We all love summer vacation, but we typically return overloaded with photos and mementos. Whether it’s our kids happily building sand castles or a photo opp in front of the Trevi fountain, how can we not take a picture to capture those moments? Usually we’ll take several just to make sure the scene is composed perfectly and everyone is smiling. Sound familiar?


Unfortunately, once we get back home, sorting through all these memories can be stressful and time consuming. Often it’s a job we put off and never complete. Here’s a few ideas to help you avoid photo overload this summer and create a wonderful record of your vacation for you and your family.


1) Take fewer, better photos. Think twice before clicking. Will you really want to keep that blurry landscape photo taken through the train window? If you need tips, check out our Pinterest board on how to get the best photos. Another extreme option is to ditch digital and take a polaroid camera or disposable camera with you. You won’t be able to snap pictures endlessly and these photos will give you a throw-back style. They are easily added to a travel journal, if you keep one.

2) Delete as you go. The best time to decide which pictures to keep and which to ditch is in the moment. If you take 5 pictures of your kids with Mickey Mouse, pick the best one in the series and delete the rest right away. Doing this will also help make room in your camera’s memory so you don’t get stuck with the dreaded “Cannot Take Photo” message when you need to take a picture. If you use an automated backup system, you’ll also avoid clogging that up with junk.

3) Don’t forget videos. Videos are a great way to capture the full emotion of certain moments on your vacation. With sound, body language and other emotional cues, viewers can relive the experience in a deeper way than with still photos. While the file size is far greater, the emotions captured can be well worth it. Here’s some ideas for videos you could take:

  • Announcing a surprise vacation (Who doesn’t love the videos of kids finding out they’re going to Disneyworld?)
  • First steps off the plane
  • Unusual activity, such as parasailing or zip-lining

4) Organize & digitize momentos. Perhaps you keep a paper travel journal or like to keep airline tickets, playbills, brochures and other paper mementos. Instead of just storing these momentos in a box when you get home, scan them using a tool like Genius Scan or just take pictures of them. Once digitized, you can upload them to your vacation collection on your computer or in the cloud using a tool like Arkiver.

5) Add metadata and context. Most digital photos automatically include metadata like date and location. If they’re missing, use a tool like Arkiver to add them along with other tags. Also take some time to add a description that gives more detail about what’s going on in your picture.

6) Backup everything. Rather than letting your vacation photos sit on your phone or an SD card where they could get lost or damaged, make sure to back them up to your computer, external drive and/or a cloud service like Google Drive, Dropbox or Backblaze. This will give you a couple of copies on two different storage media.  Better yet, upload your best memories from your vacation to a curated collection in Arkiver. Every moment you upload to Arkiver is automatically stored in your connected cloud storage account (Drive or Droppbox) so that gives you another copy of your most meaningful moments.

7) Print. Printing your photos and mementos in a bound book, like the kind offered on Arkiver’s Printer Center, is a great way to have a physical, organized copy of your adventure. Another way to go is to print photos to Walgreens via the Arkiver webapp. You can usually pick them up within a couple of hours and can slot them in an album. You can also include momentos in the album and printouts of vacation notes made in Arkiver.

8) Share your memories. If all your vacation photos and mementos are digital, you can easily use Arkiver to privately share them or publicly share them through services like Facebook.  If you want photos from others you went on vacation with, you may want to try the Arkiver Groups feature (web only) to privately collaborate on the vacation collection.


What are the other ways you avoid photo overload and preserve memories from your vacation?

Alexis Tabb
Alexis is the marketing intern for Arkiver, a company dedicated to saving life stories. A senior at Washington and Lee University, she’s excited to work in her hometown of Greenville, SC to help others preserve their photos, videos and other memories and share them privately with their family and friends.