Travel Checklist for Taking Your Camera Abroad
Ever get that feeling you’ve left something behind when you’re going on your travels? We all do! If you’re taking your camera abroad, it’s usually the extra accessories that you’ve forgotten to pack, which you find out that you need at the worst possible time.
Here are some things to make sure you have with you when you’re going abroad:
1. Chargers & Travel Adaptors
It goes without saying, that you need to pack your chargers with you. Without power, you’re not going to be taking any pictures. One thing I am guilty of is forgetting my travel adaptors! There are two options for efficient charging abroad:
- Pack a handful of plug adaptors (such as this pack of 5 for those needing a 2-pin plug for Europe or Asia).
- Pack one travel adaptor, and an extension cord.
The latter is my personal favourite, as I can easily charge my phone, camera batteries, laptop and even my Kindle all at once from just one wall socket!
It is also worth taking a universal travel adaptor, as some countries use multiple types of plug socket. This way, you know you always have one converter that will work.
2. Lens Cloths
When you’re abroad, you will no doubt be out and about with your camera a lot more than usual. This means that your lens glass will need continual cleaning, as it is very likely to get dusty and dirty!
Using your t-shirt is not a good idea, and an overused cleaning cloth is equally bad! They pick up dirt and grit, and you could end up scratching that dirt straight into the glass of your prized possession. Instead, grab a packet of cleaning cloths, such as this pack of 32 Zeiss lens wipes, and rest assured you’ll keep your lens clean!
If you’re going on a longer trip, it is worth taking some sensor cleaning equipment too. Read our “How to Clean Your Camera’s Sensor” tutorial to find out how to do it, and what you need.
3. Waterpoof Camera Cover
Unless you’re heading into the desert, it’s unlikely you’ll escape the rain. Make sure you’ve got some Op/Tech disposable camera rain covers with you. They’re cheap, and will allow you to keep shooting in the rain and get those moody rain-streaked photos.
4. External Hard Drive
It is important to make sure you are taking backups of your photos whilst you are away, as disaster could strike at any time. It is often more practical to have a small hard drive that is powered by the USB of your laptop, rather than requiring a wall plug. A good choice here is the Western Digital My Passport Ultra hard drive. It is just 11cm wide, and has 1TB of storage. It also automatically backs up to cloud storage, and has a fast USB 3.0 transfer.
5. Spare Memory Cards & Spare Batteries
Since you’ll inevitably be taking lots of photos, you’ll need to make sure you have spare memory cards and batteries with you. Nothing is worse than running out of space or power when you’re in the middle of a fantastic photo opportunity!
Ensure that you have packed some spares with you. With lots of small memory cards floating around, it can be a good idea to have a memory card wallet to store them safely.
6. Travel Tripod
Space is usually an issue when travelling, so big tripods are often left at home. Why not treat yourself to a more compact traveller’s tripod?
The Manfrotto BeFree Travel Tripod weighs only 1.4kg (that’s less than your average laptop) and compacts nicely into your suitcase.
When you are carrying your camera bag around all day, the risk for being the victim of theft is increased. Having a small padlock to lock the zips together on your bag can help to deter opportunistic thieves who may try to take your equipment when you have set your bag on the ground. Prevention is definitely better than cure!
8. Polarising Filter
When you are on your travels, you will no doubt wish you had a Circular Polarising Filter for several opportunities. Whether its to reduce glare off the beautiful lake you are visiting, or to bring more saturated colours to your images, CPL filters are a great accessory to have in your camera bag.
They are relatively inexpensive, and can make all the difference to your shots. Make sure you get the correct size of filter for your lens (just Google for your lens and what size it is). Here is a list of CPL filters we recommend from Hoya.
Other Things to Remember
You can’t pack all of the following, but have you remembered them?
- Camera insurance. (Does home insurance cover you abroad or not?)
- Maps of the area you are visiting.
- Guide books & phrase books.
Now you’ve got everything you need, you just need to enjoy your trip away!
Got any good advice? Post some of your travelling tips for photographers in the comments below.