Best Camera Kit Packing, Travel Camera Bag & Gear - Dos and Don'ts

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Travel Camera Bag Packing List

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Nowadays, mobile phones have amazing cameras, and most travelers use their cell phones for travel photography. It’s easy to post to Instagram using your phone. Android and iOS – apple cell phones have outstanding video quality. Cell phones are fab for such small devices that past security without a hassle. However, if you want to up your game and improve your image quality beyond the typical smartphone, these travel photography tips are perfect. How about using this

Be Modest with Gear

It’s important to pick the right camera gear, keep it safe, and pack it correctly. Packing a travel photography bag can be a challenge. First, start with my complete camera packing checklist. It can be is easy to do if you know what to pack.

Make the Perfect Travel Camera Bag

My camera bag acts as my carry on; I have a Kelly Moore camera bag. I follow the same checklist every time I’m packing for my next trip, so I don’t miss anything. See how it looks at my home when I am packing. Angie knows! Angie the cat, knows I am going. I won’t be surprised if she is in my bag one day. But, she is a lucky cat, she now has her favorite babysitter, who stays at the house while I am gone. Angie is never alone.

I use a Kelly Moore camera bag.

Carryon Backpack Camera Bag

For my volunteer work, and last Mission trip, I went to Beliz and used this bag from Amazon. The bag is moderately indestructible water resistant, not too expensive and light weight and small. It was exactly what I was looking for because Beliz was dirty, rainy and not the best place to have a camera bag that stands out. If you want to buy what I used, buy the carry-on camera bag here.

Be Modest with Gear

Travel Camera Bag Packing List

Travel Camera Bag Packing ListBuy it here!

Select a Camera

Start by choosing the right camera brand for you. For practice shoots and scouting, I use a Canon PowerShot. For my DSLR, I use a Nikon, which happens to be my favorite brand. People have different opinions on which brand is best, but I am Nikon Believer!

There’s a perfect camera for every kind of traveler – pack according to the likeliest scenarios you’ll encounter and stay mindful of factors like climate, seasonality, the local culture and the length of your trip. Being on the road and traveling is no place to learn your camera.


DSLRs brands like Canon and Nikon are the go-to brands for photographers, but lighter and smaller mirrorless options are ideal for the travel hobbyist and even some professional photographers. Mirrorless systems like the Fujifilm X Series ( or Sony Alpha ( take advantage of being extremely compact.They are about, half the size of traditional DSLRs. These models have interchangeable lenses, excellent image quality and are superior to a point-and-shoot camera.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag


The lens is dependant on where you are going. In general, opt for wide angle lenses (18-200 mm or anything under 20mm) for landscapes and telephoto lengths (I use my 18-200 mm but anything 50 mm or higher) for distant or panoramic landscapes or subjects.

A versatile zoom lens that shoots from wide angle to telephoto provides enough range to capture a variety of travel scenes. My belief is overall the faster the media speed is, the better, shoot as fast as you can. Watch out for grainy exposures in low light.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag


A 35 mm lens is a good length for landscapes, street scenes, and architecture. 85 mm is a solid choice for portraiture. When shooting wildlife, use a lens between 300mm and 600mm. Because animals tend to move quickly, a telephoto zoom lens ranging from 70mm to 400mm is also a good option. If you can only bring one lens on a trip, I suggest you take the Nikon 18-300 mm.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag

This lens offers the most variety and versatility of any lens. I usually pack a Nikon 10-24mm lens and Nikon 18-200mm lens.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag


Digital editing may make filters, obsolete. But, I don’t alter my images with software. So I do use filters. UV filters cut atmospheric haze. Filters also protect your lens (many opt to leave them on at all times). I have a fantastic UV that is on my camera all the time. Circular polarizer filters are for landscapes, and a polarizing lens can boost color saturation, reduce glare, and cut reflections on water or glass.


For me, it’s all about the light, the shadows, and rays of light on an object. However, a flash is beneficial when the available light isn’t sufficient or when you’re trying to capture a subject outdoors at night moving quickly. A hot shoe mount flash unit is compact enough to include it in your travel camera bag. For travel photography, use ‘through the lens’ (TTL) metering rather than manual flash. The flash unit selected depends on the camera’s brand. Flashes attachments are built to be compatible with specific models. Check before you buy and ask for help if you are unsure.

Camera Bag Basics

Luggage is a significant consideration for anybody who travels, but for the itinerant photographer, it’s essential that the form fits the function. A camera bag’s style and capacity should suit not only your gear (an expensive investment, after all) but also the nature of the trip.

