Are Traditional Travel Scrapbooks a Thing of the Past?

a pair of scissors next to a piece of paper

As I was going through some old files this morning I came across my first (and only) travel scrapbook. An amateur but carefully assembled collection from my semester abroad in England –cropped photos, fading admission tickets, even a pressed daffodil.

A year or two later, Creative Memories became a big deal and I invested in an expensive book covered with travel themed tapestry, a $40 photo cropper and all kinds of clever layouts, stickers, and paraphernalia to make my memories beautiful. That scrapbook was never finished, barely even started.a pair of scissors next to a piece of paper

Already I was starting to travel more, so the time that previously might have been spent documenting the trip of a lifetime was already being used to plan new ones.

A few years after that, online photo books like Shutterfly and Snapfish became all the rage.  After about 15 hours of choosing photos and attempting to put together the perfect layouts, I gave up, only 5 pages in.

At that point my Facebook account already had the highlights of my trips in numerous albums available to my friends. If I wanted to relive the fun I could just scroll through those.

Then we started Heels First Travel, which in many ways is the perfect scrapbook, though I find I’m once again falling behind with some trips from over a year ago unrecorded.

And now there’s Instagram which in many ways might be the perfect scrapbook. Photographing food and signs and moments, in addition to scenery and people is a now thing. So in many ways we’re able to capture the point of an entire scrapbook in just a few shots, with cool filters built right in.

Clouds and sun flying into #portland. #portlandoregon #viewfromthewindow #pdx #river #flight #oregon #cloudyday

A post shared by Keri Anderson (@heelsfirst) on

But there’s a certain charm of memories in print that I don’t think digital can ever replace. That crumpled concert ticket next to a photo of you and your bestie. The ticket stub from your first first class flight. The sketch a random stranger made of you on a cocktail napkin.

Probably why I still have several boxes of memories from my trips and an uncertain desire to once again start cropping and pasting. If I ever get the time.

What do you think? Are traditional scrapbooks obsolete? How do you like to capture your trip memories?

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  1. Same thing happened with me, started with scrapbook and then one thing after another. I always feel I need to go back and start that tradition again. It was so much fun.

  2. I have traditional scrapbooks. My daughter and I worked on them together. I use them as a way to relive the trip. But I have time between trips. I use an 8″x 8″ page layout.

    I recently helped a couple young ladies put together their travel scrapbooks and set them up for their future travel scrapbooks. Basically, use the pocket scrapbook method. Each pocket holds picture, memorabilia, journaling, etc. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you want. They chose 12″ x 12″ page layouts and a 3-ring scrapbook binder. Don’t be afraid to staple, washi tape, tab or stamp on the plastic page protector…sky is the limit.

  3. I do both. I like the ease of Instagram and other sites, but I also miss picking out paper and other elements. Going on my first cruise this fall, and I am tore on how to document it all. I will see.

  4. I print all of my photos and keep them in an album because I’m able to flip through the pages quickly to relive the memories. I find that experience preferable to looking at my photos on my computer. “Charm” is certainly part of it. The big difference for me since I took my first big trip 40 years ago is that I make some specific notes in the margins about what is shown in the photos. I didn’t do that earlier because I had a terrific memory and assumed I’d always remember where exactly I was when I took those photos. Well, you know what they say about people who assume.

    In the last six years, I’ve taken a notebook with me to jot down details of my trips. Again, part of it is to be sure that I recall more of what I’ve done. They aren’t like diaries for me, but I do sometimes write down various thoughts and impressions, and it’s always fun looking back at those. Now that’s something I really wish I had done from day one of my travels.

  5. Hi,
    Give shutterfly another try. They have a tool called “Simple Path” that has made this process much easier. I usually pick the photos I really like from a trip, and upload only those. Then I choose simple path and my book theme. Then Facebook lays it out, and I can add text or embellishments. I get their coupons, and my photo books run around $50 for me- much less than I used to spend on Creative Memories or even film processing (kids, ask your parents what that is). I think the shutterfly photo book is actually more flexible than the old scrapbooks. For things like metro tickets or concert stubs, I put them in a glad bag and glue it to the inside of the cover of the scrapbook. For maps, I’ve taken screen shots (showing how far we walked in Rome, for example) and saved those as images and uploaded them to a book. I’ve also copied my trip report (from Trip Advisor or Fodor’s) and pasted that into the last couple of pages of a book. I include details (like “what was your favorite food we ate” or “which place had the best bed”) in the narrative as I go. You get the idea!
    I do a book a year for each of our “big trips” and I buy one for each of my children. I’m hoping that someday they will read about these trips and remember them well.
    Anyway, give Simple Path a shot. It’s much easier than it used to be. And no, I don’t work for Shutterfly 🙂

  6. I scrapbook my vacations. I actually went back and did all my photos from the time I was a little girl. Thanks to my Mom Journaling the basics about the photos in the original albums. I use 8 inch by 8 inch albums. I like that size because they can be scanned into the computer for your travel buddies.

    1. I agree with the 8×8 and the easy scanning. I include the same stuff RaleighLaura does. I have made an original, then scanned and made Shutterfly books for the other participants. I have found that Stampin’ UP! offers great color coordinated suites of products to make the entire vacation or theme book cohesive. I loved the products so much I am now a demonstrator.

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