When I began bringing my camera on trips and doing travel photography, I felt like I was playing Tetris, trying to get my camera gear into place before a trip. It’s chaotic, especially with multiple lenses, accessories, bags, international rules, and who knows what else. So safe to say you’re not alone in looking for tips to travel with camera gear.
Even years in, I still have to meticulously plan how all my gear will get from point A to point B without getting damaged. So enjoy the tips below to make life a bit easier with your travel photography.
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Expert opinions on the best ways to Travel with Camera Gear
Commonly asked questions about how to travel with camera gear
Can I take camera gear on a plane?
Yes, you can. There are no rules prohibiting any camera gear on a flight. I’ve taken my gear internationally and had zero issues. They will put it through the scanner, but if everything checks out, you’re golden.
How do you pack camera gear on a plane?
I don’t usually bring all my lenses on a trip, just because that’s unreasonable. Due to this, I can get it all into my 30L camera bag. It has enough nooks and crannies to hold all my gear and accessories. If I need to bring more, I can always wrap it in some clothes and put it in another carry-on item.
Do I have to take my camera out of the bag at airport security?
I have TSA Pre-Check, so I’ve never had to remove my camera gear. I’m not sure how it would be in the regular line, but it might operate the same as a laptop. I recommend asking the TSA agent for clarification as you travel with camera gear!
What’s a great travel camera to buy?
I would recommend grabbing a used Canon or Sony camera like the Canon Mark 5d 3 or the Sony A7r2. Both are still great bodies, but they won’t break the bank. Furthermore, they’re Full-Frame, so you will come back with stellar shots.
I only want to bring one lens on a trip. What should I get?
I’d choose a 24-105 lens if you can only take one lens (Canon RF version here). This incredibly versatile lens will give you crisp shots you can be proud of. Now, they’re not cheap, but you won’t find quality lenses for super cheap.
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Leave Nothing Behind – Use this Checklist before you Travel with Camera Gear
- Canon R5
- Canon RF 24-105 f/4
- Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8
- Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8
- Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8
- Tamron 150-600 f/5/6.3
- GoPro Hero9
- Peak Design Aluminum Tripod or Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Peak Design Clip
- Peak Design Camera Waterproof Cover: Small and Medium
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack
- Lens Filters
- External Hard drive
- 3 in 1 SD Card Reader/CFexpress
- Dust Blower
- Lexar 256GB SD Card
- San Disk 128GB Pro CF Express
18 Tips For When You Fly or Travel with Camera Gear
Have a dedicated case for your camera gear
If you’re okay putting your camera gear through as luggage vs. taking it as a carry-on, having a hard-shelled, padded case is one of the best options. While there’s some risk of losing it, it has the most protection possible – even more so than your camera bag.
With a padded case, they come in all sorts of sizes, depending on how much you want to ship. There are even some carry-on options if you want that too.
Keep your camera accessible
If you travel with a larger camera, like a mirrorless or DSLR, and want to carry your camera securely while still readily accessing it, the Peak Design Capture Clip is a must-have item.
This little gadget can be clipped to almost any strap, like a backpack or belt. You’ll slide your camera into the clip using the included Arca tripod-compatible plate, and once you hear a satisfying click, your camera is securely locked in place. With just a push of a button, you’ll be able to have your camera at the ready, helping you get those in-the-moment shots of your adventures you might otherwise miss.
Beyond holding your camera in a more readily accessible place as compared to if you store your camera in a backpack or camera bag, the Capture Clip is versatile. With additional attachments, you can use it to carry extra lenses to make them easier to swap or even strap a GoPro to your chest for point-of-view shots.
The only major downside is that your (likely expensive) camera will be proudly clipped onto your chest. This may not be advisable for sketchier areas that you’re traveling to. However, so long as you use common sense, the Capture Clip will definitely up your photography game, given how much more you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera!
Via Jessica Schmit, Uprooted Traveler
Hot Shoe Cover
One of the simplest ways to protect your camera from the elements is by investing in a hot shoe cover. A hot shoe cover is a simple little piece of plastic (less than 1 inch square) that matches your camera body and slides right into the metal slot atop your camera.
