Creative Ways to Document Your Travel

travel mapMy husband and I have traveled around the United States for almost 30 years. During these trips, we traveled mainly without cell phones, so we had to get creative about capturing our memories. Most of our trips included our twin daughters, so documenting the trips was essential to us. I’ve put together some fun and creative ways for travelers to relive the moments whenever they want.

Take Photos

This seems obvious, and it’s by far the easiest way to document your trip, thanks to cell phones. But don’t let those photos get trapped in your phone or in the cloud. Creating a photo book is easy now with online services such as Shutterfly and Snapfish. You can create a lasting photo book of your trip using your unique photos and adding written anecdotes. I made a photo book for my husband for Father’s Day titled “Top 10 Trips”. I display it on our coffee table; it’s a great conversation piece and reminds me of the trips we’ve taken over the years.

Collect and Display Postcards and Tickets

Hang them on the fridge, pin them to a bulletin board, or frame them in a shadow box; postcards and tickets are beautiful souvenirs. Like postcards, your tickets to museums, stadiums, and other events are easy to obtain, excellent reminders of the trips, and require zero to little effort to collect and display.

Creative Collections

Aside from photos and postcards, you might wonder what makes a good souvenir. There’s something special about families or a couple’s unique travel collection. I’ll share three of our family favorites.


christmas ornamentChristmas ornaments are probably our family’s favorite travel souvenir. They are easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and one gift for the whole family. Each year as we decorate the tree, we reminisce about our trips. “Remember when..” is often heard as we unpack the ornaments and gather as a family. It’s my favorite family tradition.


matchbook collectionThis collection started as a fun and inexpensive way for my husband and me to create a visual reminder of our travels. When we first started traveling, many restaurants and bars distributed matchbooks as business cards. While local bans on smoking have reduced the number of businesses that distribute matchbooks, there is a slight resurgence in support of the whimsical matchbook as a collectible. Little works of art hold a memory of time and place. My display of matchbooks never fails to spark up a conversation.

Patches & Passports

Once we had children, our travel focus shifted to experiences they would enjoy. We decided that visiting the Natural Parks would be a memorable experience for the whole family. Today there are 29 states and 2 U.S. territories that comprise a total of 61 National Parks. We have explored over 20 parks and highly recommend visiting them as a family.
A national park passport is a perfect way to document national park adventures. We purchased each of our girls a National Parks Passport to document these trips. A national park passport is a small booklet with pages to place stamps and stickers from each national park. However, unlike a regular international passport, it’s not used to enter the park.
Another way we documented these adventures was by purchasing National Park patches. Besides all the hiking, magical scenery, and incredible memories, one of the fun parts of visiting a new national park is the chance to collect another embroidered patch. After each trip, I would sew the patches onto the backpacks they used for traveling. As adults, they treasure these backpacks as a reminder of family vacations.backpack with patches

Start Collecting

The best part about souvenir collections is they can take just about any form, from one-of-a-kind postcards to beautiful seashells. Start a collection of items to represent your travels and adventures on your next trip. The memory will last a lifetime.
Happy travels,

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