10 Travel Tips for Your Next Photography Adventure

We travel for a living, and along the way we've learned a few things! Here are 10 tips for your next travel photography adventure:

  1. If you are a US Citizen and travel internationally, join the Global Entry Program and become a “trusted traveler". Once “in” you get expedited returns through immigration, which can save you hours and a headache. Simple online form, then an in-person visit for 5 minutes at a nearby airport. Voila, you will be smiling as you look at the snake-like line of hundreds waiting to re-enter the US. $100 for 5 years. Another benefit is that you will likely be eligible for TSA-Pre on many domestic flights, which affords you priority screening, shoes on, laptop in bag and more.
  2. For international travel, check the expiration date of your passport. You don't want it to expire within 6 months of your departure. Renewing or getting a passport is super easy if you plan ahead and do it by mail (it generally takes about 4-6 weeks). Are you a procrastinator? No problem, you can get a passport same day in some major cities in the US, but also easily in just a few days by using an expediting service.
  3. Stuck in cattle class on your flight? No worries - in addition to trying for the best seat by using Seat Guru, make your own amenity kit: pack a small bag with sleep mask, pain reliever, moist towelettes, earplugs and tic-tacs. Update your smartphone or tablet with your favorite music, a movie rental or two, and podcasts. Bring your own travel pillow, I love this pillow.
  4. Update the software on your laptop - the operating system, Photoshop, Lightroom, and all of your plugins. It's especially important if you use Photoshop CC to connect and update before you leave on an extended trip.
  5. Check and re-check all your gear. Make sure everything is in working order. Be sure to have a backup camera, because electronic devices will fail at some point. Bring enough memory cards so you won't have to format while on your trip, and on top of that, it's a good idea to bring an external hard drive to back up your images to each day.
  6. Carry a small power strip so that you can be sure to have outlets for all your electronics - laptop, phone, battery charger. If you're going to a foreign country, be sure to have the right adapters so you can plug in! Try to minimize devices: if you use a Kindle, instead, put the Kindle App on your smartphone.
  7. Pack some basic toiletries, any prescription medicines, eyeglasses in your carry-on or backpack - and one change of clothes. If your luggage gets lost, you'll at least have the basics! Always carry your camera battery charger and laptop charger too, in your carry-on.
  8. Camera gear goes on the plane with you. Some airlines are weighing carry-on bags now - if yours is overweight, here's a trick: put that big DSLR and your heaviest lens around your neck as you walk on to the plane. You can even stuff another heavy lens or two in your coat pockets if need be.
  9. Experienced travelers don't get upset so much when planes are late, delayed or canceled... plan ahead and plan for this to happen, because it will. Plan to get to your destination a day before your itinerary starts, so you won't miss a single photo op!
  10. If traveling overseas, talk to your bank and credit card companies and let them know you'll be traveling in whatever foreign countries you'll be in - so you won't have any declined charges.