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!

Get well soon!!