The Best Travel Photography of 2023

By Hannah Towey

The Best Travel Photography of 2023

There's nothing quite like the power of a photograph to truly capture the heart of a place—and awaken the travel bug inside us all. But with social media inundated with images of far-flung destinations, the search for high-quality travel photography can often be a tougher pursuit. So, in place of scrolling, why not let an expert panel of judges filter out the best of the best for you?

This week, the international Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards announced their 2023 winners, selected from more than 20,000 images taken by amateur and professional photographers from over 150 countries. The judging of the competition takes place over three rounds; all 16 judges are leading photographers or experts in the field and are not made aware of the identity or nationality of any entrants.

Ranging from ethereal landscapes of the Italian countryside to striking portraits in Pakistan and Russia , the winning shots—including the celebrated work of Travel Photographer of the Year AndreJa Ravnak—reflect a “subtle elegance," says TPOTY founder Chris Coe.

"This comes through in both of AndreJa’s winning portfolios; one takes us into simple landscapes, with delicate colors and a textural beauty, the other into the hop fields, out of season and undressed ready for the next planting," Coe says. “Neither are obvious subjects, neither photographed at an optimal time of year, and yet they are both engaging and rather beautiful.”

Ravnak's winning submissions consists of eight shots photographed in the farmlands of Italy , the Czech Republic , and Slovenia .

“From my personal experience, I know it's not easy to judge photography. Images are not measurable, so being a judge is a complex task and responsibility,” says Ravnak, a professional architect from Slovenia. "Congratulations to all the winners; together, we are enthusiastically documenting this wonderful world, and perhaps this is a small contribution, a reminder to preserve its wonder for future generations.”

Below, see the 2023 winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards, featuring Japan's Lake Shirakawa , volcanic eruptions in Iceland , Shamanic rituals in Siberia , wildebeest migration in Kenya —and more.

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “Early in the spring the first rains allow wheat to grow in the...

Near Pienza, Tuscany, Italy

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “Early in the spring, the first rains allow wheat to grow in the rolling fields. Due to the cold nights, the landscape is often shrouded in beautiful mists on clear mornings during this period. This agricultural landscape is sparsely populated, with land being used to its fullest potential. Farms are located on the top of individual hills.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “Early in the spring the first rains allow wheat to grow in the...

South Moravia, near Kyov, Czech Republic

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “In early spring, the soil is still too cold for growth. An interesting pattern occured while a new orchard was planted on the slope of the hill, making the scene very abstract.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “In search of suitable land for cultivating fertile soil for...

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “In search of suitable land for cultivating fertile soil for agricultural purposes, humans have sometimes covered entire hilly landscapes with fields. Hills without natural vegetation are very exposed to erosion, which creates unusual waves on the slopes. This agricultural landscape looks like a soft, undulating carpet, completely otherworldly, as if it had been created by AI. In addition to erosion, the problem with these intensively cultivated areas is also the increasing exhaustion of fertile soil.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “A tractor driver maneuveres a high trailer with a crew of...

Savinjska valley, near Zalec, Slovenia

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “A tractor driver maneuveres a high trailer with a crew of workers on top, manually tying strings to steel cables for hop growing. In the spring, the fields must be prepared for a new season and new strings must be strung. The process is done by hand, but there is not enough interest in this type of work in Slovenia, so hop growers hire workers from abroad every year. Seasonal workers from Romania are regular visitors to the Savinja Valley.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “When the hop strings are hung on the top steel cables an...

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “When the hop strings are hung on the top steel cables, an unusual curtain of threads is created in the fields. The threads dance in the wind and sparkle in the sunlight. They look like some kind of unusual art installation.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “The freely hanging strings need to be stretched and anchored...

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “The freely hanging strings need to be stretched and anchored in the ground. This is done by hand and is more often done by women. Here, Aurora, a woman from from Romania, is in a good mood, as the work team has a radio with them and they are playing Romanian music in the field.”

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “Once all the strings are manually stretched the workers ensure...

Savinjska valley, near Braslovce, Slovenia

Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia) : “Once all the strings are manually stretched, the workers ensure that the small hop seedlings start climbing vertically. Once this is done, they leave the Savinja Valley for a few months and return in late summer, when the hops are ripe for harvesting.”

Winner Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2023  “The sheep are herded back to their pen at the entrance of the...

Chinle, Arizona, USA

Winner, Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 ( Caden Shepard Choi, USA, age 14) : “The sheep are herded back to their pen at the entrance of the canyon. They walk through a dust cloud formed by the steady kick of their hooves. The sheep are initially reluctant to enter the mouth of the canyon, but when returning home, they show no resistance. After a long day steering sheep, the two herding dogs now playfully trail behind.”

Winner Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 1518  “The mist suspended on Marsh Creek lake's surface signature to...

Exton, Pennsylvania, USA

Winner, Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 15-18 (Lilly Zhang, USA, age 17) : “The mist suspended on Marsh Creek lake's surface, signature to its early fall mornings, the quiet morning light illuminating the fall leaves, and the fishermen amidst the mist. Captivated by the quiet beauty of the scenery, I took this photo.”

Winner Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 14 and Younger  “My father and I took a trip to Iceland to visit an...

Litli-Hrutur volcano, Iceland

Winner, Young Travel Photographer of the Year Age 14 and Younger (Zayan Durrani, USA, age 14) : “My father and I took a trip to Iceland to visit an ongoing volcanic eruption. I took this image on the first day through the window of a small plane. I love how the setting sun cast shadows through the hills onto the volcano.”

Winner Landscape and Environment Portfolio  “A lush mountain range covered of moss in the Highlands with a river snaking...

The Icelandic highlands

Winner, Landscape and Environment Portfolio (Armand Sarlangue, France) : “A lush mountain range covered of moss in the Highlands, with a river snaking between the reliefs from the above glaciers. It will carry precious sediments along the lands before joining a bigger river system, up to the coasts of Iceland where it will connect with the great ocean.”

Winner Best Single Image in a Landscape and Environment Portfolio  “For a period from the end of winter to early summer...

Lake Shirakawa, Japan

Winner, Best Single Image in a Landscape and Environment Portfolio (Kazuaki Koseki, Japan) : “For a period from the end of winter to early summer, Lake Shirakawa is filled with water from melting snow and a ‘submerged forest’ appears. The water in the lake changes colour between light blue and light green, and mist, combined with the reflections which look like a submeged forest create a fantastic landscape. In April, the season of sprouting had arrived in the submerged forest. In the soft light before sunrise, the submerged forest quietly welcomed the morning. I chose a bluish time before sunrise to erase the reality and emphasize the fantastic sight, and set the shutter speed to 30 seconds to flatten the water surface.”

Winner Nature Wildlife and Conservation portfolio  “A split shot of a Mobula ray fever cruising below the divers boat as...

La Ventana, Baja California, Mexico

Winner, Nature, Wildlife, and Conservation portfolio (Martin Broen, USA) : “A split shot of a Mobula ray fever cruising below the divers’ boat as part of their annual migration in the waters of Baja California.”

Winner Best Single Image in a Wildlife and Conservation Portfolio  “A yellow Gobby watches the ocean from the entrance...

Anilao, Philippines

Winner, Best Single Image in a Wildlife and Conservation Portfolio (Martin Broen, USA) : “A yellow Gobby watches the ocean from the entrance of his crystal palace, a glass bottle at the bottom of the sea of the worst ocean polluter on the planet.”

Winner People and Cultures Portfolio  “The Buryatian shaman Vitalli performs a ritual to connect with the spirits on...

Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia

Winner, People and Cultures Portfolio (Athanasios Maloukos, Greece) : “The Buryatian shaman Vitalli performs a ritual to connect with the spirits on frozen Lake Baikal, with the sacred Ogoi (Dragon) cape in the background. Siberia is considered the heartland of Shamanism, with Lake Baikal its most sacred place.”

Winner Best Single Image in a People and Cultures Portfolio  “Four members of The Special Eagles Nigeria's national...

Lagos, Nigeria

Winner, Best Single Image in a People and Cultures Portfolio (Jack Lawson, UK) : “Four members of The Special Eagles, Nigeria's national amputee football team, stand looking out into the ocean at a day on the beach.”

Winner Best Single Image in a Visual Stories Portfolio  “In Pakistan an Islamic Republic there is no coeducation in...

Kalash Valley, Chitral, Pakistan

Winner, Best Single Image in a Visual Stories Portfolio (F.Dilek Yurdakul, Turkey) : “In Pakistan, an Islamic Republic, there is no coeducation in public schools. Boys and girls receive Islamic education in separate classrooms and schools. The Kalash live within the borders of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, yet their schools are still co-educational. Gender diversity and unity are viewed as nothing to fear. Children are educated equally and together.”

Winner A Quieter Life category  “Walking on a white sand dune in La Puna Argentina.”

La Puna, Argentina

Winner, A Quieter Life category (Ignacio Palacios, Australia/Spain) : “Walking on a white sand dune in La Puna, Argentina.”

Winner Above Eye Level Below category  “Under the Highline 179 suspension bridge you get a completely different view...

Reutte, Austria

Winner, Above, Eye Level, Below category (Josien van Geffen, Netherlands) : “Under the Highline 179 suspension bridge, you get a completely different view when you look up. The bridge and the people on it now appear like a scene from an old video game.”

Winner Leisure and Adventure category  “As the last rays of the sun illuminate the iconic Treasury of Petra a Bedouin...

Petra, Jordan

Winner, Leisure and Adventure category (Andrea Peruzzi, Italy ): “As the last rays of the sun illuminate the iconic Treasury of Petra, a Bedouin enjoys jumping between the overhanging rocks. At sunset, it’s as if the once-lost city has two profoundly different souls, divided between day and night. When tourists leave this iconic destination, the Bedouins reawaken the ancient soul of Petra by repopulating the site, to eat around the bonfires and stay connected to the traditions handed down by their ancestors.”

Winner People's Choice Vote  “A young wildebeest lost in the Great Wildebeest Migration madness. He stands there...

Maasai Mara, Kenya

Winner, People's Choice Vote (Rohan Neel Shah, Kenya, age 16) : “A young wildebeest lost in the Great Wildebeest Migration madness. He stands there confused whilst other wildebeest rush to cross the river.”

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  • Inspirations

35 Winning Photos Of The Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022

best travel photographer 2022

Here are the 35 winning photos of the Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022. Out of the 20,000 submissions, the snapshots of one of the world’s last two remaining Northern White rhinos bagged the top price.

The Overall winner for 2022 is won by Matjaz Krivic from Slovenia for his series “Northern White rhinos”. Here are the judges comments “The portfolio of the 33-year-old Najin – one of the world’s last two remaining Northern White rhinos – and her keeper, Zachary Mutai, in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya tells this sad story beautifully and sensitively. The images are tender and intimate. The portfolio of the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma focuses not so much on the lava flow but its impact on the surrounding landscape, encapsulated by the abandoned horse in search of food’ – fascinating visual story-telling.”

Scroll down and inspire yourself. Click on the full gallery link to view complete set of photographs.

You can find more info about Travel Photographer Of The Year:

  • Full Gallery

#1 Overall Winner: Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022: Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#2 Green Planet, Blue Planet, Special Mention: Scott Portelli, Australia

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#3 The Art Of Monochrome, Runner-Up: Dana Allen, USA

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#4 Water, Winner: Alexej Sachov, Germany

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#5 Winner, Best Single Image In A Deserts To Rainforests Portfolio: John Seager, UK

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#6 Green Planet, Blue Planet, Special Mention: Xianghe Liu, China

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#7 Water, Commended: Weizhong Deng, Singapore

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#8 Winner: Best Single Image In A Green Planet, Blue Planet Portfolio: Panos Laskarakis, Greece

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#9 Green Planet, Blue Planet, Special Mention: Yaron Schmid, USA

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#10 Winner, The Art Of Monochrome, Roie Galitz, Israel

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#11 The Art Of Monochrome, Runner-Up: Dana Allen, USA

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#12 Green Planet, Blue Planet, Special Mention: Yaron Schmid, USA

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#13 The Art Of Monochrome, Special Mention: Artur Stankiewicz, Poland

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#14 The Art Of Monochrome, Runner-Up: Dana Allen, USA

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#15 The Art Of Monochrome, Special Mention: Quim Fàbregas Elias, Spain

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#16 Smart Shot: Itravelled, Highly Commended: Dimitar Karanikolov, Bulgaria/UK

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#17 Deserts To Rainforests, Commended: Jaroslav Hora, Czech Republic

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#18 Deserts To Rainforests, Runner-Up: Marek Biegalski, Poland

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#19 Cultures, Special Mention: Michael Runkel, Germany

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#20 Creative Travel, Runner-Up: Dana Allen, USA

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#21 Deserts To Rainforests, Winner: Jaroslav Hora, Czech Republic

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#22 Overall Winner: Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022: Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#23 Mark Of Mankind, Runner-Up: Johnny Haglund, Norway

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#24 Creative Travel, Winner: Lorenz Berna, Italy

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#25 Green Planet, Blue Planet, Runner-Up: Laura Storm, UK

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#26 Winner, Young Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022: Cal Cole, UK (Age 18)

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#27 Smart Shot: Itravelled, Winner: Marina Spironetti, Italy

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#28 Deserts To Rainforests, Runner-Up: Marek Biegalski, Poland

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#29 Cultures, Winner: Magdaléna Straková, Czech Republic

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#30 Winner, Young Travel Photographer Of The Year 14 And Under: Kaia Tham (Age 14), Australia

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#31 Deserts To Rainforests, Runner-Up: Marek Biegalski, Poland

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#32 Mark Of Mankind, Highly Commended: Edmond Terakopian, UK

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#33 Green Planet, Blue Planet, Runner-Up: Laura Storm, UK

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#34 Creative Travel, Highly Commended: Veronika K Ko, Bulgaria

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

#35 The Art Of Monochrome, Highly Commended: Trevor Cole, Ireland

Travel Photographer Of The Year Winners

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Travel Photographer of the Year

Travel Photographer of the Year

Our 22nd year of celebrating images from around the world and the best in travel photography, the 2024 awards are open for entries.

Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY) is run by photographers for photographers. TPOTY is truly global – wherever you live in the world and whether you are amateur or professional, beginner or expert, young or old, Travel Photographer of the Year is for you!

TPOTY has been showcasing the best in travel photography for 21 years and has received entries from 156 countries. The winners are both amateur and pro photographers of 54 different nationalities.

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Our 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year winner, Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia said:

“I am honoured to have my work recognised and acknowledged by the judges of the “Travel Photographer of the Year” competition. This competition is special to me since I have been with it from its beginning (2003) when I was given a Judge’s Favourite Award. Now, 20 years later I received their highest award which makes me very proud and means a lot to me. Travel and photography have been my passions and a big part of my life since I can remember and this award inspires me to continue with my journey.”

best travel photographer 2022

WHAT WINNING TPOTY MEANS “TPOTY is one of the world most prestigious photography competitions, not just because of the quantity and quality of its participants, but also because of the recognised expertise and talent of the judges, the selection criteria for the winners based upon the printed photographs and submission in raw format, and last but not least because of the worldwide media impact. I have been very fortunate to have my work shown in London Bridge Exhibition and in the Xposure International Photography Festival in the UAE. There are not many chances to get photographs being seen by more than 2 million people but TPOTY achieves that.”  Katy Gomez Catalina, Spain

VIEW THE 2023 WINNERS

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FOCUSING ON EXCELLENCE, LOOKING FOR TALENT

FOCUSING ON EXCELLENCE, LOOKING FOR TALENT

Travel Photographer of the Year 2024 opens its 22nd award for entries The search is on once again to…

New judge on 2024 panel

New judge on 2024 panel

Talented nature photographer Ellie Rothnie has joined the TPOTY judging panel for the 2024 awards. We're delighted to welcome…

Two 2025 exhibitions announced

Two 2025 exhibitions announced

We are delighted to announce that TPOTY has already secured two exhibitions for 2025 even before the 2024 awards…

Exhibition in Bolivia announced

Exhibition in Bolivia announced

TPOTY heads for South America with an exhibition at Foto Festival Manzana 1 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in…

THE 2023 WINNERS ARE REVEALED

THE 2023 WINNERS ARE REVEALED

From lyrically beautiful images of European agricultural landscapes to heartbreaking aerial shots of elephants searching for food on rubbish…

Will you be TPOTY’s 21st winner?

Will you be TPOTY’s 21st winner?

…and follow on from Matjaz Krivic and a list of amazing photographers. The closing date for the 2023 awards…

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Eye for the Light is an online magazine all about the creative side of photography and travel, with engaging features, fascinating podcasts, advice, opinions and interviews with talented photographers, travellers, competition judges and people with an in-depth knowledge of the worlds of photography and travel.

There are over 100 fascinating features and podcasts to enjoy! And special offers for registered readers.

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Image credits on this page: Top – Kazuaki Koseki; inset box 1) F Dilek Yurdakul; inset box 2) Matjaz Krivic; inset box 3) Katy Gomez Catalina 4) Keith Berr; 3) Felicia Simion; shop inset. All rights reserved © Travel Photographer of the Year

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  • 2022 IN REVIEW

These are the best travel photos of 2022

Explore the world in 17 stunning images from our contributors.

As travel returned this year, we ventured back into the world with a renewed sense of adventure. From Alaska’ s Denali National Park and Reserve to Indonesia ’s lush rainforests, the photographs we published in 2022 reflect the beauty of our world through fresh perspectives.  

Our National Geographic contributors were tasked with documenting the enduring essence of travel. They opened the aperture on innovative conservation efforts, vibrant cultural communities, and underappreciated destinations ready for future travel.

As we look to the new year, we hope these photographs ignite your adventurous spirit, encourage transformative experiences, and set you off on your next journey.

( Discover 25 amazing Best of the World destinations for 2023 .)

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Inspiration 20 Travel Photographers You Should Know

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” – Steve McCurry

Intrepid and visionary, photographers have long ventured forth to document their journeys and capture the essence of the places they explore. In celebration of our 2023 Travel Photography Award , (open for entries until the end of August) we’ve curated a list of 20 photographers, past and present, whose inspiring images embody the unique allure of travel.

1. Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry , the esteemed judge of our current Travel Award , is a globally-renowned figure in the world of photography. His remarkable oeuvre encompasses some of the most iconic images of our time and showcases the awe-inspiring beauty and cultural diversity of our planet.

Born in Philadelphia in 1950, McCurry studied cinematography at Pennsylvania State University, after which he worked as a staff photographer for the local newspaper Today’s Post . However, driven by his passion for travel and photography, he embarked on a journey to India, a country that would become synonymous with his name due to the stunning images he captured throughout his career. It was this inaugural trip that sparked the epiphanic realization, “if you wait, people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view”, setting the foundation for a remarkable career and some truly captivating images encompassing every corner of the globe.

2. Inge Morath

One of the most influential photographers in the history of the medium, Inge Morath travelled extensively throughout her career, forming close relationships with the places she visited through her absolute immersion in the local culture. The remarkable images she captured, display her wonderful artistry and serve as fascinating mementos of their time, whilst demonstrating the profound potential of color photography long before it gained widespread acceptance.

3. Michael Yamashita

Few photographers convey the sheer joy of travel like Michael Yamashita . Over the past three decades, he has embarked on a journey around the world, capturing breathtaking images of its landscapes and people.

Though, throughout his career, Yamashita has photographed on six different continents, it is his work in Asia that has become particularly renowned. With an Asian Studies major from Wesleyan University and Japanese heritage, Yamashita has become an expert in the region and has photographed extensively in China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and India, capturing images that articulately convey the cultural diversity and stunning beauty of this fascinating continent.

4. Denis Dailleux

Though he has photographed various locations, Denis Dailleux is inseparably linked to Egypt , a country with which he has had a long and complex love affair, that has engendered some truly stunning imagery. His images convey a deep understanding of the Egyptian people and their culture, capturing their humanity and resilience.

He first visited the country in 1992, to join his Egyptian lover whom he had met in Paris a year earlier, and immediately fell in love with the country, captivated by its beguiling beauty and the warmth and generosity of its people.

He spent the next three decades visiting the country (before eventually, living there for several years), capturing its unique essence with love, tenderness, profound respect, and a masterful eye for form, light, and color.

