The dos and don’ts of traveling with your photography equipment

Traveling with your photography equipment can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. On one hand, you have the opportunity to capture stunning images from new and exotic locations. On the other hand, there’s always the risk of damaging or losing your gear. To ensure a successful and stress-free photography trip, it’s essential to follow some basic dos and don’ts. In this article, we’ll provide practical tips and advice on how to prepare and travel with your photography equipment safely and efficiently.

What to do

  • Research the local laws and customs regarding photography equipment in the destination country.
  • Make copies of all important documents, such as passport and insurance policy, and store them separately from the equipment.
  • Pack a tripod and other accessories in a separate bag or pouch to keep them organized.
  • Label all bags and equipment to ensure they are easily identifiable.
  • Use packing materials, such as bubble wrap or foam inserts, to protect equipment during transit.
  • Invest in TSA-approved locks to secure camera bags and protect equipment from theft.
  • Pack essential items, such as memory cards and batteries, in your carry-on luggage for easy access.
  • Be mindful of customs regulations for photography equipment and declare all equipment upon arrival.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers photography equipment.
  • Keep a checklist of all equipment and accessories that are packed, so nothing is forgotten or left behind.

What not to do

  • Don’t leave equipment in plain sight in a rental car or in a hotel room, as it can be an easy target for theft.
  • Avoid over-packing camera bags, as it can make them too heavy to carry and damage the equipment inside.
  • Don’t pack equipment in checked luggage, as it increases the risk of damage during transit.
  • Don’t neglect to backup all images and files before and during a trip.
  • Don’t be too aggressive when shooting in public spaces or cultural sites, as it may cause offense or attract unwanted attention.
  • Don’t use cheap or unreliable camera bags or cases, as they may not provide adequate protection during transit.
  • Avoid traveling with large and heavy equipment, as it can be difficult to maneuver and attract unwanted attention.
  • Don’t forget to research the electrical requirements and plug adapters needed in the destination country.
  • Don’t neglect to bring cleaning supplies and tools, such as lens cleaning cloths and blowers, to maintain equipment while on the road.
  • Don’t ignore weight and size restrictions for carry-on luggage, as airlines have different rules for photography equipment.

Best practices for carrying and storing equipment

  • Wrap lenses and camera bodies in soft cloths or protective pouches to prevent scratches and damage during transit.
  • Store camera bodies in a protective camera bag with adjustable dividers and a padded interior to prevent scratches and damage.
  • Use lens caps and lens hoods to protect lenses from scratches and dust.
  • Pack camera gear in a sturdy, hard-shell case for added protection during transit.
  • Consider using a rain cover for camera bags in case of inclement weather.
  • Store memory cards and batteries in a secure and accessible location, such as a zippered pouch or pocket.
  • Keep camera gear and accessories organized with dividers, pouches, and labels.
  • Keep equipment out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as this can cause damage and affect performance.
  • Store equipment in a safe or locked storage area when not in use, such as a hotel room safe or rental car trunk.
  • Consider investing in a GPS tracker or security alarm for high-value equipment to help prevent theft.
  • If equipment is lost or damaged, contact the manufacturer and travel insurance provider immediately to begin the claim process.