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Why a Smartphone Is the Best Camera for Your Vacation

Why a Smartphone Is the Best Camera for Your Vacation

Most people want to take at least a few photos on their vacation, but not everyone wants the fuss of packing and keeping track of an extra piece of electronic equipment. My digital SLR camera takes beautiful, crisp photos, but when I’m exploring a new city, or going to a fancy dinner in Paris, a bulky camera bag is the last thing I want to carry around. With that in mind, have you ever wondered if a smartphone is the best camera for your vacation?

Recently, Apple and Samsung have released smartphone cameras that are capable of capturing incredible detail, even in low light. For me, seeing what is possible with these advanced new cameras has finally pushed me to take the plunge, and abandon my DSLR when traveling. Have you considered leaving your digital camera at home and simply using the built-in camera on your smart phone, too?

Here are a few reasons why a smartphone is the best camera for your vacation.

It’s always with you. Always.

When you travel, your smartphone is likely already serving several purposes beyond just being a calling device. It’s a watch, a GPS, a weather-checker, an email and social media connector, and even a music library. It’s unlikely you go many places without your smartphone, and it’s second nature to always have it on hand. (If you’re like many people, the challenge of owning one of these devices is actually limiting how much time you spend on it.) How many times have you gone somewhere and accidentally left the camera in the hotel room or in the car? Using your phone can help ensure that you’ll have a great camera handy when those moments-to-remember come up.

Get high-quality pictures with a device that's always with you.

Get high-quality pictures with a device that’s always with you.

It takes surprisingly high-quality photos.

New phones now have many photography features, including smart auto focus and multi-frame image processing, which help you capture sharper images with ease. And the most recent smartphone releases come with a 12 megapixel camera: That’s a resolution that is sufficient for getting a clear 20-inch by 24-inch print!

No messing around with memory cards or uploads to your computer.

You always have the option, of course, to upload your photos at any time to your computer. But with your smart phone, you can also instantly upload images to Facebook, send them in an instant message, email them to yourself or others, or back them up on the Cloud. No cords or plugins required.

Interesting apps can make your images look professional in no time.

Apps like Instagram and Snapseed (available for both Apple and Android devices) are used by millions of hobby and professional photographers every day. You can crop, add frames, apply filters, and share your photos right from the apps themselves, plus edited photos are automatically added to your phone’s photo library. There are hundreds of photo editing applications available. You never know: You might be inspired to get more into photography through your mobile device than through an actual camera!

Give your pictures a professional flair with photo applications.

Give your pictures a professional flair with photo applications.

A cool photo finish.

In addition to being able to send any photo in your phone’s photo library to any camera shop or retailer (like Target or Walgreens) to be developed in regular 4×6 prints, Instagram’s unique square format makes for beautiful, artistic prints, too. Check out MixTiles — an app that allows you to select and order three professionally-printed images from your Instagram library that are mounted on lightweight 8-inch by 8-inch backer board for easy hanging.

Postagram prints and mails your postcards to your recipients.

Postagram prints and mails your postcards to your recipients.

A 21st-Century take on the “wish you were here” postcard.

You can send personalized postcards to friends and family in less than 30 seconds – without stamps or trying to find a post office. Postagram is an app that lets you upload vacation images from Instagram, Facebook, or your phone’s photo library and then add a short personal note. You enter the recipient’s address, and voila! — Postagram prints your photo and message on high-quality glossy paper, and mails it directly for you. It is a fast, convenient, and personal way to keep in touch with those you love while you’re away.

Gone are the days of grainy, tiny images on small screens. Today, even those who consider themselves photo enthusiasts have begun declaring that a smartphone is the best camera for your vacation. With all that your smartphone can do, maybe this is the year to take your vacation photography to new heights! If you have your phone in hand, I’m ready to help you find the perfect place to start taking pictures. Contact me today to help you plan your summer getaway – just click here!

Jan Mauer
With professionalism and her consistent ability to curate exceptional travel experiences for her clients, Jan Mauer of Exciting Vacations has built her reputation as a Travel Agent who specializes in luxury. Jan has spent more than three decades as trusted advisor to those who require both opulence and exoticism during their world travels. Her expertise about international culture and 5-star getaways ensures that every travel adventure of which you partake is a bespoke experience fulfilling your unique requirements for both luxury and authenticity. Call Jan at (732) 613-8640 or email her here for one-on-one guidance from one of luxury travel's foremost experts.


  1. I couldn’t agree more with this! I have a DSLR camera for use when I’m working but for general travel my iPhone is amazing. One great tip I share with my followers is to take the free photography class at your closest Apple store. They are free and run almost every day. You sign up on their website. Great article!

    • Wow – I had no idea about the free photography classes at Apple stores. Thank you for reading, and for sharing this helpful tip, Sandra!

  2. Thanks for letting me feel better about leaving my expensive camera at home! I love the idea of the Postgram! I haven’t heard of that app!

    • Hi Elaine! Yes, Postagram is such a clever app idea, and makes it very easy to send postcards during international trips. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I’m using both my DSLR and my iphone… Its harder to do when traveling by myself.. and I’m sure people are thinking that I’ve lost my mind. Maybe this is the year I find the lens that can attach to my iphone, so that I can zoom in and get the shots I like using my DSLR. Thanks for a great article Jan

  4. I always rely on my phone’s camera when I’m on vacation, and sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out by not having a fancier camera to capture my amazing memories. I’m happy to know I’m doing just fine with my iPhone!

    • Absolutely, Amy! And with the newest Galaxy phones and iPhones, you can almost guarantee that your photos will be beautiful. Thanks for your comment!


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