Travel Scrapbooking- What's Your Process?

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Travel Scrapbooking- What's Your Process?


I first came to this site to find resources as a I began a massive travel scrapbook project, and I've found so many amazing things here!

I am curious about the process other people use to organize their info/photos/tickets/momentos/brochures, etc. I've seen a lot of posts about doing a spread a week, but I'm trying to prevent myself from just scrapbooking the beginning of the trip and losing steam before I get to the end.

I'm doing 9"x12" pocket pages or smaller, and found a bunch of different page layouts on and also protective pages for different things like baseball cards and collectible coins on amazon. Decided to go with a physical scrapbook because we have so many physical items to include.

We visited 21 countries on this particular trip, and one of those countries we visited 3 separate times. I have decided to organize my scrapbook chronologically by country (and then by city within each). I want to have some consistent aspects across all countries (country overview pages for example, fonts for captions and other recurring types of text), with each country having its own dedicated font.

I just wanted to share the process I've been using, and see how others have done theirs. Here are the steps I've taken so far/what my plans are:

1. Gathered all tickets, momentos, etc in one place, sorted by country and then city.

2. Gathered all photos on one hard drive, sorted into folders by country with subfolders for each city. Tagged pictures I want to use in the scrapbook, print screenshots of thumbnails to use as placeholders during layout. (I try to do a country or two a week, there are thousands of photos to go through).

3. Create country overview pages which contain the following information, each in its own pocket:
-Cover photo for the country with its name
-Info card with # days, # miles, # beds, # unesco sites and if we visited anyone/had visitors
-Plane/bus/boat tickets for entry into country + copy of my passport page with that particular stamp or full page visa
-The route we took (essentially a list of all the towns + name of hostel/hotel/guesthouse/boat/train we stayed at)
-Card with country's flag, national emblem or coat of arms, national motto
-A sample of currency from that country (paper money only, not coins- still need to find 2 countries we didn't end up with bills from)
-2 smaller pictures

4. Created route maps on Google, patched together in Affinity Designer, put them in pretty gold digital frames. (The back of these maps will have a Top 10 list for each country)

5. Picked font sets for each country, tried to pick ones I thought captured each country individually. Going to cut place names out of vinyl to put on the pictures once they're printed to give it a more textured look (I'll be weeding the text for daaays).

6. Go though city by city planning layouts with photos, tickets/momentos/whatever else we have. (This is the step I'm on now)

7. Format pictures to whatever size pocket they end up in, get printed at Walgreens. (Since I will have photos that will range in size from 2"x2" - 5"X7", I plan to format them and put more than one image on a single printed photo then I can and cut them out myself).

8. Go back through and pick papers, embellishments, print as I go. Create printed captions for photos.

9. Procure enough 9x12 binders to house these! (using random binders from around the house now)

It's been so fun going back through all the photos, remembering things I had already forgotten about, and getting excited to travel again once it's safe. I'm so grateful I kept a calendar of where we went and stayed, it was so helpful in figuring out fun info like how many miles we estimated we traveled in that nearly 2 years.

Can't wait to hear all about your travel scrapbooks!! Thanks for reading and sharing!


Thanks for sharing your process Jeanne. I'm currently working through some old trips myself and wrote a blog post about my own process. I'll share that here once it publishes. Looking forward to hearing other people's tips!

Oooooo I'm excited to see your blog post! Can't wait!

Thanks for sharing your process, Jeanne! One of my current ongoing projects is an album from a trip to Chile. Mine isn't quite as involved as yours as it was one country and one week. I actually started this album shortly after the trip in 2007, but as I was a paper scrapper then, I got a little bogged down in the process that I had chosen and never actually finished it. I started it over as a digital album when one of the recent travel bundles came out here. So here's what I've been doing:

