Tips for Making Your Travel Photography Packing List for International Trips

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Lens choice is a dilemma for most of us. Bring them all and suffer the back strain of having to lug them around, or bring just a few and worry about missing the shot? As individual as this choice can be, I suggest thinking about what you will shoot the most if you want to limit the number of lenses you take along. Also, ask other photographers who have traveled where you are going or your tour operator for suggestions.

On my own tours, where our focus is on people, nature, and wildlife photography, I suggest a 24-105mm lens for walking around and city photos. These lenses are great for a variety of situations from close to medium distance.

Then for the landscape shots, a wide-angle or wide zoom, like a 16-35mm lens or 10-22mm on a crop sensor camera, can work wonders.

Tips for Making Your Travel Photography Packing List for International Trips - guy taking a photo on a safari

All-in-one lenses

My go-to lens for travel is the venerable Canon 28-300mm L-series Lens. It covers a huge range and with some panorama stitching, I can get mildly wide-angle shots without switching lenses. It’s a heavy lens indeed, but I’ve grown used to it. I will then bring a 10-22mm wide-angle for the monumental landscape shots I love to capture.

Optionally, a long lens may be needed in certain situations, but they can be cumbersome. For instance, I would not have gone to Panama and Costa Rica, lands rich in birds and wildlife, without a Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens. Yet, that same lens will not follow me to the Himalayas, where weight is certainly a factor and the chance for birds is lessened.

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