If you are the type of person who likes to take oodles of vacation photos, be sure to check out these tips!

Vacation packing lists have changed since I was a kid. My small, 1970’s canvas, floral print, handheld suitcase contained a swim suit, shorts, tops, a jacket, sneakers, sandals, a comic book, a toothbrush, comb, stamps for postcards, and an instamatic camera plus film and flash cubes.

Today’s packing lists for kids and parents are far more comprehensive – especially when it comes to our digital equipment:

  • Power cords for hotels and in the car
  • External chargers for camping
  • Earbuds
  • Bluetooth headset
  • Smart phones or tablet
  • E-reader
  • Coordinating cases
  • Selfie stick
  • Access to our passwords

Even with this daunting digital list, most of my clients seem to manage their digital packing with the same ease I did when packing my comic book and instamatic camera.

Yet nearly all of my clients come back from vacations with the same horror story time after time: They say, “I was just getting ready to take a photo of __________ (insert: my daughter feeding the owl on a private rare bird tour at the zoo or my husband standing next to Taylor Swift and her entourage at Disneyland) – and my camera’s photo storage was full! I totally missed the moment.”

Forgetting all about their glorious moment, these moms and dads plunge into detailing the painful experience of their family disappointment, followed by how they stood in the roasting sun madly trying to decide and delete valuable photos under pressure so they could salvage some sort of marker of the event. Precious vacation hours and days are often lost to this photo faux pas. Here’s how you can avoid this.

How to Manage Picture Storage for iPhone & Android

  1. Prepare in advance.
    Set aside one hour prior to your trip to ensure you have adequate photo storage for your vacation. This means more than just deleting your photos and tapping the trash can icon.

    When you run out of storage space, you won’t be able to snap those amazing shots – which can lead to wonky phone behavior and frustration for everyone involved.
  2. Back up what you already have.
    During your pre-vacation prep, you can back up your photos in one of many ways. A few of the favored choices are the Amazon Prime Photos app, iCloud, Dropbox or the Google+ app.
  3. Designate breakfast as your photo review time.
    Finally, if you are the type of person who likes to take oodles of vacation photos, be sure to check your phone each morning at breakfast or during your first cup of coffee and check your storage levels.

    You will accomplish two things: one, you can relive yesterday’s moments; and, two, verify that you have enough storage to capture the magic of your next big vacation day.

Photo Storage Tips For iPhone & Android

You may be asking, “I don’t seem to have a lot of photos or videos in my phone – why am I having a problem with low storage? Why can’t I take anymore photos?” It turns out that when your phone doesn’t have enough space to store photos (or store anything else), you can’t take any more pictures!

When your internal storage is filled to capacity (with photos or anything else), you will need to open up some of that space. Here are a couple tips you may not know:

  • You may already know that when you delete a photo it doesn’t actually get deleted. it is actually relocated to a special location or album named “Recently Deleted,” which is really just taking up space.
  • Every video or picture in that “Recently Deleted” location will remain in that place for 30 days and then finally disappear (but not before those 30 days are up). Thus, all those photos you thought you just deleted, are still holding space in your phone. This is why after just deleting 63 photos and 8 videos, you still can’t take a photo due to insufficient storage.
  • Now, here’s that secret tip: Go back into that “Recently Deleted” photo album and select the photos and videos you just placed there and, drum roll please, delete them again. Finally, this means you have really deleted those pictures and videos and you should regain some vital storage space for new vacation memories.


About Dorothy Breininger

Dorothy Breininger is America’s Most Innovative Professional Organizer. She is an organizing expert on A&E Television’s Emmy-nominated weekly TV series, “Hoarders,” and also appears on the Today Show, the Dr. Phil Show, the VIEW, QVC and PBS, in addition to being featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and O Magazine.

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