Track Your Travel Activities
Whether it’s a quick weekend away, or a long-awaited trip, vacations are a time to be spent with family and friends. However, for memory-keepers such as ourselves, we have planned places to see, things to do, and all the things we want to reflect on our scrapbook pages to commemorate the time spent away from home, away from our usual routine. We think of everything. We pack the camera, bring the phone chargers … and yet, we return with potentially one of two extremes: 100’s or 1,000’s of photos, or nothing at all. If you have a hard time sorting through what happened, and when, here’s a few easy and inexpensive ways to track your travel activities.
As is often the case when traveling, there are activities or outings, some planned, some more of a spur-of-the-moment deal. However, with each of these, there are, simply put, “things.” Things that you might be tempted to throw away, like receipts. Keep them! Put them in your bag! Ticket stubs, rail passes, restaurant receipts. Each of these provide a glimpse into what you did, and when. What might seem like trash to some actually contains valuable information such as time and date stamps, maybe a route taken, a concert attended, or a great meal that was had. During a vacation to Australia a few years ago, I was grateful for keeping some tickets in my wallet for without them, I wouldn’t have had any record of an activity that my family shared with my brother – and yet, I had my camera with me, and we were all together for several hours … and not a single photo was taken!
The absence of photographs from what was a great time, my family’s first Australian Rugby League game, was not forgotten, thanks to those tickets. Sure, I turned my memory keeping into a somewhat tongue and cheek layout, but the key information such as the date, time, and even our seat numbers was captured on those few small pieces of paper.
If you’re lucky enough to travel overseas, resist the temptation to cash in all foreign currency before you return home. Keep a few coins or notes in the foreign currency and photograph or scan them to include in your scrapbook pages. It can be fun to compare foreign coins and dollars with your own, or even make a short commentary on your layout about the cost of items on your travels. I incorporated some coins, in addition to admission and train tickets, in the layout below. The amount of money was not important to me (neither climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, nor the train ride, cost $2.15!), it was more about being representative of where we were at that moment in time.
You might naturally gravitate towards taking pictures of people while on travel or vacation, but take a photo of a restaurants’ name, a storefront sign, a menu. Road signs. GPS maps. Pictures such as these serve as great placeholders as you sort through photos. Sure, today’s digital world means that photos will most likely have date and time stamps on them, but wouldn’t it be great to remember the name of that one-of-a-kind restaurant that the locals told you about? The beauty of these kinds of pictures is that they don’t necessarily have to be technically perfect or even good – unless you plan to incorporate them into your pages (and even then, perfection is not always called for). These photographs serve as visual reminders of where you were and can help you piece together a string of events. I’ll often use photos such as this in my Project Life layouts, where I like to focus more on pictures, and less on journaling. Here’s a sample page where I included the image from a boat show along with some pictures from the day (down the left-hand side of the page).
Lastly, if all else fails and you end up with no photographs to document your adventures, and no ephemera to speak of (eek! how did that happen?!), use a tool that’s readily and easily available at your fingertips: the Internet! Travel and vacations are meant to be enjoyed, and sometimes that means you truly get lost in what you are doing – and that’s great! As memory-keepers, you might have a mild panic moment because you think you have nothing of substance to add to your layout, but thanks to the internet, you can often find images online to help enhance your storytelling. Take a look at the page that follows, for example. My son and I saw the movie Dr. Strange and didn’t take any pictures, despite the fact that we both had our cell phones with us – and I’m a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan! Even if we were to try to take some photos, the lighting in the movie theater could have posed some problems. However, the internet came to the rescue with some images of the movie poster and that was enough to be able to capture a feeling, a moment for our outing.
As memory-keepers, we might sometimes feel like we must record every little detail of our vacations for posterity’s sake – but how can you track your travel activities and still enjoy the time away? Keep the little pieces of paper, ticket stubs, receipts, coins, brochures, maps … anything. These are inexpensive “things” that you would likely have on hand as you take part in your vacation outings. They can be great reminders of events attended and places seen. Oh, and a final tip for you: grab a clear, sealable bag – like the Ziploc brand – to store everything in while you travel!