Technology Has Transformed Travel Scrapping

Technology has transformed travel scrapping in a way that many may not understand. The internet, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and digital scrapping are just a few of the amazing advancements in technology we are blessed with today. People born in the 90s do not remember a day when these things weren’t available but I sure do! The internet, personal computers, and cell phones didn’t become “mainstream” until the mid-90s and even then they weren’t the same as what we have today.  In the mid-80s I worked at the phone company in the department that issued orders to install mobile phones in cars.  Yes, they had to be installed. They were big and in Texas only oil companies and ranchers had them.  In a training session about mobile phones, the trainer told us that in the future mobiles phones would be the size of a deck of cards and everyone from grandparents to children would have one.  We were all skeptical!  Computers, like mobile phones, have gotten smaller and smaller and now everyone has several forms of technology at their fingertips. In this article, I’ll share some tips to combine our tech toys, apps, and digital scrapping to create scrapbooks about our travels that are amazing.



Preparing for The Trip

Preparing is an important part of the trip for me and I couldn’t do it without lists. I make lists for everything!  I have a couple of apps on my iPhone that I love and use all the time.  I’ve tried many different shopping list type apps and finally found one aptly named, Shopping List, that’s perfect for me. I like that items can be checked off as they’re completed & checked items can be deleted, if desired, to shorten the list.  I also use abcNotes a lot which is a “sticky note” app.  I love paper and digital sticky notes and use them as reminders for everything under the sun. I use the free version of both apps, abcNotes has a paid version but the free version does everything I need.  I also use the Notes app that comes on the iPhone but I use it for more permanent type notes. Hey, I told you I’m a lists girl.  You may have different apps that work well for you and that’s fine. So what type of lists do I make?


Pre-trip Planning Lists

  • Places you want to see (for instance – specific cities, tourist attractions, aurora borealis, etc.)
  • Things you want to eat or drink (local delicacies, pastries, wine, etc.)
  • Places to visit (local stores/markets, restaurants, museums, etc.)
  • Tours/Packages that need to be purchased or booked
  • What to pack (clothes, shoes, toiletries, camera, tablet, laptop, etc)
  • Pre-trip shopping that needs to be done (New clothes, shoes, purses)
  • Traveling internationally? Should you add an international plan to your cellular service or turn off international roaming on your phone settings?
  • Passport & shots up-to-date
  • Hotel accommodations lined up and confirmed
  • Contact names and numbers you may need
  • Don’t forget your pet’s boarding reservations


Remember that many things on your list are also photo ops.  Pamphlets, maps, tickets, ticket stubs, your shopping trip, new items purchased for the trip, everything you’re packing laid out on your bed, these are all things you’ll want to document and will make some great pages in your scrapbook.  They’ll also come in handy if anything gets lost while you’re traveling.


Did you surprise your kids with a Disney trip or Legoland? Are they too excited to sleep the night before your vacation? Try to capture these great photos!


Technology Tips While on the Trip

Pairing a journaling app, a phone camera, and a camera is a perfect combination in my mind.  I know there are people that scrap entire albums on their phone and swear by it.  I also have friends that use the Project Life app and journal cards to make a page then finish it on their PC. There is nothing wrong with either of those methods because the most important thing is scrapping the memories.  But I don’t really like doing too much on that small screen when I’ve got a large monitor and Photoshop Elements on my laptop and desktop PCs.  I prefer using the combination I mentioned earlier.  Day One is a journaling app that also uses your phone camera to include photos.  This helps me journal about the day’s activities and get some photos so I can keep dates, places, and place names together because I know I’ll forget otherwise.  I pair this with photos taken on my “real” camera because even though my iPhone has a great camera, my Nikon is a better camera.  Another bonus, I’ve set the Day One Journal app to sync with my PC.






My Top Ten Travel Tips

  1. Take more photos than you think you’ll need or want.  Backup to the cloud if possible, to your laptop or buy some removable storage devices.
  2. Take photos of your room, each other, locals (with permission), your passport, tickets, the view from your window, extraordinary shots and ordinary shots, too. If you have tickets, postcards, matchbooks that you want to add to your scrapbook when you get home, take pictures of them as well in case they’re misplaced along the way.  Believe me, I’ve lost things before and didn’t have photos to back them up.
  3. If you have time, try to complete your journaling every evening while everything is fresh on your mind.
  4. Take a folding selfie-stick that plugs into your phone but don’t be shy about asking someone else to take a photo for you.
  5. Take some movies to include in your scrapbook. Yes, that’s right. Did you know you can save your movies to a QR code then anyone with a smartphone and a QR reader can scan the QR code to watch your video?  When the QR code is scanned, the person is directed to wherever the video is stored. But that’s not all! QR codes can direct the scanner to a URL, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, a map, plain text, an email address, and more. In case you’re not sure what a QR code is I’ve included a sample layout below that includes a QR code. Scan the QR code if you want to see the sailaway video.  If you download an app for iPhone to scan QR codes, I recommend one called QR Scanner.  There is one called QR Reader but it’s full of ads.
  6. Sometimes it’s near impossible to get a photo of a well-known tourist attraction because they’re always so crowded.  In this case, don’t be afraid to purchase stock photos to use.  You can also use brochures, pamphlets, postcards, tickets, or photos you have from a different venue that can set the stage for the story you want to tell.
  7. If possible, try to get to know locals. They are a wealth of information about places to go and things to see that are off the beaten path. When I was 18, my sister, a friend and I got to spend a month in southern Spain where my brother had been stationed for 6 years. It was a whole different adventure because not only did he know all the places to take us, he had a car, a home, and he spoke the language fluently. Yay! One day I was waiting with my friend outside the commissary when a familiar looking guy walked by. I thought it was kind of weird when he turned around and struck up a conversation. He was my brother’s best friend and we recognized each other from photos that we’d seen!  Sadly, we did not have any technology back then and I didn’t even have my Instamatic camera with me!  I did get to spend a lot of time with Mike and his wife while we were there though and got to know them very well.
  8. While you’re journaling, record your thoughts about the local people and their foods.  Where do they shop for food and clothes? What about their modes of transportation?  What did you find odd or funny?  What did the locals find odd or funny about you? Let me tell you, Spain has THE BEST Sangria wine ever! We tested a lot and it was all fabulous.
  9. Keep some of the paper currency to add to your scrapbook if you want to go hybrid. If not, get some photos of that too.
  10. You do not have to leave your birth country to find lots of fabulous places to explore.


Technology to the Max

Since I don’t use phone apps to scrap, I reached out to my good friend Sharon Horswill.  She has allowed me to share one of her layouts using several of the forms of technology I’ve discussed.  First, she created the basic layout combining photos and journal cards using the Project Life app on her iPhone. Then she added background paper, shadow, text, and QR code using My Memories Suite software. You can scan the QR code to view a movie clip of their sailaway from Amsterdam on the Azura.  Sharon and John love to cruise and she has tons of fabulous scrapbooks of their cruises.





Layout Credits:

Top-left Journal card from Little Sailor by Dita B Designs

Bunting Journal cards from Americana Cards in Project Life app

Background paper from Sail On by Blue Heart Scraps



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One comment

  • Yobeth Puckett July 19, 2017   Reply →

    Has anyone used QR codes to add music or your own voice to any of your layouts?

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