It’s designed to protect the area where external flashes or triggers attach to the camera body. In addition, the covers help keep dust, sweat, and water droplets off the flash contact points, providing additional protection for your camera against water damage.
Suppose your travels take you to beachy areas where you’ll likely encounter saltwater spray, particularly humid regions such as the South Carolina Lowcountry, or foggy destinations in the Pacific Northwest. In that case, a hot shoe cover is a good idea.
One of the best things about hot shoe covers is that they’re incredibly cheap! You can purchase multiples in a bulk order for less than $10 to ensure you always have a couple on hand. Of course, if you’d prefer to make a statement, you can also purchase customized options featuring your logo or a unique design.
Via Erin Clarkson
Wireless Remote Shooting
Remote shooting is a fantastic way to get beautiful shots of yourself or your group. It’s especially useful to be able to remote shoot when you are traveling solo or there aren’t other people around to ask to take a photo for you. There are a couple of different ways that you can shoot photos remotely.
If you don’t have a wireless remote, you can use your camera’s self-timer. In addition, most cameras have the option to set a shutter delay within their shooting settings. This means when you press the shutter, you’ll have anywhere from a few seconds to half a minute (delay times vary in different cameras) before the shutter releases, giving you time to get in place for the photo.
A second option is to use your camera’s mobile app. Cameras that are WiFi equipped usually have an app that you can download to your mobile device. The app enables you to control the camera’s shutter using your phone remotely.
The third option is to buy a wireless remote that connects to your camera. This tiny remote fits easily into your camera bag, so it’s convenient to use to trigger your camera’s shutter release remotely and from a distance. You can discreetly hold a wireless remote and push the button to shoot a photo. Because these remotes are so small, they are easy to hide and don’t appear in the image.
Via Erin from Pina Travels
Clean Your Camera Daily
One of the biggest challenges when traveling with your camera is keeping it safe and clean. Whether a point-and-shoot camera or a professional-grade DSLR, cameras can quickly get dirty on the road, especially if traveling in a foreign environment. Dust, dirt, and smudges can all affect the quality of your photos and might even ruin them!
But luckily, keeping your camera clean on the road is not difficult. You can have a higher chance of keeping your camera gear pristine with the proper equipment. The best part? Most camera cleaning equipment is very portable, so it won’t take up much space in your luggage!
A lens brush is one of the most essential tools for cleaning camera gear. A lens brush is a small, soft-bristled brush that can gently remove any dust or debris from your lens. It’s essential that you use a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching your lens.
Another tool to consider is a microfiber cloth, which can gently wipe the lens and other parts of your camera. Ensure you also bring a hand-squeezed blower, which can blow away any dust or debris that may have settled on your lens or camera sensor.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring a cleaning solution specifically designed for camera gear. It’s crucial to use the proper cleaning solution, as regular cleaners can cause damage to your camera lens!
Via Sean of TravelThailandTogether
Traveling with your drone to a new country
The first tip when traveling with your drone is to research before leaving so it stays in your possession! When you live somewhere that doesn’t have strict drone rules, it’s easy to assume others don’t, either.
Several countries have banned drones altogether except for commercial purposes and with special permits, including UAE, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Barbados, and Kyrgyzstan. In some, you risk your drone being confiscated at customs.
Once you can take your drone to your destination and have checked the local laws, it’s time to pack it safely.
Buy a good case for your drone with compartments for all the accessories. You can choose a hard or soft cover. As I take my drone in my cabin bag, I prefer a soft one with plenty of padding and compartments to keep accessories separate and safe. A shoulder strap is easier when traveling around, and you can attach it to your cabin case. A special drone backpack is another great option.
Disconnect the batteries and keep them in special battery-safe bags. For example, if you put your drone in the main section, the batteries should still be nicely protected in your hand luggage.
At your destination, take time to consider the environment. What’s the temperature? If it’s extremely cold, your drone could stop functioning midair and crash. Are there different birds, maybe bigger and less friendly, that may attack your drone?
