Why I Don’t Scrapbook on the Road – My Memory Keeping Strategy for Travel

Vacation Memory Keeping StrategyI don’t scrapbook on the road.

Scrapbooking on the road is very popular.  It’s one of those things that works for some people but doesn’t work for me.  Scrapbooking on the road is generally about taking a small minibook and some supplies and at least starting a vacation album while on vacation.

Why I don’t scrapbook on the road:  I’m too busy relaxing I don’t have time.  I wish I could say I spent time relaxing.  Truth is Mr. P and I pack way too much into our vacations.  I don’t think I could scrapbook if I wanted to.

Even if I could, I don’t want to spend the little downtime I have working on a project.  I barely have enough time to keep caught up on my travel journal.  Any extra time I try to spend actually relaxing.  Plus, I like being able to fully digest a trip before scrapbooking it.

Here is my memory keeping strategy for vacation/travel:

  1. Take a ton of pictures.  I took about 2000 in China.
  2. Collect all tickets, programs and other mementos in an envelope during the trip.
  3. Keep a travel journal documenting what we did on each day.  Instructions on how to make your own travel journal are here.
  4. As soon as I get home, go through my pictures and delete blurry/bad ones.  Finished this for the China trip already!
  5. Make a MyPublisher vacation photobook to take around to family.  More information on why I create vacation photobooks here.
  6. Carefully store mementos and get to the scrapbook when I want to.

The last one is key.  I don’t want to pressure myself to get scrapbooking done by a certain time.  It’s a hobby, I’ll get to it when I have time and when I’m feeling creative.  Anything aside from that wouldn’t be my best work and I wouldn’t enjoy myself.

Do you have a travel memory keeping strategy?  I’m all ears!  If you scrapbook on the road and it works for you, I’d love to hear it in the comments.


15 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Scrapbook on the Road – My Memory Keeping Strategy for Travel

  1. I use the Evernote app on my phone to keep a travel journal and maybe a few photos as well. Then when I get home, I can access Evernote on my laptop and get to work.

    I can’t imagine scrapbooking on the road. I like to let my layouts sit (usually for a day or two) before I commit to them. That’s just not possible when I’m living out of a suitcase!

  2. I too do NOT scrapbook on the road. I usually take a ton of pics, and keep every little piece of mementos/paper that I think I could use in an album. (I have never thought to put it in to an envelope, so I think I will start that.) I feel like I have too much stuff and I hate working on something and not having everything I could need at my fingertips. I guess I am just a little weird like that 😉

    • The envelope is key for us because everything goes to one place. Mr. P is trained to empty his pockets at the end of the day and put all the bits in the envelope.

  3. I don’t scrapbook on the road. I take the photos, save the stuff and jot down notes in a travel journal. When I’m on vacation, I spend my down time reading books and looking at magazines and going to the movies – things I don’t always have time to do in daily life. I also like to wait until after the vacation to let things settle and to get a full perspective before I do anything. I can see that for people who have to be busy all the time scrapbooking on the road would work. Or for people that won’t get it done any other way than to do it in the moment. But I’m the same as you – I’ll do it when I feel like it. 🙂

    • I love the time I have to read books when I’m traveling. We had a random 3-hour bus ride in China and I put away about 200 pages in a new book I took with me.

  4. Excellent article, great advice! I don’t scrapbook while traveling – – my husband and I also pack way too much into too few days! In fact, I find it hard to sit still and write and I love to write. However, after a recent trip we took I really wish I had kept a travel journal. I will for next time! Thank you.

  5. It depends on the trip. When I went to LA and San Diego last year it worked really well. We had travel time in the car that I used to scrapbook and we had some down time at the hotel with my then two-year-old. The majority of what I did consisted of writing journaling on the back of postcards and making decisions about what memorabilia to keep and toss. And in the age of luggage fees, it is much more difficult to just bring it all home and sort through it later.

    When I went to Las Vegas without the child, with the husband, and for work, it was a completely different story. I had no down time except on the plane and then I needed to sleep more than I needed to scrapbook (we weren’t going to get to our house until about 2 a.m. and I had to work the next day (well, later that day).

    I tried doing it for a trip to Florida and again ran into the time crunch. The trip was in January and everything for it is in a bag. The album base is made and photos printed, but that’s it. I’m a month into my “summer vacation” and it is still not scrapped. Oh well.

    I think it works best if you have travel time (and you don’t have to drive or navigate) and depends on whether kids are present or not.

    I really like creating the mini-albums for each trip for all the stuff of the trip and then, depending on the trip, a photo book (I really like Blurb).

    Our next big trip involves my husband, daughter, and is work-related for me. I’m just going to plan on bringing a good journaling pen or two and probably a few scraps of paper. Then, as soon as I can, buy postcards. I really like just adding journaling to the back of postcards. I already took a notebook on big trips to take notes about what we did each day (typically, just we went here, here, and here). Now, I try to include more detail.

    • I do wonder how my process will change once we have kids. I don’t sort things until I get home, but then again I can keep everything to one manila envelope that fits neatly in a backpack (don’t ask about how much space shopping purchases and gifts take up).

      I really like the postcard method – I’m thinking about trying something like that next time we take a short-ish trip.

  6. I always have to stop in awe (or incredulity) when I read about people scrapbooking on vacation. It just wouldn’t fit into the way we travel. We tend to go-go-go all day so as to experience as much as possible. (Plus my husband isn’t patient enough, lol!) I loved reading your tips!

    • Thanks Amy! We are probably very similar in our traveling styles because I can’t imagine scrapbooking on the road either. I also think it doesn’t fit with my creative process, I have to sit and think a while before I start something.

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