Anticipating a trip – researching adventures, making plans, and reading about your destination – bring more pleasure than the trip itself!* The reality of travel – crowded flights, packing and unpacking, jet lag, etc. – can be less fun than the months of anticipation.
But what about after the trip? Many people jump right back into work and obligations, and let those travel memories fade. But spend as much time AFTER the trip ‘working’ on your trip and those memories will (as Marie Kondō writes) “spark joy” in your home.
Try one of these projects to bring the joy of travel memories into your home decor.
Create a Photo Album You’ll Be Proud to Display
Yes, the tried-and-true photo album. This is especially important as so many of our photos are now stored on our phones. Lose your phone and maybe you lose those priceless pictures! Print those pictures and put them in an album. Get extra creative if you have Scrapbooking talent.
Or do as TravelingTulls does and use an online service like Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Mixbook to create a professional looking photobook. Let the service arrange your pictures for you or spend some time and design the book yourself. We like to add sections from our travel journal, to recapture our thoughts along the way. The quality of these online books is so nice that we’re proud to share them with friends.
Another photo idea: Bec of mybloggableday.com has her Instagram travel favorites printed onto a poster.
Souvenirs You’ll Use
Instead of kitschy (likely made somewhere else) gift shop stuff, buy local arts, crafts and specialties that you’ll be able to use in your home. Ceramics from Portugal, table runners from Zambia, and a wonderful carved fruit bowl from Hawaii are USED daily in our home and bring back memories.
If traveling super light, with no room for extras, I will usually pick up a piece of jewelry on the trip, which brightens my days when I’m back home in a New England winter.
Display Your Collections
Display your memories- Buy an inexpensive shadow box from a craft store to create a display of photos, ticket stubs and memorabilia. Or buy a desktop organizer like this one from Pottery Barn to showcase a collection of travel trinkets:
Display your photos in your home. Chose your very best for a prominent display (left) or just create a fun collage with memorable pix from every trip(right). You can switch out pictures occasionally to refresh your display or let the wall spread outward as your travels continue.
For our snapshot wall we use inexpensive black plastic frames to give some consistency to the display.
Map and Photo Board
Mount a world map on an oversized cork board and place photos around the map as you travel. For added fun, attach a colorful string connecting your image to the destination.
Always a traveler’s favorite. We choose a special ornament on each trip and look forward to seeing them when the holiday season rolls in. (right: delicate ornament from T Bag Designs in Hout Bay, South Africa.)
Another idea: make your own with bits of memorabilia. The grandchildren have helped us create treasures by inserting photos from our trips into clear plastic globes.
Photo Keepsake Boxes
Travel Keepsake box – such a cute idea for those museum maps, photos, ticket stubs, etc., that we all keep as we travel! Visit the article on marthastewart.com to see how it’s done!
DIY Travel Crafts
1. Create magnets with your leftover change – a great idea from Tattered Style
2. Glass jewel map magnets from The Happy Housie. These would look lovely in a tabletop bowl as well.
3. The Country Chic Cottage creates map tile coasters. I’d think you could make these with photos as well!
4. Make a super cute tray with postcards chosen along the road, a great idea from My So Called Crafty Life.