Previously, I wrote about how to free up memory in your iPhone (and Android phone, but that is much less of a problem). Having a flash drive where you can store your photos frees up memory on your phone by backing up your photos (unfortunately only your photos, not your iTunes music, podcasts and iBooks) and deleting them so you can take more photos and videos of your kids. And share them to Facebook or whatever means you use to communicate with the kids grandparents and other people who appreciate how cute they are. The sharing works from your thumb drive, too.
But as I mentioned in the previous post, there are disadvantages too them, too. They are small, which makes them easy to handle, but also easy to lose. Or for your children to get hold of and play with, which can destroy the sturdiest memory stick.
There is another alternative, which you can not drop down the drain: Cloud disks. The disadvantage is that they generate considerable data traffic when photos are uploaded. That limits your usage to places where there is free wifi, unless you have adata roaming plan that works internationally (and be careful, in some countries there is national roaming, so you have to pay more when you leave your home zone).
If you have an Apple device, they are kind enough to include 5 GB of cloud storage capacity for free. You can set up sharing with your family, and they do not have to have Apple devices to see the pictures and videos you upload either.
With Dropbox, you get 2GB free, and 1 TB if you pay (about 10 dollars a month). The free account is a good deal, since it includes automated backup from your phone. On the other hand, you will be surprised at how fast it fills up.
With Google you get 15GB and while you have to share it with your Gmail it is a lot. There is also an app that lets you back up your photos, calendar, and contacts to the Google Drive. Although only when you have a wifi connection.
You can get even more capacity from Google if you put your videos on Youtube. You can get 20 GB and it is possible to keep videos private, so they can only be seen by people who you have explicitly given access. The upload app works from both iOS and Android.
And for the adventurous there is another alternative: Make your own cloud drive. A terabyte-size hard drive costs a lot less than a one year Dropbox connection, and if you know enough about Internet connection management you can set it up in the safety of your home. Or bring it with you. A terabyte drive with integrated wifi costs about the same as a year of Dropbox, and while you probably want to leave it in the safety of your rented apartment or hotel room, you can set up your phone to synch when you get "home". And these drives have one more advantage: they are too big to fit in a drain.
I am Wisterian Watertree, recently moved from Bangkok to Tokyo, with a brief visit to Honolulu on the way. I write about travel, especially with our three beautiful kids (two girls and one boy, soon turning four and a half - yes. they are triplets). Travel is education and fun rolled into one, and if you are like me, that is something you want to give to your kids. If you want more tips and want to find out when I will publish something, get it from my email list. If you want to be personal, drop me a note on email@example.com, or if you want general tips, follow me on Twitter @wisterianw.