In 4 months my wife and I are going to Sandals in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, for our 25th anniv. We're not frequent travelers, this is only our 2nd time out of the USA. I don't expect we'll travel frequently in the future either, so I'd really like to take a lot of quality pictures of our trip.
My present camera is a nice digital point & shoot, but it's disappointed me so many times I'm getting rid of it, I can't trust it for my Jamaica vacation.
I'm looking at a DSLR (Canon EOS 500D) which will run about $700. When in Jamaica, we don't plan to leave the resort, but obviously this camera will have to stay put when we're doing certain things like going in the ocean, etc. Am I asking for trouble? If it got stolen, it would ruin the trip.
Am I crazy for considering this? I'm open to tips & advice. Our room is supposed to have a safe, but I've read people saying "don't leave valuables in the room, even in the safe." Not encouraging.
Get insurance for it. Carry it around in a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag (go to an Army-Navy store and get something old and dirty-looking). If you leave it in the hotel, leave it in the safe. Even if it gets stolen out of the safe, your insurance carrier can't deny you did everything possible to safeguard it. Rather than a few large memory cards, get a lot of small ones. Stash the memory cards separately. That way if the worst happens, only the shots on the card in the camera are lost. Think about getting an on-the-go device to make backups (these are essentially portable hard drives that have memory card slots, so you can back up the card directly to the HD without a computer). Maybe hang on to the P&S as a backup.
Most importantly, make your decision early, especially if you haven't used an SLR before. DSLRs are truly great tools, but the learning curve between them and a P&S is quite steep. Give yourself plenty of time to learn your new camera. You can't really find its strengths until you put it in one of the manual modes, and a lot of missed shots is to be expected until you get the hang of it.
Thank you Dag for the quick reply. I was thinking about insurance after I posted. I like the idea of the multiple, smaller SD cards too. Good tips.
You should have absolutely no problems at a Sandals resort. But, as is true in any travel situation, use your best judgment. If you end up in a situation that feels shady, protect your camera by not making it conspicuous. In some countries, and I don't think this is true of Jamaica, people will attempt to steal cameras by driving by on motorbikes and snatching cameras as they speed past. Avoid this by paying attention and not walking right next to the road.
But, I have been to Sandals in Jamaica and had zero problems. You shouldn't either.
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My wife and I have already decided we're not leaving the resort, unless it's by shuttle to one of the other Sandals...and even that's iffy. We are very excited about the vaca, and me even more so for the chance to take some once in a lidetime pictures.
If you're staying on property then you are completely fine. I wouldn't worry at all! they pride themselves in their customer service and do everything they can to make the property a safe a relaxing place to be.
We definitely hit up a few properties when we were there and never felt like it was a problem.
Enjoy your trip!
You will have a great time in Jamaica-- it is a lush green island and you will be safe. This may stimulate your want and need to travel in the future!
As others have pointed out you can stick your camera in the safe when you go to the beach.
While in Jamaica you must go to Dunns Rivers Falls-- you can line up the trip from your hotel. It is a must do and they will take photos of you in the falls if you want to purchase them.
Have fun and drink a Red Stripe for me!
Thanks for all the encouraging words all! I am SO PSYCHED for this vacation!
I believe Jamaica is safe based on my travel there before. 😊 Depends on your location really. As what was already said, Just use your best judgment! 😊
Have a great vacation there.
Hey dave good luck on your trip. Dag is spot on about getting to know your new camera before you are in the midst of it. I had a new video camera on a trip to Florida beaches many summers ago and didn't know what was causing the bloody thing to malfunction every time I took it down to the beach. As it turned out it was simple physics in that taking the camera from the cool air conditioned hotel room on to the hot and humid beach caused condensation on the internal lenses and bollocks evry thing up. When I found out what was happening I would leave it on the balcony (in the shade and under a towel ) and had no more problems.