Follow these tips, and your drone should be safe as you travel with camera gear.
Via Alison Watt, Glimpses Of UAE
Traveling with GoPro
When it comes to traveling with camera gear, GoPros are your best friend. GoPros are perfect for traveling- they are small and compact, take high-quality photos and videos, and can be used in almost any scenario. In addition, it makes it easy to travel with, as it doesn’t require a massive amount of space in baggage.
This is a significant benefit if you want to save money on flights and travel with a backpack as a carry-on. In addition, the ability to take photos and videos allows for great flexibility in capturing content. GoPros can also produce some pretty high-quality stuff, with the newer GoPros capturing up to 4k and beyond, which is incredible for its size.
Not to mention the versatility, you can easily customize a GoPro with additional mics (although the built-in one is still good), handles, and tripods. And who could forget the biggest selling point for GoPros: they can be used in any scenario. In addition, they are strong and sturdy, water-resistant, and withstand strong forces.
So whether you are snorkeling, hiking, mountain biking, or swimming under waterfalls, it doesn’t matter…your GoPro will help you capture the moment in the best possible fashion.
Via Josh Band, A Backpacker’s World
Can I bring my GoPro in my carry-on?
You can absolutely carry your GoPro with you as a carry-on. Of course, if you wanted to, you could also store it in your checked luggage, but you’d have to bring your camera batteries with you on the flight.
Using Waterproof Bags to Travel with Camera Gear
Waterproof bags are a must-have for anyone who wants to protect their expensive camera gear while traveling. Whether exploring the great outdoors, embarking on a boat trip, or navigating through rainy cities, these bags offer reliable protection against water damage and other potential hazards.
There are several benefits of using a waterproof bag for camera gear. First and foremost, they keep your equipment dry and safe from the elements. Rain, splashes, and accidental drops in water can cause significant damage to your camera, lenses, and accessories. With a waterproof bag, you can rest easy knowing your gear is protected as well as possible.
Additionally, many waterproof bags are designed with compartments and padding that can help keep your gear organized and secure. This can be particularly helpful when traveling with multiple lenses, camera bodies, and other accessories.
With a well-designed waterproof bag, you can easily pack and transport your gear without worrying about getting jostled or damaged in transit. This is incredibly important when you travel with camera gear.
Traveling with Mirrorless Camera Lenses
Mirrorless cameras are becoming increasingly popular among photographers, particularly those who love to travel. There are several benefits of using a mirrorless camera for travel photography.
First, mirrorless cameras are much smaller and lighter than traditional DSLR cameras, making them more convenient and easier to carry while traveling. This means you can pack more gear without worrying about exceeding baggage limits or feeling weighed down by heavy equipment.
Secondly, mirrorless cameras offer excellent image quality and performance thanks to their advanced technology and high-quality lenses. In addition, they often feature fast autofocus systems and the ability to shoot in low-light conditions, making them ideal for capturing stunning photos in any lighting situation.
Furthermore, mirrorless cameras offer a variety of creative features, such as in-camera image stabilization and customizable settings, that allow photographers to experiment with different techniques and styles.
Another must-have for photographers I can not recommend enough is a polariser, a game-changer when shooting near water and with lots of natural light.
Lastly, these cameras offer the ability to use interchangeable lenses, allowing you to adapt to different shooting situations without investing in multiple cameras. This is vital when you travel with camera gear, as you don’t want to miss a shot due to focal length.
Via Victoria Heinz
Keeping your Camera Gear and Technology Organized with Pouches
As a full-time digital nomad with a ridiculous amount of tech gear, using dedicated pouches for my cameras, chargers, cords, and hard drives has been an absolute game-changer in terms of staying organized. I have a backpack with a padded camera section for my two mirrorless cameras, but I have three tech pouches to hold everything else.
One pouch is a small padded zip case from Amazon. It perfectly fits my DJI Mini 3 Pro, the remote, the charging cable, and the spare propellers. Another similar case holds my additional cameras, like my GoPro and Insta360, and also fits the battery pack with two spare drone batteries.
