What are the Most Important Travel Photos and Security Issues?

Ruskin's View

Ruskin’s View, Kirkby Lonsdale

I bet you are thinking this is going to be a different post, especially by the photos shown.

You might not think of using your phone or iPad for travel photos, but after reading this post you might. While photos in this post are shot with my camera, the phone really comes in handy for images you might not think about taking.


I use my phone and iPad all the time for record keeping, finding what I want found, and generally as my identification in case of loss of important records. Here’s how…

First thing when getting to the airport, I photograph where I parked my car in case I lose that tiny ticket they want you to retain for weeks. If I need a rental car, I snap a few photos of it before leaving the lot. I never had a problem with a rental car, but you never can be too cautious. You don’t want to pay for scratches if you did not cause them.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Next, at the ticket counter, I photograph my Tumi luggage in case I need to make a claim of loss. At least there is no argument from the airlines on the cost of replacement that way. I want them to know I use compression bags too. I want compensation for all the contents. I have had to make a claim too.


My next stop is security and customs. I make sure to have photos of my credit cards (and phone numbers), passport photo page (phone number of the embassy), as well as my Nexus card (TSA pre-approval). You never know if they turn up missing how much you may need that copy. I don’t keep these items directly on the phone.


There are secure apps for record keeping like the one I use called Keeper. At $29 per individual a year, you get Unlimited password storage, Unlimited devices sync, Unlimited secure cloud backup, Unlimited secure record sharing, Fingerprint login, a Web app, and 24/7 support.


I also have my airline ticket (email), hotel confirmation number (email), and the phone numbers to the travel agent which are kept on the phone. My phone and iPad are like having an assistant with all the info I keep secure in the Cloud.

Disable Bluetooth though, when you aren’t using it. If not pairing it to my car, I disable it so that nearby hackers can’t connect to my iPhone.


When I am in a foreign city or town, I am always taking landmark photos of subway maps, street signs, important buildings near my hotel, and anything that might get me back to where I need to go. It is kinda like leaving breadcrumbs to follow.

One thing to consider as a traveler, be careful where you go. The image above is from Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Two tourists hiked the mountain recently and one was killed after leaving the trail and falling to their death. Without a guide, you too could get lost and make a wrong, fateful decision.

I do have a map app on the phone which has each city I visit listed. No internet necessary for this app, but I found those “trail” photos really useful too.  Want to know what apps I have for travel? See this post.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall

Virtual Private Network

If you want to watch US TV shows (must use VPN with an US IP address), use Photoshop on the iPad, or get into your airline account for check in, passwords are a must. Remember always use VPN, a password protected app like Keeper and use of their Cloud service. Hackers can’t steal what you don’t store on your smartphone.

Keep auto-fill turned off. For password and personal information such as credit card information that you commonly use to visit a website, it is important to not store that information on the smartphone.

My phone, iPad and computer are all protected by a virtual private network. Web browsing with VPN bounces me all around the world to a country and city of my discretion, not giving away my TWC IP address. No digital finger prints to follow. It enables you to send encrypted communications through a separate and secure private network while you are on a public network. Public Wi-Fi is notoriously insecure.


The phone and iPad are passcode and fingerprint protected too. Apple is very serious on keeping users safe. I never had a problem while traveling, but you can’t be too careful.

Phone Cloning

The only thing of major concern, is if the phone is cloned. Cell phone cloning is where secured data from one cell phone is transferred into another phone which becomes an exact replica. Criminals use cloned cellular phones for illegal activities because they are difficult to trace, and the calls are not billed to them. It does not need to be powered on to steal info as is my understanding.


An expert hacker can clone a phone with only the phone number. From there it goes to the IMEI and ICCID numbers, then your phone information is toasted to another. Unfortunately, there is no way the subscriber can detect cloning. Events like call dropping or bigger monthly bills can be an alert. This is why you might want to keep your phone secure and hidden. If they don’t see a phone (or detect a Bluetooth signal) they might move on to another mark.

