The foundation of traveling with photo gear varies from person to person. It also depends upon where you plan to travel and what you plan to photograph once you get there.Your level of expertise, coupled with your camera system and your unique blend of creativity, equates on what you want to bring on your travel. As for gear, it’s nice to keep things simple and only using what you have and not be dreaming of gears that are a fad right now.
What are your photography goals?
The first thing to do when planning a photography trip is to figure out your goals. Will you just be a casual shooter or do you have any concrete ideas on what you plan to shoot? Do you have all the necessary equipment in order to fulfill your goals? Have you encountered problems the last time you headed out the door to take pictures? And if you did, what will you do to workaround that problem?
What you already have vs. what you might need or might not need.
For those starting out, I’m sure you already have a DSLR coupled with a Kit Lens at around 18-55mm range + a 70-300mm that comes with the bundle you just bought. So you probably are covered for most of the range. From a focal-range perspective, you’re pretty well set for almost any photo opportunity that comes along, as long as the sun is above our heads.
I consider the Kit lenses as fair-weathered friends. Yes they have a range of focal length from wide to Tele BUT when the clouds start rolling in and the sun sets, the limitations of kit lenses become apparent.
Fast Primes VS Kit lens (standard zoom).
When using prime lenses you are now guaranteed with sharper images under less-than-desirable lighting conditions. Wider-aperture prime lenses also allow you the option of playing with selective focus—far more effectively than you ever could with slower kit lenses.
I always use prime lenses for most of my images. Zooms make one lazy after a while and a good set of fixed primes forces you to think and move around more before pressing the shutter button. And because moving around is somewhat the only exercise most photographers get, fixed focal-length optics theoretically extend your life expectancy. (HAH! This is just my theory. J )
Also note that the faster the lens, the less light you need to get a good picture. This means that if you purchase a WA lens, it should be f/2.8 or faster, so that you can get enough light to be able to hand hold the shot (so leave the tripod at home unless you’ve included night photography as part of your goals).
Base your decision on buying camera bags on the rules and regulations of your airlines. Some local airlines might not permit a roller bag because of its size. NEVER EVER LEAVE your camera gear/bag unattended wherever you go. The last thing you want to do when you’re traveling is to attract attention. Using hard cases is a NO NO for me. Just by looking at hard cases it already attracts attention as it gets eyes fixated on what expensive treasure your hard cases might contain.
If you’re stressed on how your photos are going to turn out, it’s not doing you or your photography any good. Especially when you’re traveling with your loved ones. They just hate it when someone in the group is grumpy. Let’s not ruin our vacation shall we? The more fun you have always translates into the best photos. Life’s too short not to have fun.