One of my strongest passions is travel, and one of my most treasured hobbies is scrapbooking. For me, creating a scrapbook and then being able to look back on it myself or share it with others is as close as I can get to reliving the thrill and adventure of the actual trip.
Today, I’m excited to share my top seven travel tips for my fellow scrapbooking fanatics!
1. Maps, maps, maps!
Maps are one of the most useful travel mementos to have at hand when making your scrapbooks. You can use them as a page background, you can trim a map to serve as a photo frame, or can even just slip a folded map into the protector of a finished page to pull out and peruse when you look back on your album. Great places to snag maps are from the hotel desk, in brochure stands, or from the tourism office.
2. Take two of everything.
I love using brochures, flyers, or other printed material in my travel scrapbooks, especially when they have background or historical info on the place I’m visiting. While I was making my first-ever travel scrapbook, I learned right away to always take two of those types of things. Why? Because if you only have one and there’s info you want to use on both sides, one side is going to be glued down and hidden! Having two allows you to cut and use elements from both sides.
3. Save your tickets.
Boarding passes, subway cards, museum pins, attraction tickets … all of these make really great additions to your travel pages. For me, seeing these “real pieces” from my trip always bring back vivid memories for me. Tickets are also super helpful for reminding you what you did on each day, as they usually have the date stamped on them.
4. Sprinkle in some postcards.
When I first started scrapbooking, I tried to use only photos that I had taken myself versus buying and inserting postcards from the places I visited. However, I quickly found out that there are some places that I just couldn’t take quality pictures of, either because they were too big (the Coliseum), there were too many people around (St. Peter’s Basilica), or photos just weren’t allowed (the Sistine Chapel). These are instances in which you’ll want to buy a postcard or two from the gift shop so you can still represent that place in your album. Another great type of postcard to get is aerial shots, as you’re unlikely to get that kind of view yourself.
5. Collect foreign coins.
Coins make SUCH a cute addition to your travel albums! They’re the perfect size for spaces that need “something” but are too small for a photo or ticket, and are such an authentic souvenir of your trip. I attach coins to my scrapbook pages with either hot glue or E6000, both work great!
6. Make daily notes.
I tend to overestimate my own memory. I assume I’ll be able to remember which day we went where, but when I sit down to do my scrapbook months (sometimes even years, yikes!) later, I am completely at a loss unless there’s a date on the item. I typically end up having to go back in the photo folder for that trip on my computer to search and compare time stamps. It’s a pain in the neck! For my next trip, I’m going to make sure that each night, I write down a quick note about where we went that day. I’ll then stick those notes in with the rest of the things I’ve saved for that trip’s scrapbook. I’m thinking that’ll make it much easier to arrange my pages chronologically when I make the album!
7. Take a folder with you.
By the end of a trip, the mesh zipper pocket on the inside of my suitcase is usually filled with brochures, tickets, coins, postcards, and anything and everything else I’ve collected for my scrapbook throughout the trip. Things get bent, scuffed, or lost. A much better system is to take along a plastic file folder that you can put everything in as you acquire it on your trip. This will keep everything organized and safe, and when you get home you only have one folder to add to your scrapbooking box/room/whatever instead of a bunch of loose pieces!
8. Consider scrapbooking on the go.
I haven’t tried this yet, but I am VERY intrigued by the idea. The concept of scrapbooking on the go is that you take your scrapbooking supplies with you on your trip so you can put things right in the album as you go. If you have a four-tier shelf full of scrapbooking supplies at home like me, you’re obviously not going to take all that, but you can prepare a bit and pack some essentials, including hand-picked papers, stickers, etc. to take along. To scrapbook on the go, you’d also want an instant camera like a Polaroid or Instax so you’ll immediately have photos to add in, too. I think this approach is perfect for the person who wants to document their trips but doesn’t want to make a big fuss of it. I think I’ll try it for one of my trips this summer! (Read more about how to make a scrapbook-on-the-go kit here).