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17 Top Travel Photography Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

travel photography packing list
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Being a travel photographer is one of the best hobbies and/or jobs you could have. Imagine, exploring the world, photographing exotic locations, cuisine, and cultures, and not just sharing your images for the sake of entertainment, but inspiring others to go on adventures and discover the wonders of life that you’ve personally seen and captured in beautiful moments. Wow.

Congrats to you. And now, with all of these exciting escapades you’re set to do, I’m here to help you remember one thing: What to wear and what to pack for your next travel photography trip(s). Hey, believe it or not, you’ve come across the most important and often overlooked step in planning a photography venture, so let’s not make any mistakes!

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Your Travel Photography Trip – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Camera Bag

    This compact waterproof camera bag is a convenient and secure way to transport your camera and accessories. It’s lightweight, compartmentalized, flexible, and padded inside to offer the best protection against damages. A golden rule of thumb for travel photographers: Do not store your camera in a regular backpack.

    Camera Bag

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  • 2. Universal Travel Adapter

    If you’re an avid travel photographer that hops from country to country to build your photography, then you’ll know that a compact universal travel adapter to charge your camera batteries, phone, tablet, and laptop is a necessity. And what better than an adapter that’s equipped with two USB ports so you can get more charging done at once?

    Peru power adapter

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A virtual private network (VPN) is incredibly useful while traveling considering all of the public wifi networks you connect to while on the go. There’s always a risk of getting your digital information like credit card numbers and passwords hacked when connected to public networks. That’s why it’s always good to safely connect with a VPN so there’s no way hackers can access your private information.

    how a vpn works

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  • 4. Lightweight, Durable Tripod

    Add this lightweight, durable tripod to your list of essential items to pack in your travel photography suitcase. Tripods offer great stabilization for your camera shots and are a requirement if you plan to shoot time-lapse and image stacks. I don’t think you can truly consider yourself a travel photographer unless you’ve got a tripod!

    Lightweight, Durable Tripod

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  • 5. Packing Cubes

    When it comes to luggage, a good set of packing cubes can help any travel photographer save space for their camera, its accessories, and equipment. After all, who would want to be stuck at the airport trying to decide between tossing out a lens or 4 pairs of sexy underwear to meet baggage requirements? Now that’s a tough choice!

    HERO Packing Cubes Set Organizers

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  • 6. Point and Shoot Digital Camera

    Travel photographers beware: Your phone will not always be the best option when it comes to capturing the beautiful moments of your adventures. At a minimum, you’ll need to add a digital point and shoot camera, like Sony’s DSCW830 camera, that can provide 20.1-megapixel photos and 720p HD movies, to your camera ensemble.

    Point and Shoot Digital Camera

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  • 7. Canon Rebel T7 Camera

    A Canon Rebel T7 is one of the best professional cameras to use for amateur and professional travel photographers. It’s got a 24.1 MP CMOS sensor that can produce high-quality images and record full HD videos. It’s your best bet for the affordable and practical professional camera you may be looking for to photograph your exciting travels.

    Canon Rebel T7 Camera

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  • 8. Neck Wallet

    Just when you thought carrying all of your camera’s accessories was enough, don’t forget that you’ll also need a simple-yet-effective neck wallet to keep track of your valuables and personal items, i.e. passport, IDs, debit/credit cards, tickets, cash, and even phones. This lightweight, heavy-duty must-have travel item also wraps around your neck, keeping you safe from pickpockets.

    neck wallet

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  • 9. Drone

    Don’t just settle for the ground level (that rhymes!). Try diversifying your travel photography collection with some fantastic aerial shots from this powerful, user-friendly, highly-rated drone. Plus, you’ll be able to shoot videos in 4K and enable its GPS and “Follow Me” features.


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  • 10. Life Straw Water Bottle

    As a travel photographer, keeping a quality water bottle with an advanced filter around is your best bet to stay hydrated while on the go. You wouldn’t want to stop and search for a water fountain while you’re waiting for that perfect shot of the sunset over the city, would you?

    Lifestraw Water Bottle

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  • 11. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    Keep your camera safe in the shade and prevent it from being soaked in the rain. This sturdy, 12”, lightweight compact umbrella is a must-have for adventurous travel photographers that love to take pictures in every season.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 12. Travel Insurance

    The best places for travel photography often lie thousands of miles away from home. With that, let be your top choice for finding the perfect policy that can provide 24/7 emergency assistance worldwide, coverage for emergency medical expenses, and cover the costs of your valuable luggage if lost or stolen.

