinders and if you have some smaller items that will not impact on luggage weight on a flight, then by all means take them. If you are traveling by boat all the way to your dive center or dive location, then why not take all of your own stuff with you. An example of this would be Spanish residents living in the Costa del Sol traveling up the Mediterranean by boat.