And my favorite piece of tech storage is my Peak Design tech pouch, an accordion-style bag with handy pockets and compartments for all the little bits and pieces. This is where I keep every other charging cord, camera battery chargers, SD cards, readers, a travel adapter, and three hard drives to back things up on the go while I travel with camera gear.
One of the trickiest things about traveling with camera gear is that losing things can be inconvenient and expensive, but using tech pouches means everything has a specific place to go back to after being used. So I can easily make sure I’m not leaving anything behind when I move to my next spot.
Via Alexx Hayward, https://findingalexx.com/digital-nomad-advantages-and-disadvantages/
Keep your camera gear close when traveling
When traveling with a camera and the essential travel gear, you must take extra special care, whether by airplane, train, bus, or even your own personal vehicle. You need to treat your camera equipment almost as if it was a person.
If you travel with camera gear and you need to store your luggage, bring your camera and equipment as a carry-on.
Yes, it may cost a little bit more, but better to be safe than sorry. This way, you at least know it is in the safest hands. Yes, handlers treat everyone’s personal suitcases and backpacks somewhat carefully, but they cannot guarantee 100 percent that there might not be a problem.
For example, it might get stacked in with heavier items on top, lost in transit, or damaged due to unforeseen circumstances like turbulence or a sudden stop on the road.
You do not want to be caught without your camera or items, especially when traveling, and must scramble to find a replacement in a foreign area. Ensure you have essential padding in your bags; maybe even stuff it more with your own padding to play it safe.
Just remember these items are expensive to replace, and you want to enjoy the most out of them.
Via Nick Rosen from The World Overload
Use a DJI Osmo Pocket
Rio de Janeiro is a city known for pickpocketing, especially in the touristy areas of Ipanema and Copacabana. But this did not stop me from visiting Rio de Janeiro alone every year because if you know how to move around like a local, this city is one of the best in the world!
Many travelers skip Rio de Janeiro for reasons such as bag snatching, scams, ATM skimming, etc. As a content creator, I always travel to Rio but never bring my big cameras when I go there.
In 2019, I discovered the DJI Osmo Pocket, which worked wonders for all my visits to Rio!
The DJI Osmo Pocket is a compact and portable gimbal-stabilized camera that offers impressive features for both casual and professional users. It can shoot 4K video at 60fps and 12MP still images, ensuring high-quality content for your projects or personal use. In addition, the 1/2.3-inch sensor provides good low-light performance, while the 80-degree field of view allows you to capture wide-angle shots.
It is incredibly small and lightweight, making it easy to carry in places where you feel it’s unsafe to use a big professional camera. Furthermore, it can easily fit in your pocket or bag, allowing you to capture high-quality footage anytime and anywhere.
In Rio, they notice mobile phones, and they can quickly get snatched, but people need to become more familiar with the Osmo – they sometimes don’t notice that it’s a camera, so it’s my best tip for traveling with camera gear!
Via Trish Velarmino
Check out the DJI Osmo Pocket on Amazon.
Travel with Camera Gear – Lens Filter
Lens filters are an essential part of any photographer’s toolkit. They provide protection to your camera lens and allow you to experiment with a range of creative effects and looks. Several different types of filters are available, each offering unique benefits.
UV lens filters are the most common type, and they’re designed to block out UV rays and other forms of invisible radiation. These filters can help reduce haze and improve overall image quality, so they’re instrumental in areas where the sun is intense. Plus, it helps eliminate bluish cast in images.
These lens filters do not alter the images taken but help protect your camera lens from dust, dirt, and scratches. They are one of the most popular protection filters and are great for outdoor photography.
When packing for a hike, I always include my camera gear. These affordable filters protect your precious equipment from accidental slips and scratches that may occur when you travel with camera gear.
Here is a camera lens filter that you can get from Amazon https://amzn.to/3NwzuxI
Via Stephanie from Bey Of Travel
Use a comfortable backpack
For photographers who enjoy capturing stunning landscapes while traveling, a high-quality hiking backpack is essential to protect and carry camera gear and save the strain on your shoulders and back. Using a hiking-specific backpack for this purpose can offer several advantages, especially when you want to bring all your gear and not get a pain in the neck.