5. Martine Franck

One of the finest practitioners of her time, and, like her husband Henri Cartier-Bresson, a major proponent of the humanist style, Martine Franck spent much of her life traversing the globe, capturing utterly compelling depictions of everyday life with remarkable grace and artistry. Her subjects and locations were as diverse as Tibetan temples, and industrial Northern English towns, whilst she also photographed her homeland extensively, notably in 1976, when she and four female compatriots, were commissioned by La Fondation Nationale de la Photographie to document their countrymen and women on vacation, during which she captured her now iconic photograph ‘Swimming Pool Designed by Alain Capeilleres, La Brusc’.

6. Alex Webb

“Most of my projects seem to start as exploratory journeys with no visible end in sight.” — Alex Webb

Renowned photojournalist, and judge of our 2020 Street Photography Award (alongside his wife and fellow photographer Rebecca Norris-Webb) Alex Webb is a master of capturing the decisive moment, rendering images filled with energy and movement that communicate brilliantly the atmosphere of the scene.⁠ ⁠ While he has photographed extensively in his homeland, Webb is best known for his vibrant and dynamic work in Latin America and the Caribbean. His images capture the region’s unique atmosphere, rich colors, and intricate details, offering a captivating glimpse into this part of the world.⁠

7. Maggie Steber

One of the finest photographers of her generation, Maggie Steber has dedicated her life to documenting some of the most important stories of our time, a mission that has taken her to some 70 countries, and encompassed everything from the African slave trade to natural disasters. Forthright and rooted in compassion, her images, which have graced the pages of many of the world’s most important publications including, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, and The Guardian, cut to the heart of the human condition, leaving a lasting impact on viewers worldwide.

8. Frédéric Lagrange

Frédéric Lagrange is a French-born photographer whose breathtaking imagery showcases the dramatic beauty and cultural diversity of our world. Over the last decade and a half, he has traveled extensively, visiting approximately 100 countries across almost every continent, focusing particularly on secluded shores and remote areas, such as the wild and rugged Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan. His stunning images, which have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and The New Yorker (among others) evoke a sense of intrepidity and solidify his position as one of today’s most talented travel photographers.

9. Sebastião Salgado

One of the medium’s most masterful living practitioners, Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado is renowned for his powerful monochromatic images that tell the human stories behind some of the most important issues of our age.

During the course of his near-five decade-long career, he has traversed the globe, capturing extraordinary images, though it is perhaps his depictions of his homeland for which he is best known. In 1986, he travelled to the notorious Serra Pelada gold mine, to photograph some of the 50,000 workers who worked in terrible conditions. His most recent project, the landmark, Amazonia a series of stunning images of the landscapes and people of the world’s largest rainforest captured during a series of trips over the course of six years, is one of his most impressive, communicating the dramatic beauty, incredible biodiversity, and rich cultural heterogeneity of what the photographer calls “paradise on earth”, and thus highlighting the importance of its conservation at what is a crucial tipping point in the fight against climate change.

10. Pia Riverola

One of the best-known travel photographs of recent years, Pia Riverola , is renowned for her dreamy, pastel-hued renderings, which flawlessly capture the very essence of their subject matter.

Whether it’s vibrant flower markets in Mexico City, neon-lit and rain-drenched streets in Tokyo , or the lush landscapes of South American jungles, Riverola ‘s photographs exude a nostalgic and dream-like quality, displaying her masterful understanding of light and inducing a powerful sense of wanderlust.

11. Bruno Barbey

One of the finest photographers of our time, Moroccan-born, French photographer Bruno Barbey, has spent the last five decades travelling the world capturing powerful images that display his unique artistic voice and intrepidity. Over the years he has photographed in Brazil, China, India, his homeland France, and Morrocco, his birthplace, returning on numerous occasions to capture stunning, color-rich images that convey the unique essence of the country.

12. Jimmy Nelson

Judge of our recent Portrait Award , Jimmy Nelson, has dedicated the last ten years to documenting indigenous cultures around the world, which face increasing threats to their traditions and ways of life.

Nelson ‘s adventurous spirit was ignited during his childhood through his father’s work as an exploratory geologist. His first major project involved an epic journey on foot across Tibet in 1987, while seven years later, he documented the newly-opened People’s Republic of China in his acclaimed project “Literary Portraits of China,” which was exhibited in Tiananmen Square before touring globally.

However, it was his subsequent travels around the world to photograph remote cultures using a traditional 50-year-old plate camera, that laid the foundation for the project for which he is best known. “Before They Pass Away”, comprises stunning portraits of 35 different indigenous communities across the globe, capturing their unique traditions and practices in the face of globalization and industrialization.

13. Jim Richardson

Though born in the US, Richardson is immensely proud of his Celtic roots and has spent much of his career focusing on Ireland and Scotland. The latter has been a particularly prominent subject, his fascination with the wild landscapes of the Scottish highlands and the remote islands off its western coastline, engendering a wealth of captivating landscape images that articulate its unique, rugged beauty.

14. Matthieu Paley

French-born Matthieu Paley is one of the finest contemporary travel photographers, whose practice focuses on remote areas, and those communities that call them home.

Working on assignments for National Geographic and other leading publications, he has captured profoundly fascinating photo essays on hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, Greenland’s Inuit and Afghanistan’s Kyrgyz nomads (which he did over the course of a decade), leading to a number of notable awards, including a 2017 World Press Photo award for his portrayal of a Uighur woman in western China.

15. Brooke Holm

The 2nd Prize Winner of our 2018 Color Award for her breathtaking depiction of an Icelandic landscape, Australian-American artist Brooke Holm is one of the most exciting emerging proponents of travel photography. Inspired by satellite imagery and therefore, captured almost invariably from above, her depictions of some of the world’s most beautiful natural scenery are akin to paintings. Rich in color, texture and form, they offer a divergence from conventional viewpoints, showing the natural world at scale, in an attempt to subvert traditional anthropocentric narratives and advocate for coexistence with our environment and its inhabitants.

16. Galen Rowell

Equal parts adventurer and photographer, Galen Rowell spent the majority of his extraordinary life traversing some of the world’s most lofty areas, and capturing stunning landscape images that convey the beauty of the subject.

Throughout his career, Rowell undertook assignments for prestigious publications like LIFE and National Geographic, fearlessly venturing into remote and unforgiving locations, capturing them with unmatched artistry that still resonates today. His work not only showcased the natural wonders of these landscapes but also left a profound impact on the field of photography, inspiring generations of landscape photographers and ensuring his legacy lives on through his work.

17. Ami Vitale

Considered one of the most important conservation photographers of her generation, Ami Vitale has spent her career travelling the globe, traversing more than 100 countries and capturing stunning images that illuminates the often-overlooked heroes and communities whose efforts to protect wildlife and the natural world are truly inspiring. A Nikon Ambassador and regular contributor to National Geographic, Vitale has received numerous awards and commendations over the years, among them a Lucie Humanitarian Award and numerous World Press Photo prizes, which stand as a testament to her dedication and talent in her field. 

18. Jody MacDonald

Few can rival Jody MacDonald when it comes to intrepidity. The award-winning adventurer and photographer has visited over 100 countries and spent a decade travelling the globe on a 60-foot catamaran, on an expedition to uncover the most remote and untamed corners of the planet. Working on assignment for National Geographic and other leading publications, or commercial projects for the likes of Patagonia and Red Bull, MacDonald has photographed some of the harshest and most difficult-to-reach corners of the earth – from the Sahara to the Himalayas – capturing stunning images that communicate the wild beauty of our world.

19. Evelyn Hofer

Few, if any photographers in history captured the essence of cites in the manner of Evelyn Hofer , the enigmatic German-born photographer who, throughout her impressive career, travelled the world photographing its landscapes and people with rarely-matched grace and artistry.

Whether it was Dublin, Paris, Florence, or the cities of her adopted homeland, the United States, Hofer’s photographs capture the essence of the subject. Underpinned by a masterful understanding of form, light, and color, today they stand as timeless testaments to her artistic vision and her ability to reveal the profound beauty that exists within the tapestry of our world.

20. René Burri

                                                                                 

All images © their respective owners

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30 Most Influential Travel Photographers to Follow in 2024

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Who doesn’t love traveling, visiting new places, and going on adventures? And who wouldn’t want to capture these memories and look back at them later?

If you want photography inspiration during your journeys, this article is just for you! We have collected 30 of the most influential travel photographers from across Instagram.

Believe us… they are worth following! Their work and unique style might give you some ideas next time you travel.

A person in a blue jacket standing on the end of a wooden pier

What Is Travel Photography?

Simply put, travel photography captures adventures and locations you visit during your journeys.

This photography niche involves so many different genres. A travel photographer must also know landscape, architecture, street, and environmental photography.

Travel and adventure photography often involves storytelling . And it focuses on capturing special moments and atmospheres.

There are many different approaches to travel photography. You can focus on people, take self-portraits , emphasize landscapes, or dive into aerial photography . Mixing these approaches can result in a unique style and, over time, get you professional recognition as a travel photographer.

Travel photo of a train moving through a serene landscape

30 Most Influential Travel Photographers to Follow

Let’s take a look at the work of these amazing travel photographers!

1. Frauke Hameister

This German photographer captures stunning landscapes and adventures. This is mostly when he’s surrounded by mountains and cliffs. Frauke does an excellent job at visualizing stories through her images.

Her style revolves around cold colors and a foggy atmosphere . She mostly includes herself in her photos, giving her work an extra personal touch.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Frauki – made in Germany 🌊 (@frauki)

2. Robert King

From wildlife to landscapes and night photos , Robert King is exceptional in several areas of photography. But first and foremost, he travels around the world and captures the unique views in front of him.

His passion for traveling shines through his photographs. His compositions are top-notch, often created with an extra touch of drone perspective .

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Robert King 📸 (@king_roberto)

3. Pedro Quintela

Pedro is a true visual artist. His photos look as if they were paintings. He takes advantage of gorgeously colorful skies and landscapes all around the world. His way of using a central composition proves that this technique is definitely not as cliché as some think.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Pedro Quintela | Visual Artist (@pedro_quintela_images)

4. Adam Desjardins

Snowy mountains, exotic islands, and vibrant cities. Nothing stops Adam when he arrives with his camera.

He uses a unique perspective to capture his traveling adventures. Adam mostly uses a wide-angle lens to include all his surroundings. He also likes to shoot from a bird’s-eye view , often including himself in his travel photography.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Adam Desjardins (@_adamdesjardins)

5. Chris Henry

Chris is an American photographer who visits places like Norway, Iceland, Alaska, and Italy. He loves to shoot wildlife, getting unbelievably close to his models.

He uses a certain photography style for every country he visits, making each photo series unique and distinguishable. He also owns his own streetwear brand, where the designs are based on his photography.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Chris Henry (@chrishenry)

6. Morten Munthe

Morten is a photographer from Norway, mainly taking photos of his own country’s treasures. He has a consistent style of dark, contrasty, and moody photographs.

He likes to include people in his photos, turning landscapes into lifestyle portraits . Not only that, but he also captures wildlife when he gets the chance.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Morten Munthe (@morten_munthe)

7. Luke Stackpoole

This English photographer perfectly combines landscape and travel photography. Wherever he travels, he tries to take a photo of the hidden gems of the place.

Tiny houses, forest trails, and local animals are all common subjects of Luke’s photography. He prefers northern locations like Iceland, Scotland, or Greenland.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Luke Stackpoole (@withluke)

8. Marcel Siebert

Marcel does an excellent job at depicting what’s best in each season. He likes to include as much detail in his photos as possible. He often uses props that symbolize the current season (such as pumpkins during autumn).

His images are like a fairytale. His subjects are often magical forests, breathtaking castles, and traditional villages.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Marcel – From Germany 📷 (@_marcelsiebert)

9. Disa Wold

If someone is enjoying life to the fullest, it’s Disa. Wherever she goes, she embraces the opportunities that the place gives. From tenting to petting a reindeer or chilling in a hot tub, she knows how to bring the best out of each moment.

And she captures these moments authentically and joyfully. Disa also has a portrait photography account. So check it out if you are interested in her work.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Disa Wold (@disa)

10. Monika Jeske

If you are looking for magic, you should definitely check out Monika’s photography. She uses spectacular skies to emphasize the beauty of locations such as Sicily or Jordan.

Apart from these, she also takes everyday places, like Prague’s old town. And she gives an extra touch to them with her editing style.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Monika Jeske / Outdoor (@beautyland_photography)

11. Rach Stewart

Rach is a photographer from New Zealand, mainly taking photos of mountain landscapes. Her images are incredibly refined and thoughtfully composed.

She plays with colors like a true artist. The smooth transition between shades of the blue hour and cotton candy clouds in her pictures is remarkable.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Rach Stewart ↟ New Zealand (@rachstewartnz)

12. Stijn Dijkstra

Stijn loves creating dramatic images. He often uses silhouettes , sunsets , and flares to reach the desired atmosphere. He often uses a bird’s-eye view to include as much scenery as possible.

Capturing himself in his scenes is also a common part of his work. Check out this account if you want adventure photography at the most varied locations!

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Stijn | 📸 Travel & Photography (@furstset)

13. Nazariy Kryvosheyev

Nazariy uses his photography to capture the moment while hiking and traveling through gorgeous places. You can often see a patch of sky, a ray of sunlight, or a passing cloud giving his images an extra touch. He knows how to play with shadows and contrast to create his own style.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Travel Feeling🏕 (@nazarudi)

14. Roam The Planet

Unlike the other accounts in our list, @roamtheplanet is not an individual artist. It’s a photography community built on a passion for adventure.

It features images from a variety of travel photographers. You can use this account for inspiration. But you can also get featured using the #roamtheplanet hashtag under your travel photographs.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von ROAM THE PLANET (@roamtheplanet)

15. Thrainn Kolbeinsson

Thrainn is an Icelandic photographer traveling through his country. The sheer beauty of Iceland shines through his photos, from glaciers to highlands and waterfalls .

He captures details, such as close-ups of Icelandic horses, frozen grass, and landscapes. He often takes drone photos, showing the location from a unique perspective.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Thrainn Kolbeinsson (@thrainnko)

16. Gábor Nagy

Gábor is a Hungarian photographer with a passion for traveling and adventures. His work is special because he often manages a minimalistic style of landscapes , with only two or three elements in the picture.

This makes his photographs simple yet breathtaking. One of his favorite locations is Iceland, and he is good friends with Thrainn.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Gábor Nagy | Hungary 💪 (@gabornagy_photography)

17. Peter McKinnon

Peter is one of Instagram’s most-followed travel photographers. This is no accident. He takes a unique approach to travel, combining lifestyle self-portraits with adventure photos.

He visits a wide variety of locations. You can find photos of huge cities, northern landscapes, or even Californian beaches in his account.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Peter McKinnon (@petermckinnon)

18. Michael Kagerer

His photos radiate calmness, partly thanks to his editing technique and partly because of his location choice. He prefers to visit places with minimal human habitation, explore the wild, and interact with animals.

Wherever he goes, he highlights the main characteristics of the area. This includes moody forests, frozen mountains, or bare hills.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Michael Kagerer | Photography (@michaelkagerer)

19. Giulio Groebert

Giulio is a German photographer. He loves traveling through Europe and sharing his journey through his photography. He uses a harmonic set of colors in his pictures. This creates a warm atmosphere that defines his style.

Giulio proves that there are hidden gems everywhere. Looking at his pictures, the viewer gets an irresistible motivation to go out and discover new places.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Giulio | Travel & Outdoor (@giuliogroebert)

20. Tom Juenemann

Tom is a German travel and outdoor photographer , often taking bird’s-eye view photos. He loves visiting castles and traditional villages, creating fairytale-like images .

He aims to inspire his followers to travel. He also cooperates with tourist offices and brands, like Vans, Sony, and Adobe, to help them get a bigger audience.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tom | Travel & Outdoor (@tom_juenemann)

21. Stuart Price

Stuart is a photographer who is experienced in many different areas. Apart from travel photos, he also does lifestyle, product , and portrait photography.

He has pictures from England, Portugal, and Greece, to mention a few. And he is extremely skilled at using various compositional techniques. He is also the writer of our Intuitive Composition eBook!

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Stuart Price (@stuartprice)

22. Mandy Rosenfeld

If you are looking for mountain landscape photography inspiration, check out this account. From the Dolomites to Iceland, Mandy has a talent for capturing the cold yet beautiful winter atmosphere through her photos. She loves rocky surroundings, fog, and sunsets peeking through the clouds.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von MANDY ROSENFELD (@rosenfeld.mandy)

23. Fabian Huebner

Speaking of cold and foggy photos, Fabian is one of the area’s leading travel photographers. He embraces the mystical atmosphere of cloudy days while using the occasional sunset. If you check out his account, be prepared that his dark and moody images will give you the chills.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von F A B I A N • H U E B N E R (@fabian.huebner)

24. Manuel Dietrich

Manuel is passionate about capturing his adventures from California to Germany to Norway. He loves having mountains and lakes in front of his camera.

His composition technique is dynamic. He often creates a foreground by letting plants and stones into his frame. A preset is also available so that his followers can reproduce the unique color tones he’s using.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Manuel Dietrich | Germany (@manueldietrichphotography)

25. Marvin Kuhr

Marvin is yet another travel photographer who prefers to take a minimalistic approach. He doesn’t overcrowd his frame. He visibly composes each subject of his while consciously using compositional rules. He mainly travels in Europe. But he has also visited locations such as La Réunion and Canada.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Marvin Kuhr (@kuhrmarvin)

26. Emmett Sparling

Other photographers on our list mostly take photos of mountain sceneries. But Emmett regularly visits exotic places and seashores. He has a vibrant and colorful photography style.

He often plays with different lighting conditions. And he ventures into underwater photography , taking portraits and wildlife photos.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von TRAVEL 🌎 EMMETT SPARLING (@emmett_sparling)

27. Brayden Hall

Brayden’s seasonal photo series is outstanding. He visualizes exactly what’s most appealing in each season. The colorful leaves of autumn or the sea adventures of summer are often the subjects of his photos. How he utilizes light can serve as an example for other photographers.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von BRAYDEN | travel + adventure 🗺 (@braybraywoowoo)

28. André Alexander

This German travel photographer takes pictures of landscapes as much as castles, villages, and cities. He prefers to do photoshoots at sunset or sunrise, which adds to the dreamy atmosphere of his shots. Looking at André’s photos really makes you want to travel through Europe and visit some of the places he captures.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von André Alexander | Germany (@formgestalter)

29. Dave Williams

Dave is an internationally recognized travel and wildlife photographer. He has been featured by sites and magazines such as Forbes or National Geographic.

He uses gorgeous lighting and landscapes, often choosing wild animals as his models. If you want to see some gorgeous Aurora Borealis photos, check out his account!

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Dave Williams (@idavewilliams)

30. Lennart Pagel

Lennart takes pictures of cities and villages just as much as nature. He loves using a bird’s-eye view when capturing his adventures all around the world. Whether it is landmarks or natural creations, he can capture the essence of each location.

            Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an                         Ein Beitrag geteilt von Lennart Pagel | 📍Germany (@lennart)

Conclusion: Most Influential Travel Photographers

Looking at other photographers’ work can give you inspiration and new ideas you can implement in your photos.

That’s why it is a good idea from time to time to go through some outstanding artists’ profiles and see if you like anything about their style. When it comes to travel photography, these artists can even motivate you to go on a trip yourself!

Do you agree with our list? Please drop us a comment with your favorite travel photographer under this post!

We are always on the lookout for exciting new travel photographers. If you are a travel photographer and feel you should be considered on our list, email us at [email protected] with your bio, website, and Instagram link!

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The 12 Best Travel Cameras of 2024

Whether you’re shooting landscapes or cityscapes, these are the best travel cameras for capturing your memories.

best travel photographer 2022

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks
  • Tips For Buying

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure / Brian Kopinski

Cameras let us snap scenes that inspire, places that take our breath away, and simple moments that make up the fabric of a destination through a single shot. Hefty camera bodies with giant lenses might seem like the obvious choice for top-notch photos, but for travel, they can be a bulky hindrance taking up too much packing space. Instead, consider your specific needs as a jumping off point when you're ready to shop for a new camera. Are you a hardcore adventurer? Are most of your travels long-haul trips? Are you a beginner or advanced photographer? These are all questions you should ask yourself to help narrow it down.

