If you are traveling you will likely want to bring your camera along. Whether you have a simple camera and just want to take shots to remember your vacation or you have a full set of professional equipment to shoot a photo-documentary of your journey it is important to ensure everything is packed and taken care of properly throughout the duration of your trip. Regardless of the value of your photographic equipment, theft and damage are always major concerns that need to be addressed prior to and during travel.
Whether you are traveling by car, bus, plane, or any other means of transportation, the best way to avoid theft is to keep your equipment with you at all times. If you are flying, if at all possible pack only as much photo equipment as you can fit into an acceptable carry-on. Never pack unprocessed film in a carry-on as it can be destroyed by x-ray machines used to scan your bag. Before you leave, write down descriptions and serial numbers for everything and insure it. This way if it does go missing police will be able to accurately identify what’s yours, and the insurance will protect you just in case your equipment is never found. To deter thieves, don’t pack your equipment in a camera bag with a big Canon (or other name brand) logo emblazoned on the front which acts as a beacon calling out to would be thieves. A non-descript bag that can be locked is best.
Once you arrive at your destination, never leave cameras or equipment unsecured in a hotel room. If you must leave it at the hotel, either put it in the in-room safe or ask at the front desk if they have a safe to store guest’s valuables. When not in use photographic equipment should always be packed in well-padded camera bags to prevent damage. Though expensive, it is best to get a bag designed specifically for the camera you own.
Overall, the best way to ensure the safety of your photographic equipment when travelling is to keep it with you and keep an eye on it. Common sense and a confident attitude will almost always keep your camera out of harm’s way, leaving you free to enjoy your trip.