  • I already had all of the journaling written and saved on my computer, thankfully, while it was fresh in my mind. My photos were also already organized in folders by day of the trip.
  • I ended up using all things that Marisa designed! I started with choosing 3 kits on here that I could mix and match throughout (World Traveler, World Traveler 2, and Cambodia). For consistency throughout the album, I have two particular neutral background papers and a chalkboard-looking circle for titles that I'm using on every spread, but the rest is a little more dependent on picking up photo colors.
  • I chose 2 fonts to use, one for titles and one for journaling.
  • I'm choosing templates as I go, based on number of photos that I need on each page. I ended up deciding after the first couple of pages to stick with using the ones Marisa designed, both to keep a consistent style throughout and because I have a lot of them from doing creative team work for her. smiley I also am doing a mix of regular layouts and traveler's notebook layouts, with the latter being for the more journaling-heavy pages.
  • Right now, I'm using my partially finished paper album as a reference for what photos to add to each page, and what part of the story I want to tell. So I'm working through it chronologically, scanning memorabilia as needed.
  • Once I get to the unfinished part, I'll probably keep working through the days in order. I've recently started printing my albums from a site called Blurb, and it has a software download that lets me build my album digitally as I go. So that way I can make sure that the flow across the spreads is good, and this is the easiest way for me to not skip pages. My usual everyday album process is more or less chronological anyway, so I'm fine with this.

If you want to see what I have so far, it's the "Chile 2007" tag in my personal gallery on here.

smiley Thank you for sharing.

Hi Marisa, thanks for sharing your post! I loved reading about your process and seeing examples of your scrapbooks. It's so interesting seeing everyone's styles. I've realized I am going for a more minimalist style book where the photos are the main focus and the embellishments are accents. I definitely have some blurry photos in my collection, but they often capture a funny or candid moment, or a really bad one can be used to fill in an extra pocket on a page with some text overlaid onto it.

I also realized that in some places (Morocco for example) we didn't take a ton of photos because the Medina was always so packed and we didn't want to be taking out expensive cameras all the time. I guess I'll just have to take more pictures the next time I go back hahaha.

I really liked your "away we go" page with the photo collage. I think I will do that for the covers of my scrapbooks so I can reuse photos and not have to set aside and save ones.

Thanks again Marisa! Keep up the good work!

Hi Becky! Thanks so much for sharing your process! I really enjoyed reading about and seeing the things you do to keep continuity throughout the scrapbook. I checked out your gallery and like how you layer scrapbook papers, that's a fun way to use a bunch you like. I haven't heard of Blurb, but I will check it out! Since I'm doing a physical album, I'm lucky that I have a Walgreens photo 2 blocks from my house, so I can wait for a good coupon, send the photos in, and usually pick them up the same night.

I am in the same boat as you when it came to having started my scrapbook shortly after getting back, feeling overwhelmed and bogged down in the process I chose, and then not finishing it. Looking back at the parts I got done gives me a bit of a laugh because it's so basic, boring, and uncoordinated. Not to mention full of random clipart I found on Google hahaha. Glad I'm returning to it again with better graphic design skills, quality design software, and a broader toolset thanks to this site.

I can't wait to see the finished product! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

My pleasure! Thanks for supporting this community! smiley

I will also comment to add that if anyone is ever looking for country flags or country coat of arms/emblems, wikipedia offers the images as SVGs so you can scale them. Was pleasantly surprised when I saw that as a download option!

I can't say I've ever travelled so extensively in one trip but when I come home I scan all the do dads, brochures, etc.
My camera auto names by date so I don't do much sorting into folders, etc.
I do have a photo organization software where I tag locations more for future reference, but also where I have facial recognition for archiving and it allows me to start rate them. Once I've rated them 0-delete 5- my best pictures. I will sort 3-5 stars and pic which pictures need to be scrapbooked for which day, event etc. using the various filters. Then print/pull into my digital workbook.

The reason I scan all my stuff first is that I will include that stuff as a 3-4 star so that I can edit a brochure or text from it so that I can print it or fit it into my scrapbook page in a way that for sure fits, preserving the information but i don't always keep the original (I like my thin digital feeling albums so I don't do a lot of mix or paper scrapbooking anymore so only the odd momentum makes it into a pocket in my album).

So I treat all that stuff like I would a picture. and if its really treasured (tickets to a bucket list show, a history booklet, etc) then it either makes its way onto a bookshelf or some other element of my home. smiley

As far as the trip album, I mostly scrapbook chronologically but sometimes its "the thing" so instead of having a page of my hotels with every country I might consider a double page spread of all the hotel rooms with some journaling about what I noticed about hospitality and hotels that differ country to country. Or if it was a hiking trip I might include a couple double page spreads of landscapes or sunrises dotted throughout the album to "break things up".... stuff like that.