They are designed to be durable, lightweight, and comfortable for long periods of wear, which is particularly important when you want to get somewhere really special, like the stunning Lago di Braies. It’s a photographer’s dream with a mirror of crystal-clear water and a picturesque mountain backdrop.
When traveling, a hiking backpack can also come in handy for carrying other essentials like snacks, water bottles, and extra clothing. This makes it a versatile option for photographers who want to take their gear on the go without being weighed down by a bulky camera bag.
However, choosing a hiking backpack that fits your specific camera gear and needs is essential. Look for a backpack with ample padding and protection for your camera and lenses, sturdy zippers, shoulder and hip straps, and durable materials.
Lastly, using a hiking-specific backpack to carry camera gear while traveling can offer comfort, convenience, and protection for your valuable equipment. With the right backpack and taking time to get off the beaten path by hiking there, photographers can capture stunning photos and enjoy the journey.
Via Morgan Fielder at Crave the Planet
Get Insurance before you Travel with Camera Gear
If you plan on doing any travel in the near future, ensure your travel and camera gear are insured. This will protect you in case of any accidents or damages that might occur while you are away from home.
Adding gadget cover for any expensive travel gear such as cameras or laptops is worthwhile. However, because many travel insurance policies will not pay a sufficient amount to cover stolen or damaged gadgets, you will be responsible for paying your excess to make a claim.
Travel insurance is relatively inexpensive and can give you peace of mind when traveling. You can protect your pricey electronics against loss, theft, or damage. The level of coverage varies depending on the insurer and the gadget you are insuring.
Some policies will only cover you for damage or theft, while others will also cover accidental damage, for instance, when you drop your travel camera and crack the screen.
Traveling is always fun and exciting, but it is essential to make sure you are prepared for anything that might happen. A few things to help you get your gear insured include researching different companies, comparing their policies, and choosing a policy with a good reputation and a 24/7 support line. In addition, it will be beneficial if you need to make a claim while traveling.
Via Paulina from the UK Every Day
As you Travel with Camera Gear – Keep your Gear Dry with a Water Resistant Insert
This S-ZONE Water Resistant DSLR Camera Insert Case is the best thing that has happened to me when it comes to traveling with my DSLR. I’ve owned other camera bags, from a sling pack to a backpack with a place to hang a DSLR, but I’ve never stuck with any of them.
So instead, I’ve used this insert case on multiple trips, both domestic and abroad, and here’s why it’s different: I can quickly transfer it between bags, so I’m not chained to a specified camera bag, and my camera still has the waterproof, padded protection it needs.
My secret sauce includes a packable daypack (this is the one I use) because I always bring a bigger backpack as a carry-on – especially for my typical 1-2 month-long adventures abroad. It’s perfect for moving around on trips, especially train rides, where you can be a bit looser with your luggage. In that case, I have my small suitcase, backpack, and daypack much of the time.
Suppose you’re going on day trips, hiking, archaeological excavations, or other adventures where your bag will get dirty. In that matter, this case is perfection: Your camera can be inside a washable daypack that can also be packed away while dirty, so you’re basically worry-free!
Via Mukikapup’s Travels
Bring multiple memory cards and an external hard drive
Traveling with camera gear can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to managing and storing the precious memories you’ve captured. One indispensable tip for photographers on the go is to bring multiple memory cards and an external hard drive, particularly for longer trips.
Carrying multiple memory cards not only provides you with extra storage capacity but also helps safeguard your work against technical mishaps. Should one card fail or become corrupted, having backups will ensure that your data remain intact.
It’s wise to invest in high-quality memory cards from reputable brands and to rotate their usage to further minimize the risk of data loss.
Additionally, an external hard drive is invaluable for travelers seeking to store and back up their growing collection of photos and videos. Opt for a rugged, portable hard drive with ample storage capacity and a solid build to withstand drops and other issues.
