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Shopping for travel gifts for a photographer this holiday season? There are plenty of presents in this guide that we are sure will delight them. Whether you are looking for a big-budget jaw-dropper (like a camera or a drone) or something with a more reasonable price point—we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more about the gifts that we think the traveling photographer in your life will love.
- Best travel drone: DJI Mini 3 Pro
- Best travel backpack: Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III
- Best hard camera case: Pelican Air 1535 Case
- Best lightweight camera backpack: WANDRD PRVKE Lite
- Best camera strap: Peak Design Slide Camera Strap
- Best compact travel tripod: JOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit
- Best full-size travel tripod: Peak Design Travel Tripod
- Best editing console for travelers: Loupedeck Creative Tool
- Best SD cards for travel: Sony Tough Cards
- Best case for organizing memory cards: Pelican 0915 Micro Memory Card Case
- Best action camera: GoPro HERO11 Black Accessory Bundle
- Best international plug adapter: Sublimeware Multi Port Electric Plug
- Best noise-canceling headphones for quiet journeys: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
- Best way to encourage printing photos: Mpix Gift Card
- Best backup power when on the go: Anker Portable Charger
- Best tool for smartphone videographers: DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Smartphone Gimbal
- Best starter kit for smartphone cameras: Moment iPhone 14 Starter Kit – Three Lenses
- Best way to keep gear clean: Urth Glass Cleaning Kit
- Best packing cubes to stay organized: Cotopaxi Cubos Travel Cubes
- Best way to keep files safe: LaCie Rugged SSD 1TB
- Best large duffel for big trips: Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag 70L
- Best notebook for travelers: Moleskine Voyageur Notebook
Best travel drone: DJI Mini 3 Pro
Sure, a camera is great for documenting travels. But if the photographer in your life wants truly unique, wow-worthy photos and videos, a drone is the way to go. The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the best option for globetrotting due to its tiny size (about the size of a soda can when folded), stability in the air, user-friendly flight modes, and quality camera. It also only weighs 249 grams (8.78 ounces), which is below the FAA’s requirement for registering drones in the United States. Though regulations will vary in each country, many have similar weight restrictions, meaning there will be fewer issues getting this little thing in the air while traveling.
Best travel backpack: Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III
The LowePro PhotoSport backpack is a fantastic travel gift for a photographer who loves to explore the great outdoors. This is the third iteration of the backpack design, so you can trust lots of kinks have been worked out by now. The top-loading backpack is designed with plenty of space for hiking gear and personal items. It also features a dedicated insert for camera equipment that offers side access. The bag is lightweight (3.31 pounds), is made of 75 percent recycled materials, and features an ActiveZone harness system to help ensure that the weight of the pack is distributed evenly on your back.
Best hard case: Pelican Air 1535 Case with Foam
If you know someone who travels with a lot of camera gear and wants the ultimate level of protection, the Pelican Air case is the premier choice. The case is crushproof, dustproof, and watertight. Despite all that, it’s 40 percent lighter than traditional hard cases. The case comes with the customizable TrekPak divider system to keep gear safe while in transit. Or you can choose Pick N Pluck foam or padded dividers as well. It has integrated wheels for easy transport through airports. And two stainless steel padlock protectors keep everything secure.
Best lightweight camera backpack: WANDRD PRVKE Lite
Sometimes, you just don’t need a giant camera bag. Whether going on a quick day trip or wanting to travel quickly and lightly, many times, a small bag is best. The WANDRD PRVKE Lite is our favorite lightweight option. It has a built-in camera cube, a laptop sleeve, tons of pockets for personal items, and a roll-top design that easily increases its carrying capacity.
The backpack has three points of access: a side pocket for quick camera access, a lay-flat clamshell opening (great for getting through security at airports), and the previously mentioned roll-top. And the PRVKE bag is made of durable, water-resistant tarpaulin and nylon. Photographers won’t have to worry about their camera gear getting ruined if they get caught in some bad weather during their travels.
Best camera strap: Peak Design Slide Camera Strap
The Peak Design Slide is an industry-favorite camera strap. It’s made of padded nylon webbing, has a minimalist design, and can be used as a sling, a neck strap, or a shoulder strap. Peak Design’s unique anchors and quick-pull handles make it incredibly fast to get this strap attached to your camera so you can start shooting. Our favorite part? Those handy anchors can be attached to any camera body, so you can purchase an extra pack and move the strap between multiple camera bodies without much fuss.