Hi @Taren Lynn! Thanks so much for sharing your process! I am very intrigued by the photo rating system of 0-5, that's so convenient and logical. Would you mind sharing the photo software you use? I am new to photo organizing software outside of editing photos individually in Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher.

I like the idea of the sort of themed spreads versus just chronological, it's nice to mix it up sometimes. I have a feeling that will come in handy when I get to some of the countries where we visited a lot of temples and took a lot of pictures, and for all of our scuba diving pictures. My husband did a great job journaling through his instagram captions, so it will be nice to mix in some of that short style journaling as well.

Thanks for sharing!

Just as a bit of background info about this particular trip, if you're interested. My husband and I decided we wanted to do an around the world trip, we worked and saved for 4 years (boy were those frugal and rough years haha), spending a lot of weekends researching places and creating a rough route. Once we hit our savings goal, we waited until the right month to leave, put our belongings in storage, and left in November 2016. Our plan was to hit the shoulder season most places we went, and we succeeded. We traveled for a year and 8 months, but did stop home twice for very short periods of time to do major gear change outs before and after a 3 month stint in Thailand to become scuba diving guides. Can't wait for the next big trip!

Test to see if photo worked. Its 12 years old so will go in later and find a current one with my silver hair. This one was just quick to grab for set up as it was already sized and I could get to it quickly.

I would love to see some of everyone's travel books. I will also sit down and write out my process to put a book together and keep it all organized while working on it. I'm working on my album 72 now, but there are a few family albums I've done for gifts that are not numbered.

Please post your albums ladies - that is the best way to get ideas!

Here are some quick samples of my albums. Partially My Memories and I also use Phototshop for converting jpg clipart into pngs.

This is just a trip to Pennsylvania and Washington DC -

This is one of my Hawaii albums -

This is a cruise I scrapped - last cruise we took in fact (this actually covers 3 albums - this is just the first one -

I hope it was okay to share these albums - if not, please let me know.

Thanks for sharing those Henri! It is nice to see completed albums, as it's a different project than just making a layout.

Thank you Marisa! I was hoping it was okay to post them. I tend to set a theme for each book that carries on the cover and title pages for each port or city. I like that continuity.

The question was to explain the process used so I thought it would be better to show the books then explained the steps that I take and the set up I do.

1. I personally put number and a name on each album. I'm working on album 73 right now and they are 100-110 pages each so that helps me keep them in order and find things.

2. In my pictures file, I have a file for the album I'm working on now - 73 - ALONG CAME COVID which starts when we got word of COVID and has a couple beach trips in it. Not a total travel album, but still, it is in sequence and I felt that I needed to do that so people would know why my layouts started showing people in masks. So I setup a file for each album. I put all pictures in it that goes in that album. I've also set up book 74 - The holidays and beyond which has a trip to visit my mother and will the beach trip we are taking May 2nd will probably fit in it.

3. When I am ready to start scrapping a new album, I copy the picture file for that album, like 73 - ALONG CAME COVID. I relabel the copy - DO NOT DELETE - Book 73, ALONG CAME COVID. That isn't touched.

4. I set up another file called "Next to Scrap." I open my current album file (not the delete one - I leave that alone so if I accidently delete a picture, I can go there and get it again. That has happened too many time.

5. I go into my current item and since everything is in order (I label my pictures 2021-03-17 (1) Ormond Beach or anyway, with the year, month, day order number of the picture in the album as it was taken and the place or something about it. Maybe the first 10 pictures are of one port or event or maybe just 2 or 3 or even 30 or 40.... I cut those from my working folder and put them in "Next to Scrap". So when I open my 73 ALONG CAME COVID file again, those pictures are not there - the next ones will be the pages to scrap next. My pictures are always in the order I want to use them this way - which I find imperative for travel books. They will still be in the DO NOT DELETE copy of the album pictures.

