How Cloud Services Are Changing the Way People Travel (and Which One is Best?)

Posted by No Comment

One of the most exciting and talked about aspects of new technology is the idea of the ‘cloud’.

The cloud refers to an online space where data can be stored securely (independent from the user’s devices) and accessed from multiple devices anywhere in the world.

As well as being useful in the business world, cloud computing (and those operating cloud services) could soon change the way people travel.

The three main cloud services out there at the moment are Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s Skydrive.

Each of these, used properly, can benefit high-tech travelers and improve their experiences on the road.

Each of the three services is slightly different, making them suited to different people and different needs. Let’s take a look:



Dropbox was one of the first cloud services to come into existence (launching in 2008) and allows you to backup and share files by uploading them to your cloud (by placing them in your designated Dropbox folder).

DropboxDropbox can be used used/accessed through computers as well as mobile devices (such as Blackberry and Android phones) through the use of the Dropbox app.

Travelers who need to access sensitive or important files while on the road can do so and can easily share them with those at home.

If you’re working as part of a team, cloud services allow multiple people to easily collaborate on the same piece of work from anywhere in the world.

If you’re taking pictures of your trip, uploading the photos to Dropbox enables you to securely back them up (in case you lose your camera) and share them with those at home (providing they have access to your Dropbox).

Dropbox’s main strength lies in its simplicity and ease of use. All you have to do is drag and drop an item into your Dropbox folder and it’ll find its way into the cloud.

Although Dropbox doesn’t have as many features as other cloud services, the few things it does do are done extremely well, making it perfect for those who just want something quick and simple to use.

A Dropbox account is free and allows you up to 2GB of storage space. If you require more storage space you can upgrade your account for the price of a small monthly fee.

To visit Dropbox’s website and sign up for an account, click here.


In 2011 Apple inevitably entered the cloud computing arena and released iCloud. As the iCloud was designed by Apple, it naturally works extremely well with Apple’s other products (such as Macbook laptop computers and iPad tablet devices).

iCloudThe iCloud service enables you to instantaneously sync all of your data (such as your apps, music, contact information, files, etc.) with ease.

Just like Dropbox (and other cloud services), iCloud enables you to access the files/date in your cloud from anywhere in the world (providing you have a device capable of accessing it and an internet connection).

One of the iCloud’s biggest benefits for travelers is the Photostream feature. This enables you to automatically upload photos taken on your iPhone to your cloud. As the iPhone’s camera continues to improve (and starts to rival regular digital cameras), more and more people will surely use their iPhone as their primary camera when traveling, thus making this feature extremely useful.

With Photostream, not only will your photos will be backed up automatically, they’ll be imported into your photo library (ready for editing) and made available for viewing for those back home.

In addition to this, the iCloud’s ‘Find My iPhone’ service will prove to be very helpful to travelers who have lost their iPhones, iPads of Mac computers whilst on the road.

Left your iPhone in a restaurant? Misplaced your iPad stolen while staying at a hostel? This service allows you to track down your lost devices. Had a device with sensitive data on it stolen? Through the iCloud you can remotely lock it (disabling it for use from others) and even erase the data from it.

An iCloud account with 5GB of storage space is free. Just like Dropbox, you can upgrade your account (and increase the amount of storage) for a monthly fee.

To visit the iCloud website, click here.

Microsoft’s Skydrive

Microsoft’s cloud service is known as the Skydrive. Like Dropbox and the iCloud, Skydrive allows you to automatically sync your first to your cloud, meaning they’ll be securely backed up and available for access anywhere you can find an internet connection.

Microsoft SkydriveIt seems Microsoft designed Skydrive with the intention of promoting collaborative work, as multiple users can access the same Skydrive cloud and edit documents/files at the same time, making it easy for a team to work together (even if they’re thousands of miles apart geographically).

Because Skydrive was developed by Microsoft, it integrates extremely well with the Windows operating system, and programs like Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker work seamlessly with the cloud service.

One of the main features of Skydrive is that it allows you to easily decide which files should be stored in the cloud, and which of those stored items may be accessed by others, giving you complete control over which files are uploaded/shared with others.

Creating an account with Skydrive gives you access to 25GB of cloud storage space, making it by far the biggest basic-level cloud service on the market.

To visit the Skydrive website, click here.

Of course, in order for cloud computing to work, you must be connected to the internet.

This isn’t usually a problem when sitting at home or in the office, but if you’re halfway around the world you might not always be able to get online.

Thankfully, finding a Wi-Fi connection seems to be easier than ever, as more and more places (such as coffee shops and hotels) are free Wi-Fi to their customers.

Related posts:

  1. How to Backup and Protect Your Files Whilst on the Road
  2. How to Get the Best Exchange Rate When Changing Money Abroad

Share this Article!