My Top Ten: Claire Foottit, travel journalist and photographer

MY Top Ten invites media practitioners to identify their top ten websites, apps, software tools and gadgets, etc, and here it is the turn of Claire Foottit, travel journalist and photographer, specialising in African tourism and conservation.

She recently exhibited a collection of photographs in Livingstone’s Africa, at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013, as part of ‘David Livingstone 200′ celebrations.

1. Fit for Travel – website – As I mainly travel long haul, this is a really useful website for checking health risks in the country to which I’m travelling. Having suffered from a number of tropical diseases over the years, I’m a great believer that ‘prevention is better than cure’.

2. Foreign Travel Advice – website – Not a very exciting site, but it’s always worth checking before travel, especially if going to a risky area. Also worth reading are the local laws and customs.

3.  Thorn Tree Travel Forum – Online forum – An useful travel forum to see what people are saying, ‘on the ground’ – helps get a feel for where you are going, but always need to verify comments from a third party.

4. Trip Advisor – website – I find the reviews are useful as background research to a place/hotel– but it’s imperative to form one’s own opinion or cross-check with a reliable third party source.

5. Travmedia – website – This is a very useful site for keeping abreast of what’s happening in the industry and getting press releases.

6. Swiss Army Knife –  gadget – Remember to pack it in your suitcase. It’s very useful for peeling fruit, opening beer bottles, pulling out thorns, cutting nails or undoing screws on tripods, etc.

7. South – website – I find tourist boards are always a good start for research prior to travel – some websites are better than others, and South is an award-winning one.

8. ABTA (press zone) – website – This has an useful resource section and regular press information.

9. Photoshelter – website – This site gives out useful information and is good for researching images of a place taken by other photographers – so that one can aim to take something from a different angle.

10. Alamy – website – A stock library for buying and selling images. Criteria for images is strict, but once past the test, you can upload straight to the site. Photographers have mixed reports on sales – keywording is probably the key to successful sales rather than the image.