What’s a vacation without coming home with thousands of pictures? Most cameras worth bringing are cumbersome, fragile, and heavy to lug around. If you’re worried about packing space and keeping your luggage lightweight, you might be less than thrilled to pack a heavy, expensive, and easily breakable camera with you to your dream destination. The good news is that unless you are a professional photographer, you really don’t have to pack a camera with you on vacation. These days, your smartphone is very likely the best camera for your trip.

Here are seven reasons why using your phone might be the best thing that ever happened to your vacation photos.

1. It’s always with you

When you travel, your smartphone is likely already serving several purposes beyond just being a way to make calls and send texts. It’s a watch. A GPS device. A weather-checker. An email and social media connector. A music library. It’s unlikely you go many places without it, and it’s second nature to just have it on hand. How many times have you gone somewhere and accidentally left the camera in the hotel room or in the car?Some of the most memorable shots are the ones that just happen. Unintended, unplanned, and only available for a brief moment. A monkey randomly walks across your path on the way to dinner? Encounter your favorite celebrity in line at the gelato stand? Using your phone can help ensure that you’ll have a great camera handy in seconds when those moments-to-remember come up. 

It’s also a means to awesome apps that can enhance your vacation experience.

smartphone photography

2. Nothing extra to lug around

Nobody wants to carry around an extra piece of fragile, not waterproof, large, bulky, gear when they are on vacation. A proper camera screams two things, I am a tourist, and I have some money. Neither are statements most tourists want to be yelling while trying to experience a new destination. Where do you put it? Do you carry a dedicated camera backpack everywhere you go and take the time to pull it out each time you want to take a photo? Or do you throw it on a strap around your neck like a big “I am new here” sign? Where do you put it when you are eating? Having a swim at the beach? Do you make an extra trip to run it home first, or risk having it stolen? No thanks. A phone is simple, discreet, often waterproof, and if you have it set up correctly it automatically stores all your photos online. This means even if the worst happens and someone runs off with your phone, you don’t lose all the memories of your vacation like you would with a standard camera.

3. It takes surprisingly high-quality photos

Lots of people are shocked by this. Some phones now have a 12 megapixel (or higher) camera. That’s high-resolution enough to get a clear 20” x 24” print! Great phone cameras no longer come only with the most expensive phone either. The new Google Pixel 4a has a 12.2 mp camera, the best up-to-the-moment image processing software Google has to offer, and costs under $400. That is a steal for the camera alone.

4. No messing around with memory cards or uploads to your computer

You always have the option, of course, to upload your photos at any time to your computer. But with your smartphone, you can also instantly upload images to Facebook, Instagram, send them in text, email them to yourself or others, or back them up, often automatically with no extra work for you. No cords or plugins required, no extra work.

Turkey hot air balloons

5. Apps galore can make your images look pro with one click

Free apps like Instagram are used by millions of hobby and professional photographers every day. You can crop, add frames, apply filters, and share your photos right from the app itself, plus edited photos are automatically added to your phone’s photo library. We recommend Adobe Lightroom on the App store or Google Play for professional grade results. But there are hundreds of photo editing applications available, so try a few. You never know: you might be inspired to get more into photography through your mobile device than through an actual camera!

6. A cool photo finish

In addition to being able to send any photo in your phone’s photo library to any camera shop or retailer (like Target or Walgreens) to be developed in regular 4×6 prints, Instagram’s unique square format makes for beautiful, artistic prints, too. Check out MixTiles — a free app that allows you to select and order three professionally-printed images from your Instagram library that are mounted on lightweight 8” x 8” backer board for easy hanging — all for just $49. Each additional tile is just $9.

travel camera

7. A modern take on the “wish you were here” postcard

You can send personalized postcards to friends and family in less than 30 seconds – without stamps or trying to find a post office. Postagram is a free app that lets you upload vacation images from Instagram, Facebook, or your phone’s photo library and then add a short personal note. You enter the recipient’s address, and voila! — Postagram prints your photo and message on high-quality glossy paper and mails it directly for you. It is a fast, convenient, and personal way to keep in touch with those you love while you’re away.

Gone are the days of grainy, tiny images on small screens. Today, even those who consider themselves photo enthusiasts love the convenience and creative challenge of using their phones to capture their most treasured photographic moments. With all that your smartphone can do, maybe this is the year to take your vacation photography to new heights!

Ready to plan the vacation of your dreams?

Get prepared to take the best photos of your life on your next vacation. We’ll plan the trip that is a perfect fit for your desired location and budget. Get in touch with us and let’s get planning!


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