As another summer of family travel comes to a close, the kids are back in school and fall is staring me in the face, I’m reflecting on all the fun we had this summer. From Central America to the Sedona Arizona, we were on the move.
As a travel blogger, I’m constantly documenting our expeditions but often feel like I’m dropping the ball in some way. I’m just not very good at preserving all the memories, all the images and all the stories in a way my kids can touch, see and appreciate for years to come.
So, I’ve spent a massive amount of time researching and have come up with the ULTIMATE list of ways to preserve family travel memories. From unique ways to use photographs to fun ways to get the kids involved in preserving travel memories, here is a list that is guaranteed to give you an idea or two.
Gifts for Preserving Family Travel Memories
For years I used Shutterfly, but last year made the move over to Mix Book. Their free platform is much more robust and I think the end result looks much nicer. From annual “year in review” style books to shorter books documenting a vacation or time spent visiting family, these books are always high quality, super easy to create and a thoughtful gift or travel memento.
Customize this basswood memory box to store your travel memories! Select your box color and letter color choice from the drop-down menu above. Various font styles are available.
I love the variety of personalized photo jewelry available here. This is a fun way to preserve family travel memories, particularly for multi-generational trips. I’ve made necklaces for my mom before and she always loves them!
And check this out! For a limited time get 50% off anything at Ink Garden at your first purchase! 50% Off Your First Order at Ink Garden! Design a product of your choice (select between: t-shirts, mugs, business cards, stationary and much more) Use Code: SPECIAL50. S&H not included in discount.
While you might think that a nice camera is all you need in order to take great travel photos, unfortunately there a much more to it. I love these online courses from Craftsy that teach the basics of travel photography. Buy a course as a gift for the traveler in your life, or sign up yourself before a big trip!
I love these detailed, handmade journals made to fit your specifications. Everything from the hard cover to the individual pages are made by hand on Etsy. Most of the pages have some type of handmade pocket, envelope or other embellishment. This is a great gift for kids who love collecting small mementos while traveling, and for showcasing photos after a big trip.
I know, I know! It’s easy to hate the selfie stick when they are used in excess. However, when traveling as a family, using a selfie stick is often the only way to get a great family photo with everyone it it. If you’re going to be hiking or in remote areas where it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find someone to take your photos, be sure to pack one along so you can preserve family travel memories… of the whole family!
Planning a special family trip? Create a custom luggage tag for everyone in your group! This is a great way to get your travel companions excited about an upcoming trip, and help them preserve memories of travel for years to come.
Personalized greeting cards are an excellent way to preserve travel memories! Simply pick your best, most favorite photos from your family travel adventure, upload them to this site, and you (or the lucky gift recipient) will have a wonderful supply of personalized cards to use for thank you letters, birthdays and more.
Get the kids involved preserving family travel memories
Before going on vacation, personalize blank journals for your kids so they can record their own memories. Spell their names in adhesive letters on the covers, and glue on a thematic cutout, like a map or picture. (Just don’t be surprised when they document the hotel pool and ignore the Alamo.)
I love this big wall world map made with special scratch-off coating. It’s fun and easy for kids to mark countries as you visit them: just use a coin to remove gold scratch off coating and reveal the countries you have been to creating a vivid record of your travel history.
If your family is planning a trip to a specific city, like New York or London, consider grabbing one of these fun scratch-off city maps. These portable scratch-off maps transform a trip through each city into a scavenger hunt through thirty of its most popular destinations. As travelers make their way to each attraction, they scratch to reveal fun facts and activities leading to must-see highlights and unexpected discoveries at each place. ges.
The romantic in me adores this travel journal, perfect for older kids and adults. This high-quality leather book includes 100 pages that rolls up to save space in luggage.
There are so many fun ways to use maps to preserve travel memories. Before a big trip, purchase a map for your kids. Hang it on their wall so they can learn about the destinations before traveling. Have them add pins to each destination visited. I also love the idea of using thread to sew an itinerary right into the map. Maps are always a great gift idea for a family who loves to travel!
Sharing the tastes and flavors of a destination is a great way to preserve travel memories. Following a big trip, pick up a regional cookbook and cook up a meal that reminds you and your family of a wonderful travel experience.
Purchase inexpensive, solid picture frames from Target, and let your kids unleash their creativity making the frames themselves into a work of art. After selecting their favorite travel photo to display in their room, let kids decorate the matting. Choose a frame, like this matted wood frame from Room Essentials®, that comes with a generously-sized, acid-free white mat. Kids can use colors, paints, magazine cutouts and more to personalize the perfect frame.
Preserving Family Travel Memories for the Home
Rather than letting the rocks and shells you so carefully collect on vacation get lost in a drawer among paper clips and thumbtacks, put the found objects in jars. A small vessel requires only a few items to fill it. Once you label the jars with the place and date and line them up on a shelf, you’ll have a time capsule display of trips past.
Souvenirs and photos of family trips and vacations are usually put away for safekeeping or placed in an album, but creating a memory board is one way to display them prominently. Martha constructs a memory board made from a map and piece of fabric-covered fiber board. Once it’s finished, Martha pins small flags at the locations she’s visited, as well as an assortment of photographs, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia around the edges of the map.
Printing your favorite photos from your travels is a great way to create beautiful, personalized art for your home. It’s super easy to upload photos, view proofs and create beautiful wall art online.
These 12 x 12 metal prints are another fun way to display travel memories. These metal prints infuse dye directly into specially coated sheets of aluminum to give images an almost magical luminescence.
While you’re on the road, pay attention to what’s for sale on the street and in local markets. If you don’t have room to bring goods back with you, head over to an Etsy store, like this one that specializes in Peruvian handicrafts, and make a purchase.
Do you have a fun and unique way to preserve your travel memories? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below.
Just looking for some ideas? Sign up below for instant access to my custom-designed itineraries across Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Get the inside scoop on where to go, what to do, and where to stay!