6 Tips to Never Lose Your Photos While Traveling

Joel Lee 10-03-2016

So you’ve booked a cheap flight 5 Rules to Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets Who says you can’t fly for cheap? Sometimes it comes down to whether or not you click the right links, search the right terms, or pick the right times to search the web. Read More , you’ve left home to travel abroad 8 Crucial Things You Should Know Before Travelling Abroad With Your Phone, Tablet, Or Laptop If you're about to go international with your smartphone, tablet and/or laptop there are a few things you should know before you go. You might need extra peripheral devices and plugs, entertainment and maps pre-downloaded,... Read More  for a while, possibly to take advantage of a great vacation package How to Save Money on Your Next Vacation Package We all need a proper vacation now and then. If a holiday is on your horizon, you consider booking a vacation package. Here are some options. Read More . But no matter the reason, the important thing is that you’re traveling — and ready to snap hundreds of amazing new photos.


And then you come home to find that your camera memory cards are broken or corrupted, which means you’ve lost all of those wonderful memories Why Everyone Should Learn a Little Bit of Photography Everyone should learn a little bit of photography because everyone can benefit from it. Here are five reasons why you should consider picking it up. Read More . Is it the end of the world? Of course not, but it’s certainly a pain in the neck.

That’s why you should heed the following tips before embarking on your next trip, especially if the resulting photos are one of the main reasons why you’re going on said trip in the first place!

1. Don’t Delete Individual Photos

When they take a shot they don’t like, most people will immediately open up the last taken image and trash it. Other people wait until the end of the day, then browse through all of the images they took, trashing the ones they don’t like.


But worst of all is when people connect the camera to a PC, then delete images from the camera with the PC. All of these methods are risky because they may damage the internal file system that tracks each image, and you could end up with a corrupted card.


The safer option is to copy the images off of the card, then format the entire card using the camera that you intend to shoot with. This will refresh the card’s file system and make sure there are no errors for the next round of photos.

2. Shoot With Multiple Cards

Ever heard the saying, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”? Well, if you only carry around one card and you take all of your photos on that one card, then you’re doing exactly that: putting all of your egg-photos in one basket-camera.

After all, if that card gets corrupted, then all of the photos on that card are lost along with it.



Instead, look into getting a lot of small cards How to Pick & Buy the Best SD Card for Your Needs What kind of SD card is right for you? Not all of them are the same, after all. Here are the minimum specs you should aim for depending any given activity or need. Read More  rather than relying on one massive card. So, yes, four cards at 8 GB each is a safer option than a single card at 32 GB (assuming the card specs are the same). Then again, four cards at 32 GB each is an even better option!

Once you have multiple cards, the trick is to rotate them every day. Don’t shoot until one card fills up, then switch to the next one. You never know when it might malfunction, and you could lose everything before it fills up. By rotating, you will never lose everything at once.

3. Store Your Cards in Cases

Like all gadgets and accessories, memory cards are subject to physical elements. Water, heat, and dirt can all interfere with a card’s proper working order, which means you need to be sensitive to things like humidity, temperature, and how to handle a card with dirty fingers.

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The easiest way to protect your cards? Get cases for them, like the Eco-Fused Card Carrying Case which has 8 plastic pages that can hold up to 22 cards total and a zipper to keep out the elements. Or you could go for a Generic Card Carrying Case instead to save money.

Be aware that memory cards are also susceptible to static shocks, which can result in all kinds of errors and issues Can Magnets Ruin An SD Card? 6 Common Reasons Why You Can't Use Your SD Card Guess what - magnets can't ruin your SD cards. Let's just get that one out in the open. Flash memory just doesn't work that way! I mean, magnets could work, but it would have to... Read More , including data corruption.

4. Copy Photos to a Local Device

The cardinal rule to never losing your data, whether photos or otherwise, is always make backups for everything 5 Basic Backup Facts Every Windows User Should Know We never tire to remind you to make backups and keep your data safe. If you're wondering what, how often, and where you should back up your files, we have straight forward answers. Read More ! And we’ve already mentioned the easiest way to back up your photos: copy them off of your card and onto a computer.



Now, obviously, your options for a computer will be limited when you’re out traveling. However, if you can, bring along a small laptop that you can use for pulling photos. Laptops can be bulky, but Chromebooks are really portable Your Chromebook As The Ultimate Travel Device If you're deciding which device to get for your next trip, you may consider checking out Chromebooks. But why choose a Chromebook for travel? Because, when it comes to travel, they are spot on. Read More  so consider getting one of those.

