I’ve got a serious case of fernweh. It’s defined as, “the longing to be in a place you’ve never been.” So basically you’re homesick for a place you haven’t even visited yet. (Yes, it’s totally a real thing. I guess it only makes sense I established myself as a traveling photographer, LOL!)
I’m forever dying to be in places I’ve never been to. My first one was New Zealand, (the south island to be exact.) And once I was finally there – all felt right. (It’s also on my top 3 places I’d live if I could!)
With all this “fernweh” I got goin’ on, it means I like to stay travelin’. I’m NOT happy staying in one place for too long… I’ve gotta get out and see new places and meet new people on a regular basis. Which is funny, comin’ from a small town southern girl who literally stayed in the town she grew up in until she was 22. ??♀️I was pretty sheltered. I remember when driving 9 hours from Texas to Florida to see Clayton was a HUGE deal to my parents. ? (Now, I can’t even count the countries I’ve been to off the top of my head!)
Seeing the world is SUPER high on my priority list – in fact, it’s built into Clay and I’s life goals and marriage vision, and we budget for it! BUt, aside from just traveling for personal reasons, I prioritize travel in my business. Traveling to new places, meeting new people, and creating insane imagery while we adventure around is hands DOWN my fav cocktail of activities.
But – all this traveling requires some serious preparational/organizational skills – and some gear that can handle the elements. So, let’s hop right into my top recommendations for traveling as a photographer!
MY TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELING AS A PHOTOGRAPHER:
There are SO many different categories when it comes to tips for a traveling photographer, but here are the categories I’m gonna cover today:
– Health & Personal
– Photography & Equipment
- One Above Travel Tablets – These little puppies keep me goin’. Up until moving to Japan, I didn’t know “jet lag” was actually a thing. Seriously. It’s totally a thing, and can keep me down for up to 5-6 days if I’m not preventing it prior to travel.
- Collapsable refillable water bottle – When you’re flying, it’s SO important to stay hydrated. They say you should drink 8oz of water for every hour you’re in the air. I end up flying collectively about 18-19 hours when going from Japan back to Texas, so I stay drinkin’ H20. This bottle is great because it collapses easily once you’ve finished drinking, so it takes up only a tiny amount of space in your carry-on!
- Vitamin C – it’s SO important to take for your immune system, especially the week leading up to flying. These are my fav, (I used to take the packets with me and put them in my water, but this is so much easier!)
- Bring healthy snacks. It’s SO dang important to eat healthy while traveling. Your immune system is already compromised and at risk, so do your body a favor and nourish it well! These are my favorite protein bars to bring along everywhere I go!
- Create a travel kit that has all the necessary items you may need on the plane. Mine includes this deodorant, roll-on oil, lip butter, peppermint oil (for headaches while in flight,) digize oil (for upset tummy/digestive issues while abroad,) some advil/ibuprofen as a last resort, (though I try hard not to take it,) CBD oil from Hempworks, and these makeup wipes – (because your face/skin gets to feelin’ kind of icky after being in that dry cabin air for so long!)
- As much as I’m always planning to get TONS of work done on the plane… I usually don’t. So I’m sure to bring some things to keep me occupied. I was always a bookworm growing up, so reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Though there’s only so much room in my carryon for books (and I’m always so tempted to bring like 3 – even though realistically I may only finish one.) So, I invested in a Kindle and I’ve been loving it so much! I’m def a member of the “real books are better” club – BUT – the Kindle saves me so much space while traveling! (I hate reading on ipads because of the blue light that makes my eyes hurt, and because they’re reflective and so pointless to use out in the sun or on the beach. Kindle’s aren’t, so in my opinion, they’re way better!
- Don’t use airline blankets/pillows. It’s CRAZY how many germs they carry. (And yes, the airlines re-use them.) Grab your own travel pillow and blanket, your immune system will thank you.
- Google flights – this is where I’ve found the cheapest flights for travel, always! Yes, even compared to skyscanner, hopper, cheapoair, expedia – you name it. I search on google flights, and then book directly through the airline – that always gives you the best rate! Pro tip: always search in incognito/private browsing mode so they can’t collect data on you and then jack up the prices!
- Don’t constantly remind yourself what time it is where you live vs where you are. This only prolongs the jet-lag feeling and makes you want to sleep your trip away!
- Use tripadvisor. If you’re anything like me, you’re a foodie at heart and always looking for the best restaurants. Clay and I LOVE Tripadvisor, it’s never led us astray! We use it, and then save places to a list for that area. You can even make reservations straight from the app, so def utilize it while you’re out and about! (It’s not just for food – but that’s what we primarily use it for!)
- Pelican case – I’m SO glad I bought this to travel with. This case is crazy durable, and I never have to worry about my gear getting damaged in it. Plus, it fits in all the overhead bins on the plane! I always bring this as a carry-on, I never check it — because airlines are crazy rough with stuff – (though, I know everything would be safe in here!)
- Pelican SD card holder – I love this little guy! It’s weather/water-proof and keeps my SD cards safe. One time I was shooting in the ocean here in Japan, and it came out of my pocket and went floating away… but I ran over and grabbed it and let it dry, then opened it – and all was well inside! 😉 This one is also good, I have both!
- When you’re a traveling photographer, you want to pack as light as possible. I’m always tempted to bring a ton of lenses, but in reality – I only need a few! My top picks for when I’m traveling are the Canon 50mm/1.2, the Sigma 35mm/1.4, and the Canon 85mm/1.2! I can just about capture anything I’d need on these babies!
- When scouting for locations, do some research ahead of time! Don’t just wait until you get there to look at location tags on Instagram.
- Open up google maps and create a new list, drop pins and save them on there. Then, write down how long it takes to get to and from each location and craft out a timeline for shooting. This ensures you’re maximizing your time!
- Also, use Tumblr to scout. There’s usually more original content/locations on there as it’s nowhere near as saturated of a platform as insta!
- If you’re an adventurous photographer like me, download Alltrails! It gives you a list of a ton of trails in the area, and you can pull up images and see if there are any good shooting spots along the way! 😉
Traveling is seriously my favorite thing to do, ever. But it can be super draining if not done well. These are my top tips for traveling as a photographer, but got any yourself? I’d love to add them to the list! Just drop a comment below, I’m all about broadening my travel knowledge! ?
Wanna stick around and stay learning? I knew I liked ya. ?
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Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? ??