Tips: Traveling with a Digital Camera

Posted in Learn, Photography

Buddhas Ayuthallah Thailand

Buddhas Ayuthallah Thailand

There are several issues involved with traveling with a digital camera, mostly concerning image storage and batteries.

Regarding image storage, my Golden Rule is:


This means:

Copy them from the card at least daily


DO NOT delete them off of the memory card until they are in TWO of the following places:

  • Laptop – I highly recommend a small netbook. These are cheap and small yet give you so many conveniences of a larger laptop such as image storage and organization, ability to back up to thumb drives (memory sticks, flash drives). Bonus is the ability to get on the internet on your own system (most hotels have WiFi, as do many restaurants). Other things to love about netbooks are that they fit into hotel room safes and are easy to carry in backpacks or small bags.
  • If you don’t want to carry a laptop, hard drive based photo storage devices often offer a small display of your images, some editing tools and large storage. Some can burn CD’s or DVD’s , some can hook up to a TV. Can be battery or AC powered. Internet search on photo storage devices
  • Thumb drive (memory stick, flash drive) – these are cheap and come in many sizes, are easy to carry separately from your laptop. Copy images to them using your laptop, or if you aren’t carrying a laptop, drop into a library or photo processing service for help copying the images from your camera card to the drive.
  • CD or DVD – burn to a CD or DVD using your laptop, or a photo processing service (though personally, I’d use a thumb drive before I’d use a disc).
  • Online service – using your laptop, a library computer or other public computer, upload your full sized images to, or any number of other photo sharing sites.

Other media card considerations:

I recommend using multiple lower capacity cards than one great big card because I’ve seen cards go bad, and there’s also the issue of cards getting lost or stolen (less of a problem if you follow Golden Rule above!).

Remember that, unlike film, there is no problem with digital camera cards going through x-ray.

Regarding batteries – I strongly recommend having a backup battery or set of batteries, and always carrying a charged backup with you. There’s nothing worse than running out of battery just as the best shot of the day appears.

Likewise, carry your charger with you to pop into the outlet at the restaurant while you eat lunch. Remember to put your camera on the table in front of you with the battery cover OPEN to remind you to retrieve it before you leave!

One more thing – tape your name and contact information (at least your email address) onto your camera and anything else of value to you. Hopefully, if you lose it, you’ll get lucky and an honest person finds it and reaches you.

Have a great trip!