As someone who travels several times a year and wants to record the whole experience, there are a few essential things that I carry on every trip. If you’re looking to record some cool vlogs about your travels, here you’ll find all that you need to make it possible without hassle.
You will need:
Table of Contents
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1) Your Smartphone or Compact Camera
The last thing you want when traveling is to carry around a rig like this:
The right camera for travel vlogging doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. You can simply use your smartphone if you have one with a good camera.
I used to carry around a huge rig because I thought I needed it. The fact is that modern phones are almost as powerful as most semi-professional cameras. As long as it has good stabilization and image quality, it should be good enough.
I only carry a better camera with me if I think I’m going to record a lot in the dark. In those cases, I prefer carrying a mirrorless since the larger sensor makes the footage a hundred times in the dark.
Here are some of my favorite cameras for vlogging, including both compact and mirrorless cameras:
Top Cameras for Travel Vlogs
2) Extra Batteries or Power Bank
Nothing consumes more power than recording video, and travel days are long and full of fun activities you don’t want your audience to miss out on. You need to be prepared to use more than one charge per day.
You can either buy extra batteries for your camera or get a good power bank to charge your device anywhere.
If you are going for a power bank, please make sure it’s good. I can’t count how many bad power banks have just stopped working in the middle of my trip. It’s worth investing in one that is reliable. I use a Charmast power bank that has not let me down for a couple of years now.
For traveling, I recommend getting one with at least 10000mAh so you can give your device at least one extra charge and a bit more depending on the battery capacity. Here are some good options:
3) Windshield for Your Camera’s Mic
As I said before, travelers will encounter windy scenarios more often than any other kind of vlogger. Mountains, beaches and basically any kind of open field can cause you a lot of troubles. Using a microphone windshield will help you record useful audio in most situations like this.
There are windshields for every kind of microphone. It doesn’t matter if you want to use your smartphone, a lavaliere, a shotgun mic, or even your camera’s built-in microphone, you can find one for each kind. Just look for one compatible with your microphone on Amazon and you will make it possible to record in almost any windy situation.
If you don’t want to use an external mic for audio, the best you can do is get a mini windscreen for your camera’s mic. These are little windscreens you can stick to your camera’s mics.
The location of the microphones will depend on your camera model. To identify where they are, look for two tiny holes on your camera’s body that aren’t a charger or USB input. They are hard to miss if you look closely.
But for one last time, be warned: you might end up having to mute your entire vlog if you use your camera’s mic. You can get a good mic for only $12. I don’t think it’s worth risking it!
4) Small Tripod or Phone Holder
For travel vlogging, getting the right tripod is a big deal. I like to bring it down to two main option, either a GorillaPod or the Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2. I’ll explain what’s good about them:
A gorillapod is a tripod that you can transform into almost anything. Besides being able to use it as your camera’s stick and tripod, you can set it on any kind of surface, no matter how irregular it is.
Found an amazing view and a tree cut in half by a thunder strike is the only possible place to set your camera? No problem! This makes this tripod an incredibly useful tool.
GorillaPods come in all sizes and you should choose one based on the size of your camera. The heavier your camera is, the heavier the GorillaPod you will need to hold it steadily.
The problem with them is that if you have a mirrorless or DSLR camera, combining it with one of these tripods can make your vlogging rig too big and heavy, and that’s when the next tripod comes into play.
The second option—the Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2—is not as versatile, but it is a lot lighter and can still support a DSLR. You can use it as a tabletop tripod or a camera stick. You will be thankful for its weight when you hold your camera for an entire day while walking around a foreign city.
My favorite option for vlogging is the Manfrotto. Still, I love carrying a GorillaPod because it allows me to take shots that’d be impossible with any other. For me, they are useful for different things, so you should choose the one that is right for you.
There’s another good option to use as a tripod for your trips that you may like. Check my tripod comparison for more info on this.
5) Enough Memory From the Right Class
When it comes to memory to save your footage, the more the merrier.
