Travelling with Photography Equipment

If you are a keen photographer you will grab any chance of snapping some amazing pictures. One of the best ways to hone your skills, and boost that portfolio, is by travelling. The logistics, however, put many off even trying as it seems so complicated. Where can I get a tripod for travel? How should I pack my camera? This should be a fun, adventurous experience not a stressful one, and hopefully by the end of this you will be ready to book those airplane tickets.


If this is a serious hobby you will no doubt have accumulated quite a collection of cameras and peripherals. The key to a successful photographic excursion is knowing what you can leave behind. You will be choosing destinations based on what you want to photograph, so start with those. Then look at what lenses etc you will need to get the best out of your chosen subjects and get the job done. For example, instead of taking 6 prime lenses pack a couple of versatile zooms. You want to embrace this trip and enjoy every moment, not end up in the ER with a trapped nerve in your shoulder from lugging that huge bag around.

Golden Rules

According to the experts there are 5 main rules to follow when you are packing your photography equipment. Follow these and you have everything in place for a truly spectacular photographic expedition. They are as follows:           

Do not skimp on padding. You need all those fragile and expensive items to reach their destination in one piece. Plenty of padding is needed for lenses, filter, camera body etc.
Avoid Checked Bags
Do everything you can to avoid your precious equipment going in the hold. The way those cases are hurled around will make your eyes water – imagine your precious DSLR going up and down conveyor belts and being dumped on and off trucks. These guys aren’t gentle with your luggage, as they are paid to do everything at speed and they have no idea what’s in those bags. If you have to, pay extra to ensure your bag goes in the cabin with you. Should you be forced to put your bag in the hold once you get to the airport make sure you have planned in advance for such an event by having everything insured for both damage and loss.

By taking absolutely everything apart you are greatly minimizing the risks of your equipment being damaged. Something as simple as leaving the lenses on can make your camera vulnerable to damage while en route. If you see something you simply must get a snap of, use your phone. If you are this keen on photography you are going to have a smartphone with an excellent camera so make the most of it.     


Don’t leave home without your lens wipes and other essential cleaning supplies including brushes. These take up very little room and you never know what might happen while you are out snapping. If you get mud on your lens in the rain forest, how are you going to clean it?


Do not forget your charger but do forget bringing loads of batteries. There are airline rules regarding the amount of lithium you travel with and while these are rarely enforced it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take 2 fully charged batteries so you can go straight out when you get there and then charge them overnight.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

Not meaning to brag, but here goes. I can say I’m a travel expert and have spoken at multiple travel conferences and trade shows.

I enjoy travelling all over the world but my big passion is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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