Travel Tips for the Photographer

One of the things that almost all photographers share is a great interest in traveling. For many they began taking photos as a way to document their trips. For others it was the opposite. First came the photography and traveling became a way to excercise their great hobby.  In either case, we can all eliminate "problems on the road" by following a few guidelines and paying attention to some details.  

Below are some of our best recommendations for traveling with your photo equipment and well, traveling in general.  Feel free to add to the list in the comments section for the benefit of others as well. 

·      Most single important thing I do for each and every trip is make sure to NOT over pack.  I know we all need to take what we need BUT be careful about carrying a variety of lenses that cover the same focal range such as a 24-105mm and your 24-70mm.  You are covered with one. 

·     I am pretty good about keeping Q-Tip swabs close by and handy for cleaning eye-cup areas from dust and grime on my camera where a blower brush just cannot help.

·      Use shower caps from hotels and keep them in your camera bag.  Trust me, there is room in your bag. Rain and moisture always comes when you least expect it.  Be prepared… just remember you have them in your bag when the rain hits.

·      I have two portable rechargeable phone batteries (external) that are always in my shoulder bag. Keep them charged.  You never know when you need Google Maps to save you during a trip.

·      Get into the habit of always topping off the charge on your camera batteries at airport gates while waiting to board even if you have a decent charge already. Top it off anyway. You never know when you will find another a/c outlet and there is always one at airport gates.  (They use them for the vacuum cleaners…).

·      Everyone should have TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry. Everyone. Minimal lines for security upon your departures and literally no lines for Customs coming home from abroad. It is a simple kiosk check-in. Huge thing especially with tight/close connections from your first embarkation city.

·      Be a smart traveler and be quick to have everything arranged correctly for going through security before you even get in line.  Don’t stop to take out metals in your pockets at the front of the line. Be fast, courteous, you know, be a traveler.

·      Being nice to a gate agent goes a long way to getting a better seat on a full airplane.

·      Zip-lock bags come in handy for a lot of things.  Keep a few small ones in your shave kit or make-up bag.

·      Take all your user manuals for your gear. No, not the printed manuals. You can download the PDF version for the manufacturers site and load them on your smart phone.

·      Use an app like Good Reader and voila, you have access to all the manuals you need without taking any extra space.

·      Take photos of signs. As you travel be sure to take photos of signs along the way. These don’t need to be photographically well done, these are for documentation only. It’s a great way to remember where you were and what you were photographing.

·      Set the date and time in your camera. The date and time are included in the metadata of every image you shoot. An accurate date and time will become very helpful when you are sorting through all your images and trying to remember where shots were taken.

·      Don’t be mistaken for a “professional” photographer. When you carry lots of gear you run the risk of looking like a “professional”. This is especially true when going through customs or immigration. Many countries have severe limitations on those who enter as part of their “work”.


Don't forget to watch for my new book from Amherst Media.  Link here: