How not to lose your digital memories while travelling

Folders and devices - picture by Dropbox

How not to lose your digital memories while travelling

The majority of us like to take photos or videos while travelling, either to show them to our friends & family back home, to use them on our blogs and websites or simply as a means of extending and perpetuating our memory. With the little time we have and so many places yet to discover, chances are that we are going to visit the majority of places on Earth only once in our lifetimes. It is nice to hold tangible (or at least digital) proof of our presence there and make sure that our elusive memories don’t disappear over time.

When we hitchhike we always take two cameras and two little netbooks to be able to connect with our blog at all times, write and take photos wherever we are. In times when nearly all backpackers label themselves as ‘digital nomads’, it’s necessary to talk about ways of preserving our digital memories and guaranteeing that they don’t vanish while we are travelling. Just think how many things can go wrong: your camera might get stolen, dropped, wet or simply break and all your travel photos, videos and texts might disappear for good!

How to avoid losing your digital memories? There are simple ways of making sure your data will be there even if your digital gadgets get stolen or break.

1) Make sure you have more than 1 copy

Don’t allow your photos or videos to stay on your camera for a long time. Make a backup at least once a day and save it onto another device, be it a computer, pendrive or tablet.

2) Physical storage is not enough, switch to cloud

Another way of guaranteeing your files are safe is to save them onto a cloud storage space, to make sure that you won’t lose them if your devices (computers, cameras, pendrives, tablets etc.) are stolen or damaged.

The second advantage of using a cloud is that you can share your photos/videos/texts with other people and devices all over the world. If you are travelling as a couple, you can both use and edit the files which are saved in your cloud without the need for pendrives and hard-drives.

If you are travel bloggers, like us, you can also set automatic backups of your blog onto your cloud storage account and do it offline, while you are asleep, without the need of manually copying the files and monitoring the whole process.

There are many cloud storage providers and many of them are free. The one we use and recommend is Dropbox as it is free, it has never failed us, it’s easy to use, its applications serve all kinds of devices and we can save a backup of our blog directly onto it using a simple plugin.

If you use this link both you and us will get 500MB of bonus space on our cloud and if you recommend it to your friends, you will get even more.

Recommended cloud storage services:

    • Dropbox – first 3GB for free but you can gain up to 18GB extra space by referring it to others.
    • Google Drive15GB for free shared with Gmail and Picasa + US$4.99 per month for 100 GB.
    •  Amazon Cloud Drive – first 5GB for free + $USD 0.50 per gigabyte per year.
    • Asus Webstorage – first 5GB for free with the possibility of getting up to 10GB by referring it to others.
    • Box – 10GB free (but only 250MB max file size)
    • CloudMe – 3 GB for free plus 500 MB for each referral.
    • Fileserve – 500GB for free, but it can only be used to download and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally, so you can’t share files with other people.

There are many more cloud storage services and we encourage you to look into this as you will be looking into the future  :)

Check out this handy Wikipedia article to learn about other services and compare them.

How not to lose your digital memories while travelling

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  • I store my photos on my netbook too when we travel, and also on an external hard drive, which I carry separately from the camera and the laptop.

  • As a paranoic, I want to warn you, that files in the Cloud are easily accessible by administrators of the sites (and therefore authorithies). So, remember kids: don’t upload photos you wouldn’t be comfortable to show to the policeman. No pot-smoking etc.

  • Definitely some great advice. We always try to keep at least two physical copies for our RAW files, and keep an extra copies of all our best photos on the cloud as well. There’s nothing worse than losing your photos!

  • I lost about four months worth of photos when a beer was accidentally knocked onto my laptop and I hadn’t done a back-up in a while. It was devastating! Now I back up my photos in multiple ways just to be safe.

    • Horrible luck! We once lost all of our Prague pictures because our computer broke and we had to download the photos from Facebook (of course the quality was nowhere near as good as the original ones!).
      Thanks for commenting and sharing our article, Heather! Much appreciated!

  • Yes, regardless of how much you travel (or not) having a backup (or two) of your data is a must. Dropbox for all my pictures from my smartphones/iPhones/iPads – with a copy on my computer. And hard drive backups of my computer.

  • Interesting post! Actually, today I was thinking about it because my computer has not so much memory for photos and videos without getting really slow.

    For photos, I think the best option is Flickr that offers you 1 terabyte :)

  • Hi! Actually there are ways to keep your cloud stored data only for your eyes. It is done by encryption. I recently got one of these and it is awesomeeeee. I store everything in the cloud now, knowing nobody can access my photos. I highly recommend it. Good luck!

    • That’s interesting! Another cloud storage service that we have discovered, which works on the zero-knowledge basis is Spideroak. Even their admins don’t have access to the data you store there, so we find it pretty safe!

  • Oh! Thank you guys! After 22 months and with almost 300 GB of photos we have decided it would be a good idea to upload them somewhere safe… and you just sorted out first doubts in this respect! :)

    • Cloud is a great solution for people who move around a lot, like you guys! We have recently started using Spider Oak and we highly recommend them too. Their ‘zero-knowledge’ policy is great and you can be sure nobody will ever access your files!