Travel makes memories, and travel pictures keep those memories alive. Protect those travel pictures with an external hard drive. The Western Digital My Passport Ultra external hard drive is a portable drive that’s easy to pack and take with you on your family vacations. Back up and store those priceless shots, protect travel pictures, and keep them safe, freeing up more space on your phone or camera to capture even more memories.

WD My Passport Ultra Drive

Protect Travel Pictures

So many memories are made on a family vacation. And if you’re anything like me, you drive your family crazy taking travel pictures of everything you see and do along the way. Whether you use the fanciest camera or capture everything on your cell phone, those images are snapshots of moments in time that you want to hold on to forever. Because even if you visit the same destination again someday, your family will never experience it exactly the same way again.

You may already have a plan in place to back up and protect your families’ memories. However, many of us simply leave our travel pictures on our phones or cameras, or download them to our computer and leave them there. I’ve heard stories of friends losing a phone or having a camera or laptop stolen, with all of those irreplaceable images gone forever.

Cloud Storage vs. External Hard Drive

Even if you use cloud storage as a backup, you usually need a wi-fi connection for your photos to upload (not always available when you’re at a beach or on a ski slope), and photos don’t always get stored at their original resolutions. Plus image files tend to be large, so a week-long vacation can fill up your available storage quite quickly.

My family thought we had a good solution. I back up most of my photos to an online photo storage site, plus I also move them from my (not always reliable) laptop hard drive to our family’s external network drive. In theory, this has worked beautifully. But only if I keep up with getting everything moved and copied, which unfortunately isn’t always the case.


And recently, when our external network drive failed, we lost years and years worth of photos and videos – some of which were backed up elsewhere, but not all. Those memories are now gone forever.

My policy now for photos is to back them up in multiple locations as quickly as possible.

And my new best friend is the Western Digital My Passport Ultra external hard drive that I was recently sent to try out and review. I have the 3 Terabyte version, so there’s plenty of room to store all the photos and videos that we take. The drive is small and easily portable, so I can keep it with me to copy and back those memories up right away, also freeing up the memory on my phone and cameras for whatever images I want to capture tomorrow.

WD My Passport Ultra drive is comparable in size to a RAVPower portable charger or an iPhone 6.

WD My Passport Ultra external hard drive (center) is comparable in size to a RAVPower portable charger (left) or an iPhone 6 (right). Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen / TravelingMom with Daughters

Lightweight and Powerful: WD My Passport Ultra

Yes, this drive is tiny. It’s smaller in overall size and lighter than the portable charger I carry on a regular basis, comparable in size to my iPhone 6, although not as thin. The drive slips easily into my travel carry-on or purse, so packing it is a breeze. It connects easily to my laptop via a short USB 3.0 (compatible with USB 2.0) cable (provided), making copying even large image files a quick and easy process. And knowing that those memories are safely stored away lets me focus just on enjoying the trip.


Keeping Travel Pictures Safe

My 13-year-old daughter and I recently went on a trip together to Lake Chelan in Washington state. She had a blast capturing the beauty of the area on her cell phone – as well as taking various selfies both alone and with the friends she made while on the trip.

Two days before we were due to travel home, she came to me because her limited phone storage was full and she didn’t want to delete any of the travel pictures that she’d already taken in order to capture the rest of our travels.

I don’t have cloud backups enabled for her phone, but we easily downloaded her photos and moved them onto the My Passport Ultra drive so that I didn’t have to take up storage on my laptop. She was thrilled to be able to start filling her phone up with more photos right away, and when we returned home we easily moved those travel pictures over to her computer.

More than Travel Picture Storage

Along with photos and videos, I also am using the WD My Passport Ultra drive to keep backups of our family’s movies and music for when we travel. This eliminates the worry about creating space on our personal devices. Having our entire movie library available when we travel will be a huge help, so we can pick and choose what to watch as we go and not have to decide ahead of time what the kids think they might want to see.

While the WD My Passport Ultra drive is a very convenient option, the small size also makes it easier to lose or misplace – so I am careful to back up the files elsewhere as soon as possible also. I wouldn’t recommend using this drive as your only backup. But the size does make it very easy to move files from one computer to another and to pack this drive when you travel, so that you can back up your photos and videos here until you can copy them to a secondary backup option.

The drive is constructed from a sturdy plastic and comes in four color options (Classic Black, Brilliant White, Noble Blue and Wild Berry), so it’s easy to color code if you purchase separate drives for multiple family members. You can password-protect the drive (this also enables 256-bit hardware-based encryption) to make sure that your private information remains private.

You can purchase the WD My Passport Ultra drive at many in-store or online retail locations or directly through Western Digital at their WD Store. Current retail price (as of July 2016) is $129 for the 3 TB option.