How to Stop Worrying About Your Camera When Travelling

by Mark Sharron

Travelling and cameras go hand in hand like peanut butter and jam. It’s almost unthinkable to imagine someone travelling to exotic places without having a trusty camera hanging from your neck and ready to snap the next killer picture that will land on your social media pages and garner all those virtual likes and tags. Almost unthinkable. Because let’s face it, in this digital age sometimes the whole purpose of going anywhere is to collect those precious pictures and show family, friends, and total strangers what an exciting life you’re having. But whether photography is your bread and butter or just a hobby, we all know that travelling with expensive equipment like cameras comes with its own risks. The camera could be stolen, misplaced, or damaged as you travel from one place to another.

Taking Care of Your Expensive Gear

If you have watched any movies or National Geographic documentaries about photographers in the wild you undoubtedly have noticed how rough those cameras have it. The photographer slings it to their shoulder as they run chasing the next picture and the cameras bump into each other and fly wildly behind the photographer’s back. Granted you won’t treat your cameras the same way because you won’t be chasing wildebeests or running away from lions in Africa, but air travel and luggage handlers at airports would have the same impact on your precious equipment.

So making sure you use a padded suitcase and wrapping your camera in a bundle of clothes before packing will protect it from damage. Or you can just keep your gear in a handbag and keep it with you on the plane. Also, remember to clean your camera every day. Depending on where your work or travels take you, the elements can damage your camera. Dust, for example, can get behind the lens and reduce the quality of your pictures.

Keeping it Safe

Another risk you face as you travel is thieves. Cameras are notoriously easy targets for thieves because how easy it is to yank them off your shoulder or cut the straps and making run for it. This is particularly more probable in busy cities where you literally rub shoulders against many people. Your branded camera is a magnet for would-be thieves.

So the first thing you need to do is remove or hide the branding. Debranding the camera so that it looks plain will make it less of a target. If it still looks shiny and alluring in its new bag, dirty the camera bag a little. On the same vein and to prevent camera snatching consider using a wire camera strap. The steel wire will make it a lot harder for the bandit to slash the strap and disappear in the crowd with your pricey equipment.

Another way to discourage thieves is to use old-fashioned cameras that shoot on film. Digital cameras are hot and any fence would have no trouble moving them. But film cameras are not easy to resell whether in person or online. So maybe keep your digital camera at home and take the film camera the next time you travel.

Claiming Insurance in case of Loss or Damage

Buying an insurance policy for your camera is a good idea especially if you’re travelling with expensive equipment. Look closely at what the policy covers. The more comprehensive coverage the better even if it means you have to pay a little more. If the worst happens and you lose your camera don’t delay the claim. Always keep your insurance policy details with you and make the claim as soon as you get back. The fine print of your policy would probably set a deadline of making a claim within the first 31 days after losing or damaging your equipment. So don’t delay your claim otherwise it might be rejected, or have to fight for your rights and hire an insurance claim solicitor.

Keep in mind that the insurance company doesn’t always, in fact rarely, pay the whole amount that your camera is worth. In most cases, they will decide what the camera is currently worth using a clause called depreciation. This clause stipulates that a piece of equipment even if it’s only one day old, loses value the more you use it. So you might end up getting only a fraction of the retail price you paid for your brand new camera.

Keeping your camera safe while you travel is easy if you follow some simple steps. Then you can learn to stop worrying and love travelling.

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