Friday, September 17, 2010

Making a Travel Journal

I have found a great way to come home from a trip with a keepsake that I will enjoy for years to come. I like to purchase a Cambridge 6"x9" spiral bound drawing tablet, for it has good, heavy paper. For this particular one, I found some pictures of England and made a collage for the front cover, then laminated it.


The inside of the drawing tablet has a pocket which is nice for storing adhesive mailing labels which I pre-print and take along, so that it's easy to address postcards to mail home. On the inside front cover, I glue the print out of our flight and itineraries. I also use adhesive labels to keep important contacts  and phone numbers close at hand.


The only other items I need to take along on my trip to make my keepsake, then, are a gluestick and camera. The gluestick has to go into that one TSA-allowed quart-size Ziploc baggie of toiletries, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. When I once packed a bar of soap separately, I found out that  even bar soap scans as a liquid, so I make sure to pack my gluestick in that baggie as well.


Wherever we go, I collect ephemera, and when we're back at our hotel in the evening, I tear our pictures from brochures, postcards, etc. and glue them here and there on the page. Then I start journaling around them. If I've taken a certain photo that day that I'll later want to include, I make a note of it in the journal so that when I print out the photo after arriving home, I'll make sure to place it in the journal.


I think it was about the time of the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms that I realized I need to make better use of my journal space. That's when I started overlapping, as you can see in the photo above. The two WWII posters are hinged at the top, so that I could lift them up and write under them. Same thing with the photo of Winston Churchill. He's hinged on the side. You don't want to see Churchill unhinged.


Tickets, receipts from the grocery store, ale labels, and business cards all went into making my journal a fun keepsake to read and re-read (if you're like me). :-)


Occasionally, I'd even sketch in my journal. This is supposed to represent the holiday cottage we rented with our daughter and son-in-law in Sutton on the Forest, near York. Okay, the illustrators of the world have nothing to fear from me.  By the way, I was fascinated by the many chimney flues that poked out of the tops of the houses.


If you're ever in London, it's definitely worth the small cost to take a London Walks walk. They're greatly entertaining and we learned so much from them! It just so happens that the man who owns London Walks and writes the fun brochure (see link), is from Wisconsin! Who would have thought!


More 'layering,' allowing me to lift up the photo and write in the journal underneath.


I'm trying to visually scan these pages and see if I'm giving away any family secrets. I hope not. But you can see by this page, above, that we paid $110 per room per night in downtown London, near Victoria Station. (That's US Dollars, not British pounds.I think the exchange rate at the time was 2:1, USD:GBP. It's not that bad now, although airfare has gone up dramatically.) For someone who generally stays at Super 8, (like we do) that may seem like a lot, until you compare it with other hotels in London - or even Duluth, MN!! It was really quite a find, and our hotel room, though microscopic, was very clean, and our hosts very friendly and accommodating!


By the time I returned home, I already had most of my journal done - all except for the occasional photo I would add later. Above, the beefeater is 'hinged' on the edge so it can be moved to reveal more text.

In summary, this is a great way to remember a trip. It's so easy and inexpensive, and unlike the huge project of making a scrapbook after you return, it's almost done by the time you get home! I happened to have enough space leftover from the 2007 trip, that I decided to take it along on the 2008 London adventure with Joe and Anna. Now my journal sits on the bookshelf next to our England guide books. :-) It occasionally comes down so I can enjoy it all again, and will continue to do so until airfare comes down!


This post is linked to New Friend Fridays
and Friendly Friday Follow
and Friendly Friday
and Home and Family Friday
and I'm Lovin' it

39 comments:

Caution Flag said...

Just this week, my husband asked what I wanted him to do with all the papers from our summer trip. I told him to throw it all out. I may regret that decision as of today.

Jenn said...

What a beautiful journal! I love the idea of doing it while you are actually on the trip...while all the memories are fresh!

Michelle said...

Great sketch of your holiday cottage!!! I love the Cambridge sketch books too, they make great architectural sketch books. What a great way to remember the trip.

Lana said...

Great idea! Now I need to go somewhere exciting! ;-)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

What a great idea!!! I've never thought to work on the scrapbook WHILE on vacation - what better way to capture what you see, feel & remember!! I love love love this idea! Now if I could just go on vacation to try it out :)

Nezzy said...

Woohoo, What a great idea for keepin' those vacations alive and well. I'm thinkin' this Ozark Farm Chick would just love to sit and revisit a great trip again smack in the middle of a snowstorm. I love it!!!

God bless ya'll from the beautiful hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!!

Haupi said...

I was wondering about those chimney flues too? Do most people over there have fireplaces in their homes? I've even seen them on apartment buildings there? But what a terrific way to journal your trip. I love the layering but taping down your tickets and even sketching (I'm impressed) and writing around them made the album so personal, busy and interesting to look at. Thanks for letting us all have a peek. Great job!

myfingerscrossed said...

now this post caught me eyes and I've to say that that is really a brilliant idea! I tell ya, that is sort of a treasure. cheers!

Denise said...

Awesome journal sweetie.

Megryansmom said...

What a great idea!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

That is so right up my alley! I actually have something like that I made when I went to visit my Grandma in Surrey when I was a kid. My mom and I made it and it is a treasure of mine. Thanks for the misty eyed memories.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner?
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Life Happens said...

