My husband and I spent 3 months traveling through Africa last year. As we were planning, one of my biggest concerns was figuring out how we would backup our photos and videos on the road. With only one computer on the trip, we knew that we would quickly fill up the internal hard drive.
We had two DSLR cameras and ended up taking thousands of photos as we traveled through over a dozen African countries. We used a few methods for backing up all of the photos and videos, and we were able to have 2 backups of most of our files. Even if you aren’t going to be going on an extended trip anytime soon, figuring out how to backup photos while traveling can be a challenge. Here are my top tips for backing up your photos.
How to Backup Photos While Traveling
1. Buy the Right Memory Cards
Memory cards have gone down in price significantly since I bought my first digital camera. While traveling, it’s helpful to have a large memory card. If your memory card has enough space, you may just be able to leave photos on it until you get home. Periodically during the trip, you can copy your photos over to your computer or a hard drive for backup. You can get a 128 GB memory card on Amazon for $174.99. Even if you shoot in raw, you should be able to take about 8000 photos with this card.
You can also get memory cards with built in Wi-Fi. If you know you’ll be traveling in places with internet, this is a great option because it can wirelessly backup all of your photos to your computer. The downside is definitely the price: an 8 GB memory card with Wi-Fi is currently about $78.
2. Bring a Pelican Case
Depending on where you are going, a Pelican case can be helpful for backing up photos because you can store hard drives and other camera equipment in a safe place. We used a small one to hold our external hard drives so they would be protected from water and the bumpy ride. They come in a variety of sizes, and you can trim the padding to fit, so all of your equipment and hard drives can fit securely in the case.
3. Delete as You Go
Editing down your photos as you go can save a lot of room on your camera’s memory card and your hard drives. This was a big thing for us as we were traveling. As time consuming as it was, we spent time after each country going through the photos we’d taken. We deleted the photos we knew we wouldn’t use — whether it was because they were duplicates, blurry, or just poor quality. It saved space, and it was also great because it was one less thing to do when we got home.
4. Invest in a Solid State Drive
We haven’t bought a solid state drive yet, but I know it’s on my husband’s wish list. A solid state drive is much durable than a regular hard drive because it uses flash memory, so there are no moving parts to be damaged. Even though we had a pelican case, we were constantly concerned about our external hard drives, so a solid state drive would have been a huge help on our trip. Unfortunately, they’re expensive. For a 240 GB solid state drive, you’ll pay about $280. But, depending on where you are traveling, a solid state drive would be a great option for how to backup photos while traveling.
5. Upload When You Can
We had internet periodically on our trip, and we made sure to upload photos to Flickr when we could. Reviewing our photos on the road was great because we would also select our favorite photos and put them in a separate folder to upload to Flickr, just in case something happened to our other storage. Because our internet access was limited and not very fast, we weren’t able to do this with all of our photos. But we felt better knowing that our favorite photos were safe online. To speed up the upload process, we also reduced the file size.
How do you backup photos while traveling? What tips do you have for how to backup photos?
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