Whether you're traveling for Fall Break, for an inspiring conference or summit, or for a session, here are some helpful tips for traveling with your camera and equipment:
1. Keep a separate hard drive.
I highly recommend that you transfer onto or keep a copy of your photos on a portable hard drive. If you have your hard drive with you when you travel, be sure to keep it in a separate place from your camera and equipment.
2. Stick to the basics.
Think about what you'll be photographing and what equipment you need to achieve what you want in your images. Don't bring a bunch of extra pieces you won't need and could damage or lose!
3. Don't leave memory cards in your camera.
Especially if you don't always download your images immediately, you'll want to separate your memory cards from your camera and equipment. If something happens, you'll still have your images!
4. Keep your camera bag with you at all times.
If you're flying, don't check your camera bag. I even suggest not placing your bag in the overhead compartment. Keep your bag with you and place it under the seat for takeoff and landing. You never know how heavy the other luggage in the overhead compartment is and how bags might shift during the flight. Don't risk anything happening to your gear! This will also save you from another passenger accidentally exiting the plane with your bag.
5. Download your photos frequently.
Daily, if possible. This can sometimes be a bit of a pain but things happen and in the event that something does, you'll want to have as many of your precious images as you can.
6. Break down your gear for travel.
Separate your go-to lens from the body of your camera while you're traveling. The threads that fix a lens to a camera body are more fragile than you might think and you wouldn't want your lens to break!
7. Don't draw unnecessary attention to yourself or your equipment.
Be mindful of when and where you have your gear in plain sight. Get the shots you want or need and put your camera away securely.
8. Carry good insurance.
Make sure your policy doesn't limit coverage when you're traveling with your gear; if it does, be sure you know what those limitations are -- they may change what camera body or equipment you decide to take on a trip. Trust me, you want to have this peace of mind!
9. Use a safe.
If you're staying in a hotel and will be out of the room without your camera in tow, be sure to use the room safe. If the safe isn't big enough for your camera body or the gear you need to keep under lock and key, ask the hotel concierge to provide you with a secure location for your equipment.
10. Select your camera bag carefully.
Especially for travel, you'll want a cushioned and sturdy bag. Extra points if you can use a camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag!