Travel Tips

Lost Memories? Backing Up Your Pictures While Traveling

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Have you ever had a trip half ruined when your camera or phone was stolen, damaged, or lost? I have! And for me it’s not just the cost of replacement or the inconvenience of doing without it – it’s all the pictures that are gone, impossible to replace, unless you’ve instagrammed every moment of your trip. (Picture below is the only Alaska picture I had after I lost my camera on a mileage run)

As close as I got to the Alaska Mountains

That’s why I’ve tried to get in the habit on trips of taking a few minutes every night to copy all the pictures I’ve taken that day to a flash drive. I then make sure I don’t keep the flash drive in the same bag as the camera, so it would take me losing all my luggage permanently to lose the photos.

Of course what works best will depend on the individual, here are the easiest ways I know to back your photos up:

  • Transfer to a flash drive
  • Download to your computer
  • Upload automatically to Dropbox. Some phones and wifi enabled cameras can be set up to automatically upload all new pictures to your Dropbox account. If that isn’t an option, you can also set your Dropbox settings to grab all new photos when you connect your device to your computer.
  • Turn on Google+ Auto Backup

I’d love to hear of other ways you’ve found to keep your pictures safe!

Note: If you sign up for Dropbox using my link, I’ll get 500MB of extra storage. If you purchase a flash drive via our Amazon link, Jeanne & I will receive referral credit. If you enable Auto Backup on Google+, make sure you have the right privacy settings in place! 🙂


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  1. FlyerM

    March 5, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Good Suggestion Keri. Personally I have a cloud-based backup service (like dropbox) called Crashplan installed on my MacAir. Each night of a trip, I’ll just connect my camera to my mac and download the photos like normal to iphoto. Then without any intervention from me, crashplan auto uploads all my photos to the cloud. The only catch is that the hotel wireless you’re using needs to have enough bandwidth to accommodate you uploading potentially hundreds of megabytes each evening.

    Side story, once I was in Morocco and met a family who had traveled from Australia to Morocco for their brothers enormous wedding. A once in a lifetime family trip for them, all their relatives, several days of wedding festivities all saved on one camera. One morning at breakfast their 10(ish) year old son was playing with their camera. Moments later I heard the Mom ask in a close to tears voice, “Tommy what happened to all the photos?” Apparently Tommy had accidentally deleted 12 days worth of family photos, their entire trip.

    I later approached the woman and told her that it’s possible a data service can recover the deleted photos. But she definitely learned a valuable lesson about backup, and maybe Tommy did too.

  2. David Young

    March 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    The camera in my phone is really good (Samsung S3) so I use my phone. But when traveling I don’t want to up-load gigs of pictures because of the high cost of data.

    A great solution is a dual port USB drive. I bought a 32-gig USB drive from a company called Lifetime Memory Products and there’s a microUSB port on one side that fits into my phone and a regular USB port on the other side. I can upload my pictures to this USB drive and keep them safe in my room.


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