Skip to Content

Travel Tips: Why you should leave your DSLR at home on your next beach vacation

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

this is another instalment of our “What to Pack”… series, where i share some of our packing essentials, as well as a few not-so-common items. Hope you find it useful as you plan your travels with your children!

Camera Travel Tips: Why you Should Leave your DSLR at Home on your next Beach Vacation



I am going to start this post by saying that “No” I don’t always follow my own advice (but have often wished I had). BUT just let me explain why; I am also a photographer. Bokeh, depth of field, ISO  this is my language. So sometimes the Canon, the camera bag (you will often see me toting my Jo Toes Bag and the lenses come along.

But here is why you should leave yours at home, on your next beach vacation.
  1. SAND sand and cameras do not mix, almost as bad as water and cameras (but not quite). You DO NOT want to get sand in any of the small parts of your camera, especially in the camera sensor or where it can scratch your lenses. And we all know that despite our best efforts, sand gets EVERYWHERE.
  2. WATER we all know that electronics and water do not mix. While your beach vacation is likely sunny, the bucket of water your son decides to splash you with, or your daughter putting her wet bathing suit and towel in the same bag as your camera is not going to do your camera any good.
  3. IT’S EXPENSIVE DSLR’s are pricey. Even the entry level ones require us to part with our precious money to obtain them. Go splash in the water with your kids rather than worry about someone stealing your bag with your camera in it.
  4. SMARTPHONES HAVE FABULOUS CAMERAS THESE DAYS ”“ on our last family vacation to Hawaii we both brought our iphones, we captured hundreds of memories and they were right in our pockets all the time. Yes smart phones are pricey too, but they are much easier to conceal. I read a few suggestions online about emptying out an old deodorant stick. I think i’ll try this on our next trip.
  5. HEAVY and BULKY – Although entry-level DSLR camera’s are getting quite compact, when you add a few lenses you now have a full camera bag! When you add everything you need to take to the beach, you end up with a LOT of stuff to carry!


Do you travel with your DSLR camera on a family holiday? Let me know in the comments!

[su_frame]If you found this page helpful, i would love it if you would pin, share or tweet it on whatever social media platforms you use! Every little bit will help us fund our travels and continue to bring great content to our site![/su_frame]

You can hover over this image of Camera Travel Tips (or any image on my site) and pin-it to your favourite Pinterest board for later!
Camera Travel Tips: Why you should leave your DSLR at home on your next beach vacation

Sharing is caring!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Joyce says:

    I use a diaper to conceal smartphones and/or wallets. Nobody wants to touch a diaper. 😀 I have been embracing not bringing my DSLR as I found a phone (nexus 6P) that I am satisfied with. 🙂

  2. Marco says:

    I totally agree with you. I have found that most of the times that I bring my DSLR, it’s often very clunky and just gets in the way. For that reason, it normally winds up being left in the room safe. My cell phone does just fine in most cases.

  3. Sophie says:

    I totally agree with this post. I also find that when I take mine to the beach I never use it! And someone needs to stay with the bag because i’m too scared it will get stolen. Definitely leave the DSLR behind!

  4. I am currently facing this dilemma now – to bring or not to bring (the DSLR) that is the question! I’m probably not bringing it to the beach, so I bought a waterproof case for my phone! Problem solved (I hope!)

  5. Inma says:

    Heavily disagreeing with this 🙂
    DLSRs come with us everywhere! Good article though!

  6. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been debating about whether to pick up a larger camera…still now sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Orana says:

    Between the two of us we´ve had three DSLRs that have died horrible deaths while traveling. We stick to iPhones and more pocketable Canon G11´s. But we aren´t pro photographers so I guess my comment is invalid. Sand gets everywhere! It actually freaks me out the capacity it has to propagate all over stuff and bodies. When I used to work in film and advertising and we had shoots on the beach, the camera assistants were freaky about the sand and were using up cans of compressed air like it was drinking water. 😉

  8. zof says:

    That’s all so true. I’m a photographer at heart, too, but sometimes…well, sometimes is just more comfortable to leave your favorite gear at home….

  9. Will says:

    Good advice! I don’t have one of these fancy cameras but appreciate that you need to take extreme care.

  10. I don’t even have one!!! They’re just too inconvenient.

  11. Great info! Carolann know getting sand in her camera way too well. a few years ago, she broke a camera by getting some inside. We try to avoid this scenario nowadays but we have to admit to bringing our camera along with us anywhere we go.

  12. Dana says:

    I’ve left my DSLR in the apartment or hotel when I plan on going to the beach. We have a cheaper Nikon point and shot and usually use that or our phone while on the beach.

  13. Timely advice as I’d be heading out on a beach holiday in a couple of weeks! I would still be bringing my DSLR along but would keep it in the bag when I hit the beach. Need to look for a waterproof casing for the phone though.

  14. Funny, I have a big beach vacation coming up and am debating bringing my DSLR at all. I want to bring it for some beautiful pics, but then I think I’ll get a gopro and carry it around the rest of the time!

  15. Yvonne says:

    but what about you bring the camera and then when you go to the beach you leave it back at the hotel? I understand what you are saying and I always bring two camera along with me, my underwater camera for the times at the beach and then when I want to get artsy, I bring a long my big expensive one – its a lot of pack and I think I might have to rethink it but so far it has been working for me!

  16. Mary says:

    I completely agree! Lucky for me I live in Hawaii so I can make trips just myself and my camera to get great shots and then leave it at home when I go for the day and with the kiddos.

    I agree between the sand and the water and the chance for theft you end up not enjoying the day as much as you could. I put my phone in a lifeproof case and don’t worry at all.

  17. I’m a bit reluctant to use my smartphone on the beach as well sometimes! I’ve had to stop myself at least once from going into the sea with it in my pocket!

  18. Meg Jerrard says:

    Great article, totally agree with all points; I held my husbands camera up through the sunroof of our moving vehicle once while in the outerbanks of North Carolina; wanted to capture video footage of a sand storm. Totally dinted his lenses :S I wasn’t in his good books needless to say!!

  19. i am sorry but not going to leave my camera at home. Sorry/

  20. Jennifer says:

    Refreshing advice. Hmm, deodorant stick case – never would have thought of that….

  21. While I don’t think I could leave my DSLR at home I do on occasion leave it in the car or hotel room. Last year I bought a small Nikon waterproof point and shoot to keep in the beach bag and absolutely love it. We can take it kayaking, it’s fully sealed so no sand can get in and you can even take it into the sea or pool with you to capture all the fun.

  22. Hahahah I would try to make my husband read this, but then he’d point out the first paragraph (he’s exactly like you) and all would be redundant.

  23. Celeste Niang says:

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!