Whether you purchase a budget-friendly camera or something pricier, it'll be an investment — not only financially, but also in trusting your pick to properly capture once-in-a-lifetime experiences that don't come with do-overs. To help with your travel camera search, we also spoke to professional photographers Jonathan Pozniak and Viktoria North, as well as Nikon senior product manager Mark Cruz, to get some expert advice on how to choose the best camera for you.

Best Overall

Sony alpha a7cr.

It’s compact in size but a powerhorse.

There’s only one SD card slot.

A full frame mirrorless camera with incredibly high resolution, the Sony Alpha 7CR is our top pick for a travel camera. The compact size makes it very portable, and the interchangeable lenses give you a lot of versatility for shooting everything from landscape or wildlife to portraits and city scenes. As a photographer, I love the intuitive design of the Sony Alpha series cameras and this one is no exception; auto-focus tracking is impressive, in-body image stabilization does not disappoint, and the battery life has improved significantly from earlier models. Track your subject with the smart eye detection, for humans and wildlife, including a special bird option. I also appreciate how customizable the settings and buttons are, making your photography shoots more efficient. In addition to having the capability of capturing high-quality photographs in both RAW and JPG files, this camera takes video in 4K too. Built-in WiFi and bluetooth capabilities make it easy to share photos or connect to a remote as well. For a professional quality camera that won’t take up too much space or weigh you down when traveling, this is our top choice.

The Details: Full frame CMOS (35.7mm x 23.8mm) sensor | 61 megapixels | 1/8000 to 30 seconds shutter speed | 4K video | 1.1 pounds

Best Action Camera

Gopro hero12 black.

It’s waterproof and weatherproof.

It doesn’t include a GPS component.

The rough and tumble GoPro Hero12 Black has long been one of the top action cameras, with its pocket-sized and durable design. With improved image stabilization and battery life, as well as the ability to handle hotter temperatures, this newest version is no exception. With so many accessories that can be purchased separately, this camera can be equipped for any adventure, big or small, cold or hot, wet or dry. I especially love the bite mount for capturing POV, hands-free shots, with my dog. This camera is so compact and portable, it’s perfect for travel. Anything you find yourself doing, from mountain biking or skiing, to snorkeling, or taking a sunrise timelapse, will be captured so vibrantly. Customize the frame rate and settings when capturing video, with the option for 5.3K video quality. You have the option to shoot in RAW or JPEG, though you can only use the wide angle when shooting RAW. Other cool features include the ability to use voice commands to take a photo or start video, and modes like HDR, sup slow motion movie, and star trails.

The Details: Size-unspecified CMOS sensor | 27 megapixels | 1/8 to 30 seconds in photo mode, 1/480 to 1/30 seconds in video mode shutter speeds | 5.3K + 4K video | 5.4 ounces

Best Budget DSLR

Canon eos rebel t7.

It's super affordable and user-friendly.

It's best suited for entry-level photographers.

With the Canon EOS Rebel T7, you can save your dollars without skimping on image quality, and there's not much more you can ask for in the DSLR world. Although there is a newer version of this camera ( EOS Rebel T8i ), the T7 is still the most budget-friendly device with features perfect for someone ready to branch out and learn the ins and outs of DSLRs. That being said, it's more suited for a beginner photographer who wants to amp up their game past smartphone photography . It's a fantastic camera to practice manual mode and learn how to adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings. Eventually, it's likely that you'll be ready to graduate to a more complex camera — but we all have to start somewhere, right?

Canon is well known for having a straightforward, easy-to-use system, which is a huge bonus for beginners. The LCD screen is helpful for navigating the menu and setting up images, though it does lack the luxury of touchscreen capabilities. Built-in WiFi allows for quick sharing between devices, so your amazing shots can be posted to social media platforms in a jiffy.

The Details: Cropped CMOS sensor | 24 megapixels | 1/4000 to 30 seconds bulb shutter​​ | Full HD video | 15.06 ounces (body only)

Best Budget Mirrorless

Canon eos r50.

It’s compact and lightweight, offering great value for its features.

Advanced photographers might prefer a camera with more bells and whistles.

The brand new Canon EOS R50 snags the spot for best budget mirrorless and doesn’t only promise great photo quality, but its video capabilities are fantastic as well. With 4K uncropped video and stellar subject detection and tracking at a friendly price point, this mirrorless model is a great everyday camera that’s ideal for everything from social media video captures to portrait and landscape shooting. Interchangeable lenses give you flexibility, and the compact design won’t weigh you down. Excellent auto-focus that can be tailored to detect humans, animals, and even vehicles is a major highlight, as is the 12fps (frames per second) burst mode. The touchscreen and creative assist mode make this a beginner-friendly camera as well as one that won’t break the bank.

The Details: Cropped CMOS (APS-C) sensor | 24.2 megapixels | 1/4000th sec - 30 seconds, in 1/3-step increments shutter speed | 4K video | 11.52 ounces

Best Retro Look

Fujifilm x100vi camera.

It has a timeless look with modern features.

Since it’s a limited edition model, there are only a certain number available for purchase.

We love how compact and sleek the limited edition FUJIFILM X100VI is, with the nod to nostalgia symbolized by the engraved original brand logo. This is our top pick for best retro-inspired camera, but if you can’t get your hands on one of these limited edition models, the FUJIFILM X-T5 is our next best bet. That being said, this model has fantastic low-light capabilities, in-body stabilization, 6.2K video capture, and improved in-body stabilization to minimize shaky shots. It has a tilting LCD touchscreen display, which I find makes it easier to snag those artistic selfies in the midst of epic landscapes or to get a solid group photo. The lens is a fixed 35mm lens. With the camera’s WiFi, it also uses an intuitive camera-to-cloud (c-2-c) system which automatically uploads content to the cloud-based platform. For a small camera with a "throwback" look that has amazing capabilities, this one is perfect for travelers as an everyday use tool.

The Details: APS-C X-trans CMOS 5 HR sensor | 40.2 megapixels | 1/4000 to 15 Minutes in manual mode shutter speed (mechanical), 1/180000 to 15 minutes in manual mode shutter speed (electronic) | 4K + 6K video | 1.1 pounds

Best Mirrorless for Beginners

The user-friendly design makes learning photography with this model much easier.

The flip screen tends to get in the way of a tripod attachment if you're using one.

We love how the Nikon Z50 is small enough to fit in your pocket, but don't be fooled by its size: it produces big-time quality images. "For those new to photography and video, this camera provides an exciting entry point. It's small enough to carry with you, but offers higher-quality images than your phone. This model is great to learn with as it incorporates many easy-to-use features, plus offers an automatic mode that senses different shooting scenarios and automatically adjusts the camera's settings (e.g., ISO range, exposure compensation) to deliver stunning results," Nikon's Cruz says.

The flip-down LCD screen is ideal for travel photographers and creators that want to take selfies, vlog, or include themselves for scale. The Z50 is also designed to save settings for both photo and video separately, so you don't have to worry about changing everything when you switch modes. With low-light capabilities, an easy-to-navigate menu, a sleek design, and 11 frames per second at full resolution, a beginner travel photographer will be hard pressed to find a better mirrorless camera.

The Details: Cropped APS-C CMOS sensor | 20.9 megapixels | 1/4000 to 30 seconds, bulb, time shutter ​| 4K video | 14 ounces

Best DSLR for Beginners

Pentax pentax kf dslr.

It produces high-quality images at a more affordable price than most competitors.

The video capabilities aren’t that impressive.

For those interested in getting their feet wet with photography, the Pentax KF DSLR Camera is our top choice for its durable, weather-resistant body, vari-angle screen, and compact size despite DSLR cameras’ reputation for being hefty in general. It offers a solid grip, and longer battery life, as most DSLR’s do. Start learning the camera in automatic and make use of the manual controls as you learn photography. The large viewfinder is fantastic, and this particular model mixes modern mirrorless technology with the classic DSLR viewfinder by offering a live view in addition to the optical viewfinder. You’ll be able to mix and match your preferred focal lengths with this model as well, since it’s equipped for interchangeable lenses. For the price point, this newbie from Pentax is a solid entry level DSLR for travel that won’t take up a ton of space in your bag.

The Details: Cropped APS-C CMOS sensor | 24.2 megapixels | 1/6000 to 30 seconds shutter in auto mode, 1/6000 to 30 seconds shutter in manual mode | 1080p HD video | 2.73 pounds

Best Mirrorless for Outdoor Photography

Om system om system mark ii.

The autofocus is fast.

The video capabilities aren’t as fast as other models.

The newest OM SYSTEM camera, the OM-1 Mark II Mirrorless model is a lightweight and compact, high-performing camera with durable construction and IP53 weatherproofing. This means it can withstand the elements when shooting landscapes or wildlife outdoors, including some rain, wind, and snowflakes. In fact, the camera is freezeproof, dust and splash-resistant, and can handle temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The built-in stabilization is another key factor for outdoor and wildlife photographers, helping you to get the sharp image and assisting with longer exposures to minimize shake. The rubber control dials give you a little more grippy control when shooting, which is a nice additional feature that can go a long way. For a workhorse mirrorless travel camera that can hack it outdoors, this is a fantastic choice.

The Details: Cropped 17.4 x 13 mm (four-thirds) BSI MOS sensor | 20.4 megapixels | 1/8000 to 60 seconds shutter (mechanical), 1/32000 to 60 seconds shutter (electronic) | 4K video ​| 1.1 pounds

Best Splurge

Leica q3 digital camera.

It’s fast and performs well in most lighting conditions.

The front of the camera has a flat design, making it tricky to grip at times.

This pick is an upgrade to the Leica Q2 version of the company’s classic rangefinder camera, and we love how easy to use and versatile the Leica Q3 is across a wide array of shooting conditions. This fresh model allows for in-camera charging, which is a worthy upgrade from the previous one. The same full-frame capabilities are now paired with a powerhouse 60MP high-resolution sensor, hybrid AF (autofocus) system, and 8K video recording ability. The processing is speedy for both shooting stills and video, and boasts continuous shooting up to 15 frames per second. The fixed 28mm f/1.7 prime lens is impressive even in low light conditions, and a full battery charge will score you approximately 350 shots. The Leica Q3 is a great choice for intermediate to advanced photographers seeking high-end equipment for everyday purposes and professional jobs.

The Details: Full-frame BSI CMOS Sensor | 60 megapixels | 1/2000 to 1/2 second shutter speed, 1/2000 to 4 seconds in auto mode | 8K video at 30 frames per second, 4K video ​| 8.8 ounces

Best Underwater

Om system tough tg-7 black underwater camera.

It's tough and effective.

Divers should be aware that the waterproofing level only goes to 50 feet.

The upgraded Olympus Tough TG-7 is exactly what it claims to be: tough, rugged, and capable of taking superb underwater photos and videos. The solid handgrip does a great job giving you that extra security as you swim around and shoot the underwater world . New features added from the TG-6 include vertical video support, interval shooting, exposure smoothing, and USB-C connectivity for uploading content.

With a unique internal zoom mechanism, the 25–100-millimeter lens doesn't stick out from the camera body, keeping it watertight while you capture macro details of marine life from a safe distance. RAW shooting and 4K video make this not just any old underwater camera, but one with impressive capabilities. The super slow-motion mode is another favorite. It's rated as waterproof to 50 feet, making it the perfect companion for your snorkeling or free diving adventures . It's not just waterproof either; the shockproof design makes this camera perfect for ventures outside of the water as well. Bring it hiking, mountain biking, or just for a day at the beach without having to worry.

The camera is also easy to use, which is exactly what you want when you're shooting underwater. "I had fun with the Olympus TG-6 on assignment in Bora Bora. I'm a terrible swimmer so all I could do was click away and hope for the best. Thankfully it worked!" Jonathan Pozniak shares.

The Details: Cropped BSI CMOS sensor | 12 megapixels | 1/2000 to 1/2 second shutter, 1/2000 to 4 seconds shutter in auto mode | 4K video ​​| 8.8 ounces

Best Phone Lens

Moment tele lens.

It gives you 2x and 4x zoom capabilities when attached to single and multi-lens smartphones.

To achieve the 6x closer shot, you’ll need the Moment Pro Camera app.

Our top pick for a stand-alone extra lens to attach to your smartphone is the Moment T-series Tele 58mm lens, which allows you to zoom up to six times closer to your subject. As a standard, it also sits twice as close to the main camera lens of your phone. This allows for sharper shots versus using the zoom on your smartphone, which diminishes the resolution. Fantastic for landscape, wildlife, and portrait photography, this lens definitely elevates your smartphone photo game by offering more flexibility without sacrificing quality. Video will also benefit thanks to a beautiful bokeh effect and an overall cinematic vibe. This lens is easy to use, as it features a straightforward mounting process and quickly twists off. This lens is compatible with most phones, but it’s wise to consult the description before purchasing.

"For most people, a smartphone is all you need, but that may vary for each trip. If I'm out hiking for the day, my iPhone 12 Pro in my pocket is all I need, and the fact that it shoots RAW and video is a huge plus." Pozniak explains.

The Details: 58 millimeter | 300 line pairs per millimeter (axis), 200 line pairs per millimeter (edge) | 39.5 millimeter lens | 2.6 ounces

Best Pocket-Sized

Ricoh ricoh street edition.

It’s very lightweight and portable.

There is no viewfinder.

We love the pocket-sized, travel-friendly Ricoh GR III Street Edition Digital camera for everyday use and portability. It’s easy to use with straightforward settings, menu, and customization. I really appreciate a camera that starts up quickly so you don’t miss the shot, and this one fits the bill. It has the capability to capture both JPEG and RAW files and you can get creative with the built-in filters like monochrome, HDR tone, and negative film. A fixed 28mm equivalent lens makes it versatile enough for portraits as well as landscape and street photography. This camera lacks a built-in flash but it does come with a hot shoe so you can attach a compatible external flash to it, if you’re taking night shots. Image stabilzation and an impressive auto-focus help produce sharper images, and a decent battery life makes it possible to explore a new city all day without having to worry that you’ll run out of juice. Bluetooth and WiFi make it easy to share photos as well. 

The Details: Cropped APS-C CMOS sensor | 24.2 megapixels | 1/4000 to 30 seconds shutter, 0.17 to 20 minutes shutter in time mode ​​| 1080p video ​​| 9.07 ounces

Tips for Buying a Travel Camera

Understand the specs.

"When you're thinking about buying a camera, it's important to understand what features and specifications complement your shooting style as well as the content you are looking to capture, whether it be still images, video content, or both," says Nikon's Mark Cruz. These are some of the specs you should consider before making a purchase.

Sensor size: Your camera's sensor is the rectangle that reads the image from your lens and dictates how much light and detail you're able to capture. The main sensor sizes to decide upon are cropped or full-frame, with full-frame cameras having larger sensors and the ability to produce higher image quality. Cropped frame sensors will get you a tighter frame, with magnification cropping the actual lens focal length by anywhere between 1.5x and 2x. This means that a 70-millimeter lens would be magnified to a 105-millimeter focal length with a crop factor of 1.5x. Common crop sensor sizes are APS-C and micro four thirds (1.6x and 1.5x).

There are advantages to purchasing a full-frame (35 millimeter) camera, though it will come with a heftier price tag. You'll experience sharper images with more crisp details, as well as less noise. Additionally, a full-frame sensor has excellent low-light capabilities, making it the ideal aspect for astrophotography . For landscape photography, the wider field of view is a major advantage of the full-frame sensor as well. If you're interested in professional photography, selling prints, or turning your shots into custom photo gifts , the full-frame sensor will be a good fit since it produces the highest possible quality images.

Megapixels: This is a measurement of the number of pixels the camera sensor has, with "mega" meaning "millions." Usually anything over 12 megapixels will get the job done. However, if you're planning on printing large-scale versions of your images for personal or professional use, the higher the megapixel count, the better. Most cropped sensor cameras have somewhere around 20–24 megapixels while full-frame cameras tend to have between 40 and 50 megapixels.

Shutter speed: This dictates the amount of time that your camera's sensor will be exposed to the light coming in. Faster shutter speeds such as fractions of a second are usually used for quickly moving subjects in order to freeze the motion in the photograph, while slower shutter speeds are typically used to capture things like the flow of a waterfall or the stars in the night sky by having it open and exposed for a longer period of time. When buying a camera, it's a good idea to purchase one with a wider range of shutter speeds to give you the most versatility. Typically, the range is between 1/4000 to 30 seconds. "Bulb" is available on some models and offers more than 30 seconds of exposure to light, usually for photographing the night sky.

Video shooting: The highest quality video on most cameras is 4K, which will give you superb quality. However, many still have full HD video at 1080p or 720p. If video is high on your priority list, 4K is certainly the way to go.

Weight: For travel cameras, this is one of the most important factors to consider. Most travelers want a camera that is lightweight for packing purposes and easy to carry around for the day. Think about if you are willing to lug a bigger DSLR or even a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses in order to have the option for high-quality images that can be printed at a larger scale. If that's more than you need, then a compact, point-and-shoot, or your own smartphone with extra lenses might be the best fit for you.

Buy for your skill level and purpose

While browsing for a travel camera, first assessing your skill level and main purpose for shooting will help narrow down your search considerably. If you're a professional photographer doing brand work with a hotel in a far-flung destination that will be used in marketing campaigns or billboards, your purchase will most likely look a lot different than if your goal is to get images for your travel-focused Instagram page or to simply share with friends and family via digital picture frames . As a beginner, you should purchase a camera aimed at that level of photography with some room to grow, so you can learn effectively without being overwhelmed.

Choose a camera that fits your life and travel style

Do you spend a lot of time outdoors or doing water-based activities, or are you mostly interested in food photography when you travel? All of these aspects will help you determine the right fit for you. As photographer Jonathan Pozniak shares, it's also about comfort. "All cameras are good nowadays, and all have fantastic features. So here's my rule of thumb: go to a camera store, and hold each one in your hand. Listen to the sound it makes, feel what the clicking of the shutter is like," he says. "How do your fingers glide across the buttons? It should feel like an extension of your arm. Be intuitive with it!"

The art of packing a camera involves cushioning and protection against the elements (rain, dust, dirt, etc.). A backpack designed for camera use with a rain cover is always a good idea, particularly if you're someone who will be exploring the outdoors. Camera cubes are great accessories that provide an affordable way to turn a bag you already have into a camera bag.

"When I'm not bringing a lot of gear/cameras, I love the camera cubes by Mountainsmith for the airport and plane. I usually keep the cube in my room with extra lenses and if I am doing a lot of walking, just pick one lens to use for the day (usually a 50 millimeter)," says North.

"While today's mirrorless cameras are rugged, it is best to pack them in a camera bag to ensure as much safety as possible and avoid any potential damage. You should also make sure to put the body cap on the camera to protect the sensor from getting dirty, scratched, or damaged while traveling," she adds.

"Circular Polarizer and a UV filter, a comfortable strap like the Peak Design SL-BK-3 Slide , a backpack clip like Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3 , and if you're heading somewhere with rain or snow in the forecast, Peak Design's shell ," says North.

You'll also definitely want something to backup all the incredible footage you'll be getting. "A portable hard drive for backups is essential! My heart crumbles when I hear stories of cameras and laptops getting stolen on the road. I've certainly experienced that myself. I make multiple backups each day and put each portable drive or thumb drive in a different bag just in case one gets lost or stolen," Pozniak shares.

Our experts also recommend making sure your batteries are fully charged before stepping out each day and bringing along a couple extras just in case.

Our experts had a lot to say when it came to the camera versus lens debate. "The camera and lenses are equally important, but it depends on what a person wants to capture," says Nikon senior product manager Mark Cruz. "The lens is what creates a gorgeous blurred background or lets you get close to the action from far away, but the camera provides the autofocus performance and speed to get there. The most important factor for the quality of photos is how you, as the photographer, make the most of your equipment. Combining photography knowledge with a powerful, capable camera and sharp, versatile lenses will allow you to get the best content."

Meanwhile, professional photographer Jonathan Pozniak argues that they're equally important, and emphasizes keeping your lenses clean: "Both! But what's even more important is how you use it, how it feels in your hand, and I've gotta say it, how clean your lens is!"