What a great idea! It's like an instant scrapbook after your trip. And the best part is you don't have to try and remember all the details AFTER the trip, months (or years) later when you go to do a scrapbook. Love it!

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

What a great idea and an extremely fascinating post. I smiled when I recognised the Yorkshire Dales car park ticket from Kettlewell... The side pocket in my car has a selection of these from all over the place... maybe I should start a scrapbook of these !!

Jean at The Delightful Repast said...

Judy, this is fabulous! Wish I'd thought of it. It would be grand to have a compact little scrapbook of some of our trips. I like that nearly all the work is done as you go along, just adding in photos later on in the spots you've marked. How clever you are!

Deborah said...

Your journal is beautiful my friend. My favorite part is your sketching of the cottage. You have always been so talented. I think everything you touch turns to gold. :D

Cranberry Morning said...

Thanks, Deb. But in reality, nearly everything I touch turns to dog hair. :-)

Mama Hen said...

I love this! I have always kept a journal since I was young! This is such a great idea. About the piano, wow! We have been looking to buy one because Little Chick keeps asking to take lessons. They are a big investment. I hope you have a great weekend!

Mama Hen

Colie's Kitchen said...

Hi I am Nicole from ColiesKitchen.com I found you on a blog hop and wanted to drop by and say hi. I really like your blog, and am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

Valerie said...

What a perfectly timed post for me -

My son and I may be journeying to Europe this coming summer. (I say may - because we are still trying to figure out how to afford this "once in a life time opportunity" for mom and son to perform together on a tour of Europe).

I love your idea. I will need to investigate more into being prepared and planning this out.

I am really terrified of the flying aspect. A Conntinental flight (3407) crashed only 3 houses from my own in Feb of 2009 killing everyone aboard and my neighbor (it is a mirical that his wife and daughter crawled out of the burning house right after impact).- and I still have MAJOR anxiety issues from that event. Praying God will allow my heart and mind to finally heal from that - and I will be able to deal with flying from JFK NYC to Vienna Austria!

Cris Goode said...

That is sooo cool. What a treasure to have for years (and generations!) to come!!!

Jennifer said...

Wow! Beautiful, quite a treasure. It's a work of art! :)

Life with the Lebedas said...

Love the journal! I know it's Monday but I'm still hopping from Friday ... I'm your newest follower from Friday Follow! Can't wait to read more of your blog!

Jennifer @ Life with the Lebedas
www.lebedafamily.blogspot.com

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I'm about to go turn my basement upside down so I can find it. Thanks for the inspiration.


Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

C.R.A.F.T. said...

i NEED a travel journal! come on over and link up to MMM :)

Hanna said...

Hi, I'm your newest follower from Monday blog hop! Lovely Blog. You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

Bethany Nash said...

"You don't want to see Churchill unhinged"

Haha! I love it. :D

partialemptynester said...

Omgoodness, I think we really are soul sisters, lol! I LOVE to journal while on trips, daily if I must, so I don't forget a single thing when I return! Love these journals of yours, esp the sketch, very impressive ;) Overlapping is smart, I need to do that more often!! Thank you soo much for sharing!!

BigD said...

What a great idea!
I like this so much better than trying to put together a scrapbook afterward (which never seems to get done!). Wish I'd seen this before I went to Europe last spring!

visiting from Monday Meet & Greet
http://whoisthegrownup.blogspot.com/

the cape on the corner said...

what a great idea! i, too, collect all the pamphlets and things during my journey. they usually end up in a plastic bag shoved in the closet, but this is a much better use for them! thanks for the inspiration.

Lizzie said...

What a marvelous idea!! Have to remember this. So much more interesting than just a written journal! And those of us who are not that creative at writting, very do-able! Thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

I absolutely love this!!

:)
Rachel

SomeGirl said...

What a GREAT idea! I'm definitely doing this on a road trip with my family through the New England area in 4 weeks! Thank you for sharing this!

Deb Chitwood said...

Wow – what great ideas! I do digital scrapbooking but usually add tickets and mementos to some of my pages. I hadn’t thought of adding itineraries before – I will start now! And it would be a great idea for me to bring some pages along to glue things on during the trip!

My daughter lives in England. I agree that London Walks are awesome – and London hotel prices leave much to be desired! And I loved your Churchill comment!

http://RaisingFigureSkaters.com

Sandy Ang said...

I've always wanted to make one. Thanks for sharing

Grammy Goodwill said...

What a great idea! I'm still working on my scrapbook from a trip to Europe 2 yrs. ago, so I like the immediacy of yours. I've been known to take notes, but they're kind of hard to figure out now. I will definitely do this on our next big trip. Thanks for sharing.

Cranberry Morning said...

So glad to hear this post has been a help to so many of you. Now I'm looking forward to seeing your travel journals when you're back from your various vacations. :-)

Kimberly said...

Great blog! Came across your blog from one of the blog hops, and looking forward to reading more of your stuff. I am now following... feel free to follow back if you like!!!!
All the best,
Kim

http://amoroccan-acat-and-my-bigass.blogspot.com/

Jo said...

I was trying to think how to do a journal for a friend who is leaving the area to relocate and your journal has given me some inspiration Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my journal

brlracincwgrl said...

I love this! What a wonderful tutorial, thank you! :)

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