Travel Tips Man taking a photo of Toronto

Published on April 2nd, 2014 | by Alicia Taggio


5 Clever Ways to Use your Smartphone’s Camera While Travelling

The invention of the smartphone has drastically changed the way we travel; it allows us to document our experiences, check-in for flights and hotels remotely, and navigate our way through a new city. It’s pretty safe to say that by now, most mobile phones comes with a built-in camera. But did you know there are some creative ways to use it other than just taking pictures of landmarks during your travels?

I’ve started using my phone’s camera in other clever ways, and how they helped me avoid a lot of travel headaches:


Snap a Pic of the Contents of your Luggage

First travel photography tip : Packing Items

Before packing everything into your luggage, lay everything out on a bed or table and take a picture of everything before putting it into your suitcase or backpack. This way if your luggage is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to identify exactly what was in it for insurance purposes.


Screenshot Directions

Second travel photography tip : Screenshot Directions using a Smartphone

Most map programs and apps require 3G or wifi which isn’t always available when you’re roaming the streets of a new city or underground on a subway or train. So when you do have wifi, screenshot maps and directions before heading out, this way you have a map as reference if you’re lost. I like to screen shot both the map, and the step-by-step directions on what streets to turn left on etc.


Take a Picture of Your Hotel

Third travel photography tip :  Take a Picture of Hotel in Istanbul Turkey

Take a picture of the outside of your hotel and some general landmarks around it including the closest intersection. This way if you’re lost, you can easily find it or show it to a local who may be able to direct you the right way.


Snap a Picture of Your Children Each Morning

Forth travel photography tip : Snap a Picture of Your Kids

Before heading out for the day, take a picture of each of your children so you have reference to exactly what they are wearing in the event they become lost or separated from you. This will allow you to give an exact description of what they’re wearing, and you’ll be able to show authorities what they look like.


Document Your Documentation

Fifth travel photography tip : Document your documentation

Take a picture of your passport and any other important travel documents you will need on your trip. This way if your items become lost or stolen, you’ll have a reference point and immediately have access to that information. It also saves you a lot of space/weight in not having to print out all your reservation info. Just make sure your phone’s battery is always charged (and bring an external battery charger in the event you’re running low on mobile juice).


An important thing to note before doing any of these things, is that you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to track your phone and erase its contents remotely in the event your phone becomes lost or stolen. Programs like ‘Find my iphone’ have allowed me to not only track where my missing phone was, but also lock and erase it’s contents in the event I had sensitive information on it.



Have any more travel photography tips or clever ways you like to use your smartphone’s camera for? Share them with us in the comments below!


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About the Author

Alicia Taggio

turned her love of travel into a lifestyle as a digital storyteller. When she's not editing videos or crafting travel stories, you'll most likely find Alicia climbing a mountain somewhere in the world. As one of the co-founders of the #TravelMassive, which is a global initiative to connect people in the travel industry, Alicia is passionate about community and its ability to empower change in the travel industry.

6 Responses to 5 Clever Ways to Use your Smartphone’s Camera While Travelling

  1. Bob Hobson says:

    Great ideas, thanks. I want to add something that saved my phone and was a life saver on my last trip to Rome. I lost my phone during the day and had no idea it was missing. Fortunately, I had a tracer tag on it. A waiter where I ate lunch found it and entered my tracker number on the website. I was automatically sent an email that I got on my laptop which included a pickup location (the system also sends a text message which i obviously didn’t get because my phone was missing). Lucky for me, I was leaving in the morning for Germany and retrieving the phone after that would have been impossible. Tags are available through That tag saved my trip from total disaster and I put them on my passport, laptop and almost everything that travels with me now.

  2. 6. Put up into the “cloud” (in a private folder) those photos you’ve diligently made in steps 1 through 5!

  3. As a traveller who loves to share with friends and family, I also use them to
    1) take pictures of the name of restaurants you like and want to share
    2) how much the entrance fees tend to be when you’re going into a park since I always forget it
    3) Pictures of bills/ receipts if you’re sharing a trip with someone and want to work out the budget splits at the end of the journey =)

    Good tips thanks! and good read

  4. Look at how little my kids are!!! Great tips and I can say I do 2 and 5 and 4 is a given though not intentional.

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