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Photography. Travel. Adventure. For many enthousiasts, the opportunities available for photographers seem nothing short of exotic. But how many have the budget to spend 4-10k on a photography trip with the Maine Workshops or National Geographic?
That’s what I thought.
When your budget doesn’t look like the late American stimulus package, how do you manage a summer photography trip to include a variety of exciting and visual opportunities?
A workable photo trip is manageable. You simply have to proiritize what things are most important to you, and what you can compromise on. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before booking that plane ticket:
Many non profit groups are happy to pay the expenses of a photographer while they are in country if you just get yourself over there. While you may not be entirely flexible and in control of your schedule, there are just as many opportunities to shoot – and you may come back home with a deeper experience.
Tourist season is the most expensive for traveling, but depending on your location, you may only have to deal with more humidity or a few additional rainy days.
Sometimes group fares can be more reasonable than for an individual. While traveling in a group may provide better rates and additional safety, the disadvantages include sightseeing according to the entire group, and less alone time.
Hostels internationally are typically the least expensive way to find rooms. You don’t have to settle for a run down, ghetto hostel either. Quality and prices cover a wide range. Checking out hostel.com is a great way to find whatever quality and price you are looking for.
Before you head out on your trip, make sure you know in country transportation. Taxi’s can get expensive fast, but if you can find your way through the subway systems you may find a faster and more economic way of transport. To find maps of the rail ahead of time, check out any major cities website. While you may not be able to take pictures out the window like a cab, many rail stops are near your typical tourist sights.
Exploring one city is by far the least expensive way to plan a photography trip. While you may think that there could be less variety and photo opportunities, don’t be fooled. Major cities have a plethora of sights, experiences, and places that could take up weeks of your trip.
A few hours of research on the internet and you will find a number of tips from travelors who have already explored your destination city. From the experience of others, you can often find the best and most inexpensive ways to travel, places to eat, and sights to see.
Typically, backpacking trips require more sense of adventure and a willingness to rough it on occasion. You bring fewer things to give additional portability, but glizt and glamour is not the main goal. You may be able to travel inexpensively and live on the go, just remember that everything you bring, you carry.