Travel photography can be a real pain if you’re not prepared and organized.
Besides your essential camera gear, there are a few thing you might want to pack that may not be immediately obvious – but the best part is you can pick these items up for relatively low cost.
Based on a few of my past road trips, here are my recommendations for five essential gadgets for a travel photography on the road.
Car Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter Splitter and USB Charger
I’m not sure if cars still have cigarette lighters or not – but they never have enough 12V DC power ports.
With this adapter you can split that single front seat power adapter two ways, and gain two USB charge ports as well.
4-way Car Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter Convert DC Outlet Splitter 2 USB Car Charger – $9.99 Amazon
I use one port for the kid’s DVD player and the other for the second item on this list. The USB ports are used for charging my phone and my wife’s phone while driving.
12V DC to 110V AC Car Power Inverter with USB Charger
Besides having DC and USB power available while on the road, you’ll usually need to plug something into an AC outlet as well. This thing isn’t going to power your studio strobes, but it will charge your camera, laptop and drone batteries.
Car Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V AC Converter with Dual USB Car Charger – $17.98 Amazon
I prefer this model versus the inverter models that plug directly into the power port – it’s pretty small and with the cord you can put it on the floor out of the way.
I plug this into the splitter adapter above and use the USB ports to charge the kid’s tablets. I use the AC outlet to power either a laptop running photo uploads and backups while driving, charge batteries, or plug in the third item on this list.
Travel Adapter Power Bar with USB Charge Ports
Have you ever tried to find enough AC outlets in your hotel room to charge all of your camera gear and your family’s various devices? Its not going to happen.
This power bar converts international 220 voltage to North American 110 voltage and comes with three AC plug adapters to work with AC outlets worldwide. You also get three AC power outlets and four USB charge ports.
Travel Power Bar 220V to 110V Voltage Converter with 3 AC Outlets and 4 USB Charge Ports and UK/AU/US/EU Plug Adapters – $48.99 Amazon
I use this power bar to charge batteries and devices at the hotel and also if I need more AC outlets to charge batteries while driving.
Most devices are 220/110V compatible these days, but it’s still a nice feature to have just in case – and you know wherever you are in the world you have an adapter for the outlet.
Lenspen Lens Cleaning Kit
If there is one thing worse than a dirty hotel room, its a dirty lens.
I usually clean my lenses daily while traveling and these Lenspens are my favorite way to quickly, easily and safely brush off dust and remove any spots.
Lenspen Elitepro Cleaning Kit for DSLR Camera – $58.36 Amazon
If I’m trying to save weight or I’m going out for the day, I just bring the pen for lenses with me and leave the other two behind.
Lens Filter Storage Pouch
If there is one thing that never seems to fit in my camera bag well it’s lens filters. There is just never anywhere good to put them.
If you leave them in their original cases, they take up way too much space and are difficult to sort through. If you put them in individual sleeves, they always end up at the bottom of the bag (or lost or broken).
This lens filter storage pouch stores up to five individual filters. It advertises round filters up to 86mm, but you can also fit Cokin P series filters and 4″x4″ square filters.
Field Filters Case Removable Inner Lining and Water-resistant and Dustproof Design – $11.99 Amazon
Universal Camera Battery Charger And Battery Plates
You’re probably bringing multiple cameras with you, and they probably all take different batteries. That means multiple battery chargers and cords cluttering up your suitcase.
Instead, you can pick up a universal camera battery charger and individual battery plates for each battery you need to charge. This small camera battery charger is compatible with most brands of camera battery: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji etc.
Compact AC/DC Charger for L & M Series Batteries – $16.96 B&H
Purchase the charger that comes with the battery plate for your main camera battery – then all you have to do is purchase additional interchangeable battery plates for each camera battery style – they’re available for pretty much any battery you can think of for around $2 each.
If you want to charge more than one battery at a time there is also a duo charger for $67.96.
In my case, I have my main Nikon d800 DSLR for stills, a Sony a6300 mirrorless for video, my daughter has a Fuji X100 and my son has a Canon G9. All four of those chargers and their cords can be replaced by this single charger. We carry one spare battery for each, so its not often that I find we have more than one battery that needs charging (and modern li-ion batteries charge pretty quick) so I prefer the single charger just because its smaller.
Solar Charger and High Capacity Battery
Since these items are specifically for a road trip where either a car DC power port or hotel AC outlet will normally be accessible, you may or may not need to charge your batteries off the grid.
Bonus Travel Tips
While you’re busy loading up your Amazon shopping card, don’t forget to add a few good old fashioned paper maps!
And the best tip to keep all of those cables organized in your suitcase…toilet paper tubes!
What Gadgets Do You Bring for a Travel Photography Road Trip?
Do you think all this is overkill – if you prefer to go light what would you pack?
What essential gadgets would you recommend for travel photographers on the road?
Besides your camera – what is the most important piece of gear for travel photographers to pack?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!