There are a whole bunch of good reasons to have your digital camera with you when you travel, because you can instantly see how your pictures turned out, and decide whether you need to adjust your settings or technique, or simply take the shot again. Many digital cameras also let you take short movies or record audio, any of which might come in handy on a trip. Regular cameras are another whole story, so we'll mostly focus on digital photography this time.

First thing you have to do is define your photo capturing, storage, and viewing needs. For capture, in addition to your camera, batteries, and a charger, you'll need to bring enough cards to get the images you want without worrying about card space. If you have a portable storage device or a notebook, you can offload your cards each evening, or even as you shoot. If not, your cards will need to store all the images from your trip. A quick review of your images on your camera's LCD can weed out the worst shots, but it's not good enough to help you to decide which ones are definitely keepers.

Travelling with digital camera gear can be as simple or complex as you make it. Most often you will be leaving for a trip with a rat's nest of cards, readers, cables, and batteries in your bag but by choosing your equipment carefully and thinking about your travel needs, you can simplify what you bring to what's essential for your enjoyment. Make sure you carry your camera on the plane, along with at least one or two lenses and some film cards. That way, even if your luggage is lost, you'll have your critical gear. Furthermore, if you still plan on bringing speed films, make sure you also have them in your carry on bags, as a new x-ray process that is used to look at checked baggage will damage or "fog" any speed film.

Another advantage of bringing a portable storage device or a laptop is that it can be hooked up to your host's TV set to show off your images. Every photographer on vacation should remember that people really like to see themselves having fun. Whether your true love is nature photography or street scenes, make sure to capture some compelling images of your travelling companions, it'll liven up the trip for everyone.

Another concern while travelling is theft. How to protect your camera? First of all, do not advertise your camera. Keep your camera in a bag, preferably a plain, not the one that has Nikon or Canon plastered all over it. It's much safer for the camera anyway. Don't leave it dangling from your neck, either. A quick cut of a knife and the strap is worthless, the camera is gone. Always be aware of your surroundings and remember you're on a vacation trying to have some fun and enjoying the time with your family. Don't let your vacation make a thief happy, too.

Finally, remember that unless you're travelling primarily for photography, you're just shooting for fun, so if you miss a shot or something breaks, don't sweat it. No matter how much you plan, things will sometimes go wrong. But over time, travelling with a digital camera will provide you, your family, and friends with plenty of enjoyable moments and memories.