We’ve been blogging on and off about our travels for about a year and a half now, and we’ve learnt a lot in that process. We are often asked by others how they can get into travel blogging, how we started out, and what we bought to get going. The equipment we use as travel bloggers has understandably expanded since we started, however since we do most of our travelling out of a backpack, we are also limited as to what we can bring with us.
So, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider to be essential equipment for travel blogging. Before we begin though let’s make one thing clear: if you are serious about travel blogging, you can end up spending a lot of money and investing in some pretty high-spec equipment. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t get started relatively cheaply. We spent our first three months travelling with just a GoPro, a tiny portable tripod, and a secondhand laptop, and we like to think we’ve done alright.
The Equipment We Use As Travel Bloggers
To make things easy for y’all, we’ve broken this post down into three subheadings: ‘Tech’, ‘Software’, and ‘Accessories’. Each item listed is either the exact item we own, or the closest possible alternative we could find. We’ve even included handy links to each item, so you can easily purchase them for yourself straight from this blog post. There is also a fun ‘wishlist’ section at the end too. This includes things that we want to buy in the future, but can’t right now. No doubt these will be added to our Christmas list this year!
What We Use: Sony α6000 E-mount Mirrorless Camera
Let’s be clear: we are not camera enthusiasts. Things can get pretty technical pretty quickly when it comes to photography equipment and cameras, so we want to keep things simple. A lot of research went into buying the best travel camera our (limited) money could buy. We initially wanted the Sony α7R ii, which was the newer version at the time (you can now buy an even newer Sony α7R iii), but for our
This is a good hack – wait until the travel camera you lusting after has a new model released. The older one will drop in price and will still be a good camera for travel blogging.
We chose a mirrorless camera instead of a DSLR because they are smaller and lighter, meaning they are the best travel cameras available if you’re tight on packing space.
If you’re looking to jazz your camera up a bit, why not buy this super-cute mustard yellow camera strap? Kez is eyeing it up enviously…
The 55-210mm is the lens that came in the lens kit when we purchased our travel camera. We wanted the two lens kit, but the shop didn’t have it, so we ended up buying a secondhand 16-50mm lens separately.
We use the 16-50mm lens the most, but the 55-210mm is actually Kez’s favourite. When buying lenses, bear in mind that you will have to carry them around with you. It’s probably best that you start small and work up from there to save space and your back (some lenses can be realllly heavy).
Also, make sure you buy a pack of replacement lens caps like these ones here on Amazon – those little buggers just LOVE to get lost.
External Hard Drive
Travel bloggers take a lot of photos. And, if you are shooting in RAW (which you should be doing, btw), then you end up with a lot of really big photo files. This will slow your laptop down to a painful crawl, and ultimately leave you with no memory space.
We bought this hard drive when we came back to the UK from Australia, as the slowness of the laptop was really starting to irritate us. Also, we realised that if anything happened to our laptop, we would lose all our carefully created photos from our travels. Ideally, we’d be able to spend more on cloud storage too, but we have to be careful with our money right now and one backup is better than no backup. Just be careful not to leave your hard drive behind.
What We Use: Apple MacBook Pro (Retina 13-inch, 8 GB)
We actually bought our MacBook as a refurbished second hand laptop from a friend of ours. It’s been a total dream, and we wouldn’t hesitate to buy another refurbished one, but we know that a lot of you out there prefer to buy your travel blogging equipment brand new. We went for a MacBook as we knew we wanted to run some pretty demanding software on it to edit our photos with (more on that later), and you just can’t beat Apple for that.
Whether you choose to buy new or refurb, make sure you get a good case for your laptop. It will go some way to protecting it as you lump it through countless airport security checks and aeroplane cabins. We love this marble patterned one – it’s actually really similar to the one that we have!
What We Use: SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB Memory Card
We bought this out in Australia, and it was the best we could afford at the time. Ideally, we would have bought a 64GB, or even higher, but we’ve only run out of space on it a handful of times. It’s a decent size to get started in travel blogging.
You could supplement it with some smaller memory cards, like 16GB or even 8GB. We’ve done this before as we have some leftover from a point and shoot digital camera we owned in the past. They’ve got us out of a few sticky situations when out taking travel photos.
Bear in mind however that powerful cameras work faster and more efficiently with proper memory cards, so you will notice that the camera is slower if you just use an 8GB card all the time.
What We Use: GoPro HERO5 Black
GoPro undeniably do the best adventure cameras out there. Our GoPro was gifted to us as a wedding present from Sam’s parents, and it is the camera we took all of our travel photos with for the first three months of our time in Australia. Back then, we didn’t want to invest in a lot of travel blogging gear all at once, and it suited our needs perfectly.
At the time, the HERO6 had just come out so we were sneaky again and got a good bargain with the HERO5. GoPro has since released a HERO7, so go with the one that suits your budget the most – check out Amazon for the best deal by clicking on the links. We’ve found that our HERO5 works fine for what we use it for, but if you’re going to be doing a lot of travel vlogging you may want to invest in the most recent model.
One half of the dream duo of photo editing software we use by Adobe – the other half is below. This is definitely the best software for travel bloggers, and is a good place to start if you are just learning photo editing and post production enhancement.
You can start off with the free Lightroom app on your phone to get the hang of the layout and tools, but it’s a little fiddly to use and is no match for the desktop version. Buy it straight from the Adobe website, and it downloads to your laptop. It’s available to buy as part of a package with cloud storage, which is definitely worth it for peace of mind.
Of all of the travel blogging tools, we strongly believe that this is one of the most important investments you can make to take your travel photography up a notch. Buy it here now and get practi
The other half of the Adobe dream duo, Photoshop is an iconic piece of software. We actually lasted about three months before upgrading our Adobe package to include Photoshop, which gave us time to acclimatise to Lightroom. Kez already had completed a short course in college in Photoshop, so it was a case of getting familiar again with the software again.
