lost photos

How To Avoid Lost Photos

Pictures and videos are the essential tools to remember those great vacation memories. But what if your equipment is stolen and those precious moments were only stored on your camera or phone?  We’ve been there, unfortunately, and now that we live, work and travel full-time, we’ve put some easy safeguards and routines in place to avoid lost photos.  We found ourselves in that situation taking a day trip to the colorful seaside city of Valparaiso, Chile only to have our camera stolen from our bag. Last year,  our scenic video footage of a three-day boat trip around the  Komodo islands in Indonesia was lost when our camera strap slipped off my wrist and dropped into the Flores Sea. In the first situation, we backed up our photos the night before,  in the other, we lost our photos of our island hopping experience forever. To prevent this disaster from happening to you, here are our top lost photos prevention tips, whether you are a short term or long term traveler.

5 Tips to avoid the disaster of lost photos or videos:

1. Schedule your back-ups

It’s easy to get distracted by every single vacation moment, before you know it, weeks go by and your precious digital memories are only saved on your camera, now vulnerable to unplanned issues. More importantly, your computer files should be treated the same way. One easy way to help this is to set a reminder in your calendar or planning app just like any appointment reminder to backup your data.  Pick a time you will be likely to do it, such as your chore day or in front of the TV. We set a reoccurring reminder every Monday in our Google Calendar to perform this task.


2. Use a cloud service

Invest in a cloud storage service to back up your data. This allows you to avoid carrying  hard drives with you or relying solely on your computer for backup.   Here is a valuable cloud service comparison chart  to help you find a provider that best suits your needs.  We use Dropbox or Google Drive as our backup source.However,you need reliable internet for this system to work properly.  Find information about internet speeds by country by referring to the Akamai, State of the Internet Report .


3. Bring back-up drive(s)

If a cloud service isn’t going to work with reliable internet, then bring a back-up drive. There are all kinds of options out there appropriate to the amount of data you use. Always keep this drive in a separate bag, not the same bag as your camera or computer. This will ensure that if one gets stolen or lost, you still have a back-up.


4. Use back-up software

Software improves the speed and simplicity of the back-up process. The faster and easier it is to back-up, the most likely you will complete it.  We use ChronoSync, and we have for years. It’s perfect for keeping a duplicate of your media on two drives. As for our computers, we are using MacBooks and they come with a Time Machine app the does all the work for you.


5. Send a back-up drive home

This tip applies to you for longer term travel,  or if you live more location-independent without visiting a frequent home-base.  Every six months, we physically send a drive home to family and start a new back-up. If something happens to our gear, we have another copy backed up at home.

We hope these tips help you avoid lost  photos and videos forever.  For more travel tips whether you are a short or long term traveler you can find more here.

What tips do you use to back up your precious memories and data? We’d like to hear from you.

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lost photos

About the Author Troy

Troy is an ex-TV editor and producer originally from Canada. He quit his 20+ year career to pursue a life of long-term, slow and transformative travel. Now with his wife Dorene, he helps people who want to redefine their midlife by making conscious changes at TravelLifeExperiences. He also works with travel and hospitality brands to create and share their video stories at TravelLifeMedia.com

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