Every single photo you take abroad is a memory that you can flashback to sometime in the future and feel a wave of nostalgia that'll take you right back to when you were traveling.

Unfortunately, sometimes we lose our phone, or we've forgotten to upload our photos to the cloud, or iCloud's full and we don't want to keep feeding Apple our money - trust me, I've lost enough photos to know this feeling.

Now, we could back up our photos every day and save ourselves the horrible feeling of losing a memory, but you and I both know that it can get tedious. So what do we do?

There are a few ways we can keep our photos alive but the easiest and most convenient, because it's seamless and free, is Google Photos.

There is, of course, a paid version but the free version will allow you to upload an unlimited amount of high-quality photos - this is a massive tick of approval from us.

If you want to upload the full quality, so anything above 1080p, it'll start counting towards your quota. But keep in mind, all we're looking for is to make sure our memories are safe from being lost - we can back up the full quality images once in a while too.

Of course, while traveling we sometimes don't have access to high-speed internet but this shouldn't be a problem. Make sure that the app automatically backs up photos when you're connected to Wi-Fi, and this should be enough.

Things to Keep in Mind

As useful as Google Photos is, it's not perfect and can take you by surprise. I've lost my phone twice while traveling (yes, stop judging), and both times I had Google Photos.

The problem was that there were photos in the queue that hadn't backed up yet. Finding this out when looking for my photos was an emotional roller coaster because there was about a weeks worth of gaps in some memories. So what are the lessons here?

  • Your phone might prioritize other processes rather than backing up your photos, so;
  • You need to open the app and let it do it's thing when you come back to the hostel/hotel at the end of the day

Other Cool Features

The app isn't only great for making sure your memories don't get lost, it helps a lot with reliving them too.

The Google Photos app has;

  • A timeline - so you can search for photos by date
  • Face recognition - so you can sort by faces and find memories of specific people
  • Advanced search - if I type beach or concert, or whatever, the Google AI will find photos that match that description

Instead of going through a zillion photos every time you want to find a specific memory, you can use the search features and timeline to find them faster - I love this.

Alternatives

Google Photos isn't the only option. There are tons of cloud storage apps like iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive and more. All of these are great for backing up your photos while traveling.

  • iCloud will work better with your iPhone as it's fully integrated into the iOS software
  • Dropbox is the very best when it comes to seamless file transfer - so fast
  • OneDrive is native to Windows so it does a good job there

However, Google Photos is a dedicated app for photos. It allows all the search functionality we talked about before and works amazing on both Android (Google native) and iOS.

This is why Google Photos is the go-to option for backing up photos while traveling.


I hope that helped you with keeping your photos safe! If you're looking for some other apps to make your life easier while traveling, the article below might help. It's for Southeast Asia, but a lot of the apps can be used everywhere.

The 7 Most Useful Apps For Traveling South East Asia
A list of the most useful travel apps to have on your phone for backpacking through Southeast Asia in 2020.

Safe travels!

Sah