Since we’ve been
Moving away from travel photography, let’s talk more about the basics of travel blogging. You should always start with a free WordPress blog, but to take a step towards becoming a professional travel blogger, you will need to invest in a domain name and a hosting provider.
For a more detailed step-by-step guide to setting up your own travel blog, click here to read our blog post about it. But for now, we recommend using Bluehost to host your blog. They make it super easy to use with an existing WordPress blog, and the cost of one month is less than a cup of coffee. Take a look at the different packages and sign up to Bluehost here.
What We Use: Lowepro Adventura SH 140 II
We bought this camera bag at the same time that we bought our secondhand lens. We wanted something which could fit both lenses and the camera, without being too big to fit in a regular backpack. It’s very padded, and has protected our travel photography equipment from a number of knocks and drops (Kez can be pretty clumsy at times).
It also has loads of handy pockets, meaning we can fit in spare batteries, spare lens caps, and spare memory cards easily. If you’re after something a bit ‘prettier’, why not get this beautiful mint camera bag instead?
We were given this by Kez’s parents as an early Christmas present, as we needed a proper tripod to use with our proper camera. It folds up really small, and isn’t too heavy, so it is perfect for packing up into a backpack when you’re travelling.
It’s not the most expensive model out there, but it’s worked just fine for us. It’s also a really good tripod for vlogging too, as the handles and head allow you to pan smoothly. When choosing a tripod for your travel blogging needs, consider things like size and weight when folded down, as well as weight and stability when fully open. You don’t want to buy a super cheap tripod just to save a few bucks, as chances are it will blow over in the slightest wind and smash your beloved travel camera. Not cool.
What We Use: Mini Flexible Tripod
We use this with our GoPro, and sometimes our phones too if we’re doing stories for Instagram. Super cheap and easy to pack in your travel luggage, this tripod has been a lifesaver. Because of its flexibility, it can wrap around things like fence posts and chairs, giving you more options when setting up your travel photos.
If you buy one thing from reading this article, make it this. It’s less than a tenner, and will up the quality and creativity your travel blog photos immediately. Get yours on Amazon and get started on becoming a travel blogger!
GoPro Accessories Bundle
We bought this huge pack of GoPro-compatible accessories, which was EXTREMELY good value. It includes a water float and a range of mounts, and we still haven’t worked out what all of it is for (lol).
We also bought this waterproof casing, as even though GoPros are water
We will say this as loud as we can – ALWAYS TAKE (FULLY CHARGED) SPARE BATTERIES. There is nothing worse than getting all the way to a location, only to find out your battery is dead and you have left the spares in the hotel.
We have three batteries for our Sony which we rotate – one came with the camera and we bought these two spares with a charger. The charger can be plugged into a power outlet, or into a USB port which is really helpful if you’re on the move. We also have three GoPro batteries and a charger too, which we cycle through in the same way.
You can buy knock-off brand batteries as spares, which we did, but we’ve found that the original Sony and GoPro batteries keep their charge for far longer. It’s definitely worth buying the branded product if you can.
So, that’s pretty much it in terms of equipment we use to run our travel blog. Now it’s time for our travel blogger wish list – a little list of items we wish we owned to make our travel blogging easier and/or better. Perhaps you will beat us to it in terms of owning one of these!
We’d love to be able to take some beautiful aerial shots of our travels. Eventually, we’d like to explore travel vlogging too and it’s kinda hard to do this without a drone of some description in this day and age.
Underwater Camera Housing Case
What We’d Buy: Water-resistant Housing Case
As much as we love our GoPro, ideally we’d be shooting with our much better Sony A6000 at all times. Diving and swimming however makes this hard. If we had an underwater housing case, it would make the quality of our underwater shots so much better. If you are wanting to take underwater photos for your travel blog, we would definitely recommend investing in one of these as soon as you can.
GoPro Waterproof Dome
What We’d Buy: TELESIN 6” Underwater Dome
What can we say? We are in love with those half-submerged photos which are all over Instagram right now. They are so creative and so cool, we’d love to add this piece of tech to our travel blogging equipment. They aren’t that expensive in all fairness – on Amazon this one comes in under £50 – so maybe we will have to treat ourselves…
What We’d Buy: Hohem Smartphone Gimbal Stabiliser
Gimbals are stabilisers – they basically stop your handheld videos from being jerky and wobbly. We are TERRIBLE for moving around far too much when we’re filming for our Instagram stories and IGTV, so we’d totally benefit from one of these. They are considered an essential item for vloggers, and are a staple of travel blogging kit too.
What do I need to buy to become a travel blogger?
We’ve outlined some essential travel blogging items here for you. We’ve tried to include the exact products we actually use ourselves where possible. Our best advice, however, would be this:
Unless you have unlimited funds in the bank, don’t jump into buying all your travel blogging gear immediately. You may spend a lot on expensive travel vlogging equipment and then realise that you don’t like producing video content. Take time to familiarise yourself with all aspects of being a travel blogger before investing in more expensive equipment.
Like we’ve said, we embarked on our travels with a GoPro, a tiny portable tripod, and a refurbished laptop. We’ve slowly added to our travel blogging tech as we’ve gone, and every Christmas and birthday we’ve asked for bigger items as joint gifts from family members as much as possible. Travel blogging isn’t a cheap hobby if you want to do it professionally, but you can build up the skills and knowledge needed using less expensive tools at the start.
We hope you have found this comprehensive list helpful! Tell us in the comments, what is your favourite piece of equipment or software you use for your travel blog?