Tip of the week: Travel kits, what you need and when you need it!

Traveling with photo gear is always a challenge. Whether your journey is for leisure or for business purposes you always need to take some extra care of your not-so-cheap gear. Here are a few of my personal experiences and what I've learned from them:

1. The most obvious tip is of course Travel Light. Do you really need to bring all the stuff you own with you on a holiday? Even on a business trip where you want to document your journey there's a good chance you can do it with a small part of that backpack. Think of the general purpose of whatever you gonna shoot: if it needs to be professional quality, then your best lenses (usually 2 complementary zoom lenses or 3 prime lenses should cover all the needs) should make room in your luggage. If it's leisure only, then a small mirror-less camera with a decent zoom lens will do the trick. Keep all the other accessories to the minimum as well like flashes (1 usually is enough for most situations), batteries (only take 2 or 3 at most with a portable charger if possible), tripod or monopod depending on what you're shooting.

Professional Digital Photo Gear

2. Research your destination for photo/video opportunities. If you do that before arriving there, you will have a rough idea of how much you will have to walk/drive from one place to another and also what are the best camera/lens choices for that specific destination. You will discover that if you visit a place for the landscapes you gonna use more often than not a wide angle lens in favor of a telephoto lens.

Mountain ridge and ice on the frozen lake surface. Natural landscape on the Lofoten islands, Norway.

3. Do you really need your kit on a leisure trip? I often found myself taking my backpack wherever I go. On one hand, that is good, I have some pretty awesome family memories but I'm also taking any opportunity I can to shoot some stock for instance. The drawback is that you'll always be absent from the images. Now remember that most of today's smartphones are getting incredibly good at taking good quality photos and videos. Sometimes it is better just to forget about all that professional equipment and enjoy the fun while still capturing some memorable moments.

Tourist taking photo of Eiffel tower in Paris

4. Photo gear undercover. While it never happened to me, having your gear stolen during a trip it's an issue, especially in some areas. If your trip involves such a destination (again, do your homework about where you're traveling), then it might be a good idea to bring a smaller camera/lens combo which won't attract too many unwanted attention. Also in this case having a small package will make it easier to take care of it in crowded places such as markets where many eyes are watching.

5. Finally, as always, use common sense when it comes to packing your bag. You've probably spent a reasonable amount of money on it and you want to keep it safe along with everything you capture. Strip your kit to the minimum if that is more than enough for what you want to achieve.

I would love to hear about your experiences regarding that time you carried more than needed with you or when you went completely "mental" and went on a trip with only a small camera/smartphone.

Photo credits: Anyaberkut, Biletskiy, Welcomia.

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April 04, 2019

Degardphoto

All good comment's but sometimes you just got improvise. Shooting with less than optimal gear can sometimes get you a great shot

March 30, 2019

Tinanirbhay

Nice and useful article! Thank you.....

March 29, 2019

Data2203

Good and useful article! Thank you, Floriano!

March 28, 2019

Floriano27

Thank you all for your comments. William, you are right, you can't have it both ways that's why sometimes you just need to decide which way you wanna go. However, glad to hear i'm not the only one in doubt when packing my gear before traveling.

March 28, 2019

Mani33

I confess that I took my tripod to some trips where I didn't use it! But I hate to be in need for one and I own two! I think what I'm looking for is more flat backpack camera bag instead of my old box shape one! I also use my camera bag to put more stuff other than photography gear when I travel. Good tips anyway. Cheers!

March 28, 2019

Williamwise1

It never fails: if you bring everything, you don't need it; if you bring a little, you'll miss what you left behind! William

March 27, 2019

Rbrucew

On an 8 day trip to Italy I took a Sony RX100 and an Olympus EM5 with 25 and 45mm lenses. I got some great photos, but really missed a zoom for the Olympus. On the other hand, If I only had the RX100 with me, a really great camera, it would have been fine.

March 27, 2019

Floriano27

Hello Patrick and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Of course, professionals will have to reply on a different array of tools to get the job done and there are also different scenarios where just a basic kit won't do.. but those are the exceptions for the general case i was referring to.

March 27, 2019

Patrick57

Good blog Florin. Although it might not be good enough for quality pro work or poor light conditions a top quality bridge camera makes a lot of sense for travelling. It's a good all round tool and I think would surprise a lot of people.

March 27, 2019

Floriano27

You are most welcome Vio!

March 26, 2019

Viocara

Useful! Good photos! Thank you Florin.

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