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Saving Digital Photos, Sending home

While on vacation, how do you save and/or send photo images home to free up space on camara? Give details, I'm new at this. Thank you.

Posted by
3313 posts

Jackie - A really cool service that many places offer is transferring the files on your memory card to a CD. You can find photo shops and Internet points almost anywhere to do this for you.

Posted by
83 posts

Great question,

Our plan was to create a flikr account and upload pics as we went on our trip because it's so easy to get online now. Failed miserably. Between figuring out software/harware & the sheer amount of time it takes to upload, we stopped doing that in the 1st week.

2nd option is to purchase CD-R on the road and/or the service to burn your pics onto a disc since it's available in a growing number of western european cities now. However, we were too nervous to commit all of our pics to backups for fear we'd scratch the disc in our bags or worse. Not to mention CD-burning is not 100% reliable. Mailing them home was an option we didn't use.

The third option I think is the easiest; bring extra memory cards of at least 1 gig. We used a little over 2 gigs in 6 weeks and that was over 800 pics with some movies. They're smaller and more sturdy than discs, just bring along the plastic cases. This option makes you spend a little more initially, but you'll save $$ in the long run.

Posted by
18302 posts

I don't need to send pictures home to free up space on my memory card.

I found a very light laptop (Toshiba Portege, under 3 pounds), and I take it with me. In addition to giving me a large amount of space to store pictures, it allows me to title them and put them in folders by location or date. I also use the laptop (Word) to record a journal and (Excel) to keep a speadsheet of my expenses, including one that shows me at any time how much money I need (from ATMs) to complete the trip. Before this trip, I will get the Bahn CD with schedules all over Europe and be able to see rail alternatives without looking for a cybercafe, which are getting rare as more and more Europeans get broadband.

Another trick is to analyze how you actually use your pictures. If you make 8x10s prints of them, you probably need to shoot at 6 megapixesl, but I have found that all I ever do is display them in 1024x768 on my computer. I take smaller pictures and have plenty of room on my memory card.

Posted by
104 posts

I use a seperate hard-drive device to dump my cards on daily.

As listed above I didn't want to use my time hunting
internet cafe and then time to download etc.

Posted by
31471 posts


There are several options for dealing with digital photo storage while travelling. Here's a brief description of different methods and their advantages & disadvantages:

1.) Using a Card Reader in Net Cafes to upload to photo sites: NOT a practical solution, as it's very time consuming to upload large files (time which you're taking away from your vacation, and paying for in the Net Cafe!).
2.) Using several large Memory Cards: this is certainly one solution, especially if one doesn't take many photos and has an older Camera with smaller file sizes. With this method, it's important to find a way to keep the cards separate, so that you don't accidentally erase (format) one with precious images on it!
3.) Using local Photo shops or Computer stores to burn images to DVD: this is one practical solution, but means packing around DVD's which could be lost or stolen. Many travellers burn two copies, sening one home just to be sure.


Posted by
31471 posts

Part 2....

4.) Packing along a Laptop to store images: This method works well (especially with one of the newer, compact Laptops) and allows one to preview images on a high quality display. However, I find that travelling with a Laptop has a high "worry factor", something I generally like to avoid. Extra care has to be taken to ensure this is ALWAYS properly secured in Hotels / Hostels when one is out touring. There's always the possibility of theft or damage, and the loss of ALL your holiday photos.
5.) Taking along a Portable DVD Burner (either in Laptop or separate unit): Some travellers take their own DVD Burner, so they don't have to waste the time to find a local photo shop. This seems a bit awkward, as one has to pack blank DVD's as well, and again there's always the possibility of theft.


Posted by
31471 posts

Part 3......

6.) Using a Portable Hard Drive (PHD): This is similar to using a Laptop, but is perhaps one of the easiest solutions. There are a number of different PHD's on the market (of varying quality and reliability). These are equipped with a hard drive as well as built-in Card readers for different types of memory cards.

These can generally be divided into two categories - those with an LCD display for viewing, and those that have just a simple status display. Check the net or photo forums for specifics on the different models.

PHD's that have very high quality displays are the units from Epson (P2000, etc.). Of course, having an LCD makes the unit somewhat more expensive. One example of a more "basic" unit is the EZ-PNP PHD units ( - not sure why they're marked as "Clearance"? New models coming?).

While PHD's also have somewhat of a "worry factor", they're generally much smaller than a Laptop, not as conspicuous and a bit easier to store.

Good luck!

Posted by
1568 posts

I carry a PHD especially made for downloading pictures from camera. Mine will take about 7-8 different CF cards or sticks.

Don't leave home without it.

Posted by
264 posts

If you have a video ipod or ipod with a color screen, you can transfer your camera pictures to the ipod with an Apple camera connector. That's what we did when our memory card filled up. We downloaded the pictures to the ipod and then erased the memory card on the camera once we were assured the pictures had downloaded.
Our only fear was that the ipod might get stolen, but it didn't.
Otherwise, I would get extra 2GB or 4 GB memory cards for your camera and switch out cards when one filled up.

Posted by
31471 posts


While the I-Pod solution is certainly one option, in my experience it's not the most reliable. Transfer speed is slow, and those that begin the process without a fully charged battery might be in for a "rude awakening".

We've tried the I-Pod method for saving photos, but unfortunately the stupid machine went into "brain lock" and had to be be completely reset (re-format the hard drive), a process which WIPED OUT every photo. I tried EVERY other method I could find (holding down different keys to reset, etc., etc., but none were successful). We are quite computer literate, so the possibility this was caused by "user error" is very remote.

Using I-Pods for photo storage is not something I will EVER rely on again!


Posted by
241 posts

Do do something. As I wrote earlier, at the end of our 3 week and 2 day trip, with a camera full of photos of our friends, we left it in our hotel room the morning of our flight home. I feel bad enuf, but especially bad for losing the pics that rightfully belonged to our friends.