Lessons from the Road: Backup your Backups

The worst thing that could happen to any travel blogger or traveler (except getting kidnapped, robbed, or seriously injured) is losing all your photos of your precious memories and travels. Especially when you are trying to run a website sharing those memories!

We have heard the sad tales from others who have lost all their footage while abroad from external hard-drives crashing to leaving their only camera with all their photos on a bus. We were devastated when we lost months of photos/memories while traveling through Laos when our external hard drive crashed. To make matters worse, my computer’s hard drive also took a crap on us leaving me with a heavy, expensive, unusable brick to carry around SE Asia and still try to blog (First world struggles we know!) We were in the middle of our first month in Laos and there’s not many if ANY options to get your Macbook or hard drive fixed or replaced. So we were S.O.L.

Our options were pretty limited leaving us on the verge of technological mental breakdowns!

What were our options?

Skip our trip in Laos and go directly to Bangkok to try and get everything fixed.


Wait one month until we had a planned visit back in the States and worry about it then.

We chose the second option, but with a lot of anxiety. We were sharing one computer to pump out our content, edit photos, make hyper-lapse videos, and trying to work around all our missing files and Scott’s gorgeous photos. Not to mention the spotty and weak internet connection throughout the country, which drove us mad some days.

Unfortunately, we were not able to save the files on our external hard drive or my computer. And we had to get a new hard drive installed in my computer and new external hard drives.

But there is an important lesson to be learned here.


After this craptastic shit storm happened we realized it’s important to invest the extra couple hundreds of dollars in getting backups of our backups. Sounds redundant and a lot of people don’t want to do spend the extra cash until they have their own disaster happen. Which by then, is already too late.

But think about it this way. You will spend thousands of dollars on this trip. Why not spend $100 more making sure the memories remain safe.

Trust us, it’s worth it! External hard drives don’t last forever, and when you’re on the go all the time like us they’re moving around all the time. So, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry. Not only that but nowadays they are super cheap, and super small.

So what you should do

Backup your backup files RIGHT AWAY, don’t wait, what if your external crashes?!!

Carry an external hard drive and a back up of that external hard drive.

Use a protective case to carry them in.

If you know you will have stable internet you can do it all digitally by using cloud storage options like Dropbox or Amazon.

The downside

It’s going to be a chore to make sure your photos are safe. But don’t take the risk of losing all your memories by not backing up your files. We learned this the hard way and wish we could go back in time. It’s not fun carrying extra electronics or devices, especially now since we treat our external hard drives like Faberge eggs. But it’s definitely worth not losing anymore memories or our hard work!

On the road we use two Western Digital 2TB External Hard-Drives. 2TB is a lot of data so we know we are going to have lots of room for movies, and our photos. We tend to buy them from Amazon since they almost always have deals where the externals are less than $80 a piece making this a cheap and reliable expense.

Have any lessons you have learned from the road, please share them in the comments below? We’d also appreciate any other suggestions on how to keep your photos safe while traveling?

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