22 Travel Photography Tips

To promote our newest book, TRAVEL NOTES, I wanted to make a list of everything I’ve learned so far about travel, photography, and life:

  1. All black merino wool clothing (2x). Just travel with two pairs of all your clothing and wash them in the sink or shower at night with shampoo, wring them, and hang them to dry. Black merino wool socks, shirt, and I recommend black merino wool leggings paired with athletic shorts (more comfortable to travel with compared with jeans).
  2. Blog while traveling: Blog about your experiences as you’re traveling, as the ideas are fresh! Travel with your laptop or tablet.
  3. Travel as a means of expanding your mind and reflecting and meditating on your life. Physical distance is good for emptying your mind, avoiding the drama and politics from back home.
  4. Shoot travel photos like the foreign place was your own home. Pretend like you’re a local in a foreign place.
  5. To save money on food, go grocery shopping while traveling and cook in your airbnb. Cheap meats and eggs are good ways to feed yourself while traveling. Or buy precooked rotisserie chickens at grocery stores as the best “bang for the buck” protein sources.
  6. Don’t expect to make mind blowing travel photos. The less pressure you put on yourself to make good travel photos, the better photos you will shoot.
  7. My favorite cities in the world for travel photography: Istanbul, Hanoi, Saigon, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, New Orleans, New York, Downtown LA, Chicago, Mexico City.
  8. For cheap flights, use Kayak.com or Google Flights.
  9. Travel with just one backpack: Don’t check in luggage, everything carry on. When packing “When in doubt, throw it out.” Always optimize for lightness over comfort when it comes to traveling.
  10. Better to get to know one area very very well during your travels than get to know a lot of areas superficially.
  11. Traveling won’t fix your life problems, but will certainly give you the opportunity to reflect on your life, and figure out how to direct your life in the future.
  12. Before traveling somewhere very far, consider traveling to interesting domestic cities close to you.
  13. To connect better with locals, learn 3 phrases in a local language (hello, thank you, see you later!)
  14. The end goal isn’t to travel for the sake of traveling. The goal is for us to remain creatively prolific and inspired. Traveling as a good way to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones, in order to see the world afresh with new eyes.
  15. For myself I like to travel to a place for at least a week or 2, in order to have a deeper experience.
  16. Don’t research a place before going there: Go to a place with an open mind and when you arrive, then ask locals for personal recommendations. A good piece of advice, ask locals: “What do you like to do on the weekend for fun?” And ask, “What tourist traps should I avoid? What shouldn’t I do here?”
  17. For film photography, three rolls of 35mm film per day is more than enough.
  18. Take photos while transiting (many interesting photos to be shot in subway, bus, or even shooting outside while in taxi or Uber).
  19. Places to shoot while traveling: The park, the local coffee shop, metro stations.
  20. To minimize jetlag, fast for 24 hours before arriving at your target destination, which essentially means don’t eat any food on your plane. It’s okay to say “no thank you” to food on a plane. Instead drink lots of black coffee, black or green tea, or water on the plane. Also if you discover a local park when traveling, do a quick workout there (pushup, chinups).
  21. Just travel with one pair of good athletic shoes when abroad. I recommend Nike Flyknit or Free models.
  22. Traveling as a tool to learning upsides of new cultures to integrate into your everyday life. To become more loving, empathetic, and open minded.

Learn more travel photography tips and hacks in TRAVEL NOTES.



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