The Best Travel Photography Equipment List


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Traveling with photography equipment isn’t easy. Especially if you’re getting on a plane. If you have expensive equipment, then you don’t want to check it and risk the chance of it getting lost in the abyss of the mysterious luggage belt under the airport. Or worse, your luggage lands in Atlanta when you’re in Los Angeles.

But...then you run into the dilemma of having to check your luggage and pay the crazy checked baggage fees. I recently watched a gentleman try to carry on 3 pretty large bags claiming they’ll all fit under the seat. Meh, they made him check two and pay for it.

Don’t be that dude or dudette and prepare ahead of time when traveling with your photo equipment.

Prepare ahead of time. Minimize what you’re taking to wear. I try to only pack one pair of jeans that I can wear 2-3 times before they are actually dirty. Jeans are the bulkiest part of most people’s wardrobe. I’ve also recently learned the trick of folding and packing upright. Just like Marie Kondo teaches in her Art of Tidying Up. This technique has allowed me to pack a week’s worth of clothes, short boots, all my toiletries, curling iron, etc. I also only carry on a backpack and a piece of luggage.

** Tip: I have a United Airlines Credit card and a Delta Airlines credit card. This allows me to check one free luggage under 50 lbs. This gives me more room to carry on a small tote and my backpack with my equipment. Other airlines do offer the same perk but be sure to check the fine print. And bonus, these two cards allow anyone who’s booked on the same reservation as I am to check a free bag as well. This has saved me from dragging so much luggage with me through security and to the gate.

I keep my camera equipment to a minimum. I have my Canon 5d Mark III body and I carry a Canon 50mm lens and my Canon 16-35mm lens. But there are times I may swap my 16-35mm lens with a telephoto lens such as a 70-200mm lens or even a 100mm macro. I usually have an idea of where I’ll be and what I’m shooting. If I’m strapped for room, I only bring my 50mm lens. It can shoot a wide variety of things while traveling.

This spider belt has saved my back and my hands. I had a strap that holstered my camera but it went on my back like a backpack. I was complaining to a fellow wedding photographer and good friend how my back is sore no matter what I do after a shoot. She told me to get this Spider Belt and boy was she right. This was another reason I created this travel checklist for my camera equipment. I had left this on a 3-legged trip I took. I went from Boise to Nashville then to NYC. I had left my spider belt in Nashville, but luckily, my friend was staying there longer than I was and snagged it for me.

I have searched long and wide for the perfect backpack. This one works best for me since I travel with my laptop and other items. But I have gotten some feedback from my fellow traveling photographers and they also love this brand.


I love this hard case for my SD and CF Cards. It’s waterproof and has a hard shell so you won’t damage your cards while on the go. I also bring a slim external hard drive to back up my cards for the just in case moments.

Now, where are you taking your next photo excursion?