Why I Use an iPad for Photo Backup While Traveling
I never thought I would say this, but the iPad saved my life once. Ok, maybe not my life but it saved some experiences I had in my life from being lost forever.
Let me explain. We all know that photos are the life-blood and “memory stick” of our vacations. They allow us to remember those experiences over and over again. It always amazes me that just by looking at pictures from previous vacations I can vividly remember those experiences and adventures.
Some of our best family time is when we are just reminiscing about previous travels while looking at pictures through the Apple TV.
We also know that technology breaks down and that $40 memory stick in your camera that cost a company $2 to manufacture will break. The question is not if, but when.
When Cindy and I were in New York last year, this exact thing happened to us. Due to my great foresight and planning (read: luck) I had just bought an adapter for the iPad that allowed me to take the pictures from the card and plop them onto the iPad. My thinking was that it would be a cool way to review the shots I had taken during the day.
I did not plan on using it as a backup device.
How to Use the iPad as a Photo Backup Device While on Vacation
Now with the release of the iPad 3 and the retina screen, pictures viewed on the iPad are more vivid than ever. Even better, with enough storage space on the device, you can backup all the pictures you take on your many cameras, as long as they use a memory stick.
With the newest iPhones and the advent of iCloud, pictures you take on these devices are automatically sent to the cloud which means you will have an automatic backup. However, if you have other cameras in your family (such as the multiple cameras we bring), and those cameras use memory sticks then you need to consider an alternative backup strategy.
If you want to ensure that you have a backup of your shots while traveling, then here is the technology and the process you might want to consider.
1. An iPad; pretty obvious, but you will need an iPad or iPhone to make this work. If you can swing it, try to get the one with the highest amount of storage. As of this writing, that is the 64gb version.
2. The Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit. This is the kit you will need to get the photos off your memory stick and onto the iPad.
Here is the process I started doing in New York and it saved my bacon. Basically you need to plug the camera’s memory card into the Camera Connection kit and plug it into your iPad and let the device copy all the pictures from the memory stick.
Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Each time you get back to your hotel, or every couple hours if you are carrying your iPad around, plug the memory stick into the iPad and download all shots to the iPad.
2. When asked, DO NOT erase the images on your memory stick. Keep them on there until your trip is done.
3. Repeat every chance you get.
You now will have all the pictures on your memory stick, and a copy of those shots will also be on the iPad.
With this process, as simple as it is, you now have two copies of all your shots in case something happens. If you keep your iPad back at the hotel in the safe, then even if your camera gets stolen you will have the shots up to your last backup.
This has worked very well for me since we started doing it. If there are other strategies you use, please comment or Twitter your suggestions to @ourtripto.