Going on a trip: it’s so much fun, but it’s all over so quickly! Before you know it, it’s your first day back at work after your vacation and all your colleagues want to know is: “How was it? What did you do? Where did you go?” But all you can manage to reply is: it was great, lots of fun, good food, erm … All those funny little details have suddenly completely slipped from your memory. And that’s a shame, not only for your colleagues, but for you too!
So next time you go on vacation why not develop the habit of preparing a travel journal during your trip, that’s full of beautiful, detailed memories.
Pre-trip travel diary
Here’s the first important tip: get a head start on your travel journal already before departure! Start taking notes and pictures as soon as you get out your suitcases. Is there a lot of stress? Do you have to dash out and buy a bikini? Did the travel agent inform you that the airport taxi will be arriving at 5 AM? Are you still desperately looking for a cat sitter? Or does Dad need to make a trip to the barbershop? Write down anything that makes your day different from the ordinary routine.
During your trip, it’s also a good idea to keep a small journal in which you can note down funny expressions, errors or annoyances. No matter how unimportant they may seem at the time, later they will be a perfect way to bring your memories back to life.
Kids on board
If you’re travelling with kids, let them have their say in the travel journal! After all, they see everything from another perspective, literally and figuratively.
Bring a kids’ journal along on your trip in which they can get creative and schedule a moment every evening to go over the day together and write things down. If they aren’t able to write yet, you can use stickers. Just let them talk while you take notes on their stories and then they can creatively finish the story with stickers expressing their feelings: fun, silly, angry, boring, …
An original idea is to create a sheet of stickers ahead of time with their own faces showing the different emotions.
Tell it to the … dictaphone
Does taking notes sound like too much work to you? Then you can keep your travel diary with voice recordings. Record yourself talking about everything you see and do using the dictaphone function on your smartphone. And you can let the kids have their say as well. When you get home, you can transcribe your voice notes on a rainy day and have a good laugh about the anecdotes you had already forgotten.
In the age of social media we keep friends instantly up to date on our adventures through our holiday pictures. But sometimes we forget to take a nice photo story for ourselves.
You can make a place for your photos in a photo book (tips: see below). That way, you’ll have a tangible souvenir that will never be destroyed by a computer crash or virus! And isn’t it nice to flip through the pages together with family and friends and tell the accompanying stories inreal life?
… and videos
Although you can’t store them on paper, you shouldn’t forget to take some videos, too! They capture so many more nuances: the way the local people act, their language and the children’s laughter, silly jokes and amazing adventures (like your first successful somersault into the pool 😉 ). Don’t forget to back up your videos once in a while on an external hard disk.
Now and then, give your camera or smartphone to your kids and let them capture the scene for posterity from their own small point of view. Often, they will focus on things that you would have missed and they will frame shots without worrying about the traditional rules.
Turn your travel journal into a photo book
By documenting your trip well along the way, you’ll already have done the most important job. Now it’s a matter of finding a beautiful way to present all these memories. And it’s easy, with the photo books from smartphoto. Below you’ll find some tips for making it into a beautiful travel diary:
- Sequence: it’s best to organise your travel journal chronologically. That makes it easier to tell the story as you leaf through the pages with family and friends. And for you as well it’s more fun to be able to reconstruct the trip later.
- Chapters: per day or per place you can create a short chapter in which you group certain holiday pictures: special food (absolutely delicious or inedible), funny graffiti you saw, animals you briefly befriended (a dog, a pigeon, a salamander) or a collection of photos in which Dad is looking bored. 🙂
- Kids: in each chapter you should reserve a few pages for the quotes, travel stories and emotion stickers from the kids. It will make a wonderful way for them to relive the memories later.
- Tangible souvenirs: don’t forget to leave some space in your photo album where you can stick all your tickets, postcards and children’s drawings once you have received your photo book.
There you go, from now on even a flat tyre or a stubbed toe won’t have to spoil your trip. Because think what an interesting touch they’ll make for the most original travel journal ever!