Mladen Zivkovic/Getty Images
Melanie Lieberman
February 13, 2018
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Few things are as frustrating as having a perfect travel photo ruined by a pop-up declaring that your phone’s storage is full.

There are quick, last minute fixes to this problem, of course — namely sifting through old photographs and videos and deleting a few you hope you’ll never want to look at again.

But for travelers who rely heavily on their smartphone as their primary camera, that’s simply not a sustainable solution.

Whether you’re toting the latest iPhone or the Google Pixel 2, there are a few easy ways to clear space on your phone before your next vacation.

Get an External Storage Drive

If you’re traveling with an iPhone from 2012 or later, you can easily solve your photo storage woes with the Bolt Duo ($60) — a tiny memory stick that plugs into your lightning connector and holds up to 8,000 photos. There are similar devices designed for phones with USB C connectors from SanDisk and Samsung, too.

Change Your Phone Settings

Keep all your photos on your device, and still clear up your phone’s memory, by playing with your settings.

On iOS devices, go to “Photos & Camera” under your settings. Select “optimize iPhone storage,” which will replace full-resolution photos and videos with optimized versions. All full-size media will be saved to the iCloud.

Travelers using Android devices can back up an unlimited number of photos using Google Photos, according to CNET, though they must be deleted from your device to free up space.

Download an App

Similarly, the Avast Photo Space app, which debuted in 2016, allows users to move high-quality images to online storage while replacing images on the mobile phone with a lower-quality file. Unlike native solutions, Avast lets you choose your preferred storage service (think: Dropbox or Google Drive). While the app is only available on iOS devices at this time, Android users can use Avast Cleanup to optimize storage.

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