Dropbox is a leading online file storage system. Its claim to fame is that any changes you make to a file in one place are automatically synced to any other device on which you’re using Dropbox. It doesn’t matter if its a Mac, PC, iPhone, Android device, or even a Windows phone. So if you add or change a document or photo on your Mac, you will see the changed version on your iPad the next time you open it.
Dropbox also has some great travel uses.
Storing Travel Reference Information
I store travel reference information in a special travel folder in my Dropbox account. This folder includes PDF travel guidebooks, gluten-free allergy cards, passport photos, my packing list, travel-related manuals, and so on.
Storing Trip Related Information
Dropbox is also good for storing your flight itinerary, confirmations, medical information, maps, travel insurance policy, visas, and so on. Because Dropbox has been successfully hacked (more than once) in the past, I’m careful about putting unencrypted confidential information like copies of my passport there. By marking files as a favourite in the Dropbox app on your mobile device, you’ll have access to that content when you don’t have an Internet connection. Make sure you have physical copies of any documents (like flight itineraries and tickets) that you might be required to have, though.
Create a shared folder in your Dropbox to share content (itineraries, confirmations, insurance policies, contact details, and so on) with other people traveling with you, or back home. Also, if you need to print something from your phone, saving it in Dropbox can be a great way to make it accessible on a public computer, like at an Internet cafe.
Photo Backup and Sharing
In Dropbox’s settings you can have Dropbox automatically upload to the cloud any photos you take. If you lose your phone, you should have a copy of those photos stored in Dropbox online. If you’re short on space on your mobile device, you can delete photos from your phone that you’ve uploaded to Dropbox. For convenience, many travelers choose to upload their photos to Dropbox overnight.
Also, using Dropbox you can share photos privately with friends without having to email them or upload those photos publicly to a service like Facebook. Currently, you also earn (permanent) bonus free space in your Dropbox account if you use the Camera Upload feature.
Finally, sometimes its nice to share photos of your country or family with people you meet whilst traveling. If you store these photos in Dropbox, you don’t have to use precious space on your mobile device.
If you have space in your Dropbox account you can store your movies there to save space on your mobile device. You can then stream or download them when you want to watch a movie, providing you have sufficient bandwidth.
Backing Up Content
There are many ways to back up content with Dropbox. Some people put their documents folder inside their Dropbox so that all of their files are automatically backed up and synced whenever they work on them. I make a special travel folder in my Dropbox account to back up files that I’m working on as I travel.
How to Get More Dropbox Space
A standard free Dropbox account has 2GB of included storage space.
If you find you’re running out of space in your Dropbox account there are several ways you can earn more free space. (Currently, these can total over 20GB of extra free storage space.) These methods include referring friends, connecting social media accounts, by uploading photos, and by completing account set-up tasks. Or, you can get more space the old fashioned way… you can pay for it! You can get 1TB of storage space for just $99/year.
Dropbox is one of those services that is really easy to learn, yet there are many power tips and tricks you can learn to get more value from it. If you need to brush up on your Dropbox skills (or learn some advanced ones), one of the best Dropbox video tutorials is Up And Running With Dropbox with Keith Gilbert. If you prefer reading books, Take Control of Dropbox by Joe Kissell is an excellent choice.