Best compact travel tripod: JOBY Gorilla Pod
Joby’s GorillaPod is one of the best tripods for travel and adventure. The tripod has a unique design with flexible legs that can be wrapped around nearly anything for stable shooting and interesting angles. It features a ball head with a 360-degree panning bed, 90 degrees of tilt, and a bubble level to keep your horizon lines straight while shooting. The GorillaPod only weighs 0.86 pounds, making it easy to pack alongside their camera equipment on their next trip.
Best full-size travel tripod: Peak Design Travel Tripod
While the GorillaPod is great as a compact tripod, sometimes photographers need something full-sized. The Peak Design Travel Tripod offers the benefits of a full-size tripod yet is only the width of a water bottle when folded down. It supports a wide range of shooting angles and even features an integrated phone mount. This particular version is made of carbon fiber and weighs just 3.4 pounds. If you’d rather have a lower price point for a travel gift, the aluminum version is also fantastic.
Best editing console for travelers: Loupedeck Creative Tool
Having an excellent camera to capture your adventures while traveling is really only the first step. A lot of the magic of photography happens in the editing room. The Loupedeck Creative Tool is a customizable console aimed at improving your efficiency while editing. It can be used to edit photos, videos, and even audio and works with a number of Adobe programs and Capture One. Functions can be customized based on your specific workflow, and it’s a lot more ergonomically friendly than using a mouse or a trackpad for long periods of time. The console has a relatively small footprint as well, making it easy to pack along on your adventures.
Best SD cards for travel: Sony Tough Cards
The Sony Tough Card is the world’s first one-piece molded SD card. This design makes the card more durable than traditional SD cards, which feature tiny ribs that have been known to break off inside of cameras and wreak havoc on the precious files that are stored inside. They also happen to have an IPX8 waterproof rating, are dustproof, and have fast enough read and write speeds that they can handle 4K video shooting and burst mode. When photographers are making photographs far away from home, having cards they can rely on becomes extremely important. So far, Sony’s Tough cards haven’t let us down.
Best case for organizing memory cards: Pelican 0915 Micro Memory Card Case
Having more than one memory card is essential, especially on longer trips. But, without a dedicated method of keeping them organized, they are liable to get lost. We love this tiny Pelican case because, like the company’s larger cases, it is made of rugged polycarbonate resin. Even if it ends up on the bottom of a pack, cards won’t get crushed. And it has a water-resistant seal with an IPX4 rating. It can hold 12 SD cards, six mini SD cards, and six micro SD cards, which is more than enough for even lengthy journeys.
Best action camera: GoPro HERO11 Black Accessory Bundle
While GoPros aren’t a full replacement for a standard camera, they really are fantastic travel buddies, which is why we couldn’t leave them out of our travel gift suggestions. The Hero 11 is rugged and durable without needing any additional accessories. It’s even waterproof without a case down to 33 feet. That saves space (and money) while packing. It features a larger sensor that allows for 5.3K video and 27-megapixel photos and supports social media-ready vertical video. Plus, the video stabilization is truly outstanding, so even if they are mountain biking or trail running on rugged terrain, the footage will be smooth.
Best international plug adapter: Sublimeware Multi Port Electric Plug
Those who travel internationally will encounter all sorts of plug varieties. It can be challenging–and annoying–to make sure you have multiple types on hand if going to a few different countries on one trip. That’s why a multi-port adapter is a fantastic gift for world travelers. This particular plug works in 150 countries using US, UK, EU, or Chinese outlets. It also has four USB ports, so it can charge four devices at once if needed.
Best noise-canceling headphones for quiet journeys: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
It can be hard to get quiet time when you’re on the road. Whether traveling by plane, train, or bus, having a good pair of noise-canceling headphones can be life-changing. These Bose headphones provide 11 levels of noise cancellation, so if the traveler doesn’t want to entirely tune out the world, they’ll have options. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they can get some sleep in noisy situations but worry less about them being totally unaware. These headphones provide excellent sound quality and also contain a mic for hands-free calls. And they offer 20 hours of battery life, plenty for even the longest flights.