If you’re hitting potholes on a drive to Auschwitz, or the bus you’re in is twisting and turning on a hilltop on the way to a castle in Germany, should your backpack tip over, your items are well protected.
After a long day of visiting a new place, transferring your files onto a hard drive is crucial, especially if you are collecting a lot of data in a short period of time. That also allows you to free up space on your memory cards.
Ultimately, being well-prepared when you travel with camera gear includes having multiple memory cards and an external hard drive to ease the worry of running out of storage space.
Via Diana with Travels in Poland
Bring Extra Camera Batteries
Traveling in extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on your camera batteries. For example, your batteries can drain faster when trying to capture that perfect shot in extreme cold. As a result, in situations like these, you should plan to bring plenty of spares.
However, another tip is to keep these extra batteries close to you rather than in a camera bag or backpack. By storing them in an inside coat pocket or vest, they can utilize some of your body heat to combat the cold and help them last longer. It would be a shame if you went to replace your dead battery with a new one only to find out that it, too, had lost some or most of its charge.
This trick is excellent for professionals and amateurs who enjoy taking photos. Additionally, anyone can do it, even if you’re a photographer with a disability who may need special adaptive equipment to participate in this fun hobby.
Via Kristin Secor, World on Wheels Blog
Can I bring a camera with a lithium battery on a plane?
If it is physically with you on the plane, you’re good to go to bring a camera and lithium battery. They just cannot be checked. When I travel with camera gear, I love taking the opportunity to shoot out the window if I’m flying over some cool landscapes.
What happens if you have a lithium battery in your checked luggage?
If you happen to remember that you packed your lithium batteries, you should remove them and add them to your carry-on. Due to the nature of lithium batteries, they could catch fire, and that would be very bad while on a flight.
Anti-Theft Backpacks for when you Travel with Camera Gear
Traveling with camera gear can be nerve-wracking, as the safety of your camera equipment is always a concern. An anti-theft backpack is one of the best ways to ensure your camera gear stays safe and sound while traveling!
An anti-theft backpack provides an added layer of security. It is specifically designed to prevent theft by incorporating features such as slash-proof material, lockable zippers, and hidden pockets. These features make it difficult for thieves to access your camera gear and other important items, ensuring your valuable equipment remains safe and secure.
Your anti-theft backpack can even be locked up and tethered to an immobile object in your hotel room, which, of course, won’t be 100% guaranteed to keep your stuff safe but is a huge deterrent as someone would need to make quite the scene to make away with your stuff.
Pair all this with excellent padded dividers, a lightweight design, and durability, and it’s hard to choose any other way to carry your camera equipment when traveling. Using an anti-theft backpack, you can ensure that your camera gear remains safe and secure while you focus on capturing the perfect shot!
Get an anti-theft backpack here from Amazon
Via Nina Ragusa
Bring only what you need
When traveling with your gear, plan to bring only the gear you will need, including multi-use lenses or fewer lenses, whenever possible.
While it can be nice to have all of your gear with you, it quickly takes up a lot of space and adds up in weight fast. Not only does bringing less reduce the weight and bulk of your equipment, making it a breeze to roam around, especially on foot or during hikes, but it also simplifies packing and minimizes your worries about carrying too much.
Embracing minimalism in your camera gear selection can unlock your creative potential as well. With fewer options at hand, you’ll be compelled to think outside the box and discover new ways to capture things around you.
Traveling with less camera gear and fewer lenses allows you to immerse yourself more deeply in the beauty of your surroundings. Instead of constantly tinkering with your equipment, you can focus on creating meaningful connections with the people, places, and experiences that cross your path.
This leads to a richer travel experience and, ultimately, unforgettable photos that capture the feeling of the moment. Lighten your load and boost your creativity by only bringing what you need and opting for multi-purpose camera gear and lenses during your travels.
Via Melissa – My Beautiful Passport
Wrapping up – Travel with Camera Gear
Thanks for taking the time to read through all of these tips on how to travel with Camera Gear! I hope you learned a lot and maybe even found yourself with some great new gear.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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