Fellow photographer Viktoria North was adamant that lenses are her highest priority, and she has very good reasons for putting them at the top of her must list. "With even the most basic of digital cameras now having impressive MP counts and full size sensors becoming more common, good quality glass is most important for me," she says. "This is because I can achieve a specific feel to my images dependent on the lens. For example, a fixed 50 millimeter is going to allow me to capture my urban travels as my own eyes see things. If I also go fast on it, say F1.8, that means the background is going to be nice and blurred and keep the focus on my subjects. But if I'm traveling in some beautiful vast landscapes, I'd grab a zoom lens. This will allow me to compress the different levels of the landscape and or subject and create a lot of depth. You don't always have to go with a big lens like a 70–200mm. I hike and backpack with a 24–105mm F4 most often and when it's at 105mm, I can achieve some really great compression with it."

The main difference between mirrorless and DSLR cameras is the tool or technology used to capture the image. A DSLR uses a mirror to reflect light onto the image sensor, but this makes a DSLR heavier and clunkier to carry around. They also usually only have an optical viewfinder which portrays more closely what the eye sees versus an electronic viewfinder on the screen. A mirrorless camera lets light directly hit the sensor, and typically has a live, electronic viewfinder so you can see the real time settings. Mirrorless cameras are more lightweight, therefore making them more portable and travel-friendly. They’re also quieter and faster due to the mechanism they use to capture light. DSLR cameras typically have a longer battery life and a wider array of lenses available, though with recent gains in technology for the mirrorless camera world, that’s changing.

Yes! They usually don’t have the highest megapixels and have a crop sensor, but you can still capture great photos. You may be limited to producing large scale prints, but, depending on the capabilities, you’ll be able to have prints made that are good quality in a fair amount of sizes. For online and social media, a point-and-shoot camera is perfect.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

A travel photographer herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience with finding the right cameras and shooting in various conditions around the world. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best cameras for travel, and interviewed professional photographers Viktoria North and Jonathan Pozniak , as well as Nikon senior product manager Mark Cruz , to gather expert insights. Using all of these factors, she curated this list of the best travel cameras.

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New: 7 Best cameras for travel

Updated March 2024

Travel can expose you to once-in-a-lifetime sights and experiences, and a good camera can be the perfect way to preserve those memories. We've looked at a range of models that offer great image quality, good autofocus and excellent video, so that you can capture whatever you encounter on your travels. We've also tried to select relatively small cameras so they don't interfere with your trip.

Our selections include relatively compact cameras with fixed lenses, perfect for just documenting what you saw on your trip; they also include Micro Four Thirds and APS-C models that allow smaller camera/lens combinations, if you're looking to travel light. Full-frame cameras open up the potential for even better image quality but the lenses can get pretty big, so it's worth checking how big the total package is, before committing to a large-sensor model.

Our recommendations

Best pocketable travel camera: ricoh gr iii, the classic choice: fujifilm x100vi, truly compact mirrorless: om system om-5, all-round compact capability: sony a6700, the great travel kit: fujifilm x-s20 with 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 ois, the stylish travel companion: nikon zf, portable full-frame: sony a7cr.

24MP APS-C sensor | 28mm equiv. F2.8 lens | Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

What we like:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Good controls and ergonomics
  • Truly pocketable

What we don't:

  • Short battery life
  • No built-in flash
  • Sluggish AF in low light

The Ricoh GR III is the latest in a series of classic compact cameras with a large APS-C sensor and a 28mm equivalent lens. It's not the most flexible camera but it's one of the most pocketable and has built up a dedicated following of photographers who find it a joy to shoot with.

Our only concern, in terms of using the GR III for travel are that some users have found dust can get into the lens. So it's worth trying to find some sort of protective bag to keep it in.

There's also the GR IIIx , a variant with a longer, 40mm equivalent lens on it. This may be a little tight for documenting your travels, but it's historically a popular focal length.

Read our Ricoh GR III review

See the Ricoh GR III studio scene

Sample photo

40MP BSI CMOS APS-C X-Trans sensor | 35mm equiv F2 lens | Hybrid viewfinder

  • Excellent build quality
  • Subject-detection autofocus
  • Now with in-body image stabilization
  • Lens not especially fast to focus
  • Hard to find in stock

Like the Fujifilm X100V before it, the Fujifilm X100VI is a classically styled fixed lens camera with a 35mm equivalent F2 lens. But being in active production following its 2024 launch, the X100VI is somewhat easier to buy than its constantly out-of-stock forebear.

Updated with in-body image stabilization rated at up to 6EV of correction and a 40MP BSI CMOS APS-C X-Trans sensor, the X100VI is a significant upgrade over its predecessor despite looking virtually identical. And those improvements in part explain the X100VI's $200 increase in list price to $1,600.

Like its older brother, the X100VI isn't the smallest or most inconspicuous camera, but its fixed focal length means you develop an 'eye' for the photos it'll take, essentially making it a better quality, more engaging alternative to snapping away with your phone.

The addition of subject-detection autofocus has given the X100VI the ability to recognize animals, birds, automobiles, motorcycles and bikes, airplanes, and trains though human (face/eye) detection is a separate mode. However, the lens the X100VI shares with the X100V is not the fastest to autofocus, prioritizing sharpness over speed.

The X100VI brings a level of polish you would expect from a sixth iteration of a camera. Fujifilm has done a great job keeping the X100-series up to date without messing with the formula that's made it so popular. No surprise, this is the best X100 yet.

Unfortunately, despite ramped-up production, demand for the X100VI seems to have outstripped supply with the camera already on backorder at virtually all dealers. With any luck, however, its release will depress the over-inflated sale price of previous generation X100V cameras, which are still quite capable if you can find them for prices befitting used gear.

Read our Fujifilm X100VI review

Sample photo

20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor | 4K/30p video | In-body stabilization rated to 6.5EV (7.5 with some lenses)

  • Attractive JPEG output
  • Selection of clever photo features
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • IP53 rating supports claims of weather sealing
  • AF tracking is disappointing
  • Image quality is behind larger sensor cameras

The OM System OM-5 is a compact interchangeable lens camera with a 20MP Four Thirds sensor in a compact body with plenty of external control.

That relatively small sensor means it can remain fairly small, even with a lens attached, and the Micro Four Thirds lens system provides extensive options in that regard, from compact zooms to small prime lenses.

Read our OM System OM-5 review

See the OM System OM-5 studio scene

Sample photo

26MP BSI CMOS sensor | 4K/60p video capture | Fully articulating screen

  • Front and rear command dials
  • Excellent AF in stills and video
  • 4K/120p capture (with crop)
  • No AF joystick
  • JPEG sharpening can be aggressive

The Sony a6700 is built around a 26MP APS-C-sized sensor. Its excellent autofocus performance means it excels at both stills and video capture. There's a good choice of relatively compact lenses available, too. We'd suggest avoiding the really small 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 though: it's not the lens to get the most out of this camera.

Fast, dependable autofocus with a selection of subject recognition modes means the a6700 will help maximize your chances of capturing the unexpected moments on a trip.

Read our full Sony a6700 review

See the Sony a6700 studio scene

Sample photo

26MP X-Trans APS-C sensor | Up to 6.2K/30P 10-bit video | In-body image stablization

  • Excellent still and video quality
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable, simple ergonomics
  • AF tracking still lags behind peers
  • Small electronic viewfinder
  • Micro HDMI instead of full-size

Fujifilm's X-S20 is also worth considering. Like the a6700, it's built around a 26MP BSI CMOS sensor and is strong at both stills and video. Its autofocus isn't as simple and powerful as the Sony's, but its JPEG color modes produce really attractive results, and there's a wide choice of lenses including compact prime and the well-priced, supremely useful 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 OIS, which is a great travel option.

Read our Fujifilm X-S20 initial review

See the Fujifilm X-S20 studio scene

Sample photo

24MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor | Full-width 4K/30 video, cropped 4K/60 | Stabilization rated to 8EV

  • Distinctive design with direct controls
  • Effective subject recognition
  • Strong stills and video features
  • Weight and minimal grip can become uncomfortable
  • Slow MicroSD second slot
  • Few custom buttons

The Nikon Zf is a classically styled full-frame camera built around a 24MP full-frame sensor that's used by many of its peers. The angular 80s-style body isn't the most comfortable to hold in your hand for extended periods, but the lack of stick-out grip makes it smaller than many of its rivals, making it a tempting travel companion.

At least in its all-black form, there's a chance of it being mistaken for a film camera, which may help avoid the wrong kind of attention, when you're out and about in an unfamiliar setting.

Read our initial review of the Nikon Zf

Sample photo

61MP BSI CMOS sensor | 4K/60p video with 10-bit color | Dedicated ‘AI’ processor for AF system

  • Big camera features in a small body
  • Outstanding AF performance
  • Auto Framing video mode
  • Small, low-res viewfinder
  • No joystick control
  • No fully mechanical shutter

The Sony a7CR is a relatively compact full-frame camera with an image-stabilized 61MP CMOS sensor. You sacrifice the convenience of an AF joystick and get a pretty small and basic viewfinder to keep the camera's size down, but there's little else that delivers this much image quality in such a compact package.

You'll need to pick your lenses carefully to keep the camera portable but the a7CR's autofocus means it can respond rapidly to just about anything you encounter on your travels.

Read our Sony a7CR initial review

Sample photo

Why you should trust us

This buying guide is based on cameras used and tested by DPReview's editorial team. We don't select a camera until we've used it enough to be confident in recommending it, usually after our extensive review process. The selections are purely a reflection of which cameras we believe to be best: there are no financial incentives for us to select one model or brand over another.

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The best travel camera in 2024: compact and portable cameras to take anywhere

The best travel cameras are small, lightweight, easy to use and offer a range of features – here are the ones to look at

Fujifilm X-S20 digital camera

  • The Quick List ↩

Best overall

  • Best full frame
  • Best budget
  • Best hybrid
  • Best for size
  • Best waterproof
  • Best action cam
  • Best for 360º
  • Best for vloggers
  • How to choose
  • How we test

The best travel cameras have to do one crucial thing: be better than your phone. That means the best travel cameras need to combine compactness with image quality, advanced features with simple operation, and ideally the ability to share your holiday photos and vacation videos fast. 

Even though the best camera phones can produce great images, you just don't get the same quality as you would if shooting with one of the best point-and-shoots or best mirrorless cameras . Smartphones are restricted by smaller sensors offering lower still and video quality, reduced low light performance, and minimal control over depth of field (for those blurry backgrounds). 

We'll look at mirrorless cameras that offer better image quality and more versatility than compact systems but at the cost of increased size and weight. Compact cameras, perfect for keeping on you at all times, won't weigh you down, and are really simple to use – although they have smaller sensors and fixed lenses. And finally, action cameras that are robust cameras made for wild adventuring!

Gareth is the Reviews Editor at Digital Camera World, and the person in charge of approving all the latest camera-related tech. He never misses an opportunity to travel, or an excuse to take photos while traveling, so is best placed to judge what are the best travel cameras for all sorts of different vacations and adventures.

The Quick List

Fujifilm X100VI product image on a white background

Travel cameras should be small and light, but not lacking in features for amazing photos and video. The Fujifilm X100VI ticks all of those boxes, with a diminutive size, but 40MP images and 6.2K video. And does all this while looking great, with some stunning retro charm.

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Stock image of a Sony digital camera on a white background

Despite aging a little, the Sony A7 III still offers some features that are competitive with new models like IBIS, auto-tracking, and 4K video. Best of all, the camera is incredibly well-priced, making it the best option for traveling without worrying too much about damaging expensive kit.

Panasonic Lumix G100

If you want a small camera that shoots great stills and video, and cost costs the earth the Panasonic Lumix G100D is the best budget option out there for travel. Although the G100D is only a slightly newer G100, which is much the same, but with a USB-C port and upgraded EVF.

Fujifilm X-S20 camera on a white background

The Fujifilm X-S20 is a camera for everyone, with great quality stills, but is set apart by its deceptively powerful video skills. This makes the X-S20 the perfect travel camera for any hybrid creator who is a versatile and lightweight camera, all at a price tag that won't break the bank. 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

When picking the best travel camera, we're focusing on portability. If you want to fit a whole photographic kit – that's a camera and several lenses into a bag, then the dinky but mighty Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best portable cameras around.

OM System Tough TG-7

If you're planning on a coastal adventure then you need a camera that is fully waterproof and rugged enough to take on the most challenging adventures. This camera offers better stills than your average action cam, so if photos are your main priority  – the Tough TG-7 is for you.

View the full list ⇩

DJI Osmo Action 4 on white background with screen on

This is a camera that can withstand some serious adventuring, action cameras are made for extreme conditions, and the best of the bunch is the Osmo Action 4. The Osmo 4 offers an incredibly wide field of view, image stabilization, and waterproofing for action-packed vacations.

Insta360 X3 on white background

If you want to remember every little bit of your vacation, then you can't go wrong with a 360º camera to capture not what only is going on in front of you, but all around you. The Insta360 X3 is the best all-encompassing camera you can buy, best of all it is easy to slip into a pocket or bag for travel.

Sony ZV-E10

If you are looking for a small yet mighty all-in-one camera with quality video and audio made to go straight on social media or YouTube then the Sony ZV-E10 is the best choice. It does take decent pictures, but if you are looking for something more hybrid, check out the X-S20 above.

The best travel camera in 2024

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Fujifilm X100VI camera on a slatted wooden bench

1. Fujifilm X100VI

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

✅ You want a pocketable camera:  the Fujifilm X100VI is a very compact camera, the whole package of camera and lens are so small that you can easily slip this into a jacket or rucksack pocket. ✅ You want a camera that looks good:  The X100VI is easily one of the best-looking cameras you can buy. The stunning retro looks of old-school film cameras are matched with superb build quality.

❌ You want a range of lenses:  the lens is fixed on the X100VI, so you are stuck with the 23mm focal length, although its digital cropping modes give the illusion (but not performance) of more focal lengths ❌ You want a cheap travel camera:  the X100VI has a premium price tag, and there are options that produce a similar image quality, if you don't mind a different style of camera that is.

If you are looking for a camera for traveling, then one of the major things to look out for is something small and lightweight that can easily slip into a bag or a jacket pocket and won't be a drag to carry around for long periods – enter the Fujifilm X100VI .

The X100VI is a fixed-lens camera, which means that it has a single lens that can't be changed. The lens is 23mm, or equivalent to a 35mm length lens on on a full-frame camera, a perfect length for travel photography as it is wide enough to get in landscapes and street scenes, but narrow enough for portraits and family shots. While there are converters available for the X100V to change the length of the lens, I find these have an adverse effect on image quality. The X100VI does have a trick to crop images when taking them to give the illusion of additional focal lengths, although at a reduced size. 

The X100V packs in some lovely 40MP photos, and while not the most ideal camera for video, you can get 6.2K (cropped), 4K, or HD video with slow motion reaching 240 frames per second. There is also human, animal, bird, and vehicle autofocus tracking, so you can snap away with confidence that your shots will be in focus. Finally, image stabilization helps cut out hand jitters in low light or shooting video, for more stable footage.

And for those who want to share travel snaps as you go, you get access to Fujifilm 's awesome film simulations and custom recipes, which takes the work out of editing, and with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and the Fujifilm X App, you can quickly share ready to post photos and video to social from your phone.

The X100VI's design will catch a few eyes while traveling. The camera is lovely to hold, made with premium materials, and with a wonderful hybrid optical viewfinder that shows either the real picture or how it looks through the sensor with a flick of a button. However, as a major downside for travel, the X100VI lens is not weather-sealed without an adapter – at an additional cost.

Speaking of cost, this premium camera comes at a premium price, with some similar tech available for less in other models. But for the build quality and features, I think it does a lot to justify its higher price, but if you want the best compact camera, there is nothing better than this.

Read our full Fujifilm X100VI review for more

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Best full frame on a budget

Sony A7 III

2. Sony A7 III

✅ You want full frame quality:  full frame cameras can produce more focus separation and are better in low light, the A7 III is the most affordable step into full frame. ✅ You want a camera to use outside of traveling:  the A7 III is a pro-level camera that is not just for travel, you can shoot brilliant photos all year round with a multitude of lenses available for different subjects.

❌ You don't want the expense of lenses:  the cost of lenses can add up, especially ones for full-frame cameras, if you want to keep costs low, choose a fixed lens camera or an option with smaller cheaper lenses. ❌ You want a small camera:  the A7 III isn't huge, but it also isn't small. With a lens attached, it is going to take up quite a bit of room in a bag, and won't be sliding in any pocket.

While the Sony A7 III might be the oldest Sony Alpha camera still being sold as new, even being replaced by a newer Sony A7 VI, it more than holds its own today. Any photographer looking for an excellent full-frame hybrid camera for traveling should seriously consider this camera as an option.

Why? Well, I don't think there is a better value full-frame camera out there, which when traveling can take some of the jeopardy out of damaging or losing your incredibly expensive kit.

It might be getting on a little, but the camera still has a very competitive 24.2MP back-illuminated image sensor, which delivers great tonal range and makes high ISO settings possible, which anyone who is shooting a lot in low light on their travels will really appreciate. A 5-axis image stabilization system also delivers less shake when shooting at night, or capturing video. 

And if you are also looking to get some video footage on your travels then the A7III has very capable 4K video, although has been surpassed by a few other models on this list which would be more suitable if video is a priority.

The A7III has a speedy and accurate 696-point AF system, and while not the latest algorithms, the A7 III also has some solid human face and eye tracking, so you can take reliably focused photos of your friends, family, or any interesting denizens you meet out on your travels. 

Whilst the A7III can be thrown a little off-balance with big pro lenses, Sony's lens range is extensive and there are many smaller primes to suit this camera perfectly for those who don't want to carry a lot while traveling. Or superzoom lenses like the Sony FE 24-240mm will empower you to capture everything from near to far.

Read our full Sony A7 III review

Best travel camera on a budget

A hand holding the best travel camera Panasonic Lumix G100

3. Panasonic Lumix G100D

✅ You want an affordable camera:  the Lumix G100D is a great deal for the features it offers, and an affordable way to get great travel snaps. ✅ You want a range of small lenses:  there are a lot of Micro Four Thirds lenses, so there is something for every occasion, and best of all, they tend to be on the smaller side for easy travel.

❌ You want the very latest tech:  the G100D is a little on the older side and doesn't have Panasonic's latest autofocus, which puts it a little behind the competition. ❌ You want more serious creative video:  intended as a hybrid camera, there are lots of video-focused features, but the camera lacks IBIS and a headphone jack/USB-C found in rivals.

Sometimes, you just want to create quality images and video while you are traveling, beyond what your phone is capable of, but you also don't want to pay a small fortune for the privilege. The Panasonic Lumix G100D is the best camera you can get for traveling that offers all the quality features you will need but at an affordable price.

The G100D is a super-small, super-cute camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. It is still easy to capture high-quality video and stills with simple controls, menus, and its approachable button layout. The camera can be paired with numerous dinky Micro Four Thirds lenses too, especially small pancake lenses to keep the overall size down. Micro Four Thirds also has the benefit of doubling the focal length, so 100mm becomes 200mm, so you can pair the G100 camera with telephoto lenses for capturing far away subjects like wildlife without having to carry huge lenses.

A downside though is there is some compromise for the low price, and the G100D is not the most technically advanced camera on this list, and its autofocus uses Panasonic's cruder contrast-detect technology, which is a little slower than other cameras and is notorious for "pulsing" and "hunting" during video. 

Despite this, the G10S0 is also a perfect camera for vloggers, with an articulating screen and ready to share footage. But while there’s an inherent risk of dumbing things down too much when creating a camera for social media creatives, Panasonic has avoided that pitfall with the Lumix G100D, and this is a great camera if you're just as interested in vlogging as you are in travel photography. 

Read our full Panasonic Lumix G100D review

Best hybrid travel camera

Fujifilm X-S20 camera

4. Fujifilm X-S20

✅ You shoot video and photos:  the Fujifilm X-S20 is the best of both worlds, with great-looking photos and awesome video skills too! ✅ You want to balance price and features:  the X-S20 offers a lot for its price, and it is one of the best-value cameras around, you will struggle to find matching video specs at this price point.

❌ You don't really care about video:  there are other options that might suit photographers more than the X-S20 with higher megapixel counts. ❌ You might need weather resistance:  the X-S20 is not weather-sealed, so if you plan to get adventurous, a camera that can handle dust and water might be a better choice.

