Use your digital camera as a notepad

Digital compact cameras nowadays are really versatile; with stills and video, they already do double duty. But how about using it as a super-fast notepad as well?

With great resolution from cheap 5 mega pixel cameras (or more...), they will capture a lot of text in a single picture. You can then zoom in to read it. So, in a single moment, you can capture any of these for later use:

Public transport time tables

Snap a photo of the bus or commuter train time table near your hotel, the beach, or museum. This way you can easily zoom in on the photo later and figure out when you need to be back at the stop. Maximizes your time at the beach if you're wanting to catch the last bus back. Or, during winter, stops your butt from freezing solid while waiting for the vaporetto in Venice... That's a personal experience I'd rather not have again.

Your parking spot

As you make your way to your flight, turn around and snap photos of: Your parking spot number sign, the row label, the parking garage floor sign, and any signs you will see going back to your car. Makes finding your way back when you're badly jet lagged much simpler!

Local directions



If you're looking at finding that cool bar or restaurant again, go ahead and take a photo of the front of it. Then walk over to the nearest street corner and photograph the street signs. Now you can ask anyone you meet about the way back, and you don't even have to worry about how you'll pronounce those foreign street names either.

Share your digital camera tips

What do you use your digital camera for besides photos and video of your trip? Please share your tips in the comments below.

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Comments are closed


Ordered newest to oldest.

Great post! Good tips-especially in the car park! I always forget where I've parked!

Positive World Travel on 01 July, 2010

Great Ideas

I love the local directions idea. I am always getting lost. Thanks!

Ed Forteau on 16 March, 2009

I knew it wasn't just me

Dominique, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Taking photos of the street and information signs is a new habit, but it certainly helps. I've got a memory like sieve about names of piazzas and alleyways, so it really helps.

Jack on 04 February, 2009

I often take photos of signs near site I'm photographing. That way, I have the correct names, spellings, historic information (if I've taken a photo of an historical marker), etc. when I go back later to write an article.

Dominique on 03 February, 2009

Wish I'd thought of that

Thanks Mark, that's something I wish I'd thought of myself. Would help me out quite a bit, thanks for sharing.

Jack on 29 January, 2009

Also good for indexing photos when travelling by taking photos of the entrance signs, explanations etc which helps decode photos later on.

Mark H on 28 January, 2009


Hi Linda

That's a great tip too. Especially with younger kids, it'd really help as it's sort of hard to describe them when speaking a foreign language.

Better a little cautious than sorry when it comes to kids.

Jack on 27 January, 2009

These are great ideas. I've used my digital camera to help me remember what my kids are wearing when we're out and about. Should something happen, I have a current-day photo of them in the clothes they had on for the day.

Linda on 26 January, 2009



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