Travel Journal Tips & Tricks:
- Put the book together BEFORE you go! Ok this is sort of implied in the fact that is a travel journal rather than a vacation mini book (which I imagine being something you create after to show off all those pictures). I have a basic formula for how I put together my travel journals that make them super easy to fill out as I go. For each day I am going to be gone I make the following: a page that has a pocket (for brochures, maps, business cards, tickets, and whatever else I pick up during the day), a page that is either white or kraft for writing on (which I usually jazz up by stamping/misting), and a page of cardstock or patterned paper for adding photos to later. I make a couple extra of each of the pages and bring them along just in case I feel like writing more or need more space.
- Think about size - 4x6 and 5x7 books are great because you can take them with you in your purse and make notes as the day goes on. Its also a lot less daunting to look at a small sheet of paper and have to fill out journaling for the day than a larger page.
- Ring bind your book. Rings are great because you can bring a hole punch with you and add lots of things as you go. You can get cheap rings in lots of sizes at your local office supply store.
- Include postcards as pages. Vintage (like the ones from my Etsy shop) or new - postcards are perfect pages. Alternate between writing and photos on the back. Another cute idea that I saw somewhere a few years back was as your trip goes on fill out postcards and mail them to yourself. When you get home you have all these great memories waiting for you (with stamps and postmarks) - then add them to your book.
- Let your photos be a page! Try gluing two 4x6 photos together and punching holes in them letting them be a page in your journal. By gluing them together you create a quick and sturdy page. I usually alternate between these and cardstock pages – it allows me to include more photos without feeling like I have to make more scrapbook “fancy” pages.
- Spend a little time every night to write in the journal. If you don't make time every day you are likely to forget what happened and may end up never going back to fill it in. Even if its just small stuff - like where you ate - you will be happier with the results at the end of your trip when your book is bursting - full of pages and journaling!
- Get others in on the action! Have each of your children (or your husband) create a page – include a photo of them and have them right down their favorite moments from the trip. I get my husband to fill out something each day – sometimes it’s a small journaling card and sometimes it’s a whole page – its usually really random and strange but at least he’s involved and the book is a reflection of both our points of view!
- Stop at the gift shop! This is one of my favorite parts (because it involves shopping!) - going to the gift shop to look for little things to include. They don't have to be expensive - often the cheaper items are the best! Look for stickers, patches, pins, and more!
- Use a map or brochure as a page. Try gluing it to another piece of map or cardstock to make it more stable. Here's a tip: if you go to the state's tourism website that you are visiting you can usually order a map and travel guide (for free!) I use those to help me find fun places to check out and then I use pieces to include in my journal (and you're recycling!)
- Sometimes I add photos as I go - if you are having a laid back vacation and have some downtime have some photos printed and add them in. Splitting the work up will make things easier when you are home. Having a huge stack of photos to fit in can sometimes feel daunting.
- Photo editing software is your friend! I use Picasa – its free and super easy to use. My favorite function of the software is that it allows me to create photo collages. This is great for small (5x7 or 4x6 size books) – take only two photos and create a photo collage – have it printed at your local photo printer and now you have two photos for the price of one and the smaller sizes lets you include more photos in your book.
- Don't throw away anything! Be creative and find ways to include all those paper bits we accumulate through the day - receipts, fortunes, business cards, menus etc.
- Document a playlist. If you are on a road trip you are bound to hear the same songs again and again. I like to take photos of my XM radio with the songs that we heard a lot. Sometimes they are songs I like a lot and sometimes they are songs that made me cringe every time they came on. It's fun looking back and seeing what was on the radio at that point in time. Don't listen to the radio? What CDs were you're favorites at the time - make a page to document it!
- My absolute FAVORITE part of my travel journals are the bits hanging off the rings. When I'm on a trip I am always on the look out for small items I can bunch a hole through and put on my book. To do this you need a good hole punch. I use the crop-a-dile because it punches through everything - cardboard, metal, plastic, and paper. I also stock up on jewelery rings and hooks - these are great for making sure the items swing freely. Some things I have included in the past include: keychains, price tags, bottle caps, items from the 50 cent machines at restaurants ( that's where the little green heart keychain came from in the picture). My favorite are those flat pennies. You know the ones I'm talking about - almost every tourist trap/attraction has them - and every time you see it you think - what in the world would I do with a flat penny?!?! Well punch a hole in it and add in to your book!
- Make it stick out - I like my journals messy looking - I'm always gluing things a little off the side of the page.
Check out my latest travel journal - with a video - for more tips!
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