What’s the one thing you can’t replace on a trip if you lose them… pictures and the memories that go along with them. That is why we give you three clear options to protecting your photos while on the road.

Good Way to Keep Your Pictures Safe When Traveling

For starters, unless you have at least two copies of your pictures you stand the chance of losing them all in one shot. Try to get into the habit of backing up your pictures each day. That way should you lose or have your camera stolen while you are out, or even have a faulty memory card the remainder of your trip is safely stored back at your accommodation.

Transfering Pictures to a Hard Drive

They say it takes 7 days to form a habit, so why not start today?

In order to do this, you need access to a computer and external memory. We recommend the Seagate 1 TB External Hard Drive for long term travelers, and the SanDisk 32 GB Flash Drive for shorter vacations. If you don’t travel with a computer, consider visiting an internet café, as often as you feel comfortable, to use their PCs. (Affiliate Links)

1 TB Seagate External Hard Drive

A 1 TB (1,000 GB) external hard drive is sufficient for most travelers, but they go up to 4 TB.

Better Way to Keep Your Pictures Safe When Traveling

You are still vulnerable to theft of all your valuables even if you back up your pictures religiously. In order to mitigate this scenario, consider mailing memory cards, flash drives, or DVD’s home during your extended trip. The cheapest option is to mail burnt DVD’s home. You can delete the pictures from your local memory card once someone acknowledges receiving the package.

Burn Your Pictures on DVDs in an Internet Cafe

Take advantage of cheap internet cafes to backup your pictures on DVDs.

In Asia, I would do so every time I filled up a 16 GB memory card and cost $1 per disc for a total of $4. Simply delete unwanted photos and videos using your camera, and backup the leftovers.

Burn Your Pictures onto a DVD & Send Home

The longer you travel, the more important it is to back up your pictures elsewhere.

Best Way to Keep Your Pictures Safe When Traveling

The best way to keep your pictures safe when traveling is not only to back them up on external memory, but to put them in the cloud as well. Most platforms are slow to upload so you have to take advantage of accommodation with strong Wi-Fi, and try to do it every day. It doesn’t take long to fall behind.

Microsoft OneDrive Syncing Graphic

Uploading photos to a cloud platform is time intensive, so try to stay up-to-date.

The major companies offering free digital storage are Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, and Flickr. Depending on your needs, you can use ad supported platforms with unlimited storage or take advantage of bonuses for the more popular ones. We compare the major companies below so you can decide what works best for you.

Get More Space on Dropbox with Bonuses

Get more space with cloud storage bonuses.

Dropbox

Dropbox gives you 2 GB free, and is an easy platform to install on your phone to automatically back up your photos. You can earn 16 GB of extra storage space by referring friends at 500 MB per person, and they also receive the same bonus. Smaller but easier bonuses include completing their tutorial, following them on Twitter, or leaving feedback for an additional 500 MB.

Dropbox Logo

Send us an email if you would like to have a referral emailed to you so we both receive an additional 500 MB.

Google Drive

Google Drive is now the most generous free online storage platform. Not only do they give you 15 GB to start, but there are handy ways to get unlimited storage for music, pictures, videos, and documents. That means that 15 GB can go a long way since a lot of your files won’t count toward the total.

Google Drive Logo

Pictures taken with a phone or camera that are 16 megapixels or less have no limit. When uploading, you can select whether you want to compress larger files, or have them remain unchanged. The quality is good enough to print up to 16.40” x 10.88” at 300 ppi, which is larger than most will ever do. Videos are exempt from counting towards your 15 GB if they are 1080 HD quality or less. Again, this is more than most will ever need.

Camera Megapixel to Resolution & Print Size

Use this chart to find out what megapixels you should be taking pictures with.

If you use your cloud storage for also storing music, then consider using Google Play Music. The platform lets you store up to 50,000 songs without contributing towards your 15 GB limit. The catch is that you can only listen to them while streaming. Consider storing your music library there for safe keeping, and rotating the physical songs you have on your phone.

Google Play Music Logo

Documents tend to be a very small portion of online storage, but you can have unlimited storage if you convert them to Google Doc extensions. You can select the conversion option during uploading.

Google Docs Logo

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft used to be one of the better companies with free 15 GB online storage, and an additional 15 GB for your photos. All that has ended, and they only offer 5 GB now. The good news is that you can acquire an additional 10 GB of cloud storage with bonuses. Similar to Dropbox, have friends sign up and both of you receive 500 MB.

Microsoft OneDrive Logo

Apple iCloud

iCloud can only be activated on Apple products, but they provide users with 5 GB of storage as well. This is very useful for backing up camera roll photos.

iCloud Logo

Flickr

Many people don’t think of Flickr as being a good option for backing up photos, but they provide you with the best package. You can store 1 TB of photos for free, and they do not have any file size constraints! That is very generous of them, but keep an eye out on possible terms & conditions changes with the pending sale of Yahoo to Verizon.

Flickr Logo

Putting All the Techniques Together

My personal strategy is to backup pictures every day to a hard drive, and upload them to the cloud. When my online storage nears capacity or I finish a country, I thankfully have my sister download them onto a separate hard drive. That way I’m not relying on a company’s server to work, and all my pictures are secure even if I lose everything I have while traveling. Rinse and repeat.

Upload Your Pictures to the Cloud & Have Someone Download Your Photos Remotely

Having your pictures on two hard drives very far apart is the best way to protect your photos.

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What’s the one thing you can’t replace on a trip if you lose them… pictures and the memories that go along with them. That is why we give you three clear options to protecting your photos while on the road. Try to get into the habit of backing up your pictures each day. Consider mailing memory cards, flash drives, or DVD’s home during your extended trip. Also, put them in the cloud as well. The major companies offering free digital storage are Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, and Flickr.

 

***The Final Word – No one likes to think about negative scenarios, but the worst can be mitigated with proper planning.***

How do you back up your photos while traveling?

* This post contains affiliate links for a Seagate Hard Drive and SanDisk Flash Drive on Amazon.com. DIY Travel HQ stands behind each product we advertise, and we make sure it fits our independent travel niche. Clicking on the link costs you nothing extra, but we earn a small commission. Each post requires multiple hours if not days to publish, and affiliate links help us to be able to provide free material for you to enjoy! We appreciate your continued interest in our blog.