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What To Pack In Your Camera Bag To Go Travelling

Wil Calabio (@itizwil) is a Sydney based content creator, photographer and videographer who loves to travel the world. So, Canon unleashed Wil on a whirlwind tour of Europe and the Middle East – taking in 8 cities in 5 different countries over 16 days. His mission was to road-test the new compact Canon EOS R50, which has been added to the Canon range and is a perfect fit for avid travellers.

Travel presents photographers with so many different photographic opportunities, from amazing historical buildings to natural panoramas and sunset vistas through to bustling cities and late-night adventures. Travel presents nearly every scenario, making it a true test for the EOS R50.

Travelling does however require a good measure of pre-planning, not only in terms of your photographic destinations, but also what you pack to ensure your kit is safe, secure and kept in tip-top working condition. Read along as Wil shares his wisdom on what to pack.

How I Prepare To Go Travelling

The key thing to do before leaving home is to do your research on your destinations. This way you will be fully prepared for when you arrive. This latest trip proved to be the perfect test, not only to understand what camera equipment I needed, but also how to look after my gear and keep it safe. For example, on my recent trip, I visited both the heat of Doha in Qatar and the drizzle of Edinburgh, so conditions are very different…but that is what also makes it fun.

There is a fine balance here, but my first piece of advice would be “don’t over pack!” It’s as important to ensure you leave certain things behind, rather than pack for every eventuality. This means leaving any unnecessary gear that might add weight to your back or where gear is doubling up. For examples, with lenses and focal lengths, I focus on diversity. Therefore, I never bring any lenses that are too similar to each other. Instead, focus on covering as much ground as possible by having a combination of wide and telephoto focal lengths. On this trip for example, I brought one Standard Zoom Lens, one Wide Angle Lens and one Telephoto Lens.

What Camera Gear To Pack On Your Trip

As a full-time photographer, my cameras are the tools of my trade. Whilst it is easy to play super safe and take several cameras and support gear, I have provided a summary of what I took and what I feel should do the job.

Flatlay image of Wil Calabio's gear


The Canon EOS R50 is super small but packs a big punch. If you are travelling this year and are keen to go mirrorless, then this is the camera for you. In terms of the camera specs, it has a 24.2mp APSC sensor that is capable of shooting 4k 30p uncropped video, and 120p Full HD slow motion. Weighing in at only 375 grams this camera is built for the fanatical traveller. It’s just so easy to take everywhere and grab those great shots on the go.

RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

To compliment the EOS R50 is the RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM. This weighs absolutely nothing and takes up barely any space in my backpack. This is a fun little lens that offers a lot of versatility. With the EOS R50’s APSC sensor this lens serves close to a 28-70mm on a full frame, making it a great all-rounder. With this combination you’ll feel prepared for almost any situation you encounter on your travels.

Image of Wil Calabio using a Canon EOS camera


Next up is the Canon EOS R8. This is an essential camera for any serious shoot to have in your bag. If you are looking for a more professional approach, the EOS R8 provides a full frame sensor and amazing image quality. Spec-wise, it has 24.2 megapixel sensor that is capable of shooting photos at 40 frames a second and full-width 4K 60p video. This is perfect for any hero shots, especially for video content where it’s dynamic range shines through.

RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Next up we have the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM. This lens always seems to be stuck on my camera for very good reasons. Starting at 15mm this lens is ideal for architecture, landscapes and vlogging. It provides such a unique wide perspective that I love and the fact it pushes to 35mm with its low aperture means I can also use it for portraits and street scenes.

For those just starting out that are looking for a great wide-angle lens for travel, the RF 16mm f/2.8 STM or RF 15-30mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM are also amazing options.

RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

Finally, we have the RF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM - an all-star lens. This telephoto allows you to snap bangers whenever and wherever you are. Whether it be street photography, landscapes or portraits, the compression and bokeh (the effect of a soft out-of-focus background) that this lens provides will get you addicted to using it.

If you’re not quite ready to make the jump into the L series lenses, the RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1 IS STM and RF 100-400mm f/5.6-8 IS USM are also great options to consider here.


Finally, there are some additional, but very important pieces of kit that I always keep in the camera bag. I always keep spare camera batteries and a large 128gb SD card. It’s super cheap and very reliable. Don’t forget the dust puffer and a lens cloth to make sure your glass stays clean and your shots are crystal clear.

Image of Wil Calabio with a backpack

How I Take Care of my Gear while Travelling

Now in all honesty, I'm not an extremist when it comes to cleaning my gear while travelling - however I do have safe habits that I'd recommend in order to take care of your gear. Where you’re at home or on the road, cleaning your camera regularly with a dust puffer and lens cloth is a good habit to have. And perhaps the most important and obvious tip I can provide is never leaving your camera sensor uncovered or facing towards sun. The sensor is the most sensitive part of the camera, so you don’t want dust, water, or sun overexposure to permanently damage it!

Another thing to be careful of is storage. The last thing you want to lose is all the amazing photos you've taken on a trip. I'd recommend that you transfer your photos from your SDS onto a hard drive/ SSD every night and if possible, copy it onto two separate storage devices. You’ll thank yourself later!

How to Keep Your Gear Safe While On The Road

We sometimes forget the value of the gear we are carrying, especially when travelling. Whilst travel is fun, it is also full of distractions. The mind can wander when in new places, so we need to be vigilant. For me, one of the essential parts of travelling with gear is the camera bag. I use a waterproof and essentially ‘stealproof’ backpack like The Wandrd PRVKE 31L to store everything in on my day to day travels.

When you are travelling, especially to places where you haven't been before, it’s always good to know that you all gear is protected and secure on your back. I never leave my gear lying around unless it's in my line of sight and at arm’s length. If you're travelling by plane, I'd always recommend keeping as much of your gear, if not all, in carry-on luggage. Sometimes if there's no space, I'll make sure to store my gear into heavily padded apartments so it's nice and safe inside a suitcase for check-in.

So, there we go, that wraps up what I pack for when travelling. I hope you found it useful. You may also have learned about a new piece of gear that I use - that you might want to grab for your travels this year. Enjoy :)

Check out more of Wil’s global adventures. Follow him on Instagram (@itizwil) or Youtube (itizwil) to keep up with his content.