Put down the camera and just revel in your experiences, says Fabien Riggall, founder of Secret Cinema

WE THINK... • October 2016

Should you leave the camera at home on your next trip?

There are two types of holidaymakers – those who feel the need to capture every moment and others who prefer just to enjoy the experience. We asked two travellers on either side of the divide to share their views

Leave it at home, says Fabien Riggall, founder of Secret Cinema

Imagine heading on holiday with a small overnight bag, one book, no camera, no screens. You arrive at the airport, get in a taxi and head to your hotel. You’re miles away from the frenetic motions of working life. You look at your companion – they seem so happy. You think of taking a photograph but then your mind wanders to when you first met – and you realise your memory is so much more powerful.

This is my dream of how travel should be – to go on holiday without taking a single photograph. We first banned phones at Secret Cinema for our production of Back to the Future two years ago: more than 4,000 phones were taken from our guests every night and kept in little lockers. We had hundreds of comments thanking us for giving them six hours of their lives back.  

In this digital age, where everyday reality becomes more and more framed, our hunger for mystery is growing. 

When we travel we enter a new world, discovering secret places and stumbling across little adventures. Imagine how much richer the experience would be if you didn’t stop to take photographs. If you lived in the real world, discovering new places to see without checking a guidebook. What a dream that would be…


Sometimes that perfect moment is just too beautiful not to capture, says Clerkenwell Boy

Pack it, says Clerkenwell Boy, Instagrammer @clerkenwellboyec1

As someone who’s constantly on the go, taking photos and sharing them on social media is a great way to document my daily adventures. And I’m the same on holiday. I always carry a spare battery pack and memory card because I end up taking so many photos.

Some people say you should just enjoy the moment – and I definitely do (try) – but sometimes that perfect sunset is just too beautiful not to capture, and when the light fades (as well as my memory) at least there will be a beautiful picture to look back on. When I get asked for tips on where to go, I can refer back to places that I could have easily forgotten.

There are currently 100 million photos on Instagram with the hashtag #travel, and there’s no sign of that slowing down.

I love looking through other people’s travel photos for endless hotel and restaurant inspiration. Over the past few years I’ve ditched out-of-date guidebooks in favour of finding well-curated online tips from fellow travel enthusiasts. If you only have a few precious days and limited budget, travel photos are a great way to help you plan ahead.

Interviews by Katie Gatens

This article has been tagged Opinion, Technology