    Travel Insurance

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  • 13. Affordable Underwater Camera

    You won’t be able to dip your expensive professional or point-and-shoot camera into the water, but you can take this 20MP, 4K video quality, with you beneath the waves without a hitch. This is a great way to diversify your travel shots!

    Affordable Underwater Camera

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  • 14. Smartphone Gloves

    Sure, winter is a great time to shoot photos of snow-covered trees and Christmas decorations, but it’s also the coldest time of the year. The weather may just be too frigid for you to whip out your hands and update the functions on your touchscreen camera or phone. With that, a warm pair of smartphone gloves are perfect for any travel photographer looking to photograph in freezing temperatures.

    Smartphone Gloves

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  • 15. Portable Hard Drive

    You won’t need to beat yourself over the head for losing your camera or damaging your memory cards if you’ve brought along this portable hard drive. Feel safe and secure by saving your images to this backup storage space after each photo session. You can thank me later!

    Portable Hard Drive

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  • 16. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    A universal waterproof phone case will come in handy if you plan on visiting a beach, pool, or natural body of water to take travel photos. This IPX8-certified case for your high-end iPhone or Samsung phone can offer the best protection from it getting wet.

    Waterproof Phone Case

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  • 17. Portable Charger

    A travel photographer’s worst nightmare is having your camera’s batteries die just as your prepping for an unforgettable shot. Smh. Am I right? Nevertheless, moments like these are preventable, and having a portable charger on hand is a great way to keep the juices flowing so you don’t skip a beat.


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What to Wear as a Travel Photographer

Knowing what to wear while shooting your travel photography is an essential component to pulling off great shots. After all, you’ll want to dress appropriately for the weather, season, landscape, and length of time you’ll be out and about.

You might wear running shoes, cargo shorts, a colorful short-sleeve T-shirt, and sunglasses during a photography trip to NYC in the summer, but come late fall, you’ll have to switch to a pair of jogger pants, hiking boots, and a lightweight jacket while shooting California’s Redwoods.

What Women Should Wear as a Travel Photographer – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Since you’ll be carrying your camera and accessories, consider throwing on a comfortable crop top with a utility vest to store your gear and personal belongings. A pair of cargo pants loaded with pockets are also a great way to conveniently hold small items. Make sure to toss on some hiking boots if you’re spending your travel adventure in the mountains. If you need a little shade, a visor or bucket hat will help block the sun so you can get a clear shot of your visor or screen.

What Men Should Wear as a Travel Photographer – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

If you’re a minimalist travel photographer, don’t hesitate to throw your accessories into a simple, compact sling bag around your shoulder. A nice short sleeve polo shirt is perfect for any season, just as long as you leave a thick flannel and lightweight puffer jacket in your car for the fall and winter. And again, man or woman, as a photographer, you just can’t go wrong a comfortable pair of pants with lots of pockets, so have your tactical cargo pants ready for the adventure.

Dressing for the Seasons


It may be freezing outside, but winter is a great season to bring out your camera and capture some picturesque shots of buildings, landmarks, and natural landscapes covered in snow. Make sure to pack a thick puffer Jacket, heavy coat, beanie, smart gloves, and snow boots.


As the temperature slowly heats up, it’s time to bring out a gorgeous floral dress to match the spring blossoms. A cozy cotton blend dress is perfect for mid-day shots that’ll lead into the evening. For guys, you can’t go wrong with a colorful short sleeve button down t-shirt to bring out your photographer spirit in the sun.


Schools out. The sun last longer in the day, and it’s the hottest time of the year. I can’t imagine you not taking full advantage of the summer months to hit the beach, go on road trips, party on a cruise, or celebrate a festival all of which are fantastic destinations for a passionate travel photographer. Pack plenty of vibrant dry fit T-shirts and add a Hawaiian shirt or two if you’re feeling touristy. Bring along some crop tops, a good-looking waist dress, and shorts.


As the temperatures cool, don’t hesitate to throw on some casual drawstring pants or a cotton vest. You may need a lightweight raincoat, and if the weather is cold but manageable, prep some open finger gloves for easy access to your camera.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity – (Click to expand)
Hot summer days at the beach are perfect for beautiful travel photography. You’ll catch shots of the waves, sand, seashells, people, boardwalks, palm trees, gorgeous sunsets, and mountains in the distance. With that, you’ll need to wear loose clothing to maneuver comfortably in the heat. Pull out your tank tops, swimsuits, crocs, sandals, short sleeve plaid shirts, and sunglasses.

