Your trip is over, your laundry is put away (ok, maybe not quite yet), and you have your souvenir t-shirt to show. But that doesn’t come close to immortalizing the trip of a lifetime, and maybe you want to do something extraordinary with your stamped rail passes and photos. To help you get started, we’ve picked the brains of the craftiest Travel Experts to offer a few ideas to preserve your travel memories.
This one starts while you are still out on the road! Bring a notebook (preferably a durable one with non-removable pages) and jot down the exciting things you see and learn during your travels. This can be anything that inspires you, impresses you, or even sums up the city you are visiting and want to remember. Trust us, you think you’ll remember the name of that unique dish you had in Singapore (rojak!), but after you return home, you might find yourself having to Google it.
After you return from your fantastic trip, gather your ticket stubs, receipts, and coffee shop stamp cards and print a few favorite photos. Arrange and glue these around your journal notes, and maybe add a few doodles in colored pencils or some fun stickers. Keep the same journal for future travel, and you have a keepsake that will stay near and dear to you long after your beachy suntan fades.
A shadowbox is a great option to display your treasures from your trip for more extensive souvenirs and trinkets. Shells from a beach, bottlecaps from your favorite local beer, train tickets, and more look fantastic when paired with a few photos and newspaper clippings from your time abroad. You can purchase these at any craft store in the frame section; they are easy to fill and hang. Keep your travel memorabilia together and enjoy a walk down memory lane every time you see it.
If you are a social media junkie like us, odds are you’ve already Instagrammed your favorite shots from your trip while you were there. And while you can always scroll through your feed to revisit these memories, having personalized little photo magnets on your fridge is much more fun. Sites like sticky9.com or foxprint.com are inexpensive and super easy to use. Upload your favorite shots, and they’ll print and mail them to you in no time! They are bound to become your favorite little souvenirs.
You don’t have to be Annie Leibowitz to have your work printed and framed! Maybe you got the perfect shot of a baby giraffe snuggling close to his momma while on safari, so why keep it hidden away on your hard drive? Enlarge it to 8X10 or bigger, pick up a particular frame, and you have yourself an incredible conversation piece for your apartment. Don’t forget to sign the bottom corner, you budding photographer!
This is just taking the last idea one step further, depending on how crafty you want to get. Enlarge and print a photo, preferably on matte paper (any print show can do that for you). Bonus points if you print in black and white. Before you frame your masterpiece, grab some watercolors, acrylic paints, or even colored pencils and “paint” over parts of your picture you want to highlight. Colorize the flowers around the base of the Eiffel Tower, or capture the bright turquoise of the water on that gorgeous private beach. Get creative! You’ll never want to take your custom wall art down.