So, you’ve packed your suitcase, beach towel, sun cream, money and passport. What do you do next to ensure a trouble-free holiday as far as photography is concerned? Here are some things to do before you leave home, and some to do when you are on holiday.
Before you leave home:
Firstly, charge your all camera batteries. If you don’t have spare battery now’s the time to buy one (or two!).
Move all your older images from your memory cards to your computer, and then use “Format” to delete all the older images and make the card ready for new images. If you don’t know how to do this take a look at your manual. It’s often in the “Setup” menu.
Using an indelible marker write your surname and postcode (+ UK) on your memory cards. It improves your chances of getting a lost memory card back.
Buy some spare memory cards, (they are very cheap these days), and a separate case to safely store them away from your camera bag. I use a little Lowepro memory card case which fits on my trouser belt.
If you are going away for a while, pack a battery charger.
And while you are away:
Keep your camera out of sight until you need it. I’ve seen folks wandering through tourist areas with very expensive Leicas round their necks. Don’t be a target!
Do the same when you are on the beach. Keep your camera out of sight, and out of the way of potentially damaging sea spray or sand. Salty water and sand are not good company for lenses and sensitive electronics. If you have used sun screen, wipe your hands before you use the camera, as sun screen can attract sand. A plastic bag to put the camera in is a good idea – but don’t leave it in direct sun!
Leave any full memory cards in your hotel room safe or hotel main safe. If you are touring around then keep them on you in the little belt case. A camera can be replaced, but the images on your cards can’t.
If you will be away for quite a while, consider uploading your images to a cloud-based service, such as Dropbox or Picasa, as you go.
Follow these guidelines and you should come back with great memories and a working camera.