City Shots
There’s nothing like a stunning showcase of architecture, cuisine, landmarks, technology, parks, transportation, and everyday life in cities across the world. Here, the casual approach works best. Toss on some jeans, sneakers, and polo T-shirt. Loose-fitted drawstring pants, a crop top, and a lightweight sweater are great options if you’ll be out into the night.

Road Trip
Cross-country road trips are one of the most exciting forms of travel. You get to stop and see attractions, experience different cultures and witness dramatically changing landscapes. This is your chance to throw on some jogger sweats and your favorite T-shirt. If it’s hot, put on a sleeveless T-shirt, some UV protection sunglasses, and let the windows down. If it’s cold, toss on a nifty cotton sweater and wool socks while you listen to a podcast and think about all the amazing pictures you’re about to take.

Landscape Photography
Getting the best shot of an incredible landscape usually requires a lot of walking. Heck, you may even have to hop a fence or climb some rocks just to get a great vantage point. Make sure you’ve got a pair of comfortable walking shoes and hiking boots to match the terrain. Replace jeans with tactical cargo pants. If you must walk a great distance, bring along your utility vest to store your camera accessories.

What NOT to Bring as a Travel Photographer

  • 1.DON’T BRING Heavy & Unnecessary Camera Accessories

    Don’t log around unnecessary, weighty camera equipment unless you absolutely, unequivocally, need it. If you’re shooting night shots in the mountains, for example, fill lights, a wide-angle lens, a durable tripod, night filters, a remote shutter, and a headlamp are a must. However, on a trip to the beach, you may just need the basics: a camera and a cocktail.

  • 2.DON’T PACK Microphones

    Unless you plan to record video—which, as a travel photographer, you actually may want to consider for stock video websites—just go ahead and leave your microphone at home. Hey, think of something else you can use that space for, like an extra battery. Speaking of which …

  • 3.DON’T BRING Just One Battery and Memory Card

    We’ve all been there—having those extra charging cables and batteries around are a God-send when your camera needs just a little bit more juice to capture something truly amazing. What’s more, having an extra memory card will be your savior once your storage gets full from all of the incredible shots you’ve taken.

  • 4.DON’T TAKE Cheap Cameras

    If you love travel photography the way I do, you’ll need to leave those cheap supermarket cameras at home and invest more cash into a quality camera. Yeah, I know. I’d say $200-$400 USD will get you a decent point-and-shoot digital camera, while $400 – $1K is average for a starter professional camera with great megapixels. If you want the best of the best, expect to spend $1000+, and that might just be for the camera body!

  • 5.DON’T BRING Just Your Cellphone

    Sure, Apple’s iPhone 13 can take some amazing photos. Trust me, I’ve used it myself. Nevertheless, a passionate travel photographer should always have a point-and-shoot digital camera, DSLR camera, or mirrorless camera on hand. You’ll get higher resolutions, better zooms, more creative options, and better navigational tools to adjust your camera settings.

  • 6.DON’T PACK Poor Quality Camera Bags

    Cameras are pretty expensive. And let’s not even mention all the must-have accessories you’ll need to buy like lenses, filters, memory cards, tripods, batteries, and cables. With that, DO NOT settle on a cheap, poorly made bag to hold your camera and gear. You’ll risk rips, which in turn leads to holes, and before you know it, your expensive gear is lost and your camera has slipped out of your bag, hit the ground, and cracked its lens. Ouch.

What NOT to Wear as a Travel Photographer – (Click to expand)
It goes without saying that travel photography can take you across any kind of terrain, from mountains and prairies to oceans and sidewalks of bustling city streets. No matter the landscape, the last thing you want to be is uncomfortable as you’re gearing up to take photos. You should feel loose—nothing restrictive or too heavy. That means forget about packing business clothes or too many jeans. If you’re heading out of the city and exploring the beach or some rocky topography, just say no to heels and open-toe shoes.

Travel Photography FAQs

  • 1. What jobs can I do as a travel photographer?

    What jobs can I do as a travel photographer?

