Whether you’ve been planning a holiday for months, or you’re taking advantage of a last minute deal, there’s a good chance you’ll want to take some pictures while you’re away. After all, memories can fade quickly once you get back into the old routine, so if you’re going to get any lasting value for money from your time away you had better pack a camera! However, there are a few important things to bear in mind when you take a camera on holiday with you, most notably your own safety. Unless you are travelling on a vital strategic mission for a secret service organisation, the safety of the camera is not likely to be as important as that of your own. So, if in doubt, lose the camera, not your life!
Most of the advice given here is basic common sense, but should still be heeded if you want to maximise the chances of returning home safely with a camera full of happy memories. If you’re visiting somewhere for the first time, it is unlikely that you will be aware of the areas that are considered to be dangerous by the locals. For instance, you could go out, looking for things that would make great pictures, and wonder into an area where tourists run a high chance of being mugged, abducted, or even attacked by animals! Before you head out, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask around. The concierges in hotels often have as good an idea of the local area as anybody, so it could be worth your while asking them while they are at your service. Also, it is important to avoid becoming so entranced by your photographic adventures that you lose track of what is going on around you. Above all, you must be streetwise and stay alert to the outside world at all times.
When you’re in a foreign country, it is important to remember that the traffic may be running in a different direction than you are used to. So before you run out into the middle of the road to take that perfect symmetrical Easy Rider shot, familiarise yourself with the local traffic system and be extra cautious. Look both ways! And wait until nothing’s coming either way!
While having a well-padded and secure case for your camera is of paramount importance, a flashy case plastered with the logo of a camera manufacturer will be attractive to thieves, particularly if it’s slung over your back. Keep your camera in front of you, where you can keep an eye on it, and try to make it as discreet as possible. If you have other paraphernalia on your person, such as additional lenses or film, keep them packed up tight and out of sight, in front of your body.