Photography Travel Technology

Why You Should Rent a Camera for Your Next Trip

Taking great travel photos should be affordable.

When you’re setting off on a trip, one of the most important things you can pack is a camera. These days everyone’s camera also happens to be their phone, and while mobile photography technology continues to improve, there’s just no beating the image quality of professional equipment when it comes to capturing your memories. Of course, there is one huge problem with professional camera gear: It’s insanely expensive.

Depending on how often you travel, where you’re going, and your level of photography experience, it’s not always worth it to purchase the specific camera or lens you’re pining for. With prices for lenses and cameras well into the thousands, buying gear is often too costly. Which is why renting gear, even though it may seem like a bad investment in the long run, is actually the best thing you can do to improve your photography. Here are the top reasons you should rent gear for your next trip.

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It’s Easy

Not only can gear rental companies ship the gear right to your house or the hotel at your destination, they also make it extremely simple to figure out what equipment you’ll need. Websites like have organized packages for beginners and advanced photographers with gear recommendations for every occasion, whether you want to capture sprawling landscapes or focus in on wildlife.

It’s Cheaper

Instead of paying thousands of dollars for equipment you’re only going to need once, why not pay a fraction of that? You can rent some cameras for as little as $10 a day, which makes it a lot easier to fit in your budget and even add some lenses and filters you might not have bought if you were making a permanent purchase.

Every Destination Requires Something Different

When you’re renting gear, you’re able to cater your equipment to your destination. If you know you want to capture the Grand Canyon’s immense size, get a wide-angle lens. Want to focus in on the artistic details at the Sisteen Chapel—telephoto it is. Everything from underwater gear to a GoPro is at your fingertips for a much lower price.

Practice Makes Perfect

Renting camera gear is not only a smart move for a trip, it can also expose you to different kinds of equipment and brands, allowing you to figure out what works best for you and your photography. By the time you and your budget are ready to add the next big piece to your personal camera collection, you’ll know exactly what you need and how to use it.

There are many websites where you can rent camera equipment such as Borrow Lenses and, but if you’d prefer to see the equipment in person, ask around at your local camera store and see if they offer rental services.

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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.

By Jamie Ditaranto

Jamie Ditaranto is a traveler in a love triangle with writing and photography. Follow the drama on Twitter @jamieditaranto and Instagram @jamieditaranto.

Ditaranto joined SmarterTravel in 2015. She loves ecotourism, cities with history, and discovering local hangouts. Though she likes all the continents equally, she holds a special place in her heart for rainy little islands.

Her work has also appeared online at USA Today, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and other publications. You can check out her photography on her website.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "My instant camera comes in handy for giving instant gifts to new friends."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Befriending penguins in Antarctica."

Travel Motto: "You have to get the hard places out of the way first."

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "On short flights, the window. For long flights, the aisle."

Email Jamie at