Travel photography has been something I have been slowly working on over the years. As much as I cringe when I look back at the photos in my older blog posts, I also refuse to get rid of them. It’s just proof of how far my photography skills have come over the years.
I’m no professional, but I would say I’m a pretty decent hobby photographer. I’ve gotten pretty good at taking self-portraits and have received many compliments of my travel and landscape shots as well. I call it a work in progress, but I’m pretty happy at what I’ve been achieving lately.
That being said, as much as I love taking travel photos I refuse to travel with a ton of camera gear. Yes, I love my pictures but I don’t want to be weighed down by lenses and accessories. I don’t want to stress about thousands of dollars of camera gear getting lost or stolen. I just want a few things that are easy to carry around but allow me to take some great shots along the way.
So, for those who are wondering what’s in my bag when it comes to camera and photography equipment, here’s what I travel with.
Nikon Z50 Mirrorless Camera
This is my new baby as of April 2020 and I absolutely love it. I did have a Nikon DSL-R that I got back in 2012 but… I never used it. At least not how I should of. I took it on a trip with me in 2015, proceeded to drop it and break the body AND lens, and after fixing it basically left it at home since. It was too heavy and bulky and didn’t suit my travel style. I also didn’t really learn how to use it.
My Z50 was a much-needed upgrade. I was enticed by the lightweight body that promised to be more travel-friendly. Plus, I told myself that with so much downtime in 2020 (thanks COVID19!) that I would finally take the time to learn how to take proper pictures. Not just shoot on auto mode.
I choose the Nikon Z50 because I was already familiar with Nikon cameras. It also meant that I didn’t have to buy new lenses, just an attachment to fit my original lenses to the new mirrorless body. A much cheaper option in the long run.
Overall, I’m thrilled with this camera. I’ve played with it tons around my home and cottage and taken it with me on a road trip. I find it super user friendly, love the touch screen, and it’s Bluetooth compatible to I can shoot remotely through an app on my phone.
Lenses + attachments
–Sigma 18-250mm lens: This is my go-to other than the kit lens. The wide range makes it pretty adaptable for most types of travel.
–Nikkor 200-500mm lens: This one is a beast, I bought it after Antarctica because I felt my 250mm wasn’t quite strong enough. I have it specifically for wildlife photography and only bring it on specific trips.
–Nikon FTZ mount adaptor: This allows me to use all my lenses from my DSL-R on my new mirrorless. Much cheaper than buying all news lenses!
I currently travel with the DJI Mini 3 Pro drone which I absolutely adore. The latest model, however, is the Mini 4 Pro. The mini size is small enough that it’s easy to travel with and meets travel requirements. Keep in mind drones are illegal in some countries and you will require a permit (easily obtained online) for others.
I don’t use my GoPro often but I have it handy for underwater adventures like snorkeling or scuba diving. The latest model is the GoPro 12 but I’ve had several over the years. My GoPro took amazing photos and videos when I went swimming with whales in Tonga back in 2018. In fact, my GoPro actually took better photos than my friend’s big camera with its underwater housing. Her’s focused on the debris in the water while mine picked out the whales. That was pretty surprising!
GoPro Accessories I use regularly
iPhone (current version: 14 Pro)
I’m an iPhone girl and I actually love the ease of being able to use my phone to take photos. I currently use the iphone 12Pro and while the quality may not be as good in many respects as other cameras, but there is a lot to say about the convenience of smartphone photography! If you haven’t yet, check out my post on smartphone photography tips.
Smartphone accessories I use
I held off on getting a tripod for ages but after trying (and hating) selfie sticks I decided to bite the bullet. Expect it really wasn’t too bad because travel tripods don’t cost nearly as much as you think they do, at least mine didn’t. I have a TYCKA travel tripod. Now, it is heavier than some other options (I had a lighter weight one but it nearly blew over and broke my camera in Ireland). This is a heavier but still small enough to throw in a small backpack for the day. It’s probably my most-used travel accessory since I do so many self-portraits, but I’m also loving it for night photography.
Get my Tycka 56″ travel tripod here
Tripod Accessories I use
External Hard Drive
While the above list is my main equipment I also always make sure to travel with an external hard drive. I have two actually, one I leave at home that I store everything on as my ‘back up’ and one I travel with so I can save my photos on as I go. Not only is it good for backing up photos, but it also helps me save the space on my laptop.
And that’s it! Yes, it may seem like a lot for an average traveller but, remember, taking photos is also part of my job and once you consider that, it’s really not much compared to many others in the industry.
If you have any further questions about my experiences with any of these things, let me know! I’m always happy to answer your questions.
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Don’t forget travel insurance!
Please do not travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to use it multiple times throughout my travels and it has saved me thousands of dollars. You can learn more about travel insurance here. If you are looking for a provider I love and recommend SafetyWing. For Canadian readers, take a look at SoNomad.
Book your accommodation
I love and recommend booking.com for accommodation. They have a range of hostels, guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Plus, the platform has a great loyalty program that means the more you book, the more you can save.
Book your tours
My go-to tour provider that I love to recommend is GetYourGuide. They have options all over the world and partner with local companies for everything from day trips to food experiences and even airport transfers.
If you want to have data while travelling for online maps or any other needs, an esim is one of the easiest solutions. I’m a big fan of Airalo and have used their sim cards around the world from Brazil to Uzbekistan, Greece to the USA. It’s really easy- you download the app, pick what country you want an esim for, and after you purchase it follow the installation instructions. You can use promo code HANNAH3326 to save $3USD on your next esim purchase.
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