6. Once I put the pictures into my "Next to Scrap" file", I pull all kit pieces, titles, check google images for anything I might want to turn into a transparency like restaurant logos or other clip art. Then I pick out all possible choice of background - and sometimes its 20 or 30 selections but I put all of that in my next to scrap file so I have everything in that one file. When I'm working on my pages, I can just change background if I don't like one without having to go search for it. That next to scrap file has everything I need for my page or pages.

7. When I travel, I always have my Doxie 600 DPI scanner and I bought a case to go with it so it won't get dirt inside of it. That stays with me - in my carryon luggage. I've even taken it on tour buses and quietly scanned both sides of currency to use in my album. Then on the plane, in our cabin if on a ship or in our hotel, I scan room keys, ticket stubs, menus and everything I want to use on the layout. I incorporate those with my album file - so when I am ready to scrap the next book, all the tickets and things are already scanned and labeled in sequence with the pictures. I usually have one or two books to do.

8. When I finish a page or section of a couple pages, I highlight everything in the "Next to Scrap" folder if its a transparency (png) or additional photo from the internet or background paper I used - anything new I added to the page outside what was already in the DO NOT DELET - 73 - ALONG CAME COVID file. When I finish the book, the 73 ALONG CAME COVID file I was working from will be empty - all pictures used and the "DO NOT DELETE 73 ALONG CAME COVID" file will not only have all the pictures, it will have background paper, clip art and other things I used on all my pages. I actually put the year/month/date and assign it a photo number so it is right in order. When the album is complete, I cut/paste that one a Flash drive that has my last 20 or so albums, everything I used on every page.

9. I also open a new file and put all the My Memory files and and PSE files in it and COPY/PASTE that to the flash drive. Then if a month down the road, I want to do a similar page - maybe change one thing for another book, especially if it is a gift for someone, Every pictures, label, title, scan - everything is on the flash drive under that album name and number and all the PSE (I do them in TIF) but those files and My Memory files are there so I can use them again without totally having to recreate the entire thing.

10. I have a WORD document called, "Trip Journal" and every night I write what I remember - facts, stuff from tour guides, things copied from brochures and my thoughts and feelings, as well as what we did. Each entry goes on the bottom of the list, which was over 87 pages at one time! I start each entry, Thursday, December 17th, 2021 or whatever the day and date is. And where we were because sometimes it isn't in the note I've taken - just to be sure I have it.

Whenever I do a page, I just edit my notes for that page and copy paste right on to my layout. The event is on the top when I open my word document just like the pictures I'm working on are on top of my pictures/scans etc for that album so I never have to look for anything.

My "Next To Scrap" folder is always at the top of the list on File Explorer so one click, and I've got it and my journaling is always in my flash bar at the bottom. I just right click on the WORD icon and click on the first file that is always there - Trip Journal.

When I started scrapping trips, I just did what I wanted. Now I like the continuity of a theme throughout the book and basic color scheme for most of the backgrounds and all the title pages. I just like that look of that. We have taken 2 four-month world cruises which were 5 or 6 albums each. I still kept in theme.

When I start a new travel album, the first thing I do is design my theme and the papers I will use for title papers and use a good bit throughout to tie it together - and that will go across all the albums in the series. Once I have done that, I use the one I designed for the cover and title pages as a template, just copy it and change text and pictures - so easy to do it that way! Then I just have to do the rest of the pages, but with theme chosen, its so easy!

Sorry this is so lengthy, but its the only way to explain. I teach individuals My Memories on the cruise ships (informal - not one of their classes). I teach all the organization that goes with it. Seems I'm always in the library helping someone or someone is in my cabin that I'm showing the ropes - but I always start them with organizing things.


smiley Thank you for sharing, such a great thread.

I have been an avid physical scrapbooker for many years, and I especially love to make travel scrapbooks with ticket stubs, brochures, restaurant menus, and other ephemera. When I began digital scrapbooking about 6 months ago, I figured I would just digi-scrap our day-to-day adventures but still physically scrap our travel adventures because I always include so much ephemera. It simply never occurred to me to scan all that stuff! What a brilliant idea!! Thank you all for your suggestions.

@Meghan: I keep a little "scraps" book where I keep ephemera. And then I scrap the photos digitally. Then I can take the little scrap book with me on the trip and not have to worry about photos until later. You can see a video flip through of one here.