When I tested the Fujifilm X-S20 I was just so impressed at the amount of features that Fujifilm had managed to squeeze into its petite body – it's not just a great stills camera, it is also one of the best video cameras available, and the cherry on top, it is really well priced! For anyone looking for a hybrid camera to shoot a mix of photos and video, I think this is the best camera for any traveler right now.

Fujifilm chose not to update the X-Trans IV sensor from the X-S10, but this sensor despite its age still holds up very well today when it comes to stills. The X-S20 is also able to use Fujifilm's excellent film simulations and programmable film recipes to create ready-to-use images straight from the camera, which makes any regular social media posting that much easier.  The new X-Processor 5 also brings brand new subject recognition and tracking autofocus, making taking photos on the fly quicker and more reliable.

Despite its compact size, the X-S20 is a deceptively powerful video camera. The new processor combined with the modest resolution sensor means the X-S20 is capable of 6K video using the entire sensor (open-gate). The camera is also capable of numerous codecs and F-Log for getting in-depth with color grading. The subject recognition and tracking also carry through into videos and there are dedicated vlogging video features too.

Some might prefer the classic retro style like the X-T5 or X-T30 II, but with fewer manual dials, the X-S20 is a more user-friendly camera, with a more useful fully articulating screen than any of the X-T range. The camera is small, but handling is great with enough of a comfortable grip for long days, and the camera pairs really well with Fujifilm's small zoom and prime lenses, making traveling light with a kitted-out X-S20 a little easier. While the price is a little higher than the X-S10 that preceded it, I think the price bump is justified as this is one capable camera for traveling.

Read more: Fujifilm X-S20 review

Best travel camera for size

Hands holding the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV best travel camera

5. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

✅ You want a small system:  the whole OM Micro Four Thirds system is tiny, with small cameras and lenses, so you can take a lot more gear to cover more subjects. ✅ You want a good-looking camera:  with a cool vintage style based on Olympus's OM film cameras, the E-M10 IV looks as good as the footage it shoots.

❌ You shoot a lot in low light:  the Micro Four Thirds sensor in the E-M10 IV doesn't handle low light as well as larger sensors, not good for frequent nighttime shooters. ❌ You won't use the retro dials:  if you are looking for just fast auto controls then the dials on the top of the E-M10 IV will be largely redundant for your needs.

When picking the best travel camera, we're focusing on portability, and the dinky but mighty Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best portable cameras around if you are looking for a whole system including lenses that can easily slip into a bag. The best Olympus lenses include positively tiny optics that can go a long way for travel photography, helping you keep your kit and weight size down. So if you are the type of carry-on-only travel photographer but with big photography ambitions then this is for you.

Not only does it have an incredibly lightweight body, but the camera will look great on your travels too, with a cool retro design that harks back to Olympus's long pedigree in film cameras. The camera has tactile dial-led controls for anyone who wants to get creative with manual photography, although don't let that fool you into thinking the camera is complicated, as there are lots of automatic modes and helpful features built into the camera.

The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV uses the smaller but still powerful Micro Four Thirds sensor. This has some slight disadvantages in terms of low-light capabilities, so if you like to go out a lot at night when you travel, then a larger sensor might be better for you. 

But Micro Four Thirds does have one big advantage, it effectively doubles the focal length of any lens mounted to the camera; so a 50mm will behave like a 100mm, so if you are about to head off on safari, then this could make all the difference to getting up close to wildlife. Its snappy burst shooting, its accurate autofocus, and its impressive 4K video will also all assist you with creating amazing content. It's a terrific all-around camera. 

Read our full Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review for more

Best waterproof compact travel camera

A red OM System Tough TG-7

6. OM System Tough TG-7

✅ You want a rugged adventure camera:  the TG-7 can certainly withstand some serious adventuring with a rugged water/dust/freeze/drop-proof build. ✅ You want a photography-first adventure camera:  the TG-7 puts photography first and foremost, offering a better experience than smaller fiddly action cameras.

❌ You want to strap the camera to things:  while action cameras have numerous accessories to strap to your sports equipment, there is far less for the bigger TG-7. ❌ You only care about video:  if you are just looking for the best rugged video camera for travel, then action cameras have you covered (see below).

Following the acquisition of Olympus's camera division, the OM System TG-7 is essentially an update to the much-loved Olympus Tough TG-6 under a new brand name. Although that camera has long been the top-regarded travel compact for adventurers who are as invested in photos as video. Action cameras might be smaller and just as hardy, but can't compete with the TG-7 for photography experience.

The TG-7 is ready for any travel adventure and is water-proof, dust-proof, crush-proof, drop-proof, and freeze-proof, so whether your hiking, climbing, swimming, or otherwise take you to the hottest deserts to the coldest tundras, the camera should come out the other side unscathed.

The TG-7 might have a relatively conservative 12MP resolution, although this helps dramatically when it comes to low-light images, as each pixel is larger allowing it to capture more light. Why is this important? Well if you are shooting in darker underwater environments, in gloomy forests, or at night, then you will get higher-quality images. 

The Touch also has RAW images, so you can get even more creative control over the final edit of your images. The camera also has a pretty incredible macro mode as well if you find some small details on your travels that you have to capture.

While it might not be up to the same standard as the best action cameras for video (see below for that), the Tough can capture decent 4K video, and will get some perfectly serviceable footage for social and YouTube of your wild adventures!

Read our full OM System Tough TG-7 review

Best action camera for travel

DJI Osmo Action 4

7. DJI Osmo Action 4

✅ You want a camera that can keep up with your travel adventures:  the Osmo 4 is hardy enough for whatever conditions you throw at it, weather-sealed and fantastic stabilized footage. ✅ You want a tiny camera:  action cameras like the Osmo 4 are great as they are so small they are effortless to travel with.

❌ You want to shoot high quality photos:  the 12MP photos from the Osmo 4 can't compete with more dedicated cameras, and the wide angle lens needs lots of corrections. ❌ You need accessories:  the market for DJI accessories isn't as big as the more famous GoPro, so if you need niche or cheaper accessories, that might be the brand to choose.

For most adventurer-creators, the Osmo Action 4 is the perfect balance of quality and price. Stabilized 4K video looks great and the camera can take a lot – not just rough and tumble but temperature extremes and it's waterproof to 16m without a case. Best of all, it has a larger image sensor than any other camera on the list, so it is better in lower light, making it more flexible.

DJI did have an interesting experiment with modular design, now seemingly abandoned, with the Action 2, but they do retain powerful magnetic mounts which can even partially survive the heat of an oven (we tried accidentally – see our full review). 

Like the more famous competition, DJI has high-quality horizon balancing and image stabilization, which has improved on the Action 3. The resolution limit is 4K, but in practice, this is the ideal resolution for action (and the limit of almost all TVs). More useful is the 120fps capability (or 240fps at 1080P).

The fact that Action 4’s isn’t interwoven with subscription software is one we wholeheartedly appreciate, too, but GoPro seem to finally growing out of this.

Read our full DJI Osmo Action 4 review

Best 360º camera for travel

Insta360 X3

8. Insta360 X3

✅ You want to capture everything:  the Insta360 X3 can capture all that goes on around you, perfect for capturing immersive travel content. ✅ You want to travel light:  the Insta360 X3 is very small and lightweight, and won't trouble your carry-on bag limits.

❌ You want a versatile camera:  the Insta360 X3 is made for one thing, and that is great 360º footage, if you want to capture more, you might need to bring a second camera. ❌ You want artistic images:  the Insta360 X3 has big 72MP images but the small sensor means they aren't as creative as a bigger camera.

The new Insta360 X4 has just launched offering 8K video and an updated design, but I still think the X3 offers great features for a much better value, so it remains in this guide for now!

There are times when handling even an action camera's wide-angle lens becomes a problem, and that's where a 360-degree action camera can step in. With two back-to-back lenses and enough smarts to eliminate a selfie stick from the footage, this almost magic camera can capture an image from a point within reach looking any direction you see fit.

I tried it with the bike attachment – which holds the camera a little way in front of the bike, over the front wheel – and was amazed at the footage which makes it look like I'm cycling toward a perfectly controlled drone. Better still, by syncing with my phone I could draw GPS data and have it overlaid, in the form of a speedometer, by the Insta360 app before sharing.

The only real worry is how naked those glass lenses are when the camera is in use; the joy of re-positioning the camera angle after the fact can be hours of fun. 5.7K is good enough for sharing, but more resolution would help pro work.

Read our full Insta 360 X3 review for more details

Best for travel vloggers

The best travel camera the Sony ZV-E10 sitting on a wall behind some leaves

9. Sony ZV-E10

✅ You want ready-to-share footage:  this Sony is made for capturing footage with minimal editing to get up on YouTube and social media straight away. ✅ You want excellent audio:  the ZV-E10 has built-in stereo microphones that capture some of the best audio possible on a camera without external mics.

❌ You are more interested in photos:  the ZV-E10 is not a bad photography camera, but its video focused build means other cameras are better for stills shooters. ❌ You want a viewfinder for framing:  if you love a viewfinder for framing shots, then the Sony A6400 is almost the same camera, but with an EVF. 

The ZV-E10 makes for an excellent traveler's camera and is one of the cheapest vlogging-focused cameras yet. Combined with its slim dimensions, and wide choice of lenses, this makes it a perfect choice for travelers who want to shoot a lot of video. 

The big selling point of the ZV-E10 over other cameras capable of similar video is that the ZV-E10 comes with sophisticated built-in mics and a clip-on windshield for noise reduction, making it much easier to get clean audio on your vlogs even outdoors – which works excellently. Sony has put its years of audio experience into this camera and it shows.

The ZV-E10's 4K UHD video is of excellent quality too, and as we've come to expect from Sony, the autofocus is best in class, whether shooting video or stills. The camera has tracking modes for easy autofocus and digital image stabilization that crops your footage slightly but attempts to iron out any shake, which works well except for in very heavy movement.

And a point worth mentioning is that, while the ZV-E10 may be optimized for vlogging, it's still a capable stills camera with a 24MP sensor, and 11fps burst shooting, so photographers needed worry about restricting themselves with it. 

However, if you are more keen on photography than video, cameras in the Sony a6xxx range (like the Sony a6400 ) offer almost the same specs, but with a viewfinder, but you do lose the built-in stereo mics. Making it a tough choice for a hybrid shooter that might want the best of both worlds. 

Read our full Sony ZV-E10 review

How to choose the right travel camera

These are five key things to look out for when choosing the right travel camera for your needs.

1) Image quality: Ask yourself how you will use any photos or videos you capture. If you only plan to share content online on social media then any of the above cameras will be suitable. If you plan to print your pictures, though, then mirrorless cameras with larger sensors and higher megapixel counts will produce better-quality results.

2) Focal range: What kind of range do you need for your traveling activities? Compact cameras can have impressive zoom ranges, but to achieve their tiny size they often lack quality compared to mirrorless cameras. For mirrorless cameras, what lenses are available? So-called standard zooms are a great option for all types of travel, but they can also be large and heavy. A wide-angle lens might be best for capturing cities and landscapes, or if you are going to see wildlife or a sporting event then a compact telephoto lens might be best.

3) Size and weight: If you're going on vacation then the last thing you want to take is a heavy kit – especially given things like baggage restrictions when traveling. With that in mind, both your camera and lens(es) need to be small and light. If you want something that can fit in your pocket, get a compact camera – but if you don't mind taking a bag, a mirrorless system with one or two lenses could be more versatile. 

4) Simplicity: Don't want to get bogged down with camera settings? Most modern cameras have a range of auto modes – especially compact cameras, which take away the stress. Advanced modes and complicated controls don't usually mix with spur-of-the-moment snaps, so decide what is important to you and pick your camera based on that.

5) Price: The cameras in our list have a range of prices, and we try to include cameras that suit every budget. The price of a camera usually reflects its capabilities, although all the options listed here will take great images and video – so try to strike the right balance between what you need in a camera and what you can afford.

Is it better to use phone or camera for travel?

We covered this a little bit at the start of the article, but the answer is that it is always better to use a camera for stills or video when possible. So the question really becomes, "Do your travel plans make using a camera possible?" Phones are so small and quick to use that they go where cameras are too bulky and slow to shoot. A great compromise is a compact camera – or the Olympus Tough TG-6 , which is a weather-proof camera that goes the places that you wouldn't dare to use your phone! 

Is a DSLR or mirrorless camera better for travel photography?

As a travel camera, mirrorless cameras are usually the better choice for most people. They are much small and lighter than DSLRs, and also usually have a selection of smaller and lighter lenses to match. This makes traveling easier as it takes up less space and weight in increasingly restricted carry-on bags. Mirrorless cameras also are generally newer than DSLRs and most likely have more modern technology, making photography and video easier to capture and of better quality.

What size camera lens is best for travel?

Again, this comes down to what your travel plans entail and what you plan to shoot. The kit lens that comes bundled with many cameras will cover the most commonly used focal ranges, so that's a good place to start (though kit lenses do not deliver the best image quality). We recommend checking out the best lenses for travel photography to see what's right for you.

How we test travel cameras

When we are reviewing cameras, we carefully think about what scenarios each camera could be used for. When considering which cameras would make ideal travel cameras, we judge each camera on how small and lightweight it is for easy packing and transport, as well as carrying for long periods of the day while out exploring. 

We also consider the technical capabilities of each camera, and how suitable they are specifically for travel photography scenarios from beach vacations to safaris, to city breaks. Finally, we consider the price of the cameras to select options that cover a range of budgets and requirements.

We use our real-world experience with each camera and our in-depth camera knowledge to determine a final selection of top cameras that we would recommend as the ideal camera traveling companions.

Want to find out how we test and review DSLR and mirrorless cameras? We trial cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests will generally measure resolution, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio, which gives us a benchmark by which to compare cameras. 

Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. Our compact camera evaluations are based on real-world testing alone.

For our real-world testing, our reviewers spend time with each camera, testing it in a variety of shooting situations and providing their qualitative thoughts on how the camera was to use and evaluating the images and video it produced. Here's an example of how we literally take a camera on vacation to evaluate it!

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Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.

  • James Artaius Editor

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  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022

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A sunbather takes in the glorious weather on the island of Sicily.

Your summer vacations are the perfect time to capture amazing photos you'll want to look at for years to come. And you don't have to be a professional photographer to preserve all the gorgeous sights and memorable experiences you'll encounter on your trip. Today's cameras make it easier than ever to take good-looking images. But simply pointing your camera at something and pressing the shutter button isn't necessarily going to score you the best results.

Taking photos that you'll want to print for your wall or put in a photo book takes more understanding, but with just a bit of effort you'll be able to turn your everyday vacation snaps into award-worthy pieces of travel photography. 

In the first part of my two-part travel photography guide , I took you through the kit you should consider taking with you, whether it's a great phone like the iPhone 15 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra or a dedicated camera like the Canon EOS R5. 

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Now I'm going to take you through the tips I keep in mind as a professional photographer while traveling the globe. 

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By knowing how to quickly operate my camera I was able to capture the fleeting golden light of this sunset in Scotland.

Get to know your kit

Learning how to operate your camera will not only help you get better, more creative shots, but will help you snap those shots quicker, as you won't have to fiddle around with settings. Some of the most exciting travel shots can come and go in a split second, so whether you're capturing the running of the bulls in Pamplona or a snowboarder launching off a mogul in Switzerland, you'll need to learn to shoot quickly.

A photo of waterfalls

Learning how to use manual controls will allow you to get creative with slow shutter speeds.

Spend time with your camera in manual mode before you go away. Learn how to change shutter speed, aperture, ISO speeds and white balance and experiment with what happens to your images when you change these settings. A good camera will be able to capture some great shots in auto mode, but when you want to get more creative, you'll need to take control. 

A photo of a pretty harbor

Shooting in raw allows you to fine tune settings like white balance after you've taken the shot.

Shoot in raw

If your camera has it (and almost all cameras and even most phones do), shoot in raw format. Yes, it creates bigger files, but memory cards are so cheap now that it's worth carrying an extra couple of 64GB cards with you. Raw shooting allows you to change white balance after your shot and capture more details in the very bright and very dark areas, letting you tone down any blown-out skies or lighten some shadows in Photoshop.

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Although it's always best to get the shot right when you first take it, raw processing gives you much more flexibility to rescue a shot that's not quite right. 

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Local events can provide a wealth of photography opportunities, such as this sea-swimming competition in the Italian town of Vernazza.

Do your research

Search for your location on Google and visit travel websites to find out more about where you're going. Not only will that help you make the most of your trip, you may find out about local events or particularly photogenic locations you may otherwise have missed.

You might also find out about photography restrictions that may land you in hot water -- as a general rule anywhere, avoid photographing government buildings, and if you're unsure, ask permission.

Search for your destination on Instagram or on photography websites such as Flickr and 500px for inspiration on what to see. It's handy to get an idea of the shots other people have taken -- either to replicate them yourself or to avoid taking the same generic shot the internet has seen hundreds of times before.

Composition is key

Good composition will make or break a photo, and unlike white balance or color tone, poor composition can't be fixed in post processing. The morning light bouncing off that rustic church won't count for much if you've accidentally chopped off the spire in your hurry to take the shot.

A photo of Edinburgh

By finding a higher viewpoint, I was able to better capture the beautiful towers, spires -- and the castle -- on a stunning winter evening in Edinburgh.

A generic shot of a popular spot can be transformed into an unusual and creative artwork simply by changing your angle. Take a moment to look at the scene before you shoot and don't be afraid to move around to get the best angles. Struggling with a beach scene? Walk farther down the coast to find boats, nets or rocks that might add foreground interest. Shooting in the city? Get up a tall building for dramatic urban cityscapes. Even just kneeling down and shooting from below can make a difference.

A photo of pants

These jeans being dried over a balcony really caught my eye and certainly say a lot about city life in Barcelona.

Find the details that matter

Capturing a beautiful, wide view of the stunning European city you're visiting is great for a nice print to hang on your wall, but it's those smaller details that really tell the story of your trip. Maybe it's the food market you visited, a weather-worn old door, a vintage scooter or a shop sign that hasn't been repainted in years. 

All of these small elements will not only help capture the essence of the location you're visiting but also help bring back more memories for you when you look at them as each image will tell such a strong story. It's up to you to decide what those small details might be to look out for, but my advice is to always have your camera ready to shoot so when you see something that speaks to you -- a stack of lobster pots in a harbor, perhaps -- you're ready to take your shot. 

A photo of the Northern Lights

Amazing things can happen in the dark.

Don't be afraid of the dark

Just because the sun has gone down, it doesn't mean your photography needs to stop. It's a great time to get creative with slow shutter shots. Long exposures blur motion, turning regular car headlights on a city street into creative, abstract light trails, streaking through the darkness. Use a narrow aperture -- around f/12 -- and a long exposure to turn points of light into gorgeous starbursts.

You'll need to secure your camera firmly in place -- with a tripod -- and if you're playing with exposures longer than a few seconds, you'll need to be careful about the breeze or people walking by adding any vibrations. If you want to do long exposures in the daytime, you'll need a dark neutral density filter, such as the Big Stopper by Lee Filters, to let you take minute-long exposures in the middle of the day.

If you're shooting on a modern camera -- especially with a larger, full frame sensor -- then you can also likely increase your ISO speed above 3,200 without seeing too much degradation from image noise. Coupled with a wider aperture of f/2.8 or more, you may have more luck shooting handheld scenes in low light. If this is a priority for you, cameras that also offer in-body image stabilization (like the Canon EOS R5) should be on your list; this stabilization lets you use slower shutter speeds without needing a tripod.

A photo of La Rochelle

By visiting this busy Saturday morning market in the French town of La Rochelle, I was able to capture this street photo that packs in great elements including the flowers on the barrel, the man dipping his hat, the people having a conversation and a woman peering out from inside the building.

Be a people person

It's often the people you meet as much as the places you see that makes traveling and exploring so interesting. People make fantastic subjects to photograph, whether they're wandering the streets, relaxing or hard at work.

Naturally, not everybody will want to be photographed so, out of politeness if nothing else, it's a good idea to ask the person's permission beforehand if you're trying to take a portrait of someone. It'll help if you do your research and learn a few key phrases of the local language to not only ask permission, but be able to understand the response. If they say no, it's important to respect that.

