Whenever my computer decides it is destined for better place beyond its life on earth, I am always so thankful I am not traveling when it makes this decision. It seems with technology, problems with a laptop or camera spring up at the most inopportune of times, usually while on a safari in Africa or in the middle of nowhere in Nevada.
When I was robbed in Belfast a few months ago, I could breathe a sigh of relief that my laptop was not taken along with my cash. On those precious pieces of technology, most travelers hold their travel memories in photo and video form.
My fear of placing so much faith and memory in technology all boils down to my travel photographs. If I lose those, I am without countless memories I can’t get back.
If you face a thief in Budapest or a failed hard drive in Shanghai, you can kiss your travel photographs goodbye if you aren’t properly prepared. Before your next big trip or even just on this regular Friday, consider some of these photograph storage sites so that you and your travel memories are prepared for the worst.
Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/)—While Flickr’s basic, free membership doesn’t allow you to upload unlimited photos you can invest in a Pro membership to do so. Flickr is perhaps the most common photo sharing system with a focus on community. Your photos are safe on another website, much like other photo storage systems. Flickr also prides itself on making it easy to share and organize your photos with others. You can store 300 MB of photos and two videos for free each month while the Pro version gives you unlimited space.
Fotki (http://www.fotki.com/)—If you have a travel blog, you might find Fotki appealing to keep track of your photos. The photo storage site allows you free unlimited photo hosting for sites, blogs, auctions and emails. Even those without a website can host their photo albums here. There are both premium and free membership options with Fotki.
Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/)—With the claim of “always having your stuff wherever you need it”, travelers can appreciate Dropbox for its photo storage space. You can also place files and videos on your Dropbox account. If you should lose your computer while traveling or experience a malfunction, you can go to the Dropbox webpage and all of your photos are there. Dropbox starts with a basic, free package of 2GBs.
iCloud (http://www.apple.com/icloud/)—Apple’s soon to be released version of file storage integrates all of your photographs on all of your devices. For example, if you snap a photo on your iPhone, it will also be on your computer and anywhere else you want it. There is no syncing or sending involved. While not out just yet, you can set up a notification when this cloud appears on the market.
SmugMug (http://www.smugmug.com/)—If you are more serious about photography, you probably already use SmugMug. The storage space may be unlimited, but you will pay for it. Regardless, the site offers features travel photography pros can appreciate.
Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/)—Google’s answer to photo storage allows you to store and share your photographs easily, especially with Gmail. Picasa is free to download and allows you to place 1 gigabyte of photo files in its system. That space, according to Picasa, can hold around 4,000 wallpaper-size photographs.
What is your favorite place to store your travel photographs in case of a disaster?