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If you have time to do a little advanced research, you can probably find convenient places in each city to rent whatever equipment you need. We’ve done that several times in the U.S. and gotten first-rate equipment at very reasonable prices. Not sure how it will work out of the U.S., but it’s worth investigating. It will save you a great deal of hassle going through security checks.
And, as Earl recounts, the odd of things getting beat-up and/or stolen in checked baggage are very very high. Since you can no longer lock checked baggage the pilfer rate has climbed steadily.
Be sure to check on how many carry on items are allowed on each flight. We had to repack on the lobby floor Heathrow Terminal because flights leaving London only permitted a single carry on item; your laptop, or a purse were considered an “item.” If you have camera and gear bags as well as an over-nighter or laptop you may find yourself in trouble.