"Quit hanging on to the handrails... Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it everyday"

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vacation Memories - How to Capture Them

We are roughly a week away from our trip to California and that always gets me to thinking about all the travel memories that we will create while on our vacation.  That excited feeling of what cool, new thing are we going to do today and how to capture some of those memories.  Since I travel with my son on most trips, I also would like him to be able to capture some of those memories too, beyond just taking pictures.  Which is probably the number 1 thing that I do for preserving travel memories.

I am a scrapbooker by heart and have been for many, many years.  A couple of years ago I went digital with my scrapbooking and wow is it great!!  I can actually fit so many more pictures on a page then I ever could before.  This is great for me because I love to take sooo many pictures.  My FIRST way then to save those vacation memories would be to put them in a bound digital photo book.
These are just my digital photo albums.  I have a bunch of other more tradition travel albums

There are so many different options out there as far as digital albums go.  From the most basic (and cheapest) to the more advanced (and more expensive).  You are limited only in your creativity, time, and $$$$.  Websites like Snapfish, Mpix and Shutterfly have a multitude of different sizes of albums for you to choose from.  The biggest advantage to these is how easy they are to create.  They are mostly template based, you pick the templates you like and drag and drop your photos into them.  That is also their biggest drawback in my opinion.  You loose out on some creativity, but they are quick and much cheaper then going full customization. 

I personally have to be difficult haha and I really like to go full customization with scrapbooking software.  I love the freedom and sheer amount of variety that I get going this route.  I love that I can change the size and color of my digital stickers, change my font, and move things around however I want to on my page.  I personally use Creative Memories for this, but there might be other software out there.  I just don't know of any at the moment.

My SECOND way of capturing those memories is to create a kind of memory jar.  I usually use these when we go to any kind of water destination (ocean, lake, river, etc.).  I wash and dry out old, used spaghetti jars (prego, ragu, etc.) with their tops and use those for our jars.
Memory jar

I then collect, or have my son collect miscellaneous items that remind us of our particular destination.  This jar happened to be down in Texas and there were lots of shells there, so we collected a few shells to add to it and sand.  We always try to take things that are plentiful and only a few of them (like seashells, rocks, sand, driftwood, etc.).  The only place that I have been too thus far that had a problem with this was in Hawaii at the black sand beach there.  They posted signs everywhere not to collect the black sand, so you actually had to buy the sand.  I happen to love collecting sand because I am constantly amazed at how different sand is, wherever you go.  You would think sand is sand, but that is not necessarily true.  Look at these three sand jars.  They are all from Florida, but all look different.
Some sand is finer, some grittier and the colors are different too.  This is what makes sand a really neat way to capture memories, especially beach or lake memories.  You could even buy little play tide pool creatures to add to it to remind you of some of the animals you saw.  Do not take any kind of living creatures to put in your jars though.

My THIRD way to capture those vacation memories is with a simple notebook and pen.  Write them down!  I usually go out and buy a new small notebook and because I am a total pen lover, new pens, and bring them with me.  They are small enough to carry around with you AND you can easily jot down notes and thoughts so that you have them.  You don't want to forget that feeling of seeing the humpback whale on your boat tour, or your son or daughters first thoughts on the giant sequoia trees.  Also we always seem to have some cool things that happen to us that we don't want to forget about.  This also helps you later on when you are putting together your photo album and want to journal about things.  I can't tell you how many times I would want to put down something that happened to us or was said to us on vacation that I simply can't remember because I get to the photo album sometimes several months later and how awesome it was to be able to look back at my notes to find it.
This is a great way to get the kids involved as well.  I try and have my son write down his favorite memory from our trip as soon after the trip as possible and keep them in a 3 ring binder.  Sometimes he will draw a picture and maybe this year I will tape a photo that he took on the trip with his favorite memory paragraph.  It is fun to look back at years past and see what constituted their favorite memories and how they change and evolve as they get older.  It also helps out with their writing and English skills as well.
These are just a few ways out of many that you could use to help capture those vacation memories.  Any others that you and your family enjoy doing to capture memories I would love to hear from you about them!

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  1. photo books are a sure way to save memories and a great way to show off as well!!!! I am also a week away from a big vacation and I will end up with so many photos, so already searching for deals for great photo books!

    1. Oh have fun wherever you are going!!! If I can just get through my flight I will be ready for my trip haha. I know I always come home with just gobs and gobs of pictures that I have to sift through too. Good luck finding photo book deals!