Traveling with Camera Gear

camera suitcase - Leo Rey - creative commons

One of the greatest pleasures of photography — especially landscape photography — is that there are not boundaries. The destinations and possibilities are limitless. That means that your next shoot may take you to the next town or across the globe. Here are some things to consider when traveling with camera equipment for your next photo-adventure.

Make a List

This is almost always the number-one recommended tip for anybody going on a trip. For a photographer this is an important factor to make sure your remember all of your equipment. As you are developing your list, consider the size and scope of your trip. A shorter, less intensive vacation will have different requirements than a photography centered getaway.

*Helpful Tip: If you will be flying to your destination, be sure to check security regulations. Some equipment — especially batteries — may have limits.

Packing Tips

Your list is done, now it’s time to get packing. Things to keep in mind as you are getting your suitcase together.

    • Disassemble your gear. Break your camera down into the various pieces. This allows for more efficient use of space and avoids any damages that may occur during travel.
    • Add padding. Equipment should always be well padded, this comes back to avoiding damages. If you’re not ready to invest in camera-specific travel gear, get creative with your clothes and other “fluffy” materials that will provide insolation to your equipment.
    • Easy-Access. Depending on the scope of your trip, you may need to check bags with your camera equipment. Think ahead and create a system that will allow you to easily remove the gear should you need it on arrival.

Carry On

Whenever possible, try to carry your equipment on board with you. This is recommended for a variety of reasons:

    • Equipment is fragile. You ensure the treatment and placement of your gear while boarding if it is in your hand luggage.
    • Harmful Scanners. If you use film, studies have shown that the scanners used at security check-in do not harm film – however the same has not been proven with those on the other side. Err on the side of caution and bring it ‘aboard.
    • It is valuable. Whenever you check a bag, you leave handling and safetly in the hands of others. Most of the time there are no problems, but it is recommended to carry-on whenever possible to avoid any.


As many things in life, sometimes you need a little extra coverage. If you are traveling with gear and want some peace of mind consider a camera equipment insurance policies. These policies let you rest assured knowing that if something should happen to your camera gear, it is covered. Keep in mind, policies can vary – in some cases they may exclude professional photographer coverage so be sure to look closely when deciding.

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