9 Smart Tips for Travelling with a Camera

2.5min read

Published 4 January 2019


There’s a right way and a wrong way to travel with a camera. Here’s how to pack your photography gear, what to expect at the airport, and what to do while you’re enjoying your vacation in order to keep your holiday picture perfect and hassle-free. Happy snapping, shutterbug!

How to pack your camera gear

Keep it simple

Leave that bulky tripod at home and try to make the most of one versatile camera, no more than two lenses and only as many filters as you can keep with you in a camera bag.

When you avoid the temptation to overpack, you’re setting yourself up for an easier experience at the airport and more freedom to enjoy your travels, while still being able to capture those perfect moments in a snap.

Pack smart

In order to prevent damage to fragile parts, be sure to pack your camera and lens separately (even in a carry-on), and keep your camera’s aperture open all the way when you’re en route. Next, bring a few lens wipes, extra memory cards, chargers and plastic shower caps (in case you get caught in the rain).

Want to take some drone shots?

Before you dedicate some of your luggage space to drone equipment, there are a couple of things you should know. First, check local regulations about flying drones before your visit because regional guidelines can be quite varied. Secondly, find out in advance if your airline has any restrictions about flying with drones — you may be required to pack your drone in checked luggage.

Your travel consultant can help you sort through these details in advance, so you can decide if bringing a drone will be worth it for those bird’s eye masterpieces.

How to overcome airport security and airline regulations

Carry-on or checked luggage?

As a general rule, you should not pack any cameras, lenses or film in checked luggage. Many airlines allow for both carry-on luggage and an additional personal item, so your camera bag usually qualifies as the latter. Be prepared to unpack your carry-on items for airport security staff.

Can airport screening equipment damage camera film?

The screening equipment TSA/airport security uses for carry-on items cannot compromise digital photography equipment, but repeated scanning (i.e. going through more than five x-ray inspections) could harm unprocessed film.

To protect your film, you can politely request airport staff to hand-inspect your carry-on items instead — or if you've checked your film, you can store it in a lead-lined film bag.

Can you bring extra batteries onboard a plane?

Many airlines restrict the type and number of lithium batteries you can bring with you on your plane. For example, Air Canada’s policy prohibits lithium batteries in checked luggage and limits only two per person in carry-on items if the batteries exceed 160Wh.

How to protect your camera while travelling

Always be aware of your surroundings

Especially in areas that tend to get crowded. Some travel photographers make a habit of covering brand names with black duct tape to avoid drawing unwanted attention.

Take advantage of in-room safes

You can store your camera gear in the suite safes provided by many hotels and resorts for your peace of mind. It’s helpful to know the dimensions of the safe in advance so you can request a larger one if needed. Your travel consultant can help you plan ahead.

Back up your memory cards frequently

Make a habit of using your hotel’s internet access to upload your files to a cloud during your downtime, so you can rest easy that your vacation photos will never get lost.


Travelling with photography equipment doesn’t have to be a hassle! Flight Centre’s travel consultants can help you organize all the details for your next trip. Simply call 1-888-233-6308, chat online or find your nearest agent today!

Flight Centre

© Flight Centre Travel Group (Canada) Inc.

*Conditions apply. Prices are in CAD. All advertised prices include taxes & fees. Air travel in economy class unless otherwise stated. Package, cruise, tour, rail & hotel prices are per person, based on double occupancy for total length of stay unless otherwise stated. All-inclusive vacations include airfare on a per person basis. Prices are for select departure dates and are accurate and subject to availability at advertising deadline, errors and omissions excepted, and subject to change. Taxes & fees due in destination are additional and include, but not limited to, local car rental charges & taxes, one-way rental drop fees which are to be paid upon arrival, resort fees & charges, and airline baggage fees. Additional important conditions and supplier terms may apply. For full terms and conditions visit please speak with a Flight Centre Travel Consultant. CPBC#2790, TICO#4671384, OPC#702971.

Future Travel Credit Terms & Conditions | Green Policy | Anti-Spam Policy