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Another option is to bring along a tablet, but in order to connect your camera to one, you’ll probably need a USB OTG cable What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android What is USB OTG and how can you use it on Android? We explain the feature and the many ways to utilize it. Read More . Fortunately, you can grab one off of Amazon for just a dollars. A tiny investment that lets you tether your DSLR to your camera 6 Creative Uses for Your Android Tablet Have an Android tablet? You'll enjoy these creative uses for it! Read More ? Worth it. (Also works for smartphones!)

5. Upload Photos to Cloud Storage

Local backups aren’t enough. Let’s say you copied every important image from your card to your laptop and tablet. As you’re flying home, what happens if you lose your luggage — and your camera, laptop, and tablet along with it? Say bye-bye to your precious photos.

So to be really safe, you need to copy your photos a second time: onto the Internet. The good news is that there are plenty of online photo storage services Free up Massive Space on Your Phone with 7 Photo Storage Services Thanks to smartphone photography and high-definition video phones run out of storage space very quickly. But there are popular cloud storage options and auto-upload features which can help us get some space back. Read More  to pick from. Just keep in mind that photos take up a lot of space, and they eat up a lot of bandwidth to upload. Use Wi-Fi when you can.

If I had to pick a service, I’d use Amazon Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photos and comes with a whole bunch of other Prime benefits 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You've Probably Overlooked Free two-day shipping is just the beginning. Here are some notable Amazon Prime subscription benefits you may not know about. Read More . If you have Prime, use Prime Photos. If not, try Google Photos, which is free and offers unlimited storage too.

6. Use a Data Recovery Program

Let’s say you didn’t heed any of the advice above. You stuck with one big memory card, you didn’t back up any of your photos, and by the time you arrived back home, the worst happened: your card got corrupted. Are you out of luck? Not yet!


Hop over to our Best Windows Software The Best PC Software for Your Windows Computer Want the best PC software for your Windows computer? Our massive list collects the best and safest programs for all needs. Read More  page and look under the File Recovery section for programs that might be able to reclaim images that still reside on the card but can’t be accessed normally. Read our introduction to data recovery What Is Data Recovery And How Does It Work? If you've ever experienced a major loss of data, you've probably wondered about data recovery -- how does it work? Read More  if you want to know how this is possible.

The programs that are recommended most often are Recuva (read our review Restore Deleted Files Easily With Recuva Read More ), PhotoRec (read our review Recover Accidentally Deleted Files From Any OS With PhotoRec [Windows, Mac, & Linux] In June I switched over from a combination of Windows and Linux to pretty much using OS X solely, and being largely familiar with Windows software (and painfully aware of the lack of many Linux... Read More ), and Pandora Recovery (read our review Recover Lost Data For Free With Pandora Recovery [Windows] Last night I inadvertently deleted 17GB of data with a mis-press of Shift+Del, causing a classic "oh sh*t!!" moment. I’d chosen to "permanently delete" the folder, skipping the Recycle Bin and instantly freeing up some... Read More ). It’s better to practice good habits than to rely on data recovery, but it’s a valid last-ditch effort when something does go wrong.

How Often Do You Lose Photos?

One last thing: there’s nothing worse than coming back from a trip with photos that don’t look any good. Boost your skills with these awesome photography blogs 9 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer There's blogs which try to cover everything related to photography; there's specialized blogs that dive into the niches; there's blogs which only talk about gear, and there's blogs by talented photographers. Read More , these YouTube photography channels Learning Photography: 5 YouTube Channels to Become a Pro There are hundreds of channels dedicated to photography lessons. The good ones are buried in the noise. We picked five of the best for you. Read More , and these photography courses How to Improve Your Photography Overnight with is great for online learning. Of the 546 photography courses available, here are some of the best ones for sharpening your skills in just a few hours. Read More .

If you don’t have the time for that, at least check out our essential rules for framing a shot How to Compose a Photograph: 5 Essential Rules to Follow If you want to get really good at photography, there are some vital rules around image composition that you should consider. Here are five of the most important. Read More  as well as our quick tips for improving your photos 13 Tips to Quickly Improve Your Photos Good photos and bad photos aren't determined by cameras but by photographers. Here are 13 tips that will quickly improve your photos. Read More .

Have you ever lost photos from travel? What other tips do you have to prevent such a disaster next time? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!

Image Credits: Digital reflex camera by Roberto Caucino via Shutterstock, Delete Key by dani3315 via Shutterstock, Memory Card Stack by Luca Lorenzelli via Shutterstock, Camera and Laptop by Kitch Bain via Shutterstock, Lone Memory Card by Ensuper via Shutterstock

Related topics: Data Backup, Photography.

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