Never Loose Travel Photos by Using Free Cloud Backup
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January 14, 2020 / By Daniel Bare updated by Shyla Esko Bare

If you take photos when you travel then you need to know about Google Photos. It is a cloud product that lets you backup an unlimited number of photos. It’s perfect for people like me that go a bit overboard in my photo taking when I travel.  (Yes, I did take 1007 photos on a 7-day trip to Singapore.)

It is also great for travelers that don’t take as many photos, or even those that go super crazy and do nothing but see a country from behind a lens. Why is this great for all? Because, it’s free! Yup, that’s right, Google Photos is a FREE app.

To use, simply download to your laptop, smartphone, or other device. You can easily find it by doing a search online or in your app store for Google Photos. The app runs on the major platforms (Mac-PCs, Windows-PC, iPhone/iPad, Android).

To upload your photos from your smartphone, all you need is an internet or cellular connection. To upload from your digital camera (yes, I do take some of my photos the “old school” way) you just need to connect your camera to one of your devices. Then you easily drag and drop pics into Google Photos.

Google Photos sylized photo Wild Spirit Travel pic of Singapore

I love this app as it keeps me from worrying about loosing my photos (my most important souvenir) when I travel. As soon as they are uploaded, I can even delete them from my smartphone to make room for more pics. Google Photos also has a “For You” button. Here the app automatically tweaks photos – making collages, movies, or stylizing pics. Your photo remains just as you took it, but the app does some pretty cool touches to make pics pop that you can choose to keep or ignore.

As great as all this sounds, there are a few important things to know about Google Photos.

1) Google resizes uploaded photos to 16 megapixels (MP). This downsizing only effects you if your camera images are higher than 16 MP. My smartphone photos are only 12 MP, which is pretty standard. So in my case, no resizing. If your camera images are larger than 16 MP, this may not be an issue, as the downsized photo still allows for high quality prints.

2) When I am home, I have my Google Photos app on my phone set to “auto-backup.” I love this feature as it means my photos often backup to the cloud within minutes of me taking them. My phone simply needs an internet or cellular connection for this to happen. When I travel, this feature is not always ideal. International roaming charges can be expensive and my smartphone battery life may already be pushed to it’s limit from all the photos I am taking. As such, I often turn this off when traveling abroad. Decide if you want this on or off before your trip.

If you have questions about using your smartphone when traveling, and not getting hit with unexpected fees, check out our online course “Secrets to Using Technology Abroad.”

3) Also, when traveling overseas, you may not always have a strong enough internet connection to upload photos. When I was in El Salvador, there was internet at the guest house where I stayed. I could use it to check emails, but when I tried to upload my photos it would take hours for only a few to backup. Even overnight, it would not upload all the photos I took each day. And my attempts to upload photos, slowed down the internet for the other guests to the point people could not check emails. As such, I decided to simply wait until I got faster internet speeds in Guatemala.

Is Google Photos the only cloud photo storage option? No, there are several options. Some are free, some charge.

For instance, Amazon has a similar service called Amazon Photos.  Amazon Prime members get free unlimited FULL-RESOLUTION photo storage and 5 gigabyte video storage.  Amazon Photos allows storage sharing for up to 5 people.  While you can share the photos with anyone, Prime members or not. More information at 

If you have an iPhone, you may already be backing up your photos to the iCloud. Great, no need to change if you are happy. But, it is always good to have options, especially ones that are free.

Whichever photo cloud storage option you pick (Google Photos, Amazon Photos, iCloud, or something else) do set it up and practice using it before your vacation. You don’t want to be overseas and trying to upload your photos for the first time.

#travelsmart #traveltips #worldtravel #travelhack #wildspirit #lovetotravel

Original article by Dan Bare, June 2015. Updated by Shyla Esko Bare, January 10, 2020.

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Don't loose your photos when you travel. Use this easy travel tip to upload to the cloud from anywhere in the world. #travelsmart #traveltip Click To Tweet

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