Otherwise, heading to busy areas like local markets will allow you to take more street-style photographs with candid moments of people going about their day. Again, it's still important to respect peoples' space here and keep in mind that some countries may have laws against this type of photography.

A photo of a dog wearing goggles riding a human riding a bike

I loved capturing this moment on a trip to the Scottish seaside, and I think it really helps tell the story of the sort of community you'd find there.

Set your alarm

The middle of the day may be the nicest time to wander around Tuscan streets, grab a hot chocolate on the mountainside or order a third cocktail on the beach, but the midday sun doesn't usually offer the best light for dramatic photographs.

It's the early morning light, casting its long, golden shadows that will really make a place look its most beautiful. Setting your alarm for sunrise on holiday may seem like the worst thing in the world, but it's worth trying -- even just once -- to see what sort of shots you get. Scout out locations beforehand to make sure you don't waste the precious early hours trying to find somewhere to shoot.

A before and after photo of a tower

By coming back to this tower later in the day, I was able to catch the sunset in the background.

Revisit the scene

When you stumble upon a particularly picturesque scene, don't just visit it just the once. While a bay may look delightful in the daytime, it will look different again at night, with all the lights of nearby buildings stretching out across the water. If you know a great spot, do your best to come back to it to find out when it looks best.

A photo of mountains and clouds in black and white

Sometimes a punchy black and white edit can really add to the drama of a scene.

Play with processing

Although you should always try to get the best shot you can when you first take it, some well-placed post processing can turn a good photo into a great one. If you're shooting raw files, you'll need to process them anyway, so it's worth trying out a few of the sliders in Adobe Lightroom while you're at it.

With your raw files, the first thing you'll need to do is correct the white balance. Have a play with the color temperature slider and see what tone suits best. Summer evening shots will benefit from a warmer color tone, while chilly February city streets will look best with something a bit cooler.

Toning down the highlights can help keep a bright sky under control, while lifting the shadows will help make darker areas more visible, without affecting too much of the rest of the scene. It's important not to go overboard on this, as it can make your images look a little unnatural. From that point on, have a play with your editor of choice and see what you like. There's no one right way to edit your shots -- no matter what anybody says -- it's all about what you prefer. 

A photo of a London tube platform in black and white

A high contrast black and white edit makes this image from a London tube station really stand out.

Do your own thing

Sure, rules such as "take the lens cap off before shooting" should always be followed, but never be afraid to try an unusual angle, play with your settings or experiment with new editing techniques in Lightroom.

If everybody always followed the exact same format, everybody's photography would look the same. Use these rules as guidelines and play with angles, settings and editing as much as you want to find what works for you.

I'm Blown Away by These Photos I Took on the Xiaomi 14 Ultra

best travel photographer 2022

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best travel photographer 2022

Review: The best travel camera for every type of photographer

UPDATE: Aug. 8, 2023, 5:00 AM EDT This guide has been updated to reflect Mashable's latest hands-on testing.

We live in an age of over-sharing, but the best travel cameras do so much more than help you post your adventures on Instagram, Youtube, or TikTok. Travel cameras can also help you freeze moments in time so that you never forget your favorite travel experiences. Travel photography can be a great way to capture pictures of your loved ones at their happiest, and you may look back on these photos decades in the future.

Of course, the best travel camera should also be used to show off your adventures on social media — we never said over-sharing was bad.

The best cameras for travel make it easy to take pictures without overstuffing your suitcase. While there are plenty of accessories for travel photography , modern travel cameras are lightweight, compact, and user-friendly.

As anyone who's had to sit on their suitcase to close it would know, you need to save every square inch you can when packing. You should always make sure you have the essentials , but nobody wants to have to throw things away at the airport gate because their bag is overweight .

Unless you're a professional YouTuber or National Geographic photographer, chances are you don't want to lug around a heavy-duty model, or a mirrorless camera that requires five different lens for each subject. Similarly, if you're not part of a camera crew traveling for work, a fragile camera that requires careful packing and gentle handling probably isn't worth the trouble.

Fortunately for you, Mashable is on the case, and we’ve been busy researching, testing, and reviewing travel cameras. When picking the best travel camera for every type of photographer — whether you’re a beginner, photography expert, action-adventurer, or content creator — we looked for easy-to-use and easy-to-pack cameras that won’t get in your way.

Should you bring a travel camera at all?

If you clicked on this article, you're likely planning to. But take a minute to consider your phone camera — if you have a new smartphone, it probably comes equipped with a camera that has formidable photography abilities of its own. In fact, the newest flagship smartphones have some downright futuristic photography capabilities. We're not even impressed by the iPhone's ability to shoot in 4K anymore. Give us advanced lowlight photography from Pixel phones, the Samsung Galaxy's famous ultra-zoom lens, or the Xiaomi smartphone with Leica cameras.

So, if you already have the latest iPhone , Samsung Galaxy , or Xiaomi model , is there any reason to carry an extra camera instead of just snapping pics with that?

Well, it depends. For skilled photographers, even the best smartphone cameras can't compare to a mirrorless camera from Sony or Leica . For everyone else, there are still lots of reasons to upgrade to the best travel cameras.

Are you going somewhere beachy and want to take cool underwater photos without worrying about water damage? Is this a ski trip or something active that requires image stabilization and 4K HDR video? Or would you just rather keep your phone safe in your bag at all times, so that you don't accidentally drop it while taking pictures? For all of the above, the best camera for travel will outperform your smartphone camera.

Whatever the reason (even if it's just better quality pics for the 'gram), if you want to pack the best camera for travel, you should evaluate your options based on the following:

Technical Considerations:

  • Size/Weight: There's no point to investing in a professional model that doesn't fit in your travel bag. Make sure that your choice isn't so hefty that you don't end up leave your camera and lens at home.
  • Image Quality: Anyone can snap a blurry picture of the Eiffel Tower, but you want a crystal-clear and totally unique photo to remember your trip. A camera's sensor size will be the biggest factor on overall image quality (more on this below).
  • Zoom Range: Despite massive advances in smartphone camera technology, this is still one area in which most smartphones fall short. For close-up photography, you'll need cameras equipped with zoom lenses.
  • Shooting Modes: Versatility is one of the other perks of toting around a camera — from drones that will give you aerial shots to vlogging cameras for video quality, different devices offer different advantages over your standard phone cam.
  • Price: Above all, don't purchase anything beyond your means. For this guide, we've avoided $5,000 Lecia cameras, as these can be risky to travel with unless you're a professional photographer.

What's the difference between DSLR and mirrorless cameras?

When searching for the best travel cameras of 2023, we wanted to include the most common types of travel cameras: mirrorless cameras, DSLR cameras, action cameras, and drones. (We also decided to include a smartphone for good measure.) But what type of camera is best for your needs? Action cameras, drones, and smartphones are pretty self-explanatory, so what's the difference between DSLR and mirrorless cameras? And what camera is best for travel photography?

For a long time, DSLR cameras were the gold standard for high-quality digital cameras. They provide professional-level photo quality and more advanced features for experienced photographers. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera. In this type of camera, light passing through the lens bounces off a mirror into a traditional viewfinder. Even the best DSLR camera for travel will be larger in size compared to point-and-shoot and mirrorless cameras, and this can be an issue when traveling.

Mirrorless cameras don't have a mirror, and thus lack a traditional viewfinder (although they typically have a digital viewfinder). For this reason, mirrorless cameras are lighter and more compact than DSLR cameras, which also make them more travel-friendly. Because of the digital viewfinder, mirrorless cameras often have a shorter battery life compared to a DSLR.

You can take equally great images with both a mirrorless and DSLR camera. Because mirrorless cameras are newer (and more trendy), many of the best new cameras fall into this category. However, DSLR cameras are often much more affordable.

The specs to look for in the best travel cameras:

To pick the best camera for travel, you'll need a basic understanding of some photography terms and camera specifications. You could spend a lifetime mastering the art or photography, but before buying a camera, take the time to familiarize yourself with the following terms.

Megapixels: The unit itself (MP) denotes one million ("mega-") pixels, which essentially describes the detail of your photos. You can have too many megapixels, depending on your purpose — Instagram, for example, automatically downsizes overlarge images to 1.2MP.

Image File Format: This refers to the image formats supported by the camera. Typically, this includes .jpeg and raw image files. A camera with easy-to-access image files is an underrated feature. This can be important if you're traveling for a long time and want to be able to access your pictures externally from your camera ASAP. Make sure you can open and, if necessary, edit photos on your laptop or even phone (an adapter or external card reader will usually be needed as well).

Sensor: A camera's sensor has a huge impact on overall image quality, which is why sensor size is the main specification professional photographers look at. Bigger sensors have more pixels, which means better low-light and dynamic performance as well as reduced noise. However, smaller sensors have a better zoom range and are both lighter and cheaper. DSLR and mirrorless cameras usually have full-frame (~36mm wide) or APS-C (22.3-23.6mm wide) sensors, while compact cameras have 1-inch (13.2mm wide) sensors. The iPhone 11 has a 1/2.55" sensor, for comparison, and that will give you 12MP images. For a more detailed guide to sensor sizes, check out this graphic .

Lens: Pro photographers will rattle off details about the makers and materials of camera lenses, but what you really need to know is mostly just aperture and focal length. So while names like the "Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 E ED VR" look intimidating, they really just boil down to naming conventions that list brand, lens type/size, focal length, maximum aperture, and miscellaneous details ("VR" here stands for vibration reduction) in that order.

Focal length denotes zoom, and aperture is how much light the lens lets in, which affects exposure and depth of field. Zoom is fairly straightforward — some lens have ranges, while others have a fixed focal length, so you'll have to move to get your subject in frame. Aperture, on the other hand, is measured in fractions. A smaller aperture, say of f/11, gives you less background blur (like, the opposite of portrait mode), aka more depth of field, and a darker image. Larger apertures — f/2.8 is pretty standard — will give you a very focused effect with lots of light.

Continuous Shooting Speed (Video Mode): Measured in fps — that is, frames per second — this number is what you look at if you need your camera to be capable of quick shots for action scenes. The higher the frame-rate, the smoother and clearer the action.

Max Video Resolution: This one is mostly for those people who want to edit a highlight reel of their travels, or vlog their trip. Otherwise, typical 1080p will do just fine for most purposes — you don't need to splurge on 4k unless you want to crop footage while retaining the quality (and you really don't need 8k unless you're a filmmaker).

While this sounds overwhelming (and it definitely can be, to be honest), if you aren't fussed about specs, our list below gives a quick breakdown of what each camera is good for, taking into consideration all its features. On the other hand, if you have a very specific lens type in mind or just want to fully understand your purchase before committing, take a look at the listed specs and how they compare.

With all this in mind, we've gathered the best cameras for travel below. Our top recommendations were hands-on tested by the Mashable team, and we've included some additional options so that you can find the best travel camera for your particular needs.

This guide is geared more toward photography beginners than pros, so we've favored cameras that are more affordable and beginner friendly. And to make sure they travel well, we've prioritized cameras that are durable, lightweight, and compact.

This article may contain affiliate links that Microsoft and/or the publisher may receive a commission from if you buy a product or service through those links.

Review: The best travel camera for every type of photographer

LGBTQ+ Pride

A Smithsonian magazine special report

Travel | June 14, 2024

Celebrate Pride Month With 15 Photos of LGBTQ Joy

These images from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest capture vibrant parades and festivals around the world

a person wearing giant yellow hat in a yellow dress during a Pride parade

New Orleans’ first Gay Pride Parade was held in 1980, and the tradition continues today. 

Text by Tracy Scott Forson

Photographs selected by Donny Bajohr

Since 1999, June has been formally designated as Pride Month in the United States, a time to remember the struggles of the LGBTQ community and celebrate the advances they’ve made throughout the years. “For generations, LGBTQI+ Americans have summoned the courage to live authentically and proudly—even when it meant putting their lives and livelihoods at risk,” President Joe Biden remarked when recognizing Pride Month this year. “This month, we recommit to realizing the promise of America for all Americans.” 

a person in a pink dress in a parade

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Tracy Scott Forson | READ MORE

Tracy Scott Forson is a senior editor at Smithsonian magazine.

Donny Bajohr | READ MORE

Donny Bajohr is the associate photography editor at Smithsonian . You can follow him on Instagram @donny_bajohr .

Every item on this page was chosen by an ELLE editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

first class beauty 2024

ELLE’s First Class Beauty 2024

Get ready for the sun, sand, and sea.

first class beauty logo 2024

Scary movies might not dominate summer screens, but the season brings its own set of dreaded horrors. Picture this: foundation-laden sweat streaming down your cheeks, the uncomfortable rub of chafed thighs during those hot girl walks, or the suffocating air of an overpacked subway where someone clearly missed their deodorant routine—or hasn’t discovered the perfect natural formula yet.

Just as the groundhog’s shadow heralds the coming of spring, you know summer is nearly here when you feel the sudden urge to overhaul your beauty routine and replace your cold-weather staples with multitasking formulas, moisture-binding ingredients, and loads of SPF. With all the Hamptons weekend trips to take, parties to attend, and picnics to host, your travel bag should be stocked with all the necessities needed to make the season your best yet.

To help you navigate the season effortlessly, we’ve curated a comprehensive list of must-have beauty essentials . These ELLE-approved picks highlight the standout releases of the past year, blending luxury and practicality. Skip the tanning salon for an instant bronzing lotion or a radiant SPF formula that gives you a sun-kissed glow, rain or shine. Smooch on a summer fling (or two) with glossy picks from beloved brands. And, of course, we have a bevy of deodorants to keep you fresh and clean to Labor Day and beyond. Ahead of your next OOO adventure, bookmark this page of the best beauty travel essentials of 2024.

HAIR FORCE ONE

Hydration heroes, body builders, meet the editors, danielle james, elle.com beauty director.

“I’m Trinidadian and grew up in Florida, so I’m used to warm weather and enjoy spending time in the sand, sea, and sun. Because of this, I’ve perfected my selection of waterproof, transfer-proof, and sweatproof products. Whether it’s a skin tint for a Paris filter-like finish or sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast, I like products that perform while making me look effortlessly put-together. As I gear up for fun in the sun, these picks have become staples in my carry-on. Keep reading; I’m sure you’ll find your travel companion below.”

Nerisha Penrose, ELLE.com beauty commerce editor

“Summer is the season I come alive. I’m miserable in the winter and am typically tucked away, correcting, repairing, and nourishing my skin, so it can shed any dead layers ahead of the warm months. The moment the temperature soars to the 80s or 90s, I’m only focused on wearing less and going out more, which means my legs need to be polished and hair-free, my body needs to be glowing and protected by SPF, and my makeup needs to be sweatproof. If there’s one thing I know how to do best, it’s fake a vacation look with all the bronzing and radiant formulas I keep in my arsenal—and now you can, too.”

Carol Lee, ELLE.com associate beauty e-commerce writer

“As a summer baby, I’ve truly claimed the season as my own. I thrive on sunny days, whether I’m relaxing on a faraway beach or enjoying a picnic with friends in a local park. But no matter what, sun protection is top of mind; my mainstays include big hats, beach umbrellas, and more SPF-filled tinted moisturizers, lotions, and sprays than one might deem necessary. There’s also nothing like a fresh scent to enhance my warm-weather euphoria. When I smell as good as I feel, I’m ready to take on the world.”

first class beauty 2024

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Edge Cleansing Oil

“Baby hairs are not the easiest to master, and excessive manipulation of the edges can cause thinning or breakage. The same way we use a cleansing oil to thoroughly break down all our face products from the day, this one was created specifically to do the same for edges. Following the success of the viral Rosemary Mint Strengthening Oil , this cleansing oil removes old, dried-up edge control, courtesy of rosemary, mint, biotin, and witch hazel, to keep hair refreshed until wash day.” —NP

Gold Lust Dry Heat Protection Spray

Oribe Gold Lust Dry Heat Protection Spray

“My poor hair has suffered through years of heat styling without protection. It’s so much happier now that I spray it down with this heat protectant before straightening it. I can barely tell that I’ve applied anything, but the spray does soften my strands and prevent frizz—and, of course, supplies protection against up to 450°F. The scent is something to behold, too; I’ve gotten multiple compliments on how my hair smells with this product in it.” —CL

Fairy Duster Volumizing Dry Shampoo Powder

Dae Fairy Duster Volumizing Dry Shampoo Powder

“Dae makes you feel good about what you’re putting into your hair. Whereas some dry shampoos typically come in aerosol spray form, this one is a talc-free powder that sops up oil on the strands and blends into the hair seamlessly, regardless of your hair color, with no residue left behind.” —NP

Money Mist Leave-In Conditioner

Color Wow Money Mist Leave-In Conditioner

“Spending hours in the sun and swimming in the salty sea can’t be beat. However, you’ll find that your tresses are often dehydrated and frizzy after your adventures. Enter: The Color Wow Money Mist Leave-In Conditioner. Because it’s so lightweight, it won’t weigh down fine strands like mine; instead, it provides a burst of moisture and protects against heat and UV rays. I even find that the spray helps my natural waves retain their texture and resist frizzing up, and detangling is a breeze when I spritz it on right after a shower.” —CL

The Ultimate Detangler Plant Brush

Tangle Teezer The Ultimate Detangler Plant Brush

“Let me spill the beans: Tangle Teezer’s latest launch is composed of 85 percent castor beans in an effort to cut down on unsustainable materials. The brush is still just as gentle and deft as the brand’s other offerings, and it has two layers of teeth: a longer one to undo wet tangles and another to smooth the strands. I dread brushing my hair wet, because I can hear the tears as they happen, but I’m never afraid with this one.” —CL

woman in water

Sol de Janeiro Rio Radiance SPF 50 Body Oil

“Is it your natural Brazilian tan, or did you get some help from Sol de Janeiro’s Rio Radiance Oil? No one will ever know. This body oil contains SPF 50 and gives your skin the gift of glow. It’s going to be my travel companion all summer long.” —DJ

Orange Gelée SPF 30

Vacation Orange Gelée SPF 30

“Fans of the original Orange Gelée rejoiced earlier this year when Vacation brought back the classic orange-tinted SPF. Due to its gel-to-oil formula, rich with shea butter and coconut oil, the sunscreen leaves behind a sun-kissed glow without any stickiness or residue. The formula doesn’t smell like sunscreen, either; its scent is a blend of sophisticated notes of bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood.” —CL

Invisible Shield

Glossier Invisible Shield

“This chemical sunscreen won’t leave your skin dull, gray, or greasy. I was pleasantly surprised when I applied it to my face and didn’t need to follow up with a primer. This lightweight formula plays so well with my makeup and doesn’t make me break out.” —DJ

Hydrating Clear Mineral Lip Shine SPF 20

Seaweed Bath Co. Hydrating Clear Mineral Lip Shine SPF 20

“If you’re anything like me, you’ll apply sunscreen everywhere before stepping onto the beach and often neglect your lips. Now that I have Seaweed Bath’s lip SPF on hand, I have no excuse; the zinc oxide-powered lip balm feels so moisturizing and comfortable on the lips that it’s never a chore to reapply.” —CL

Hueguard

Live Tinted Hueguard

“Finding a mineral sunscreen that says it works for all and actually does is a tedious process—but that all ends with Live Tinted’s Hueguard. With a slight tint and hydrating ingredients, Hueguard works in three parts: it primes, protects, and moisturizes.” —NP

first class beauty 2024

Routine Queen

O2 Growth Factor Eight Active Cream

Element Eight O2 Growth Factor Eight Active Cream

“This cream is the result of over a decade of research and development, bringing science to your skin. The formula includes bio-placenta growth factors and lab-grown peptides that mimic human growth factors to rebuild collagen and reverse visible signs of aging. It has a yellow tint, but rest assured, it hasn’t gone bad. It gets its hue from the nutrient-rich blend, which includes sea buckthorn oil, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and a peptide complex. I highly recommend incorporating the O2 Niacinamide Eight Active Serum and O2 Caffeine Eight Active Eye Cream alongside this product for a simple but effective skin care routine. It’s been a game changer for my skin.” —DJ

Deep Purifying Mask

La Mer Deep Purifying Mask

“La Mer’s Purifying Mask serves one purpose: ridding your skin of the deep-seated dirt and debris that could wreak havoc come morning. Formulated with La Mer’s signature Miracle Broth —a mélange of vitamins, sea kelp, minerals, and more—and a clarifying ferment made of antioxidants and enzymes, your skin will appear clearer and pores more refined.” —NP