Security By Apple

Want some more security help for Apple devices? All my devices are protected with two-factor authentication with my Apple ID through iCloud.  The verification code is different from the device code. When signing in on a device, I check in on another to enter that special code. As long as I am signed in all my devices are shown as in my “control” only. It is especially useful for laptops, iPads and iPhones that travel. No one else can access them.  Two-factor authentication significantly improves the security of your Apple ID.


Portmeirion Sand

Portmeirion Sand

With all the traveling I have been doing, I am becoming a very savvy traveler.

Right now I am away again, but driving rather than flying. The drive is 7 hours, and often I wish I was flying instead. Now if I could only be sure not to drop my iPad and have it shatter… at least Apple Care has a new one waiting for me. Last trip to PA the iPad Pro got damaged somehow. A mystery.


See my new travel tab, with all the posts I have shared in 2016. I am listing links for helpful tips and interesting posts on travel. The tab will be updated to show previous years soon.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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17 Responses to What are the Most Important Travel Photos and Security Issues?

  1. Søren says:

    I rarely if ever use public WiFi, preferring to just use my regular data plan. (I have free roaming in some 50-60 countries included, so no extra charge for that.) This also means I always have my phone’s GPS at my disposal, though I try not to use it – I like to just meander about and see where I end up, and I can normally find my way back to where I’m staying.

    As for plane tickets, hotel reservations etc. I really can’t remember the last time I had to produce anything other than my passport or one of my driver’s licenses. (Well, except to get access to the Vatican. They’re pretty strict on having everything in hard-copy.)

    (Also, I’m in love with Tumi… My ex bought me a weekend bag from them, and though it doesn’t look like much it just oozes quality when you feel it. It will be my only luggage when I go to Barcelona next weekend.)

  2. alesiablogs says:

    Very informative post . You lost me with some of the content, but I will try and read this later again and see if I can pick up more of these insights . I do not go as far as you have done with your traveling. I suppose I am a bit of a novice. Thx though for so much cool info.

  3. debsgarden says:

    You are very savvy indeed! You made some excellent points and suggestions. You ought to public this as a pamphlet for travelers. With the excellent photos, of course!

  4. bren0404 says:

    I’m travelling in a month and this was a help. Thanks!

  5. I learned a lot about using technology for traveling in this post. I don’t have apple devices but I think Android must have similar services. I have enjoyed all your travel photos. It is fun to see places I’ve been through other lenses. Drive safely!

  6. Enjoy your time in PA. We are haivng our first nice day in ME in quite a while.

  7. evmoog says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Victor Ho says:

    Very useful info. There’s a lot I had not considered. Thanks so much.

  9. alistair says:

    I am totally gobsmacked as to how you have embraced technology.Pictures are pretty good also.

  10. I am totally gobsmacked as to how you have embraced technology.Pictures are pretty good also.

  11. You are so organized! Thanks for all the ideas–I use some of them, but made a note of others so I can use them in the future. You’re right: The phone photos aren’t great quality (although occasionally they surprise me), but the phone is great for tracking other information with images.

  12. Steve says:

    Great photos as always. Do you reduce the jpegs size before you load to wordpress? I am always concerned about speed of loading etc and reduce the photo quality to 60 and the size to 1000px. I read some where that wordpress also reduces the size by 60% so maybe I am degrading too far. Any thoughts?

  13. A.M.B. says:

    Thanks for the advice! I also take pictures of landmarks to help me retrace my steps. It’s incredibly helpful (especially because I have a terrible sense of direction!).

  14. I traveled on business for years here in the U.S. and Canada and got a car rental in each city. The cars where almost always white and the most common brands. When I arrived at my appointments it was almost always dark and when I came out later in the day and I had to then search through very large parking lots with 100’s of cars for one that was white…A few photos would have been so helpful.

  15. Karen says:

    Great tips, Donna. I’ve never traveled much and probably never will, but you’ve provided valuable information for those who do. I’m always in awe of you. 🙂

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