I like to go for 64GB for Full HD, but that would depend on the length of the trip. I also prefer to go with multiple cards instead of just one that is huge. You might lose one during your trip, or maybe it may stop working, who knows? It is better to be prepared with multiple cards if this is the case.
Another thing that brings me peace when recording is uploading all of this footage to the cloud as soon as I get to the hotel each day.
I can’t express in words how frustrating it is to lose entire GBs of recordings during a trip. This is why carrying a laptop that you can use to upload your footage might be a good idea too. But thankfully, most devices allow to upload to the cloud without needing a computer,
What about the card class? In simpler terms, the ‘class’ of an SD card refers to its data transfer speed. The higher the class, the faster the card can read and write data. Class 10 cards are designed to handle the demands of high-resolution video recording, ensuring smooth and reliable performance. A Class 10 SD card is recommended for recording Full HD (1080p) video because it has a minimum write speed of 10MB/s. This means it can handle the high data rate required to record high-quality video without dropping frames or causing other issues. For 4K video recording, you should look for SD cards that are UHS-II with a V90 rating with a minimum write speed of 90MB/s.
6) A Good Backpack
You might think that you can just get any backpack if you’re a travel vlogger. This might work for you, but you should know that there are some perfect backpacks for photography that allow you to store your equipment with efficient use of space and more safely.
These allow you to save A LOT of gear in a small space in a secure way. Many of them are also weather-sealed, so you won’t have to fear any of your expensive equipment getting damaged.
So if you’re taking a lot of gear with you, consider a good backpack for vlogging. Here are some of our favorites:
7) Optional: An Action Camera
Having a GoPro available can be incredibly handy for a travel vlogger. It’s not only that you can record underwater footage or record your point of view of any sports activity you do, it’s also great at taking wide-angle pictures. And it’s so small and light that you may forget you have it on you.
But unless you are an extreme sports vlogger, you won’t want to record everything with your GoPro. I often see this mistake.
You hear about the GoPro, and see some amazing footage, so you buy one and think you’re set to record incredible shots and vlog your entire trip. Error. You only want your GoPro for those fast-paced, adventurous moments. You don’t want to be speaking to an action camera.
Why? Basically, your longer videos will become hard to watch after a while. The ultra wide-angle lens featured in GoPros applies a lot of Perspective Distortion. This makes everything look unnatural, including your own face. You might not know why, but if you watch a video like this for a while you will start feeling weird.
Action cameras are an amazing tool, but you have to use them for what they are made for.
8) Optional: Microphone
There was a time when built-in mics were extremely bad. But now that people want to share videos on their own social media all the time, most brands have stepped up their game in this regard.
There was a time when I wouldn’t go without an external mic. But nowadays I prefer going without one. The amount of hassle that it saves me is well worth it. But that’s only because I have cameras that can record good audio out of the box.
If that’s not the case for you, you might want to get an external mic. I like lavalier microphones as they are the ones that have given me the best results overall.
However, it’s not comfortable to carry one of them clipped on your clothes all the time. Also, sometimes you’re required to hold it with your hand close to your mouth, which is not ideal.
The other options are shotgun mics. But for that, you need a hot shoe to mount them on your camera or smartphone.
I suggest recording some footage outside while speaking and simulating you’re vlogging. Then, listen to it on your computer with headphones or decent speakers. If it sounds fine, just take a windshield with you in case it’s windy, and call it a day.
Otherwise, here are some of my favorite mics:
If you want to start recording your trips, make sure you have the right equipment before leaving for the airport. If you want to make sure you will be able to record everything without many troubles, make sure you have the following list of things:
In my opinion, if you’re just starting you shouldn’t spend too much on equipment. Test out your equipment and start to assess what parts need improvement. Is it video quality or audio that needs to be better? After you’re sure that you need a new device, then go for it according to my tips in this post.
There are some stuff you should not forget, though. Specifically, always make sure you have enough battery and memory and that you’re prepared with a windshield for your mic. This way you’ll avoid common frustrations that may arise when recording vlogs while traveling.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.