Question Redundant gas when traveling?

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Personally... Some holidays are "single tank holiday". If I don't want an instabuddy, I'll rent a buddy. On standard run of the mill trips, I'll dive single tank, and keep a keen eye on gas usage, riskmoments and usable gas. Normally I would have no issues diving to 30m with this. I am normally limited by time, not gas. However... there are a few dives, where redundant gas is nice. Thistlegorm in Egypt is one of them. I had a (very competent, technically trained) rentabuddy. So we added a 21%deco stage.
Personally, I would rather do that, than fiddle about with sidemount. (I have one at home if you want to try) Its a PITA when used to simplicity of doubles.

But... My strategy is normally, just keep a keen eye on gas. Also my buddys gas. Keep good margins. And not worry so much. Singletankdiving is quite liberating.

OR, you can book your liveaboard with Red Sea Explorers and just dive doubles....
The short answer is, most places that see vacation divers everyday, will not trust you with a second AL80. They are doing 45 minute "look at the pretty fish" dives. They don't want to wait around for 30 minutes while you gear up, and they really don't want you suddenly doing a 2 hour decompression dive.

Show up with an AL19 or AL30, and they'll still be suspicious, but not enough to actually say no to it.

Now if you are doing unguided dives, you can do whatever you like, but that's one of the big reasons for the travel pony. Just less of a fight.

I am as quick as any backmount diver to don and doff when sidemounting. I always ask before booking and 9 out of 10 rec operators let me dive with 2 tanks. Travelling with tanks is a pain, especially if you want a sizeable pony (40 cf and up). And you do not need left and right valves although they are nice to have.

The only real downsides from my perspective are additional gear and training required.

This being sad, I know very experienced divers that hate sudemount so in the end it boils down to a personal preference.

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