Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my traveling habit, and my special-needs dog.
Do you save travel documents collected during your vacations? Is so, how do you save those travel memories? During my younger days, back in the 20th century, I had time to carefully archive these items and photographs into photo albums. In the 21st century, I haven’t taken the time to do much with them other than stuff them in a shoebox or oversized envelope and tuck them away in a closet.
If you’re like me, during the COVID-19 pandemic I’m finding time to deep clean and organize which means I have come across some envelopes filled with wonderful vacation memories. What should I do with them? I love the nostalgia from looking at these items. Those journeys were a significant part of my life and I should do something to preserve the experience so I can enjoy it over again years from now.
I did some research and following are some ideas and resources to inspire you to keep your travel memories forever.
Create a Photo Book
Flipping through my photo albums from the 1990s and earlier, I wonder what will happen to my digital images snapped in the 21st century. Rarely have I printed photos and when I did, they end up sitting in stacks tucked away in drawers.
There are online services where you can upload your images and create gorgeous photos books. I have used Shutterfly in the past to create books from my vacations and for others who have joined me. Shutterfly also has other cool things you can do with photos, like create a photo collage to hang on the wall or tea towels with your grandma’s favorite recipe.
If you don’t already have an account, here is your invitation to Shutterfly where you’ll receive a free photo book.
Preserve Travel Memories Jars
If you’ve collected small items like currency, bottle caps, ticket stubs, stones, seashells, business cards, and postcards, find a good-sized jar to place them. I’ve only begun doing this with some mementoes from my 2004 trip to Japan (pictured). You can use new or used (and cleaned) jars for canning or recycle jars from pickles, pasta sauce, moonshine, or anything else.
The important thing is to make sure it’s clean. You can then place these throughout your home, like on shelves or bookcases. Place them individually or group them together. Each time you see a specific travel jar, you’re reminded of that wonderful vacation.
Bind Your Travel Documents into a Hardcover Book
If you save maps, brochures, ticket stubs or stickers from museums, business cards from restaurants, postcards, and anything else from your travels, you’ll love what 4ever Bound does. They take those piles of photographs, maps, brochures, mementoes, and other travel documents and carefully curate them into a bound hardcover book, in about two – three weeks from the time they receive your documents.
Orders are done through the 4ever Bound website where you pick out the book color and size – based on how tall your stack of documents are – personalize the cover, then send your documents as instructed. I have not ordered one but reading about the process and reviews, it looks well worth it (up to an 80-page book is $49.95 and an up to 250-page book is $89.95). So, if you have an envelope or folder full of documents from a favorite trip, don’t let those memories fade away. Learn more and order on the 4ever Bound website.
Turn Your Vacation T-shirts into a Quilt
How many T-shirts do you have from your vacations? I have quite the collection and I hate getting rid of them because most invoke memories I cherish. An idea to keep your shirts and memories is to convert them into a T-shirt quilt. This way, you can wrap yourself up in those cherished vacation moments.
You can either make the blanket yourself, just Google “how to make a T-shirt quilt” or if you’re looking for someone to do it, Project Repat is one of those companies that can make it happen.
Depending on the size of the quilt, you’ll need anywhere between 16 (lap size) to 42 (queen size) T-shirts and it takes between six and eight weeks to complete. Not only is this an awesome way to upcycle your shirts, it’s keeping jobs it the U.S. “Repat” in the company’s name is short for repatriation. T-shirts used to be made in the U.S. but over time, there was a shift to make them overseas and send them back to the U.S. Project Repat is creating textile jobs in the U.S. by sewing quilts.
Visit the Project Repat website for additional information and to order your t-shirt quilt. Learn more and order your T-shirt quilt on the Project Repat website.
Capture Someone Else’s Story
This past Father’s Day, I gave my Dad the best gift I could ever give myself, his life story through a company called StoryWorth. They make writing a memoir fun. Each week, they send him a story prompt with a question I either selected or wrote. After a year, they publish and send you a keepsake book with all those stories and uploaded photos.
My Dad has written and uploaded three stories to date and I’ve learned much about him and my grandparents. I know what I paid for the book and I already know next year; it will be priceless.
If you’ve traveled extensively with someone or maybe you want to remember your family vacations when you were a kid, consider StoryWorth and ask travel-related questions. These can include:
Tell me about the first vacation you remember.
- Tell me a funny story that happened during your travels.
- What is a memorable meal you enjoyed overseas?
- Tell me your favorite memory of us traveling together.
- Tell me about a memorable road trip.
You get the idea. Learn more and order yours through this StoryWorth link where you can save $10.
We cannot travel now but we can fondly reflect on those magical moments and happier days. Preserving these memories now will make darker days much brighter.