Scrapbooking our trips and travel is something most of us want to do, but it’s also the project that gets left behind because it can be overwhelming.
So many photos. So many pages to make. So many different ways to approach it. So many decisions.
With most of us having more time to scrap right now but not so much to scrap about, a neglected travel project might be a good thing to pull out or at least start thinking about (unless it makes you even more depressed, which I totally get).
I’ve made a few travel projects so I thought I’d share some tips and methods that I’ve found helpful to get you started. My favourite way to deal with trips is to make digital pages and print as a photobook – the photos for this post come from my USA 2017 Photobook – but these ideas work for traditional albums too.
1. Choose a simple, repetitive design or template you can follow through the whole project.
A travel album is usually a project that has a beginning and an end which makes it well suited to simplifying the design and style for a cohesive look. You don’t have to make every page a unique and creative layout like you might do in your regular scrapbooking. This can be something different.
Repeating design elements takes away some of the decision making blocks and helps you power through the pages faster. Sometimes you just want it finished (especially if its a project you have had on the back-burner for a while).
2. Sketch out your design ideas before making pages
As a digital scrapbooker, I do this by looking for templates in my stash (or to buy) or by drawing up some ideas and making my own templates. But simple sketches on paper works too.
Titles and journaling are great additions to a travel album, but really it’s all about the photos. When coming up with your page ideas, it’s a good idea to have various options and configurations in your design because some spreads will need lots of photos while others might be great showcasing one single fantastic shot.
3. Narrow down your product choices
This is another way to take some of the decision making out of the process. Buy a kit just for this project, make a kit from items you already have, or just decide on a colour scheme to keep things simpler.
4. Decide on a way to organise your album
You could just make random pages about your trip, add them to an album, and be done. But, I like taking some time at the beginning to plan out how my album will be structured that makes sense to me and anyone who looks through the book later.
The obvious way is by day – it’s an easy way to sort your photos and stories. But you can also divide your album by location (this might be different to day), topic (traveling, meals, nature, sights, activities), or any other way that makes sense to you.
I am also a fan of using title pages in my travel albums so everyone knows what is coming next. For my USA2017 book, I made a daily title page using a map as the background then added our location and activities. If we travelled that day, I included that too.
5. Choose your photos
This is the hard part. But if you’ve done some planning and sketching, it can make things easier. Decide which layouts need lots of photos and which ones can tell the story with one or two.
The sketches will also help you figure out photo numbers, dimensions and orientation. We can’t scrap every photo so we will have to leave some out, but there is no rule that says you can’t make other layouts with your trip photos outside of this album. I love going back and adding favourite trip stories and photos to my everyday albums.
Travel albums are also perfect for full page photos – show them off!
And don’t forget to include travelling photos in airports, train stations etc – they are an important part of the story too.
6. Add some words
You can add lots of stories to your album or let the photos speak for themselves and stick with some titles and captions. I make sure I always include the basics – description, location, date or time.
For our USA trip, I wrote in a diary every evening but that much text would have messed up my page design so I added some text-only pages to the end of the book.
Having a completed travel album is a treasure for you and everyone that took the trip with you. My travel books are the most-viewed projects in our family so it’s worth taking the time.
Yes, they take a lot of work, but it’s also fun going back through those amazing photos and adventures and putting it all together for everyone to enjoy.