Trip Scrapbook — Best Ways to Capture Your Time on the Road

Posted by on May 18, 2011

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Christy Sheffield


Trips were made for scrapbooks. Swing dancing in your hotel room with your family, getting caught in a storm in the middle of the countryside or making up stories about the creepy white van you’ve passed on the interstate for the sixth time in an hour. Every trip has a theme. Luckily, every trip scrapbook page needs a theme! Coincidence? Whether your trip is a full-family vacation years in the making, or a spontaneous "kidnap your best friend from work" maneuver, it deserves to be documented. Check out these DIY tips for making a trip scrapbook that will tell your adventurous tales for you.

Tell a Story

Your scrapbook is a place to retreat to and relive the vacation. Plus, it’s fun to show off to buddies who couldn’t make the trip. That's why you need photos in your scrapbook that tell a story. Pick photos from your vacation that visibly show emotion, showcase the environment, and have meaning to you. Photos with emotion will help give your stories depth. Emotion doesn’t necessarily mean a deeply personal closeup of your sister crying at the family dinner. In fact, you should probably let her have her moment. But photos that show genuine happiness, surprise or laughter are far more interesting than posed pictures. So sprinkle your scrapbook with photos that engage the viewer to ask what’s going on.

scenery captures mood of trip scrapbooks
Marlon Almonicar
Share the Scenery

Not all photos in your scrapbook need people in them. You want to show your travels, too. Take photos of the places you visit along the trip to help illustrate your stories and give them a setting. You can also evoke emotion through pictures of colorful landscapes or cityscapes. Always look around you for things you could only see by traveling.

Map It Out

Keep the experience fresh by customizing your scrapbook layout with maps of your trip. Plan a scrapbook layout that can incorporate the maps in either the background of the scrapbook page, or as accent pieces. For instance you could use the lakefront you drove along as the background for the title of the scrapbook page. Beware of using a real map, though. It may be difficult to research the paper and printing methods of your standard, hard-to-fold road map, but you can print copies of the trip map on your own acid-free paper, or buy generic (map scrapbook paper). The colors and pattern of the map will liven up your scrapbook, plus it can serve as reference to show geographically-challenged friends exactly what you meant by “this far.” You can search the web for different types of maps in order to find the colors you want for your scrapbook page. Remember that color plays a huge role in setting the mood of your scrapbook. 
Look for map paper for your road trip scrapbook from The Find!

Order the Layout

With vacation scrapbooks, there are several ways to order your layouts. Decide if your scrapbook is going to show the trip chronologically from start to finish, or if you want to organize the scrapbook by subject. While putting everything in order might facilitate your storytelling, organizing your scrapbook by theme offers continuity. If ordering your scrapbook by subject, brainstorm major themes of the trip. Did you take a meandering road trip where you hit every flea market along the interstate for 300 miles? Dedicate a spread to your unique findings or the vendors you met. Was your family geared up for a week on the beach, but ended up having a blast staying indoors singing karaoke and playing boardgames? Showcase these special moments in your scrapbook.
Get more tips on choosing layout for your vacation scrapbook from Debbie Hodge

Share Your Stories

Journaling and scrapbooking go together like pre-teens and unlimited text message plans. Journal entries can save you the breath of telling everyone the backstory of every photograph in your scrapbook. Plus, jotting down notes about your experiences will help you remember the details later. Brainstorm ideas and practice what you want to write before you put it down directly in your scrapbook. Not quite sure how to start your journal entries?
Test out scrapbook journaling with Craftbits

Part of journaling is coming up with attention-getting titles for your scrapbook. These titles help aid your scrapbook themes. If you need help coming up with catchy page titles browse these scrapbook quotes from If you want to use quotes that are more personal, try to remember the music you listened to or quotes from inside jokes that happened on the trip.

Stephanie Cain is a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys all things kitchy, golden or enriched with David Bowie's visage.

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