The next time you go on a trip, do yourself a favor, and get a small notebook or journal. Remember to grab a pen too and take some time to jot down your thoughts during the journey. It doesn’t have to be a huge essay and you don’t need to add in all the historical details (that’s what the internet is for) but what is most important is that you jot down how you felt upon discovering a new destination; be it the grand beauty of the ancient ruins of a Mayan civilization, eating through Tokyo or immersing yourself in the world’s largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef. (I have experienced all three) Although a photo is worth a thousand words; pairing a photo with a small description, especially of your own thoughts is priceless.
Aside from journaling, another great tip is to keep your eyes open for free mementos. Scout out free magazines that include all the different excursions you’ve done. Those with photos are even better. Keep those airline tickets, train tickets, brochures or any ephemera you may obtain along the way. Here’s another tip: At the end of the day, when you get back to your hotel, take those brochures, tickets and receipts and separate what you want to keep and what you don’t need. If you can get a pair of scissors it would make the task much easier. If not, just fold along the parts you want to keep and carefully tear it. Give yourself room for error; you can always clean it up with scissors when you get home. Put everything in an envelope or if it’s small how about storing it in one of my altered tins (decorative and practical) so this way you don’t end up going home with a pound of garbage and nothing will get lost.
I wish I could tell you that I have journaled and scrapbooked every vacation I’ve been on. Sadly, I have not. However, I do have one that I can share with you. Here are a few layouts of my trip to Australia.
On the bottom left, I created a "post card" and added a real Aussie stamp.
Magazine clippings and a business card from an Italian restaurant that we dined in.