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Holiday Photography - Hints And Tips

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For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere the long-awaited Summer is just around the corner, and that means that millions of us will expanding our carbon footprints by be jetting off to exotic foreign places such as Majorca and Ibiza to eat chips, drink lager and annoy the locals. Taking holiday snaps is as much a part of the holiday experience as sunburn and dysentery, so naturally you'll want to take a camera (unless you're me; I take about a dozen).

Digital cameras are small and expensive, making them both easily lost and a perfect target for thieves. However there's no reason why a lost, stolen or damaged camera should be a total disaster.

Get travel insurance - but read the small print
Travel insurance is always a good idea when holidaying abroad, since for a single payment of around £10-£15 it covers you for things such as last-minute cancellations, unexpected medical or legal expenses and replacement of lost luggage, especially important if you're flying out of Heathrow Terminal 5. They'll even pay for your body to be shipped home if the sunburn gets the better of you.

You should be aware however that most single-trip travel insurance policies have a limit on the amount that can be claimed for a single item. In many cases this single item limit is as low as £300, and cameras with accessories such as lenses are usually considered to be a single item for the purposes of a claim. In other words most standard travel insurance will barely cover the price of a decent compact with a large memory card, and certainly won't cover a digital SLR and lenses. In most cases you will have the option to buy extra cover for high-value items, but the upper limit is usually around £750, which won't cover some more expensive kit.

Your best bet is to check your home contents insurance (assuming you have some, and if you don't you really, really should), because it may cover you already for high-value portable items taken out of the home, and may include foreign travel. If you're not sure call your insurance company, because adding high-value camera cover isn't expensive. You'll also usually get "new-for-old" cover this way, and the price of that 6-megapixel camera you bought two years ago will now get you a 10-megapixel camera with image stabilisation.

There are also several specialist photographic insurance companies that will insure your kit for foreign trips, but as a rule these are intended for professional photographers with really expensive kit. If you need one of these a quick Google search under "camera travel insurance" will find you several names. I'm not going to recommend one though, because I haven't tried them.

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