I LOVE to travel but find documenting trips stressful. Whether its taking 10 photos of an exotic tree in the hopes of determining an artistic angle. Remembering the location of a nighttime look-out point to recommend to friends later. Or the blank stares I get from family members when they ask how the trip was and I say “ok” because I’m mentally sifting through a million stories and can’t decide which one to entertain them with. When my post-vacation blues kick in I start convincing myself maybe I didn’t actually go on vacation at all and it was all just a dream. My memories fade so quickly…
So we’ve rounded up a few ideas (during and post-trip) to help ensure you won’t forget your adventures!
Classic Printed Photo Book
My sister Lauren is the Queen of photo books. She’s very diligent at commemorating trips with a hardcover photo book. She orders them online and offers them to her travel mates for a small fee. The books are great for your coffee table and let’s be honest – there’s something uber nostalgic about flipping through old photo books. Her books always have clever page layouts. For example, all of ‘The Many Looks of Vegas’ (below) remind us of all of our outfits. *disclaimer: this is the only PG page from The VEGAS book. Mwhaha…* The nice thing about photo books is if you ever lose your phone, ‘the cloud’ is being a jerk or your hard-drive crashes, you won’t lose the pictures.
Digital Photo Album
When I travel I take a gazillion pictures. I over document. I try and get creative with angles, take pictures of foreign signs or take 20+ of one person until their eyes open. But when I’m back in reality I really only use or see a small fraction of what I’ve documented. There’s nothing worse than showing pictures from your trip on your phone and you awkwardly have to scroll through 10+ pictures of a pelican from unusual angles.
When you’re traveling and don’t have wifi, its a perfect time to curate your own digital album that you are confident showing off. If you’re on a group trip try organizing a shared album that everyone can upload pictures too. Or set up a Dropbox folder to share from your computer after you’ve uploaded images from your DSLR camera.
Stared Locations on Google Maps
One of my girlfriends told me about Google Map ‘starred’ locations and it has changed how I travel. In the planning stages of any trip you tend to look up a million websites, addresses, directions etc. Google maps allows you to ‘star’ or ‘label’ anything in your map after you’ve signed in with your google account.
The awesome thing about this function is that when you’re travelling and don’t have wifi or data, you can still see the saved star in relation to your location. BONUS: by the time you return home you’ve already documented where you’ve been and can share any tips with friends.
You can also make a specific map that outlines exactly how your trip unfolded using dropped locations, fun icons and notes. Exhibit A – my sailing trip map to Croatia.
Curated Photo Collage
It’s annoying taking pictures every single minute of your trip. On the first couple days of the trip figure out what is most popular or important to that culture and try taking photos of those few specific things from the same angle for the remainder of your trip. It almost turns into a fun photo scavenger hunt.
Example – I was in Holland and we had 3+ coffees everyday at a table. By the end of the trip I had a great collection of adorable coffee cup pictures that I turned into a poster. My friend Caitlin took pictures of bright coloured front doors in Portugal and then framed the collection.
Silent Music Videos
I use my GoPro to capture as much interesting video footage that my memory card will allow. I film 5-10 second short clips of food, plants, buildings, design, facial expressions, animals – basically anything important to the trip. The key is filming something dynamic in those 5-10 seconds so the footage isn’t boring. Make someone jump, stab the dessert with your fork, let a car drive out of frame, capture interesting light on the flower, etc.
Once you’ve uploaded the footage at home put a fun song to the movie. Voila! A short video that you can show people instead of a 4 hour snooze-athon slideshow with the same song on repeat burning your ears. This is a fun video I made in Rome when my friends got married this past September.
There’s a lot of waiting time when you travel. Waiting to get to the next city on the train, waiting to board the plane, waiting to get into your hotel, waiting to meet a hot stranger. Why not make use of your waiting time and doodle some fun facts about your trip.
I bring my small Moleskine and marker case with me everywhere. You can ask your travel buddies to help you think of funny quotes, city names or other points of interest. Or do the doodle on a postcard and then send it to yourself.
Or frame the one from your notebook when you get home.
If all of the above ideas are still stressing you out, why not get a piece of art made to commemorate your trip. You compile all of the information to be included and then let an artist interpret it into something one of a kind.
I was recently commissioned to do a ‘trip piece’ to commemorate a lovely Australian couple’s trip to Canada. They provided me with a spreadsheet (below) that outlined Cities they’d visited, places, people they met, animals, etc. I took the spreadsheet and turned it into a small 2 ft x 2 ft piece they display in their home.
A more simple approach for an avid world traveler is the classic world map with dots or places noted in a creative way.
Do you have a trip you’d like to turn into a piece of art or some other ideas? Send us an email – we’d love to help you!