You have travel plans in view or who knows, you’ve already booked that flight. Of course, you are certain that you aren’t leaving your camera bag behind. If this is your first time traveling with a camera, the question of if you can take your camera bag on the plane must have crossed your mind. As you would find, yes, you can indeed take your camera bag on the plane. However, you are traveling with a gimbal for the first time and you are not quite sure if the same rule is applicable for gimbals. Your gear would be incomplete without a gimbal. How else are you supposed to take steady shots and keep your camera stabilized? Of more significance is the fact that you are somewhat clueless as to how to even travel with the gimbal. Not to worry, though, as this post covers all you need to know about traveling safely with a gimbal. Let’s get right into it.
5 Rules to abide by when traveling with a gimbal
1. Keep the batteries away
Gimbals make use of high power batteries and the policy of most airlines kicks against traveling with such batteries in the hold of the plane. While the rule is often always targeted at batteries with low quality as they tend to give rise to problems when they are depressurized, you still shouldn’t leave your batteries in the gimbal. Yes, not even if they are the original gimbal’s batteries. It doesn’t matter whether or not you choose to keep your gimbal as a carry on or as hold, you should still take out the batteries and keep it in your camera bag.
While storing the batteries in your camera bag, make sure to go about it the right way. Do not just stash the batteries away carelessly. Imagine getting to your destination and discovering that your battery became faulty in transit. That surely makes for a horror story, so, you have to offer a double layer of protection to them by storing them in their battery charger. A gimbal’s battery charger protects the fragile spots of the battery, that is, the connectors at the top and bottom of the charger. This way, you are sure to minimize, if not, eliminate all forms of potential damage to your gimbal battery.
2. Get a durable storage
Of course, you are not about to travel with a naked gimbal. It has to be stored in a durable case especially if you would be storing it in the hold of an aircraft. When items are in the hold, you have little or no power over their safety and so, investing in a durable case is your best bet. In case the thought of having two different cases for your equipment doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are many durable cases large enough to accommodate other photography equipment in addition to the gimbal. This way, you minimize the number of luggage you have while also being assured of providing optimal safety to your gimbal and other equipment.
3. Keep your bags locked
This ought to be a no-brainer but lots of people have been guilty of not putting locks on their storage cases. They almost often always pay for it. You don’t want that to be you. This is another reason why you should get a durable storage case. Most ones come with a lock secure enough for any potential thief to lose interest as they wouldn’t be able to get past it. It is important to note, though, that when you place photography cases like this in the hold of an aircraft, airport security has the legal rights to look inside. It doesn’t matter if you make use of a lock or not, they can go as far as breaking the locks just to double-check what’s in your luggage. So, you might want to be prepared for that.
4. Be on the lookout for media rates and take advantage of them
Not many things would hurt as much as chatting with a fellow photographer or videographer and finding out that you could have paid less for your luggage. Not many people know about the media rates that airlines offer for photography gear and this shouldn’t be the case. What a media rate simply means is that camera equipment has lesser chargers than the rate of standard luggage. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of this? Surely not you. Not all airlines offer media rates, so, before you book that particular airline, do your research. Simply flashing your entire camera gear would, in most cases, get the job done. You don’t necessarily have to be a journalist before you can get to enjoy this perk. What’s more, this tip remains applicable whether or not you would be traveling with your gimbal.
5. Invest in a good gimbal
If you don’t already have one or are just looking to add a new one to your collection, the best way to make traveling with a gimbal easy is to invest in one that is well-suited for traveling in the first place. There are quite a number of boxes that a gimbal that is best for traveling ought to tick. You should be particularly mindful of this if you are certain you would be doing a lot of traveling with your photography gear. Some of these boxes are that the gimbal has to be lightweight, high precision when it comes to capturing motion, strong battery life, how much weight it can carry, amongst many others. Ready to know more about gimbals like this? Checking out this list of the 5 best DSLR gimbals for travel is a good place to start. There, you get to see some of the hottest DSLR gimbals on the market. You can then go on to choose which gimbal best suits your needs and fits into your budget.
There you have it! Traveling with a gimbal is totally doable and no, you don’t have to stress yourself out while at it. Abide by the simple rules above and have yourself a hassle-free trip!