As Sinatra so rightly crooned, it sure is nice to go traveling — but it’s just as nice, or even nicer, to come home. (Bonus points if you’ve effectively combined the two by becoming a full-time RVer!)
Of course, once your trip is over, you want the moments you experienced during it to live on. Keeping your travel memories safe is a way of protecting your investment. After all, vacations cost time, money, and energy, and although science says experiences make us happier than things, sometimes, it sure is nice to have something tangible to hold as a result of your efforts.
That’s why we’ve put together this post to help you find the most creative (yet doable) ways to preserve your vacation memories for years to come. By scrapbooking, creating photo albums, and stashing your odds and ends in a memory box, you can ensure that your experiences will be there, ready to revisit at a moment’s notice — not to mention sharing them with friends and family who were unable to come along for the journey themselves.
Read on for our best tips on how to implement these fun and thoughtful ways to keep your travel memories safe and accessible.
Start a Memory Box
Park entry tickets. The receipt from that once-in-a-lifetime meal. That really cool rock you found while you were hiking in the national park.
All these little odds and ends can transport you instantly back to the time and place where you first found them in your hands, like perfect, unchanging artifacts that can hold the memory of your vacation static forever. But unless you find a dedicated place to put them, chances are they’re going to end up lost in a junk drawer, forgotten… or even worse, in the trash.
That’s why we suggest you start a memory box, to give these small but powerful items a permanent home that’s intentional and fitting. It could be as simple as a shoebox — bonus points for adding some thoughtful decorations — or something even more special, which you purposefully purchase for this use. Either way, it should be relatively small, which will serve a couple of purposes: it’ll keep your memory box light and portable, which means you can take it along on your RV to stash new items in (and revisit old ones along the way), and it’ll also keep you from stashing every single thing you come across in it. Otherwise, your memory box will go from a well-curated collection of memories to… well, a junk drawer in a box, where none of the items carry special meaning. With a small memory box, you have to curate what goes in, which means the items that do have to be really special. You’ll end up with a beautiful, hand-selected collection of items that bring you joy, rather than a bottomless pit of insignificant slips of paper.
Create a Vacation Photo Album
Chances are, you already take a ton of photos when you travel. Now that we all carry top-end cameras on our persons at all times, it’s super easy to do.
But when’s the last time you actually went back and looked through those pictures you spent so much time and energy framing? It’s pretty common to forget all about them… and what’s worse, the act of taking them in the first place can distract you from enjoying your vacation while you’re actually there, making for a lose-lose situation.
If you’re going to spend your precious vacation time taking photos and video, you might as well ensure you’ll actually go back and access them some time by creating a travel album. And although a physical one that actually inhabits space on your shelf is a great way to keep it in sight and in mind, these days, it can be as simple as creating a dedicated travel photo album on a platform like Facebook. It’ll still keep all those memories in one easily-accessible place, not to mention making them much more shareable so your friends and family can participate!
If you are going to create a physical album, we recommend choosing a high quality one with acid-free paper, so your printed photos will stay bright and clear for many years to come. The quality of those prints themselves is also imperative, but the good thing is, a huge number of retailers offer cheap photo prints these days — you can even get them on the spot off your USB port and Walmart!
While fewer of us than ever are carrying around camcorders, those high-powered cameras in our phones offer video function, too. But so many travel movies end up wasting away in digital space, never to be watched… and meanwhile, while the actual event was happening, you were watching it through your phone.
So why not create a vacation video reel to share with friends and family? You could edit together the highlights of your journey into a beautiful retrospective you can share on social media or YouTube. Heck, you might even start a travel video blog if you’re a frequent jet-setter — people who are stuck at home love to live vicariously through those who are getting out and about in the world!
Page Through a Travel Scrapbook
Looking for a way to combine the photo album and memory box ideas from above? A travel scrapbook is kind of the best of both worlds: a DIY, physical object that you create from scratch and in which you can include small bits of ephemera as well as your best photos.
Although it may seem as simple as cutting and pasting items into a binder, any dedicated scrapbooker will tell you there’s way more to it than that. Scrapbooking at its best is an art, with lots of different types of paper, tools, stamps, and other embellishments to choose from. It can be as simple and affordable or as complex and expensive as you make it — and be careful, because you might just create a whole new hobby-slash-obsession! For more details on the latest and greatest in scrapbooking trends and technology, check with your local art supply shop or stationery supplier.
Travel Photos: Upgrade Your Travel Photography Game
Whether you put them into a Facebook album, post them on Instagram, or actually go the distance and pull them out of digital space into the real world, if you aren’t taking quality photos in the first place, you’re not going to be as amped about sharing them. Even for a cell phone photographer, following certain rules can turn your pictures from drab recreations into actual works of art!
You don’t have to take an expensive photography course to learn how to take a decent photo. In many cases, it’s as simple as waiting for the right light. A rule of thumb: avoid taking your photos at high noon, and aim for the times when the light goes more golden. Photos at dawn and dusk are some of the most visually striking… and besides, it’s usually a whole lot cooler and less crowded.
Another very elementary photography principle that can really improve your shooting is called the Rule of Threes. Basically, imagine your frame is separated into a grid of nine by four lines, two vertical and two horizontal, like so:
By keeping the most striking and impactful parts of the photo in the general areas where those lines meet — the horizontal and vertical thirds of the picture — you create a much more dynamic and moving picture than you do if you put your subject in the dead center of the frame (although sometimes, that can also be effective). You can also play with patterns, colors, and even the special filters and tools available on your phone. There’s so much technology at our fingertips these days; you might as well take advantage of it!
No matter where you’re headed or what kind of memories you’ll make when you get there, an RVshare rental is the perfect way to see the world at your own pace and with your privacy and comfort intact. And we’ve got all the hints, tips, tricks, and details you need to make your journey a memorable one… in the best sense of the word.
To check out RVshare rental listings in your area, click here and enter your zip code and prospective travel dates. You’ll also be able to set filters for specific types and styles of rig, whether you’re looking to pull a trailer or drive a motorhome.
And for all the latest and greatest information about how to make your trip enjoyable, keep your eyes right here on the RVshare blog, where we’re always finding new ways to help you get out there and go exploring!
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