How to travel discreetly with camera equipment.

When traveling it’s hard not to bring attention to your fancy camera equipment and lenses when they’re attached to your eye at all times. But once you’re done shooting, what are you doing with your camera? Lugging a camera bag, your purse, travel brochures and anything else you’ve picked up along the way is begging to be a target for thieves. Why? Because it’s so easy to relieve you of it when your hands are full and can barely manage what you’re carrying as it is. Besides, you’re screaming tourist and tourists are a prime target!

When on a job I have traveled with a rolling camera bag filled with equipment and my laptop that I carried on the plane. But that along with my purse, my doggies rolling cart and my luggage is a lot to account for and manage. Since the older I get, the less I want to lug around, if I don’t need it, I simply don’t bring it!

On my last European adventure, I hit five countries in two weeks with only a 22’ Briggs + Riley nylon rolling bag and a vintage carry-on that contained my make-up, ipad, camera, and a small hint of jewelry. But since I was going to be extremely mobile and doing lots of walking at each of my destinations, I packed a collapsible nylon Lacoste cross-body bag and used it for my camera and all of my daily needs. When not shooting, I simply locked my camera in my luggage or the safe for the evening. At my first destination however, the zipper of my carry-on broke and I found myself in Dresden, Germany (where they speak little to no English outside of the hotels) with a useless piece of luggage I needed to send home. Luckily for me I had packed the Lacoste and that ended up pinch hitting for my carry-on as well.

Since that trip I have found what looks to be a great alternative to my Lacoste made by Aide de Camp. Instead of being a structureless bag like I used, the Aide de Camp series of functional yet fashionable bags come with moveable camera padding inserts to easily access your camera and other packables. “The Valencia“ is a carry-on with a camera bag inside that can be removed and carried for when on the go. This is the absolute best alternative I’ve found in my years traveling and working as a Location Scout. One exterior bag that readily attaches to your luggage handle for running through airports and train stations, with a smaller removable camera bag inside that can double as a purse. Pro photographer or amateur, this is a perfect solution to subtly carrying your camera equipment. My only dilemma, I am also in love with "The Leyden”.

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Can’t spend the money for a new travel bag? Here’s a make shift alternative if you already have a cross-body or messenger bag. You can buy excellent quality camera inserts from Tenba at a low cost and place them in your existing messenger bag. Have a smaller cross-body? Order your own custom insert from Martilena and chose the size and color you want.

The whole idea is to simplify, fashionably and subtly. So get rid of that ugly camera bag and travel in style while below the radar, even when on a budget.

Dream, Travel, Explore

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