Carry-on Bags

Buy a bag with just enough room for your essentials, so you aren’t be tempted to overpack. Size and weight are important not only for airline carry-on restrictions but also because the burden of cumbersome luggage can get annoying and painful quickly. Save your back and shoulders by selecting a travel camera bag that is comfortable enough to carry for the duration of your trip. Backpacks are best for hands-free movement, and messenger styles allow easy access to your gear.

Ensure your camera bag is well-made and has protective features like padding, velcro-adjustable compartments, and waterproofing to safeguard your gear. Typical bags (made from black nylon or polyester fabric) look like a camera bag, and therefore you can be a target.

Best For Stylish Travelers

If you love fashion as I do, travel photographers don’t have to skip style for form and function. Buy an elegant, stylish bag from Claremont by Lo & Sons ( These camera bags are best for those who don’t want to stand out in a crowd. The comfortable cross-body style looks like a chic handbag while inside the bag features protection for your camera gear.

Best For Adventure Travel

You are an adventurous traveler, then look at the Mind Shift Gear brand that offers an 180 Series backpacks. Rotations backpacks are for photographers with a passion for adventure. The camera bag’s rotating belt allows quick camera access, so you never miss a shot. The Rotation bag has room for basics such as snacks, extra layers of clothing, weatherproof cover, and a hydration bladder.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag

Best Urban-to-Outdoor Adventures

For city dwellers, the urban travelers, who regularly also love the outdoors, the Langly Messenger Camera Tote Bag or Alpha Pro Backpack is ideal for stylish travel that fits from bustling cities to rugged campsites. These camera bags feature removable and adjustable inserts to customize and configure just the way you want it. Their sturdy and stylish camera straps or memory card and battery holders also make this a convenient travel camera bag.

More Travel Camera Kit Essentials

With your camera in the bag, don’t forget to bring the right accessories to get the perfect shots.

Travel Tripods

Tripods are necessary. Night time, portraits, and yes – fabulous selfies. Any kind shot requiring a long exposure needs a tripod. Compact tripod models provide steady support while minimizing weight and bulk. I avoid heavy bags at all cost! Most times, when I travel, I leave my tripod at home to save the weight. Now, I use these brands, Vanguard VEO Tripod,

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag

and for a weighting system use the Vanguard SB-100 Stone Bag and for my cell phone.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag

Additionally, for my cell phone, I recommend KobraTech Flexible Mini Phone Tripod Stand TriFlex Mini for Any Smartphone.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag

Try This

Try a tripod from the Gitzo Traveler Series ( or Joby’s GorillaPods ( These tripods have flexible rubberized segments. Set the tripod up like a traditional tripod or wrap around a sturdy object such as a tree, light poles or furniture.

Power up

Always over pack batteries! – If your travel makes it tough to find power and recharging, you will need this accessory a Duo LCD Charger, available for different battery cell styles and sizes, because it allows two batteries to charge at once. Also if you carry different types of batteries, Watson’s Compact AC/DC Charger interchangeable plates save space, time, and will charge all your devices from one device. I have limited space, so I use the single charger from Nikon.

Memory Cards, Readers, and Storage

Bring at least two or three memory cards (in case one gets corrupted). I bring all that I have that are fast. Use a Lexar card reader or a camera cable that fits your camera to move media/images from your camera to your storage device. I try to regularly transfer my images to the backup just to be safe. But you might not want to delete any images from the media until you get home. That way, you have a backup of all images while you are traveling.


If I was buying a new reader, Transcend’s ( makes a compact reader for multiple card formats to transfer and backup images onto a laptop. I am still using my Lexar media reader until it breaks. If you can’t bring a laptop with you, you can offload images onto a Seagate 4G external hard drive or a Seagate 5G external hard drive using a portable memory backup device.

How to Pack a Travel Camera Bag

Keep Your Camera Clean

To keep my camera clean I use a squeeze bulb blower with a retractable brush (never touch the bristles), and microfiber lens cloth. If I want it cleaned more than that, I take it to a pro. My suggestion, don’t mess with the sensor – take it in to be cleaned.

Remote shutter release

A remote shutter release, let’s you get into the photo. They are great self-portraits and help eliminate vibrations caused by physically pressing the camera’s shutter during release. Most brands make models specifically for your camera. Also, check out your camera’s branded app to turn. You might be able to turn your camera on with your smartphone. My Nikon D300 can’t do this but the newer Nikon models can.

Planning a Trip Overseas? Use This Pre-Departure Checklist

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, and from City University, Seattle, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour foods.