Pineapple Refresh

Rhode Pineapple Refresh

“We’re told to eat our vegetables, but don’t forget about the powers of fruits as well. In this formula, pineapple stars as the potent enzyme working to slough away dead skin while polyglutamic acid, a humectant, restores moisture. Even pitted against a full-glam face, Rhode’s pineapple cleanser can take on the challenge—and succeed—in just one wash.” —NP

Pro-Berry Pore Refining Toner

Byroe Pro-Berry Pore Refining Toner

“Although every day doesn’t require a double cleanse, I turn to this superfood toner when I want to ensure my skin is free of leftover makeup and environmental impurities. The two-in-one formula also exfoliates and nourishes, and it’s packed with antioxidants from the fermented berries.” —DJ

Super C Ferulic Serum

Medik8 Super C Ferulic Serum

“We all love the warmth of the sun’s rays, but they can be responsible for some of the most visible signs of aging. Medik8’s potent vitamin C serum contains a powerful and stabilized form of the antioxidant, along with ferulic acid , which work to brighten skin as well as diminish and prevent dark spots and wrinkles.” —CL

UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

“I come from a Caribbean family and spend a lot of time at the beach and on boats. EltaMD UV Clear 46 is a mainstay in my morning rotation , so I was elated when the brand released a tinted version. It blends seamlessly into my skin, resulting in an even tone that’s protected from the sun.” —DJ

Hydra Vizor Huez

Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Huez

“A true bad gal doesn’t have to forgo her flawless makeup look for sun protection. Marrying skin-soothing ingredients with the superb finish of its skin tints, Fenty Skin’s Hydra Vizor Huez matches your complexion, smooths skin, and imparts a sheer-yet-buildable coverage that makes you forget you’re wearing sunscreen.” —NP

Dew Bronze

Saie Dew Bronze

“I tend to shy away from liquid bronzers, because they leave my skin looking muddy, instead of adding warmth and a sun-kissed glow. Not this one—Saie’s bronzer is perfect for beginners as it blends easily and provides a dewy finish. Start with a few dots, because it’s highly pigmented.” —DJ

HD Skin Face Essentials

Make Up For Ever HD Skin Face Essentials

“The trick to mastering vacation makeup isn’t a skin tint or mattifying setting spray . While both are important, an all-encompassing face palette in a bi-fold case is the true must-have. Compact and lightweight, this product features six shades for easily customizable concealer, foundation, or even contour. Housed on the opposite side are blush shades to make your makeup work for you, not the other way around.” —NP

Browbond Building Serum Eyebrow Enhancer

Olaplex Browbond Building Serum Eyebrow Enhancer

“Olaplex has been keeping our hair healthy for years, and it’s finally designed a product to boost our brows. Not only does this serum promote new growth and definition, it also works as a brow gel to keep those little hairs in place—perfect for no-makeup-makeup days. You’ll notice that your eyebrows feel softer over time.” —CL

Soft Shape Waterproof Lip Liner

Ami Colé Soft Shape Waterproof Lip Liner

“This waterproof lip liner won’t budge once you apply it. There are five flexible shades to choose from; my go-to is Café Touba, a hickory brown that gives me a natural, effortless look when paired with my favorite lip treatment oil .” —DJ

Extra Plump Hydrating Lip Serum

Bobbi Brown Extra Plump Hydrating Lip Serum

“A vacation is the perfect time to change up your look with a bold lip color or two. The new shades of Bobbi Brown’s Extra Plump Lip Serum include a juicy raspberry, a bright red, and other eye-catching hues. However, there are plenty of softer ones if you’d like to stick to those. Plus, the botanical oil-rich serum is so sheer and forgiving that I reapply it throughout the day sans mirror.” —CL

SOS LipSoftie Hydrating Lip Treatment Balm

Tower 28 Beauty SOS LipSoftie Hydrating Lip Treatment Balm

“I can’t stand lip balms that feel thick and goopy. I want the formula to sink into my skin and moisturize it, but I don’t want the balm to suffocate my lips. Tower 28’s SOS LipSoftie fits the bill with its non-sticky formula and an ultra-hydrating blend of jojoba oil, lysine, and shea butter. The product gets bonus points for the round applicator, which makes it fun and easy to apply.” —CL

Kiss Kiss Bee Glow Lip Oil

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Bee Glow Lip Oil

“This lip oil has earned a permanent spot in my everyday tote bag, because it feels so nourishing on my lips. With 92 percent natural origin ingredients, this skin care-makeup hybrid coats my lips with a beautiful, soft tint and leaves them moisturized with a subtle sheen. Plus, it’s not sticky like other lip oils— another reason why I always keep it around.” —DJ

Slim Lip Color

Tom Ford Slim Lip Color

“You know what pairs well with a tequila-soaked mojito? A soft kiss of color on the rim from your new favorite lipstick. The Slim Lip Color Shine coats your lips with an emollient-rich wash of color that’s pigmented with just one swipe.” —NP

Face Bond Self Setting Waterproof Foundation

Urban Decay Face Bond Self Setting Waterproof Foundation

“I love nature and spend a lot of time outside in the summer. But when temperatures turn hot and humid, it can be disastrous for your makeup. When I don’t want to risk my foundation sliding off, I’ll opt for this formula for photo-ready skin. It’s buildable but dries quickly, so make sure your skin is hydrated, and apply it intentionally with a beauty blender—otherwise, your makeup might look splotchy.” —DJ

Dew La La All-Over Glow Liquid Highlighter

Benefit Cosmetics Dew La La All-Over Glow Liquid Highlighter

“Lately, I’ve been wearing this highlighter under my skin tint to give my face a subtle glow. It has skin-loving ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, which immediately hydrate your skin and brighten it over time.” —DJ

Guideline Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

WYN BEAUTY Guideline Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

“Shaky, unsteady hands have found their reprieve. Formulated with champions in mind, this eyeliner from Serena Williams is a summertime dream. Draw your wings without fear of the color fading or migrating. Even better, the quick-drying formula and matte finish allow you to step out in the sun, ready to conquer whatever curveballs are thrown your way.” —NP

Groundwork: Blooming Romance Palette

Danessa Myricks Beauty Groundwork: Blooming Romance Palette

“The rose-colored palette is perfect for everything—literally! I use it as eyeshadow, blush, lip liner, and lipstick. It’s nice to have one palette that can do it all. It’s a permanent staple for me while traveling.” —DJ

On ‘Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr On ‘Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray

“This setting spray went viral for a reason. Spray this fine mist across your face to keep your makeup in place, no matter what’s going on. My glam always stays fresh on hot days.” —DJ

first class beauty 2024

In-Flight Facial

Wrinkle Erasing Retinol Patches

111Skin Wrinkle Erasing Retinol Patches

“Botox isn’t for everyone—and by everyone, I mean me. I’m not quite ready for injections, but I do want to minimize and prevent fine lines and wrinkles . Each of these treatment sets contains semi-circle patches to target crow’s feet, strips for your forehead expressions, and a patch for frown lines. The blend of retinol , vitamin C, and a peptide complex keeps my skin smooth and bright.” —DJ

Dark Spot Vanish Patch

Fur Dark Spot Vanish Patch

“Have you ever finished shaving only to discover spots of hyperpigmentation left behind from body acne and pesky ingrown hairs? The Fur Dark Spot Vanish Patch is dotted with microdarts full of brightening ingredients, like niacinamide and tranexamic acid, to banish those dark spots for good. It takes at least six hours for the microdarts to dissolve, so the patches are perfect for leaving on during an international or cross-country flight.” —CL

Soothing Steam Eye Mask

MyKirei Soothing Steam Eye Mask

“Can’t go to the spa? Try one of these eye masks, and the spa will come to you. The self-warming mask comes with hooks for your ears, so you can sit back and relax. The packaging says it steams , and while I didn’t experience that, it still had a calming effect.” —DJ

Gold Repair Hand Mask

Knesko Gold Repair Hand Mask

“No need to run from aging, but there are a bevy of products available to delay those early signs, including these golden collagen-boosting and elasticity-restoring hand masks. The serum is comprised of hyaluronic acid , peptides, and more to keep your hands soft, youthful, and bright.” —NP

The PLASMA Lip Compound

U Beauty The PLASMA Lip Compound

“This isn’t your everyday lip gloss. This formula plumps and hydrates, instantly minimizing fine lines, and leaves my lips super soft. It comes in 14 different shades, my favorite being Shanghai, a vibrant red.” —DJ

The Deodorant Balm

AKT The Deodorant Balm

“While natural deodorants are arguably better for you, many fall short of staving off body odor. AKT is the only natural deodorant that lasted through my Saturday morning Orangetheory workout, followed by a day of errands. My favorite of the scents is Orange Grove, which reminds me of Fruit Loops. If its efficacy doesn’t impress you, its presentation sure will. Packaged in a tube, you can squeeze it onto your fingers or apply it with AKT’s gold applicator for a luxurious experience. Pro tip: Purchase the golden key to roll down the tube, and squeeze out every last drop.” —DJ

Moisturizing Antiperspirant Deodorant

SheaMoisture Moisturizing Antiperspirant Deodorant

“Shea Moisture is one of my go-to hair brands, so I was excited when it expanded into deodorant. The Even Tone formula contains vitamin C and niacinamide and will have your armpits summer-ready in no time.” —DJ

Whole Body Deo

Dove Whole Body Deo

“I gave this to a friend who doesn’t need to do much to start sweating, often leaving her with wet marks under her arms, on her lower back, and even on her intimate areas. This deodorant was the solution to years of embarrassment, and now she’s ready for summer.” —DJ

Santal Bloom Skincare Deodorant

Saltair Santal Bloom Skincare Deodorant

“There’s nothing unsexy about deodorant, especially with Santal Bloom in your arsenal. A proven ally, even in the most stifling heat, your pits have never been treated better. Salicylic acid eradicates odor and keeps the pits clear of hyperpigmentation or painful ingrown hairs with a long-lasting formula that’s perfect for every lifestyle.” —NP

Wake the F*ck Up Deodorant

By Rosie Jane Wake the F*ck Up Deodorant

“By Rosie Jane champions the idea that a well-rounded olfactory experience doesn’t start and end with perfume. Outside of its eau de parfums, it offers natural deodorants that are all aluminum-free with a pleasant smell to match. Each spray kills odor-causing bacteria via a blend of aloe vera, glycerin, and sugar cane alcohol.” —NP

Get Glowing

The Geranium Rose Body Oil

Augustinus Bader The Geranium Rose Body Oil

“I love using this oil—it leaves my skin so hydrated. The fast-absorbing formula minimizes the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. Whether used by itself or to amplify the richness of your body cream, this product softens your skin and makes it smell like roses . It also acts as a great floral base for scent layering.” —DJ

Major Glow Crème & Powder Light Reflecting Translucent Highlighter Duo

Patrick Ta Major Glow Crème & Powder Light Reflecting Translucent Highlighter Duo

“This cream and powder highlighter duo can be used in multiple ways. When I want a dewy finish, I start with the cream and lightly press it into the high points of my face. For a bolder look, I apply the powder directly. If you mix both, you get a beautiful depth that’s unmatched.” —DJ

Body Butter Glow

Mutha Body Butter Glow

“Mutha might as well have named this cream Mutha Body Butter: Vacation Edition. Inside the purple jar is the same rich concoction of cocoa, shea, and mango seed butters from the beloved original formula, but the cherry on top is the sprinkle of mica that glimmers and glows when applied to the skin. Feel free to tell everyone you woke up like that—it’ll be our little secret.” —CL

Perfect Legs Skin Miracle

ThisWorks Perfect Legs Skin Miracle

“Are your legs looking a little dull in that bikini? A few swipes of this tinted serum will do the trick. This isn’t quite a tanning lotion , but it gently enhances your natural skin tone to reveal a filter-like finish worthy of a magazine cover.” —NP

Pistachio Face Oil

Irene Forte Pistachio Face Oil

“Last summer, everyone wanted to smell like pistachios. This summer, Irene Forte wants you to put them on your face. The star ingredient of this anti-aging oil is phytomelatonin, the plant version of melatonin, which contains powerful antioxidants to boost skin renewal and combat the effect of free radicals. This is the final step in my nighttime skin care routine, and I wake up with smooth, soft skin without fail.” —DJ

Sunny Scents

Soft Spot

Phlur Soft Spot

“Soft Spot smells like the aroma of summer approaching. The soft, citrusy scent dances with aquatic florals and dries down to reveal a smooth musk. This will be my go-to for summer nights.” —DJ

St. Barts Hair and Body Mist

OUAI St. Barts Hair and Body Mist

“If you can’t make it to St. Barts this summer, you can still create the vibe via this heavenly aroma. In one sniff, this tropical scent will transport you to the Caribbean. I can’t get enough!” —DJ

Moon Dust Eau de Parfum

Ourside Moon Dust Eau de Parfum

“For the uninitiated, this is a floral, citrusy fragrance with an earthy, green finish. It’s fun and playful but not overpowering, making it the perfect airy scent for schmoozing at an outdoor soirée.” —DJ

Thousand Palms Solid Fragrance

Fulton & Roark Thousand Palms Solid Fragrance

“The first word that comes to mind when I smell Thousand Palms is green. Inspired by a lively oasis in the middle of the Mojave Desert, its notes of bell pepper, coriander leaf, and patchouli conjure visions of lush palm trees swaying in the wind. The scent is available in a chic, TSA-friendly solid, but I always have a bottle of the extrait waiting for me at home, just in case.” —CL

Almond Delicious Shower Cream

L’Occitane Almond Delicious Shower Cream

“What’s better than snacking on almonds? Smelling like them. L’Occitane’s body wash packages the same heavenly aroma found in its cult-favorite shower oil and body milk in this creamy whipped formula that nourishes the skin with sweet almond oil.” —NP

Smooth Operators

The Lip Scrub

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub

“Sara Happ is an ELLE favorite—our entire team loves the brand’s various lip balms and glosses. But the sugar- and oil-based lip scrub is our most prized possession. Dry flakes stand no chance against the formula, which gets our pouts smooth, silky, and ready for lipstick within seconds.” —CL

Cashmere Peel Gentle Exfoliating AHA Toner

EADEM Cashmere Peel Gentle Exfoliating AHA Toner

“Properly prep your skin ahead of makeup application with this gentle face exfoliator . EADEM’s signature FastFade technology smooths and brightens with AHAs and PHAs , reducing texture and upping your makeup game. The formula also soothes the skin using rice water and colloidal oatmeal, preventing irritation or a weakened skin barrier.” —NP

10% Glycolic Acid + Aloe Vera Resurfacing Pads

Naturopathica 10% Glycolic Acid + Aloe Vera Resurfacing Pads

“My skin care sin is that, sometimes, I don’t regularly exfoliate, leading to dull and textured skin. But these resurfacing pads make exfoliating a breeze. They are powerful, so if you are new to acid exfoliation, I’d use this product every three days to start. If you have sensitive skin, opt for Naturopathica’s Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel instead.” —DJ

Find Comfort Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Find Comfort Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash

“Why not wake up and start your day with a burst of citrusy goodness? The exfoliating properties of the plant-derived konjac jelly in this body wash tackle dead skin and reverse dullness, sans any harsh stripping. Follow up with the fragrance mist and body lotion to keep the good vibes going.” —NP

Clarifying Shampoo & Scalp Scrub Travel Size

Cécred Clarifying Shampoo & Scalp Scrub Travel Size

“For a while, I was washing my hair nearly every single day. But this formula provides a deep, thorough cleanse that keeps oil and flakes at bay, allowing me to go days without shampooing. Traveling with just a carry-on? No problem. The brand just released a travel-size version that’ll sail through TSA.” —CL

Chronos Styler 1 Inch Flat Iron

ghd Chronos Styler 1 Inch Flat Iron

“Purchase this to own the best flat iron on the market. This tool heats up in 20 seconds to 365 °F, and its advanced motion technology prevents overstyling and heat damage. The ghd Chronos is also a favorite in the ELLE office.” —DJ

It’s Giving Body Medium Hot Thermal Round Brush

Mane It’s Giving Body Medium Hot Thermal Round Brush

“I rave about this round brush to anyone who will listen. I’m currently growing out a bob, and it’s reaching all of those awkward lengths where the most manageable way to wear it is to straighten it, instead of wearing my natural-but-unpredictable waves. But that doesn’t mean I want to spend a lot of time styling, especially while on a trip. That’s where Mane’s Hot Round Brush comes in. Minutes into running it through my tresses, my hair is smooth and bouncy, with no tangles but plenty of shine.” —CL

C∙A∙R∙A Multi-Modal Tool

Althaea Skin C∙A∙R∙A Multi-Modal Tool

“Although at-home (or at-hotel room) treatments can’t come close to an in-office treatment, Althaea Skin’s C∙A∙R∙A Multi-Modal Tool is an impressive on-the-go alternative. With powerful blue and red lights, the device works to fight acne, plump skin, and repair the harm that sun exposure and pollutants wreak on our face during the day. Because it’s so compact, I don’t hesitate to slip the tool into my carry-on, even on weekends away.” —CL

SilkyAir Pro

Silk'n SilkyAir Pro

“I usually prefer to bring my own hair dryer rather than rely on the device that may or may not be in my hotel room. After all, I have no idea how it’ll perform or how much dust—or something worse—has been stuck in the dryer for months. The SilkyAir Pro works for pretty much everybody since it has three magnetic attachments: a diffuser, a small concentrator, and a wide concentrator. Heat damage is kept to a minimum too, since the tool constantly assesses the air temperature and tweaks it automatically when things are getting too hot.” —CL

Pure Mini Lite

SmoothSkin Pure Mini Lite

“Lightweight and compact, this laser device is the at-home hair removal companion you’ve been looking for to upkeep maintenance. Powered by 133 flashes per minute, the Pure Mini Lite is suitable for the body and face and reduces hair growth, when consistently applied, in about 12 weeks.” —NP

Polished Perfection

On My Tippies in Almond

Pink Friday On My Tippies in Almond

“Calling all Barbz! Nicki Minaj collaborated with her longtime nail artist Yvett G to dream up a collection of stunning press-ons inspired by the rapper’s famously attention-grabbing sets. The first collection features nearly a dozen designs in various classic shapes and lengths to match any outfit and vibe. I tried a French manicure set, and they were so thin and nicely molded. Everyone thought I had gotten a gel mani on my natural nails!” —CL

Jelly Bean

Glamnetic Jelly Bean

“Glam girls, you don’t have to hit up the salon before hopping on a plane to your next destination. Pop this kit in your bag and apply the press-ons during the ride—you’ll land with a fresh and fun set that makes it look like you spent an hour with your favorite nail tech.” —CL

My Me Era Nail Lacquer in Pricele$$

OPI My Me Era Nail Lacquer in Pricele$$

“If you’re headed to a balmy, verdant paradise, it only makes sense for your fingertips to match. OPI’s Pricele$$ is a creamy green that echoes the leaves of thriving flora. The polish dries quickly to prevent accidental smudging and can stay chip-free for up to seven days.” —CL

Active Glow

Manicurist Active Glow

“Opt for this polish if you want to get into the jelly nail trend while nourishing your nails at the same time. It leaves a natural and buildable rosy glow, and it’s perfect for the clean-girl aesthetic or anyone trying to rehab their nails from an acrylic manicure gone wrong.” —DJ

The Nail Polish Kit

Jones Road Beauty The Nail Polish Kit

“Sometimes, my feet don’t necessarily need another pedicure, but rather a polish change. This nail polish kit, which is great for weekend trips, contains the perfect shade of red, a ballerina pink, a two-in-one top and base coat, and a nail file—everything you need for a DIY mani-pedi. Bonus: The polish lasts a long time.” —DJ

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  • Best overall
  • Best for expensive trips
  • Best for older travelers
  • Best for affordability
  • Best for annual plans
  • Why You Should Trust Us

Best Travel Insurance for Seniors of June 2024

Affiliate links for the products on this page are from partners that compensate us (see our advertiser disclosure with our list of partners for more details). However, our opinions are our own. See how we rate insurance products to write unbiased product reviews.

