Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Travel Tips: Create a Vacation Scrapbook

In case you missed the first Travel Tips post, my family is taking four long road trips this year and I wanted to share what we have learned about traveling with children. Feel free to contribute your tips in the comments.

Creating a vacation scrapbook can be a great way to preserve memories and pass the time during a long trip. Encourage your children to collect mementoes like ticket stubs, postcards and brochures during your trip. Be sure to bring a small scrapbook or notebook, pens, scissors and a glue stick or tape for the children to assemble their scrapbook on the way to the next stop or during down time at the hotel. In addition to mementos, have them draw pictures, write poems and stories or simply lists of the things they see and do. Leave blank pages to include photographs later.

Instead of having each child create their own scrapbook, try having each child create one or more pages about the trip and put them all together in a family scrapbook. You will be able to see the trip through each persons unique perspective.

A postcard travel journal is a simple variation on the vacation scrapbook. I don't remember where I read about this idea, but it is a great one for children or adults. (I did it myself a few years ago on our trip to Russia.) Buy a postcard at every stop and/or one for every day of your stay (try to find postcards with pictures of things you will be seeing on your trip). Journal about the events of the day on the back. If a post office or mail drop is easily accessible, mail the postcard home each day. The postcard will be postmarked so you will know when and from where you sent it. When you arrive home you will have a complete journal of your trip, including photographs of where you have been. This can be especially fun for international travel because of the unique postage stamps and postmarks. Even if you don't mail the cards, this is an easy and inexpensive way to create a unique scrapbook of a family trip.

What are your families favorite ways to document the trip? Share them in the comments.


Anonymous said...

If your child enjoys "collecting," it can add additional fun and anticipation to a trip. When I was a young child I started a collection of miniature animals. I didn't mind shopping, because I anticipated finding something special for my collection. I carried the tiny treasures in my pocket and they gave me something to amuse myself with when we were in the car. Most of the time I used my own allowance money, which meant I made my selections carefully.

The collection can be an on-going one that is added to at other times, or it can be specifically for vacations. For instance, I collected shells when I went to the coast with my aunt. In the evening we read shell books and identified what we had found on the beach that day. I also enjoyed studing the books and deciding on a specific shell that I hoped to find and purchase from a local shop sometime during our trip. The shells (or other small items) can be displayed in a tall clear container for easy viewing, or placed in a canning type jar with a screw-on lid. A light socket and shade can be attached to the lid so the jar becomes a lamp for the child's room. The added advantage is they never need dusting!

Jeremy Dodgen said...

These are great ideas! I collected patches from state parks and other destinations as a child and then had my mom sew them on my backpack (mom's may want to encourage a different collection or teach your child to sew). Collections can easily be personalized for the child, the vacation and/or the destination. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to capture the memories in detail of your children for all time. Glad I have mine to look back on.