Most digital cameras today are small and durable enough to take just about anywhere. Why not put that technology to good use?
Step 1: Use it for rentals Snap photos of the existing blemishes on rental cars and in apartments to protect yourself from having to pay unwarranted fees or losing a security deposit.
Step 2: Find your way back Take pictures of landmarks and signs near your hotel or parking spot when you travel to find your way back after a day of sightseeing.
TIP: Showing a photo of where you're staying to a cab driver can save time if you don't remember the address or speak the language.
Step 3: Keep track of kids Snap a pic of your kids when you're on vacation or in a big crowd. If they get lost, you'll be able to show a police officer what they look like.
Step 4: Use it as a digital notepad Make digital notes to yourself -- take pictures of hairstyles you want to copy, knitting patterns, or even recipes you might try.
TIP: Respect copyright and privacy laws when taking photographs of people or protected material.
Step 5: Take a "before" photo Take a "before" photo of a keyboard or other gadget before you clean or repair it so you'll know how to put it back together.
Step 6: Keep maps handy Take a closeup shot of the map at an amusement park, airport, or mall so you can check your location without stopping at every kiosk.
Step 7: Give your camera an i.d. Keep a photo of your contact information under the word "reward" in your camera's permanent memory so it can be easily returned if you leave it behind.
Step 8: Keep in touch with loved ones Send a camera phone picture of where you are and what you're doing to your parents or friends throughout the day -- it's easier and more fun than texting.
Step 9: Play games Take photos of familiar places to make clues for a treasure hunt that will lead your kid or your better half to a fun surprise. There's almost no limit to the fun and practical uses of a digital camera.
FACT: In 1988, the Fuji DS-1P became the first digital camera to capture images as computerized files.