Reaching your golden years doesn't mean your adventures have to end. In fact, in this stage of life, you'll hopefully have more time and resources to travel. But as a senior citizen, you'll want to ensure you have travel insurance that covers any health-related issues arise while you travel.

Best Senior Travel Insurance Companies

  • Best overall: Allianz Travel Insurance
  • Best for expensive trips: John Hancock Travel Insurance
  • Best for older travelers:  TravelSafe Insurance
  • Best for affordability: GeoBlue Travel Insurance
  • Best for annual plans: Travel Guard

Compare the Best Travel Insurance for Seniors

Your health gets more unpredictable as you age, which makes travel insurance more important for seniors. Unfortunately, it's also more expensive. The best travel insurance for seniors won't have too steep of a price hike compared to rates for younger travelers. It will have high coverage limits for emergency medical coverage, trip cancellations, and and emergency medical evacuation. It's also important that your travel insurance offers pre-existing condition waivers , ideally at no extra cost to the traveler. 

Here are our picks for the best travel insurance coverage for seniors in 2024.

Best Senior Travel Insurance Overall

Allianz travel insurance.

Allianz Travel Insurance is one of the most widely recognized names in travel insurance, and it stands out as one of the top travel insurance providers for seniors. It offers a wide range of policies covering medical treatments overseas and emergency medical transport.

Allianz also provides options for varying trip lengths. Its annual multi-trip policies , for example, cover any trip you make during your policy period, even if they aren't yet planned, making it an excellent option for seniors who vacation multiple times per year.

Read our Allianz Travel Insurance review .

Allianz Allianz Travel Insurance

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Good option for frequent travelers thanks to its annual multi-trip policies
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Doesn't increase premium for trips longer than 30 days, meaning it could be one of the more affordable options for a long trip
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Some plans include free coverage for children 17 and under
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Concierge included with some plans
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Coverage for medical emergency is lower than some competitors' policies
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Plans don't include coverage contact sports and high-altitude activities
  • Single and multi-trip plans available
  • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage starting at up to $10,000 (higher limits with more expensive plans)
  • Preexisting medical condition coverage available with some plans

Best Senior Travel Insurance for Expensive Trips

John hancock.

John Hancock Travel Insurance plans for seniors offer some of the best coverage available. It provides generous maximum benefit amounts while still offering affordable prices.

Each plan includes coverages like trip cancellation, emergency accident, and emergency medical, with the option to add benefits like CFAR (cancel for any reason) . Plus, getting a free online quote is a quick and straightforward process.

Read our John Hancock Travel Insurance review .

John Hancock John Hancock Travel Insurance

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Offers 3 travel insurance plans
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Cancel for any reason rider available
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Affordable travel insurance premiums
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Reviews of claims process are mixed
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Buyers may not get specialty coverage for sports equipment and other high value items
  • Trip cancellation for 100% of the trip cost
  • Trip interruption insurance for up to 150% of the trip cost
  • Emergency medical coverage of up to $250,000 per person
  • Medical evacuation coverage of up to $1,000,000

Best Senior Travel Insurance for Older Travelers

Travelsafe travel insurance.

TravelSafe Insurance is a great choice for older travelers, even among seniors, insuring travelers up to 100 years old. TravelSafe also offers pre-existing condition waivers for all its tiers when you purchase your policy within 21 days of your initial trip deposit. With a great deal of flexibility, travelers don't have to worry about eligibility when purchasing travel insurance with TravelSafe. TravelSafe even has two tiers of coverage devoted specifically to golfers. 

Read our TravelSafe travel insurance review .

TravelSafe TravelSafe Insurance

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Up to 120 days' coverage available for travelers ages 79 and under (30 days for 80+)
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Up to $2,500 per person for missed connections over three hours or more
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Trip delay coverage of up to $150 per person per day kicks in after six hours or more
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Policy can be purchased by U.S. citizens living abroad
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Medical coverage ceiling of $100,000 may be low for some travelers' needs.
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Claims reviews from customers say performance is not always the best
  • A well-rounded insurance plan for travelers who are concerned about missing connections for cruise-related travel
  • Classic and Basic travel insurance plans
  • GolfSafe travel insurance plans provide coverage for you and your equipment
  • Travel medical insurance through partner Trawick International

Best Senior Travel Insurance for Affordability

Geoblue travel insurance.

GeoBlue Travel Insurance is a travel insurance provider that specializes in travel medical insurance . Because it doesn't offer much trip protection or travel inconvenience coverage, it can charge cheaper premiums than its competitors. 

GeoBlue's policies cover travelers who are under 95 years old, offering sizeable coverage for emergency medical treatments (up to $1 million) and medical evacuations (up to $500K). It's worth noting that while coverage for pre-existing conditions are available, it costs extra.

Read our GeoBlue Travel Insurance review .

AJM Global Inc GeoBlue Travel Insurance

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. A subsidary of Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Offers strong medical plans as long as you have a regular health insurance plan, but it doesn't have to be through Blue Cross
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Offers long-term and multi-trip travel protection
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Multiple complaints about claims not being paid or being denied
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Does not provide some of the more comprehensive coverage like CFAR insurance
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Buyers who do get claims paid may need to file multiple claim forms

Best Senior Travel Insurance for Annual Plans

Travel guard.

Travel Guard  offers comprehensive insurance plans for shorter and longer trips. One of its more unique offerings is its Travel Guard Annual Plan.

This annual travel insurance comes with standard coverage benefits (trip delay, baggage loss, etc.) and substantial coverage amounts, which is important for seniors who travel multiple times per year. Travel Guard also offers a pre-existing medical condition waiver, meaning those with certain medical issues can still gain coverage.

Read our AIG Travel Guard Insurance review .

AIG Travel Guard

Trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of the trip cost and trip interruption coverage for up to 150% of the trip cost

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Trip cancellation coverage of up to 100% of the cost, for all three plan levels
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. CFAR covers up to 75% of total trip costs (maximum of $112,500 on some plans) 
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Medical coverage of up to $500,000 and evacuation of up to $1,000,000 per person
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Includes COVID coverage 
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Above average baggage loss and delay benefits
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. High medical evacuation coverage
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Premiums may run slightly higher than competitors

Travel Guard is a well-established and highly rated name in the travel insurance industry. It offers three main coverage options to choose from, and in general its policies have above-average coverage for baggage loss and baggage delays, plus high medical evaluation coverage limits.

  • Trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of the trip cost
  • Trip interruption coverage for up to 150% of the trip cost
  • Preexisting medical conditions exclusions waiver must be purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment
  • Annual travel insurance plan and Pack N' Go plan (for last-minute trips) available

Understanding Travel Insurance for Seniors

Before diving into the specifics, it's essential to understand what travel insurance is and why it's particularly important for senior travelers. The best travel insurance offers financial protection against unexpected events affecting your trip, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.

Types of coverage

  • Medical Coverage: Ensures your medical expenses are covered in case of illness or injury.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Coverage: Provides reimbursement if your trip is canceled or cut short due to unforeseen events.
  • Baggage Coverage: Covers loss, damage, or theft of personal items during your trip.

Benefits of travel insurance for seniors

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you're covered in case of emergencies can make your travel stress-free.
  • Financial Protection: Shields you from potentially overwhelming medical costs and trip cancellations fees.
  • Assistance Services: Many plans offer 24/7 assistance services, providing help whenever and wherever you need it.

Making the most of your plan

After choosing a plan, it's crucial to understand your policy fully and know what services are available to you in case of an emergency.

Understanding your policy

When you purchase a travel insurance policy, you'll be able to see a description of benefits, which is a long document that describes the exceptions and limitations to your coverage. You should carefully review this document so you're not blindsided by unexpected claim denials. 

For example, if you're canceling a trip because unexpected work, you may not be eligible for coverage if you haven't worked at your company for long enough. Additionally, you should review your policy to ensure that your pre-existing condition is covered, as companies often have very specific language around what qualifies as a covered pre-existing condition.

Emergency assistance services

Most companies offer a 24/7 concierge service that can help you navigate situations that arise during your trip, even issues beyond the scope of your policy. They can advise you on how to navigate these situations in accordance with your policy and make sure you acquire the necessary documentation when you need to file a claim down the line.

How to Pick Travel Insurance as a Senior Traveler

It's wise to compare several different travel insurance policies for the best coverage and pricing, as premiums vary widely between insurers and depend on factors like your age and travel destination.

That said, some of the more essential coverages to look for if you're a senior citizen include:

  • Travel medical coverage - This coverage will pay for your medical bills outside the US.
  • Medical evacuation coverage - If you're injured or become sick while traveling, this coverage will transport you to the nearest hospital or even back home if your condition necessitates it.
  • Pre-existing conditions - Coverage for known health conditions. You'll need to purchase travel insurance within a certain time period from when you book your trip to qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver .
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR) - The name says it all! It'll cost extra and you'll need to purchase insurance early, but it's the most comprehensive trip cancellation coverage you can get. Note that CFAR insurance usually only covers up to 75% of your trip fees.
  • Trip cancellation insurance - This coverage provides reimbursement for your prepaid and nonrefundable costs if you cannot make your trip due to an unforeseen event.
  • Baggage delay insurance - This coverage will reimburse you for essentials like toiletries and clothes if your bags are delayed.
  • Lost luggage insurance - This coverage will reimburse you up to a specified amount if your bags get lost en route.

Of these, the most critical to note are whether or not your policy covers pre-existing conditions and the limits for travel medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation.

Some insurance companies offer a waiver that will cover pre-existing conditions. You'll have to follow the requirements for adding a waiver to your policy, like insuring the entire cost of your trip. Or purchase the policy within a specific time after making your first trip deposit payments.

You'll also want to find a policy with high maximum limits for travel medical and emergency medical evacuation coverage. These types of expenses can be substantial, so you want to have appropriate coverage.

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Reviewed Senior Travel Insurance

When comparing senior travel insurance options, we looked at the following factors to evaluate each travel insurance provider:

  • Coverage limits: We looked at each travel insurance company's coverage amounts for benefits like medical emergencies and trip cancellation.
  • Flexibility: We looked at how customizable a policy is, so you can choose what your travel insurance policy covers .
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions are one of the more critical factors for travel insurance for senior citizens, so we looked at travel insurance companies that offer the best coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Price: We compared travel insurance providers offering reasonable basic and comprehensive coverage rates.
  • Benefits geared towards seniors: We compared travel insurance companies that offer solid coverage for senior citizens, like medical evacuation, COVID-19 coverage, and trip cancellation.

You can read more about our insurance rating methodology here.

Best Senior Travel Insurance FAQs

Seniors should look for travel insurance policies that offer comprehensive medical coverage, including for pre-existing conditions and emergency medical evacuation. They should also consider policies with higher coverage limits to ensure adequate protection. Additionally, seniors should seek travel insurance plans that provide 24/7 assistance services, as well as coverage for trip cancellations, interruptions, and baggage protection.

The cost of senior travel insurance coverage can vary depending on your age, overall health, state of residence, travel destination, and length of your trip. While the average travel insurance policy costs 4% to 8% of your trip's nonrefundable cost, a 65-year-old's policy may cost 15% of their trip's cost.

All travel insurance companies, except World Nomads, included in this guide offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions as long as you buy your policy within the qualifying period from when you placed your trip deposit.

Allianz is the best travel insurance for seniors due to its wide array of medical coverages and emergency medical transport. Allianz also offers multi-trip insurance policies , which could make sense for seniors who travel frequently.

In some instances, travel insurance companies will have age eligibility restrictions, often only insuring people 80 years old and younger.

best travel photographer 2022

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards .

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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best travel photographer 2022

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IMAGES

  1. Breathtaking shots from the 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year

    best travel photographer 2022

  2. 35 Winning Photos Of The Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022

    best travel photographer 2022

  3. 35 Winning Photos Of The Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022

    best travel photographer 2022

  4. Breathtaking shots from the 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year

    best travel photographer 2022

  5. 35 Winning Photos Of The Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022

    best travel photographer 2022

  6. Travel Photographer of the Year 2022

    best travel photographer 2022

VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. Travel Photographer of the Year 2022 winners

    Matjaz Krivic wins the competition with poignant rhino picture. Winner: Best Single Image in a Green Planet, Blue Planet Portfolio(Image credit: Panos Laskarakis / TPOTY) The Travel Photographer of the Year awards has today announced the winning images from the 2022 edition of the competition! If you haven't caught the travel bug and made plans ...

  2. Winners of the 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

    Winner, Travel Photographer of the Year 2022. Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nanyuki, Kenya: Najin 33, one of the last two Northern White rhinos left in the world, rests under the hot afternoon sun with ...

  3. Best Travel Photographer Of The Year: 22 Inspiring Winning Photos

    Photo: Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia - TPOTY 2022 Winner. A series of moving photos showcasing the extraordinary companionship between one of the world's last two remaining Northern White rhinos and ...

  4. Incredible Winners of 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

    By Jessica Stewart on February 8, 2023. Matjaz Krivic (Slovenia), Winner, Travel Photographer of the Year 2022. Najin, 33, one of the last two Northern White rhinos left in the world, resting under a hot afternoon sun with her friend and caretaker Zachary Mutai in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The northern white rhino is all but extinct.

  5. Slideshow: the worldly winners and finalists of the 2022 Travel

    Slovenian photographer Matjaz Krivic won the title of Travel Photographer of the Year for his images of one of two of the very last Northern White rhinos on this planet. The TPOTY awards also recognize up-and-coming talent as young photographers aged 18, and even under 14 years of age, are also commended for their efforts.

  6. THE 2022 WINNERS

    The Overall Winner - the Travel Photographer of the Year 2022 - is the Slovenian photographer Matjaz Krivic. His images of 33-year-old Najin - one of the world's last two remaining Northern White rhinos - and her keeper, Zachary Mutai, in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya are both heart-warming and also almost unbearably poignant.

  7. The Best Travel Photography of 2023

    Overall Winner—The Travel Photographer of the Year 2023 (AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia): "When the hop strings are hung on the top steel cables, an unusual curtain of threads is created in the ...

  8. 35 Winning Photos Of The Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022

    Here are the 35 winning photos of the Travel Photographer Of The Year 2022. Out of the 20,000 submissions, the snapshots of one of the world's last two remaining Northern White rhinos bagged the top price. The Overall winner for 2022 is won by Matjaz Krivic from Slovenia for his series "Northern White rhinos". Here are the judges comments ...

  9. Travel Photographer of the Year

    TPOTY has been showcasing the best in travel photography for 21 years and has received entries from 156 countries. The winners are both amateur and pro photographers of 54 different nationalities. ... DISCOVER EYE FOR THE LIGHT. 2024 CATEGORIES & PRIZES. HOW TO ENTER. KEY DATES 2024. Our 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year winner, Matjaz ...

  10. Best Travel Photos: 15 Winners Of Life Framer's World ...

    The 2022 contest was judged by celebrated travel photographer Steve McCurry, who is a Magnum Photos member, four-time World Press Photo winner and creator of several of the most iconic images of ...

  11. The stunning overall winners of the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

    Scott Wilson, United Kingdom, Winner, Open, Natural World & Wildlife, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards. UK photographer Scott Wilson won the top prize for Open Photographer of the Year, the ...

  12. Best On-The-Road Photography: 20 Winners Of Travel ...

    Best Portfolio Winner: Young Muslim girl in Jodhpur, India . Photo: Alessandro Bergamini, Italy - Travel Photographer of the Year . This young Muslim girl had her face completely covered, although ...

  13. These are the best travel photos of 2022

    These are the best travel photos of 2022. Explore the world in 17 stunning images from our contributors. Patagonia, Chile With dramatic peaks, verdant forests, and a swath of ice larger than ...

  14. The best travel photographs from around the globe

    Travel photographer of the year: AndreJa Ravnak (South Moravia, near Kyov, Czech Republic) "In early spring, the soil is still too cold for growth. An interesting pattern occurred while a new ...

  15. Inspiration 20 Travel Photographers You Should Know

    In celebration of our 2023 Travel Photography Award, (open for entries until the end of August) we've curated a list of 20 photographers, past and present, whose inspiring images embody the unique allure of travel. 1. Steve McCurry. Steve McCurry, the esteemed judge of our current Travel Award, is a globally-renowned figure in the world of ...

  16. 30 Most Influential Travel Photographers to Follow in 2024

    30 Most Influential Travel Photographers to Follow. Let's take a look at the work of these amazing travel photographers! 1. Frauke Hameister. This German photographer captures stunning landscapes and adventures. This is mostly when he's surrounded by mountains and cliffs. Frauke does an excellent job at visualizing stories through her images.

  17. The 12 Best Travel Cameras of 2024

    OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7 Black Underwater Camera. It's tough and effective. Divers should be aware that the waterproofing level only goes to 50 feet. The upgraded Olympus Tough TG-7 is exactly what it ...

  18. New: 7 Best cameras for travel

    The X-S20 takes Fujifilm's higher-end still and video features and puts them into a simple, cleanly designed body with built-in image stabilization. Image quality is great, autofocus is good in most situations, and the breadth of video features is impressive. Read our Fujifilm X-S20 initial review. See the Fujifilm X-S20 studio scene.

  19. The best travel camera in 2024

    Best overall. 1. Fujifilm X100VI. Preorder at BHPhoto. View at Walmart. Check Amazon. Travel cameras should be small and light, but not lacking in features for amazing photos and video. The Fujifilm X100VI ticks all of those boxes, with a diminutive size, but 40MP images and 6.2K video.

  20. 25 Awesome INSTAGRAM Travel Photographers To Follow in 2022

    3. Daniel Kordan | @DanielKordan. Follow @DanielKordan on Instagram. Daniel Kordan shoots breathtaking landscape photography from places like Norway, Russia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, and more. I'm always inspired by his feed. He's surely passionate about ice and frozen things. follow Daniel on instagram →. 4.

  21. BEST Travel Camera 2024 (Beginner's Buying Guide)

    Best Compact Travel Camera: Canon G7 X Mark II, a top choice for its easy-to-pack size and exceptional image quality. Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel: Sony A7 II, an excellent mirrorless camera known for its versatility and high-performance features. Best DSLR Camera for Travel: Canon Rebel, a reliable DSLR camera that offers great image ...

  22. The Best Travel Cameras for 2024

    Canon EOS R10. 4.0. $879.00 at Amazon. See It. The Canon EOS R10 is a slim camera that supports changeable lenses and produces quality pictures. Despite its mid-entry price, it offers class ...

  23. Level Up Your Travel Photos This Summer With These Pro Tips

    June 5, 2024 5:00 a.m. PT. 7 min read. A sunbather takes in the glorious weather on the island of Sicily. Andrew Lanxon/CNET. Your summer vacations are the perfect time to capture amazing photos ...

  24. Review: The best travel camera for every type of photographer

    For this guide, we've avoided $5,000 Lecia cameras, as these can be risky to travel with unless you're a professional photographer. When searching for the best travel cameras of 2023, we wanted to ...

  25. Best Travel Insurance of June 2024

    Best Reputation: C&F Travel Insured. Best for Pre-existing Conditions: Tin Leg Travel Insurance. Best for Digital Nomads: WorldTrips Travel Insurance. Best Low-Cost Option: Trawick International ...

  26. 22 Remarkable Professional Photo Finalists Of 2022 Sony World ...

    The 20 Best And Safest Places For Travel And Tourism In 2022, ... "The Sony World Photography Awards 2022 finalists and shortlisted shots are as diverse, challenging and, I believe, as powerful ...

  27. Celebrate Pride Month With 15 Photos of LGBTQ Joy

    Hezy Holzman, Israel, 2022 The sunlight catches bubbles afloat during a Pride event in Seattle. Jinglong Yan, Washington, 2022 Of the nearly 200 United Nations member states, more than 100 have ...

  28. ELLE Editor's 65 Best Summer 2024 Beauty Travel Essentials

    ghd Chronos Styler 1 Inch Flat Iron. $329 at Ulta Beauty $329 at Nordstrom $280 at Saks Fifth Avenue. "Purchase this to own the best flat iron on the market. This tool heats up in 20 seconds to ...

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  30. Best Travel Insurance for Seniors Guide: Coverage & Tips

    Best Senior Travel Insurance Companies. Best overall: Allianz Travel Insurance. Best for expensive trips: John Hancock Travel Insurance. Best for older travelers: TravelSafe Insurance. Best for ...