Tips and inexpensive tools for taking Instagram-worthy pictures on a solo trip without having a professional follow you around!
It’s been over a year since I went to Belize on my first trip abroad, which also doubled as my first time traveling solo. After losing track of the beautiful photos and video footage I took, I rediscovered them not too long ago and thought I’d share them with y’all as well as some valuable tips and tools that helped me take them all by myself (for the most part), using only my iPhone. I purchased four inexpensive (under $25, total) little tools from Amazon for this trip and will let you know which were helpful in making it seem like a had a dedicated photographer come along and which ones you can skip. Belize is a gorgeous, culturally-rich country that is very accessible to those of us in the U.S. and I think everyone should go, if able. Next week, I’ll share a Belize travel guide based on everything I learned and did during my trip!
There are a few token pictures you should take when traveling that don’t require any equipment:
#1: A view from your plane window, usually during descent when you can get sky and scenery in one shot- This is our descent upon arrival in Belize City, which is on the mainland.
#2: A selfie with a scenic backdrop -This one is from my first morning on the island.
#3: Shots of local food – This is breakfast one morning on the beach.
#4: A flat lay – before boating to the resort, I purchased local spices, sauces, liquor, and wines from Caribbean Spice Belize and Traveller’s in Belize City. I wrote about everything I got from Caribbean Spice Belize here.
…OR #sunRISEgoals – This is from the beach facing my cottage on the island.
Tools for Taking Solo Photos
I picked up a few, small things on Amazon to help get great pictures during this trip. Each item is lightweight (won’t take up space in your luggage) and under $10! I highly recommend them for taking non-selfie portraits, underwater photos, and action shots.
Notice the little strap around my wrist in some photos? I used this bluetooth timer remote from Amazon to get pictures from a distance without having to press the self-timer button then run into the shot.
I used this waterproof phone bag, also from Amazon to protect my iPhone while out kayaking, boating to dive sites, and even underwater while snorkeling. I snapped the selfie above as well as quite a bit of underwater video with no damage to my phone while using the bag. Be sure to check the specifics of it if you’ll be deep-sea diving, as pressure and depth impacts the performance of the bag as well as your phone!
The last tool I recommend is this compact cell phone tripod for getting photos like the two above without having to try to balance your phone on sand or other terrain. It comes in a set with the bluetooth timer remote mentioned above and they work perfectly together.
And, sometimes, you’ve just got to ask someone to take the picture for you. 🙂 This is me practicing before my first snorkeling excursion. One tool that I didn’t use as much in Belize but definitely did during my last trip to New York is this good ol’ selfie stick. Since I had the remote and tripod, it wasn’t necessary, however, I think it would be great for groups! I got mine after the craze had died down and pretty much only use it when I travel. Please let me know if you find this kind of post helpful. I would also love to know if you have any hacks or tips to share–whether they’re related to how to take Instagram-worthy photos while traveling solo–or not! Thanks for reading!