Document your travels – do you save all your receipts, museum tickets, show tickets, and everything else from your trips with the great intention of doing something with them when you get back? Then you put them in the bottom of a drawer to do later?
We've all been there, but the longer you leave it, the more you will forget all the small things that happened. Something that it would be lovely to read back on if only you'd written it down somewhere.
Part of the fun of traveling is putting your photos and mementos together when you return. Either in a written story form or just letting the images speak for themselves. While doing it, you get to relive all the fun and unique things you did during your trip. When planning your trip, block some weekends when you return to give yourself time to actually do it.
If you are lost on ideas of how you should put everything together, below are some fun ways you can do it, however before we get to that, here are some things to do while on your trip:
- Take photos of the small stuff – what speaks to you? You will automatically take photos of the famous landmarks, but in addition to that, take pictures of everyday things. Maybe it's a cat sitting in a window that looks cute, a funky mural, or a shop owner setting up his outdoor tables and chairs. Take random pictures of everything you like; you can edit them later.
- Keep everything
A creative way to document your travels is to save random items from everywhere. Maybe it's a ticket stub or postcard from the hotel where you stayed, an old brochure, map, random receipts, bus tickets, train tickets, museum brochures, everything, and anything. Again, what speaks to you or catches your eye?
All these small items together can help tell a story about what happened during your trip, things you will probably forget otherwise. I carry a small zip pouch where I put all my random stuff while traveling.
There are so many fun ways to record your trips; read through the list below and pick the one you like the most – then get creative and have fun!
My Favorite is – 1 Second Everyday Video Diary
The result of using this app every day of your trip is brilliant. The company's slogan is – “Imagine a movie that includes every day of the rest of your life.” and it's spot on. This isn't just for when you travel either; you can use this all the time.
The creator, Cesar Kuriyama, decided to document every day of his life for a year in one-second segments. The end product was a six-minute video that became so popular he launched a Kickstarter campaign to help him develop an app so others could do the same. It's a beautiful way to capture moments on video of your travels and life.
Imagine doing this for your child or new puppy – how amazing it would be to watch at the end of one year?
Write a Journal
Writing down your experiences is a great way to process them. By writing about the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings you experience during your trip, you can capture a moment in time that you may forget about after a few years.
The best way to write a travel journal is to do it at the end of each day if you are not too tired. Or, at the very least, jot down some notes which you can elaborate on at a later date. It helps you keep track of what happened and on which day. You would be amazed after a whirlwind trip, trying to remember when something happened. Was that on Thursday or Friday?
It would even be fun to start your journal when you begin to prep for your trip, write notes on looking for hotels, or trying to decide which day trips you should go on. Write down your thoughts and problems as they arise; that way, you capture the entire process from beginning to end. If you don't feel you are a great writer, do it anyway, it doesn't matter; these notes are for you, for your memories.
Write Letters | Emails to Yourself
A friend of mine created an email address specifically for her travels. She has folders for each trip she has taken, and she uses this email address for all booking purposes, so all her confirmations are included in the folders.
At the end of each day, she writes an email detailing everything she did that day and includes some photos she took. She puts the date and where she was visiting in the subject line. She even sends emails for travel days when she's at the airport. It's a beautiful, unusual way to capture everything.
My only concern is to imagine if something happened, the account was deleted, and you lost everything. If you choose this option, maybe download it all to a backup drive. That goes for the other online options below.
Day One Journal
Day One is a top-rated journaling app, and it's completely private, cross-platform, and designed never to fill up. It's beautiful, easy to use, and even won the Apple Design Awards and Mac App of the Year.
This app is for everyday journaling; you can even record entries on your Apple Watch, which would be super helpful while traveling. It includes automatic geotags that add location, date, time, and weather to your videos, audio, pictures, and text.
It's an extra level of depth; you don't need to worry about recording yourself. You can also create folders where you can document your travels or anything you wish to keep separate.
Basic is free, but if you upgrade to premium, which is only $2.92 a month, you have unlimited photo storage, journal entries, cloud-based storage, audio recording, and a 25% off book printing discount.
If this doesn't appeal to you, there are tons of note-taking apps to look at, for example – OneNote, Evernote, Notion, Bear, Notability, and the list goes on.
Hilarious Photo Series
One of my favorite movies is Amélie, a 2001 French-language romantic comedy. In the movie, her father is always gardening and won't leave his house (after his wife passed away). She keeps trying to get him to travel as it is something he has always wanted to do, but he refuses.
So, she steals his garden gnome and has her air hostess friend take it with her on her trips. Her friend photographs the gnome in front of famous landmarks, then sends the images back to Amelie's confused father by mail.
The concept of the traveling gnome dates back to the 1970s when Henry Sunderland photographed his garden gnomes, which he named Harry and Charlie, while traveling around Antarctica. You can read about that on Wikipedia.
If you prefer to go old school, why not get creative and make a scrapbook for each trip? You get to create the layout of each page and how you want everything to appear and tell your travel story precisely the way you want.
Scrapbooking is its own world today; you have many options to choose from when you buy your book and supplies. Besides the actual book, you can buy stickers, chipboard frames, embellishments, patterned paper as a background, page protectors, cardstock, stamps & inks, corner rounders, and special scissors that can create shapes. You should find everything you need either on Amazon, Etsy, or Michaels.
Printed Photo Book
Similar to creating a scrapbook, you can showcase your travel memories in a photo book to print. Some options have preset templates, and others will allow you to make each page as you would like. Some will allow you to upload from social media, which is wonderful if that was where you documented everything.
For all the random things you collected as you traveled, take photos of what you would like to include in the book, and once you get the book, you can keep the originals in an envelope at the back of it.
Travel Keepsake Box
If you dislike writing and all the above, a simple way to keep your memories safe is to buy a keepsake box and put all the random things you brought home into it.
Print out your travel confirmations and put everything into the box. You can find some lovely ones on Etsy, either a wooden box with your name and where you travel engraved on it, or you can go to the local store and buy a lovely gift box to use instead.
Try to write a few notes to include to capture the things that the photos and mementos do not.
The ways you can document your travels are endless and provides a way to record memories that will last forever. You can also use these ideas as inspiration and create your unique way of capturing the joys you experienced abroad.
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