Best way to encourage printing photos: Mpix gift card
Photographers are typically notorious for not printing their own work. That’s an extra shame for travel photographers. A gift card to a reputable printing company is a fantastic and unexpected way to get them to print their own photos. Mpix offers a wide variety of products: They can select from standard flat prints, canvases for walls, photo books, cards, or even mugs or luggage tags. And sure, gift cards aren’t the most exciting. But chances are, you don’t have the files to print their work, and allowing them to choose the format will likely be appreciated.
Best backup power when on the go: Anker Portable Charger
I’m sure anyone who has traveled even a little has run out of phone battery at just the wrong time. A battery pack is a must for situations like these. It can literally be a lifesaver. Anker’s portable charger is nicely slim, so it will easily slide in a backpack or even a jacket pocket. When fully charged, it will provide 2.25 charges for iPhone 12, 1.6 charges for Galaxy S20, and 1.2 charges for iPad mini 5. And it doesn’t make any annoying high-pitched noises when charging devices like others we’ve used.
Best tool for smartphone videographers: DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Smartphone Gimbal
Sometimes, photographers like to travel without their cameras but still want a way to document their journey. If they like to create videos of their travels, this DJI phone gimbal will help provide smooth results even while the photographer is running around. It features easy-to-use controls and a compact design. And it offers a built-in extension rod for unique angles and extra reach when it’s needed.
Best starter kit for smartphone cameras: Moment iPhone 14 Starter Kit – Three Lenses
Another way to help creatives document their trips without bringing a full camera kit is a set of phone lenses. Moment’s mobile lenses are some of the best you can buy. Despite being made for mobile phones, they are made of the same high-quality glass that you’ll find on high-end 4K film lenses. This starter kit comes with a case–which is required for attaching lenses–and three lenses of your choosing. They make kits for many different phones, so just be sure to get the right one.
Best way to keep gear clean: Urth Glass Cleaning Kit
Traveling will inevitably put you in dirty conditions at some point. And try as best we might, it’s impossible to keep lenses pristine. This lens cleaning kit comes with everything needed to keep lenses spotless. And, unlike lots of kits, it all fits in a weatherproof, recycled nylon case with a zipper. All cleaning supplies will stay put in one spot instead of falling out and potentially getting lost. Plus, Urth plants five trees in areas impacted by deforestation with each purchase, making this an even more beneficial purchase.
Best packing cubes to stay organized: Cotopaxi Cubos Travel Cubes
If the photographer in your life likes to travel with one big stuff sack for camera gear and clothes, packing cubes will be extra helpful. They help keep clothes (or gear) organized, somewhat less wrinkled, and can separate dirty from clean clothes. They won’t have to dig around endlessly in the bottom of a bag before finding the shirt they need. Plus, these Cotopaxi cubes are made of repurposed materials for less waste. They are lightweight and breathable. And they feature handles on top for easier grabbing out of bags.
Best way to keep files safe: LaCie Rugged SSD 1TB
It’s easy to take thousands of photos on trips, even relatively short ones. And while it is tempting to leave them on a memory card until you’re home, it’s much safer to back up the files as frequently as possible. Having a small, portable hard drive is the best way to ensure files are safe. We love this LaCie Rugged solid-state drive because, well, it’s rugged. It provides IP67 weather resistance, can withstand a nearly 10-foot drop, and offers two-ton car crush resistance. You can literally drive over the thing, and your photos will be fine.
Best large duffel for big trips: Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag 70L
If you know someone who likes to go on long trips, a large pack will be a welcome gift. We love this Patagonia duffel in part because it is made of 100 percent recycled materials. That includes a recycled polyester ripstop with a weather-resistant TPU-film laminate. It won’t stay dry if dunked in water but can handle some rain or snow. It features a large opening to the main compartment for easier access. A zippered external side pocket, as well as mesh pockets inside the lid, provide space for smaller items. And there are wheels for easier airport maneuvering.
Best notebook for travelers: Moleskine Voyageur Notebook
We at PopPhoto are big proponents of notebooks for photographers. We think they are an invaluable yet simple tool. And for those who travel, having a notebook to job down trip details, plans, and memories is even more important. Beyond assisting with travel plans, it will help tell the stories of the photos better down the line. And it can just be a nice thing to reflect on later on.
Moleskin specifically designed its Voyageur notebook for travelers. It features detachable packing and to-do lists, a planning section for scheduling purposes, and budgeting pages. And, of course, it also has plenty of journaling space. It even has an expandable inner back pocket for storing flat keepsakes like ticket stubs.