I travel a lot, and I mean a lot, granted mainly around the coast lines of Ireland in our motorhome, but even at that I just can't bring everything from my studio into the cramped confines of a family recreational vehicle. Not when I have to fight for space with a 7 year old who wants to bring her toy doll car and an assortment of other bite sized oddments that the dog preys on once they've been left on the floor long enough for her to call dibs.
Travel TripodDuopod Travel Tripod and Selfie Stick
The main things I tend to bring are as follows, based on trial and error.
SLR (with Flash Unit)
I have a trusty Canon 5D that has stood me well. It comes with it's Canon L Series 24-70mm f2.8 glass as I find that the sharpness that this lens provides is second to none. Great for low light, great for action shots and just long enough for you to get close up, and if you need to get closer, the memory size and clarity of a Full Frame Sensor will allow you some decent cropping scope with Bridge or Photoshop.
The flash, well, why not? If you are just about the landscapes and all that, then you're not really going to need one, but the odd time you might want to take a nice interior shot of the venue you're visiting, and having that bit of extra light (off camera) will get you out of a scrape.
Not the sort you're thinking, as to be honest there aren't that many out there that are both compact enough to fit in your cabin luggage that are going to be useful when extended. But I do have one, a great Duöpod, it's part of a kit that you can buy online (eBay, my usual haunt). It also hosts a selfie stick to give you a little bit of extension but it's not for the SLR. Attaching an SLR to this will just crush it, it's actually for my mobile phone.
My iPhone is my 'out and about' camera of choice. It's capable of producing some great images both straight shooting and in post production apps that can make a dull image into something totally surreal, and I just love that.
I don't take too may pictures of myself, ain't nobody wanna see that. I use it as a means of providing me with more variety of angles and higher or lower perspectives, and if you bring one, you'll also need a smartphone cradle that you can quickly snap your phone into.
I'm currently writing this post on my trusty iPad 2, with a Brydge+ Bluetooth keyboard, sitting on my deck chair as rally cars are passing no more than 15 feet away from me at 90 miles an hour. I've already got the pictures I want to use for stock that I took on their first circuit (lap), I've been online and gathered all their car numbers and driver names, I'm under no pressure to get them to one of my stock agencies as this isn't really a news story as such, but having a means to check statistics, facts, location details of the subject you've just captured will save you hassle in the long run. So you'll also need some sort of internet connection device too, pairing your mobile to your phone is one option, I have a 3 Network Mifi 'doofa' that creates a wireless connectivity zone, and because we cross borders between Northern Ireland's UK networks and Ireland's Southern, we can be prone to high data charges, but not on the 3 Network. They don't penalise you like some operators do, not when travelling within some of the major European countries.
Goes without say, but you'll also need the means to apply power, so if it comes with a car charging option, label it and keep it in the glove box. I say label it because how many of us have a box of electrical chargers with no notion of what they actually charge anymore? Every time I buy a new bit of tech and it comes with a charger, I label it straight away, cause I'm OCD like that.
I've already mentioned that this is my 'go-to' device, I've a whole section on my website dedicated to the recently coined term of iPhoneography, there are plenty of professional photographers out there that are also avid phone photographers, I'm one of them, a recent convert if you will, and also a mug!
I'm a mug because I took a rocking picture of the devastating effects of the 2014 Weather Bomb, and I was too snobby to consider it a 'proper photograph' because I took it on my mobile phone. I missed out on possibly hundreds of thousands of pounds by just releasing it for free. Little did I know the image was going to be picked up internationally by news agencies who used it on their websites, TV news items and print media.
My rule now is; no matter what the device that captures the image, it's always worth something to someone. So travel light, and always travel with a means of capturing what your eyes can see, as you never know the true value of your image until someone else wants it. Bring out the big guns if you are solely out there to take a picture or three, keep a selfie pole in your bag and a means to promote your picture if you want to build up a social following or make a few coins.