I just came back from a month long trip to the States and it got me thinking. Why not give some tips for traveling with all your gear? If you are like me, you make sure you have everything for the kids, your gear, and then next your clothes, etc. I have even gone so far as to wrap my lenses in diapers to save room in my carry on and protect my gear. Don’t do that :O)
Yes, I dress my kids alike when we travel. I do this on purpose because it’s easier to spot them and Heaven forbid I loose sight of them, I can show people EXACTLY what they were wearing by pointing to their sister. I know, I’m a weirdo :O)
1. Get a great travel bag. Like I said earlier, I have traveled with my gear in a regular backpack wrapped in diapers. I can’t believe I did that for a trip from Japan to the US but I didn’t have a good bag. However, before our last trip, I used my Heirloom by SHUTTER|bag. Don’t let the price of a high-quality bag scare you. Think about how expensive your gear is. You should put it in something that is durable and will keep it safe.
This is such a wonderful travel bag. First off, it doesn’t scream “camera bag, please come rob me!” which is a plus. It is a seriously beautiful bag. It’s a fantastic travel bag. Just don’t overload it. When looking for a travel bag make sure you find something that has lots of padding, separate compartments for things and a top that zips so if it lays sideways nothing falls out.
2. Insure your gear before you leave. You never know what will happen when you travel. You may drop your bag and something could break or heaven forbid someone might steal your bag. Better to be safe than sorry. I wrote a post a while back – Insure your camera. You would be surprised at how easy, inexpensive, and what it covers. One girlfriend told me after the post she dropped her camera in a river and the insurance company was buying a new one. Don’t travel without insuring it!
3. Carry your gear with you. Personally, I would not pack my gear in my checked luggage. You never know who is going to be throwing your suitcase around and they might not take great care to make sure your lenses don’t break. Be on the safe side and don’t let it leave your sight.
4. Don’t take every lens with you. I know I said I took 3 lenses but I went with only 50mm 1.8 and 20mm 2.8 and received my Tamron 18-270mm while I was on my trip. If you have a great zoom, you really could leave everything else at home. I know when we went to Tokyo last year I only traveled with my Tamron 28-75mm to save myself the headache of choosing which lens I wanted to take out that day.
5. Try to be one of the first to board. It seems like everyone these days has a huge carry on and the plane quickly runs out of space. Luckily for me, Heirloom can fit under the seat in front of me. I really like this because 1. I have short legs so don’t mind the lack of leg room and 2. I want to keep an eye on my gear at all time. I’m paranoid like that :O) However, if your bag does need to go in the overhead compartment you want to make sure you get on when there is still space available. You don’t want them to have to check it at the gate and throw it under the plane. Yikes!
Are you traveling this holiday season?? If so, can you think of any other tips I’m missing?? What tips do you have from your own experience of traveling with your gear?