A 35mm compact film camera (ricoh gr1, fits comfortably in my pocket) with about 5-10 rolls of film depending on length of stay.
Wait, hear me out!
This has allowed me to leave the laptop, laptop charger, international power adapter, camera charger, camera/usb cable, wide/zoom/prime lens kit, sd card reader, and spare battery and spare sd card at home. When I am travelling and walking about, I have a camera I barely notice in my pocket rather than a 25lbs kit bag over my shoulder. Less of a robbery target this way too, imo.
Once I get back to the hotel I am not swapping batteries to ensure both are charged, offloading the photos off my sd card, picking out keepers vs throwaways from the 300 photos taken that day, processing the keepers, saving them, wiping the sd card so it's ready for the next day, etc.
Now I just point, shoot, and forget it. The photos come out looking great (for the most part) without processing each digital RAW file. I have so much more time to be "in the moment", rather than fiddling with menus, swapping giant SLR lenses out of my 25lbs kit bag, etc. When I get back to the hotel I can relax or spend time with my wife instead of being hunched over my computer.
Once I get home I mail the rolls off, and 3-5 days Iater I have all the scans uploaded online. 2 days after that my prints and negatives arrive. At this point I start forgetting some of the vacation so it's great to go through the prints with my wife and relive our vacation.
- 24-36 shots per roll, have to shoot carefully
- once a film is loaded, your iso speed is locked for that roll. I try to stay at iso 400 due to this.
- $12-15/roll to scan and develop which adds up, unless you diy develop
- your entire set of rolls can get lost in the mail if you choose to mail order develop. hasn't happened to me yet but it is always a worry.