How do you keep track of your past vacations so you can revisit those trips in the future? There are many apps and desktop software products that you may have already used to organize your travel photos, journals, bookings, and files. You’re probably wondering which is the the best tool to keep track of all your vacations memories in one place.
If you are like most people you’ve managed to store photo albums in the cloud on multiple websites like iCloud, Google Drive, Facebook, Dropbox, or Instagram. It’s easy to forget where to search for your old vacation photos and they can end up getting lost. Don’t forget about all your vacation memories such as trip itineraries, booking confirmations, destination research, scanned travel docs, and notes taken while traveling. You don’t want to lose track of where you’ve stored those either.
Writing a travel blog is one way to document and share your trips with your family and the world. It can be a fulfilling endeavor, but only if you are committed to writing for a public audience. My wife enjoys the art of travel blogging on Sidewalk Safari, so you can be inspired by our extensive global travel experience. Having a travel blogger in the family helps, but what if you want a simple way to keep a detailed list of all your vacations and keep it private?
Most people certainly don’t have the time to write posts and upload photos for every vacation they take. Plus privacy has become critical in this age of sharing too much online and on social media. Do you really want to share your all your detailed vacation plans and personal photo albums with the world? Maybe not…
I’ve already covered websites and tools you can use to plan your upcoming vacations, but what about keeping a list of all your current and past vacations? Many people maintain a list of all the books read, movies and TV shows watched, and video games played. Why not vacations? I’ve searched the Web but found no apps or software whose purpose is to store a detailed list of all the vacations I’ve taken throughout my life.
If you do a search for vacation tracking sites, you’ll find numerous apps that offer similar features for the frequent traveler. The problem is they are typically geared toward planning a trip and finding activities as you explore (i.e. backpack) popular and exotic destinations. Unfortunately many of the “top 10” lists promote out of date software tools, promotional (paid) content, or point to sites such as TravelPod which has shut down. Don’t get me wrong, I love planning trips (it may be my #1 skill) and taking mindful vacations, but I am awful about looking back at past vacations to relive those wonderful memories.
Other apps I’ve found look promising, but are only available for iPhone (via the App Store) or at a price. This leaves out the majority of users who own an Android, Microsoft, or other brand of smart phone. Regardless I prefer a web-based app which works equally well on my desktop computer, laptop, tablet, AND phone. I use my phone when traveling (sometimes I take a lightweight Chromebook on vacation) but mostly site at my home computer when designing the perfect trip itinerary. To process the huge number of photos when we return from each vacation, my wife uses a powerful HP All-In-One desktop computer with a large monitor.
Here are a few easy ways that I have used to track my vacation photos, notes, and memories. They aren’t perfect, but they are a good starting point if you want to store a travel list online in a secure and convenient place. I prefer to keep a list of my past vacations in one location (online in the cloud) and not have bits and pieces stored on different sites and locally on my hard drive. However you do want to think about backups just in case.
Do you already use Gmail and Google Photos? It may make sense to stick with Google Docs to store a list of you vacations as one or more docs or spreadsheets (called Sheets). Your travel documents like reservations and ticket PDF files can go into the same Google Drive vacation folders to stay organized.
The original and ever-popular note-taking app is great for clipping web screenshots and works on all browsers and platforms. It is free for most users but I highly recommend paying for Evernote Premium to get better security like a pin locking code on the mobile app and note history so you don’t lose vacation notes by mistake.
Microsoft finally realizes the advantage of offering free Office apps to Windows customers. OneNote online and for Windows 10, Android, iPhone, and Windows phones makes it simple to create a notebook for each vacation (or one for each vacation year) with sections and pages to organize your trip notes all in one place.
For those who prefer to always be sharing, Facebook and Instagram are fun ways to present your travel photo albums to the world. I use Facebook to post personal trip photos with friends and family while saving Instagram for my best travel photos to earn likes and shares.
Do be aware that these sites are not good for backing up your original size photos as they are typically compressed and resized to fit their social media platforms (you can’t undo that). The best feature in Facebook photos is how it helps you relive vacations memories by resurfacing photos that you took in years past.
My partner in travel relies on Google Photos for storing all our photos in the cloud for backup, search, and sharing purposes. However she keeps the original digital photos from her camera on a USB hard drive at home. As you take more vacation photos you’ll probably need to pay for extra Google Drive storage space, especially since digital photos get larger (resolution and file size) each year.
Remember that with Google Photos, “High Quality uploads are stored for free but Original quality uploads will consume your Drive storage” unless you own a Google Pixel phone.
I’ll admit that I rarely use an iPhone since my preferred mobile has always been an Android device. For those fans who use a Mac at home or work and always buy the latest iPhone, your default option is to sync all your photos to iCloud. When most of your photos are taken with the superb iPhone or iPad camera and enhanced with filters and fun effects, iCloud is an excellent choice. Of course free storage limits apply as well.
One of the original photo storage sites is super popular for publishing photos online, though you can set them as private and share selectively like with secret link. It’s a great resource to search and browse the billions of travel photos uploaded by individuals, families, and professional photographers.
Now that Flickr was bought by SmugMug, it seems big changes to features and pricing plans may make you look for alternatives.
What cloud software sites, file storage services, and mobile apps do you use to store your travel lists, trip photos, and vacation notes? Take this brief vacation tracker survey to share your feedback on how currently and with to track your past vacation memories.
Even if you store all your photos in the cloud, I recommend that you keep the original copies from your mobile phone and digital camera on an external USB hard drive. That way you are protected and have the original photo files in the original resolution in your own possession. Put it in a fireproof box or safe deposit box at the bank if you wish.
I don’t want to take the risk with the precious memories from our years of traveling together. If a site goes down, doesn’t store the original photos, or you accidentally delete an album or forget to pay for your additional storage space bill, your photo backup hard drive will come in handy.
Here is a search results link to my preferred hard drive brand Seagate. You’ll find many more choices of capacity (hundreds of gigabytes and multiple terabytes), color, and form factor for sale on Amazon.
Since there is no one place to store everything about my past vacations, the team at VacationCounts decided to develop an app which solves this problem. Maintaining an organized list of your annual trips and storing the details privately is how VacationCounts the app helps people make their vacations last forever. We are prone to forget our past vacation dates, places, and memories unless we take the time to keep better track of them.
The VacationCounts App has launched in late 2018 as a free web app for desktop and mobile. It is designed to help you make a list of all your past vacations so that you can chart and visualize your travel and time-off accomplishments. Never miss your vacations by tracking your time off benefits and keeping all your travel memories in one place.
Since you’ll still be saving photos and itineraries and travel documents on various Web and cloud services, you need a way to keep track of those details. With VacationCounts you can add web links to each vacation so you never lose your vacation plans and memories wherever they stored online.
I think you’ll agree the app is visually stunning and works equally well on both mobile and desktop. It’s a “web app” which means that it doesn’t require an app download or installation – just open it in your preferred web browser. It also track paid time off by letting you allocate vacation days as you take them. This is how you can maximize your time off benefits including personal days, floating days, and company holidays each year.
Go to the travel app product page to learn more and try this free vacation tracking web app. You’ll be able to sign up in just a minute.