12/23/2013 09:05 am ET Updated Feb 22, 2014

Don't Let Your Family Photos Fade Away

If you're anything like me, you're the type of person who wants to preserve family memories (and your record of family road trips) for posterity. And of course, if your family is anything like mine, you're also likely to find that easier said than done. My parents, for example, lost a box of precious photos to water damage, and a recent viewing of our home videos from the '80s revealed them to have greatly deteriorated in quality.

If you're forward-thinking enough to own a Traverse -- which was chosen as the "Best Car for Families" in its class for 2013 by U.S. News & World Report -- we're guessing you'll want to avoid this type of fate. Here are some techie tips on how to save your most important memories.

The Cloud for Photos and Videos

The Cloud is remote online storage that allows you to upload your family's photos and videos so that they remain safe and accessible forever. While the ability to safeguard your family memories from things like fire, theft or computer crash is the main reason to use The Cloud, it has many other cool features. Cloud users can view their uploads anywhere and on any device, download an app that automatically sends photos taken on their cellphone to The Cloud, and even create shared albums with other family members so they can pool their photos into the ultimate family photo collection.

The Cloud for VHS, Super-8 and Reel to Reel Home Movies

You might think that The Cloud is only for digital media, but the Silicon Valley-based company YesVideo is offering customers the opportunity to transfer VHS, Super-8 and even reel-to-reel footage to The Cloud. This means you can finally not only see what's on that dusty Super-8 footage your grandfather shot in the '50s, but also preserve it for future generations.

Photo Restoration

Photo restoration used to be an expensive and prolonged process, but not anymore. Today restoring a favorite family photo is both affordable and as easy as uploading a photo to the website of one of the many online photo restoration companies. I uploaded a photo of my grandmother that had faded after many years of resting on a table next to the window, and I was very pleased with the result, the price and the turnaround time.

Saving Memories Forever Website and Smartphone App

Every family has its stories, and Saving Memories Forever lets you preserve these stories so they can be heard by generations to come. Simply record yourself or a loved one telling a story on your smartphone, then upload it to the website, where it will be stored forever. In addition to being able to share these stories with anyone you choose, you can also upload materials like photos and recipes with which to complement them.

Digital Time Capsule

For hundreds of years people buried family mementos in time capsules for later generations to find. Those time capsules had their limitations, though -- not the least of which was that they often were never found. Today's digital time capsules are much better. Websites like My Time Capsule let you upload a multimedia presentation of your family's life today (complete with photos, video and audio), then choose a future date on which you'd like the site to email it to you.

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