Backup While Traveling

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Today’s Question: I know you travel rather extensively. What do you do about backing up your photos during your travels? And do you leave a backup at home when you’re gone?

Tim’s Quick Answer: When I’m traveling I always bring a backup drive to go along with any “master” drive I bring. And I do indeed leave an updated backup at home before departing on any trip.

More Detail: My preferred method of backing up is to synchronize the contents of each master drive to a matched backup drive. Therefore, when I’m traveling I pack drives in pairs. That might mean, for example, a master photos drive and the backup for it, as well as a master data drive and its backup.

So, whenever downloading photos while traveling, I am downloading to my master photos drive. I also take advantage of the option in Lightroom’s import process to create a second copy of the photos being imported to the internal hard drive on my computer. When that process is completed, I also perform a synchronization backup for the master photos drive to the backup photos drive. I use a software application called GoodSync for this purpose, which you can find here:

http://timgrey.me/greybackup

As noted above, before departing on a trip I also update an additional backup copy of all drives I’ll be traveling with, just in case anything should go wrong with my storage while away from home.

In theory I also take advantage of online storage to at least backup my most important photos while traveling. That might include, for example, all photos to which I have assigned a star rating during my trip. Unfortunately, because I often do not have a fast Internet connection when traveling, this is a backup option I’m not always able to take advantage of.

The key to me is to first make sure you have a full backup that you are leaving behind when you depart home, and to ensure you have at least one backup on a separate drive for all photos you capture and download while traveling.