    Your passion for travel photography could lead you to many different professional directions, but here are 5 things to consider as a start:

    1. Start your own travel photography blog or portfolio. That way you can showcase your work to the world and potentially get discovered by companies in need of your images or skills. Isn’t that the dream!?
    2. Volunteer as a Photographer for Events.Local government-sponsored programs and city tourism magazines are always looking for volunteer photographers to capture their special events and activities. These are just a few great opportunities to develop your abilities and network in the field.
    3. Submit Your Photos to Travel Magazines Many travel-related magazines like Reader’s Digest, Midwest Living, and Afar, receive their beautiful images from a large network of freelance contributors. If your content is used often, they might even give you specific, paid assignments. Check their websites for details on how to submit your photos.
    4. Submit Your Work to Paid Stock Websites. Stock photography websites like Getty Images and Shutterstock have shelled out millions of dollars to their contributors. Why not get in on the action?
    5. Find Freelance Work. Freelance job opportunities for photographers, writers, voice-over artists, and transcribers, to name a few, are posted daily on websites like Upwork and Fiverr. Earn a little extra cash for your hobbies by signing up.
  • 2. What’s the best camera for a beginner travel photographer?

    Canon, Nikon, and Sony are renowned as the top camera brands to use for beginner travel photographers. And skip the point and shoot digital cameras—you’ll want to upgrade to a DSLR or Mirrorless camera for the best professional quality, which means a minimum of 24 megapixels and interchangeable lens sizes. The best cameras to buy for a beginner travel photographer are:

    Canon: Rebel T7
    Nikon: D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500
    Sony: A6000, A6300

  • 3. What’s the best way to store your travel photography?

    What’s the best way to store your travel photography?

    Sure, you may be fine storing photos on your camera’s memory card, but what if your device gets damaged, lost, or stolen? All those beautiful photos you took … gone… forever, just… like… that! That’s why it’s imperative to have a backup system for your travel photos. The best ways to keep your photos safe are by:

    1. Saving your collection into a Cloud system.
    2. Transferring your photos to a portable hard drive.
    3. Transferring your photos to your laptop.
    4. Transferring your photos to your phone using your camera’s software app. For example, Nikon uses SnapBridge to connect your phone with its cameras, and you can transfer photos over using Bluetooth.
  • 4. What licenses should you know about when sharing your travel photography?

    The 4 most important licenses to know when it comes to granting others permission to use your travel photography are Editorial, Non-Commercial, Commercial Use, and Copyright Free/Public Domain. Here’s a short breakdown of each:

    Editorial: Your photos can only be used to highlight information, news, commentary, or an event, and can’t be used for monetary gain.

    Non-Commercial: Photos can be used in blogs, newsletters, personal websites, social media, and can’t be used for monetary gain.

    Commercial Use: Photos can be used for monetary gain. They can be used in merchandising, advertisements, promotional materials, magazines, newspapers, etc.

    Copyright Free/Public Domain: You give up the complete copyrights/ownership of your photos for free.

    Other rights and licenses to review are Creative Commons, Exclusive/Non-Exclusive, First Rights, Rights Managed, and Royalty-Free.

  • 5. What are some of the best places in the US for travel photography?

    What are some of the best places in the US for travel photography?

    Oh boy. Ask a group of 100 travel photographers this exact question and you’re guaranteed to get 100 different answers. With that, here’s my personal list of 5 great places in the US for travel photography:

    Sequoia National Park – California
    The Grand Canyon – Arizona
    Monument Valley – Utah
    Flint Hills – Kansas
    York – New York

  • 6. What software can I use to edit my travel photography?

    Sometimes you’ll need to help of photo editing software to bring out the best of your images. And there’s no shame—everyone does it. So, what’s the best software to use? Well, the Adobe brand has slowly transformed into an industry standard. For photos, Adobe Lightroom is a popular choice. Coral is also another leading photography editor. Try Coral Paint Shop.

    If you’re aiming to use simpler photo editing tools, I suggest GIMP, Photoscape, Luminar, and Snapseed.

  • 7. What websites can you submit your travel photography to and share it copyright free to the world?

     What websites can you submit your travel photography to and share it copyright free to the world?

    I get it—your passion for travel photography doesn’t necessarily mean money is the end goal. Maybe you just like taking beautiful photos on your adventures and sharing them with the world, free of charge. Lucky for you, you can grant millions of people free access to your images. Websites like Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash,, and Stock Vault, provide copyright-free images and allows users to upload as many photos as they’d like to share.

  • 8. Where can you upload your travel photography and get paid?

    There are plenty of stock photography websites where you can upload your high-quality photos and get paid. The most popular websites that pay photographers royalties for their images are:

    Getty Images
    Adobe Stock

    Plus, don’t forget that you can submit your photos to tourism websites covering your city/state, and to local/national travel magazines that are looking for the best pictures of parks, landmarks, attractions, and popular destinations across the country.