Capturing Memories of Your Travels (from BAMBI News, Dec 2017)

Want to capture those fleeting memories from trips and travels with your kids? Here are some ideas you might want to try.

Image source: AnonymousTraveller via Pixabay

Travelling generates precious memories, no matter how well-travelled you and your child are. Here are some things you might try with your kids next time you go on the road.

Send Postcards

Let the kids pick postcards from the destinations and mail them. They can draw or write to family members and friends, or even to themselves so they can look forward to mail waiting for them when they get home. Plus, buying stamps, sticking them on, and then dropping the cards into the post box is always fun!

Maps & Plans

I love maps. If they’re old enough, give your kid a map and involve them in the trip planning. Let them follow the route and tick off the places they’ve visited. Once home, include those maps in the collages/photo albums/scrapbooks, etc.
Image source: woxandapix via Pixabay

Collect & Display

I confess that I balk at the idea of collecting little things to bring home, but we all know how much kids love keeping stuff they’ve found. Sea shells, pebbles and stones, coins and paper money, ticket stubs, postcards, even sand (for the intrepid parent)...anything reasonably compact that doesn’t spoil or get caught in plant/animal quarantine should work.

When you get home, frame the ticket stubs, coins, postcards, and maps. Or simply toss the objects into labeled jars or bowls and display. With pebbles/stones, use a Sharpie and write where they are from, let the kids draw on them, or write down a memory before throwing them into jars.

Travel Journals & Scrapbooks

The ‘old-fashioned’ way to log your journey with physical notebooks or scrapbooks is great for older kids (or for parents who like this kind of thing). Kids can jot down what they saw/did or their favourite moments while on the road, and put it together with all those collected ticket stubs, postcards, maps, photos, etc. Check online for some easy-to-print templates, such as these from We3travel.com.

If your kids are still small, ask them at the end of each day what they liked best and record it, on paper or video. Or have them draw a picture.

If you prefer to go digital, set up a travel blog for friends and family to follow. Remember to decide on privacy rules first: e.g., are photos showing faces ok, is the blog publicly searchable, is geotagging on/off on the photos. And once you get home, get that blog printed into a book. It’s a great way to revisit those memories!


Photos & Videos

Personally, this is my favorite (and I find easiest) way to record the trip. Let the kids take their own pics or short video clips on an old phone or camera. On video clips, they can narrate where they are, what they are doing, what they think. Then don’t just let those gems sit and be forgotten on your hard drive: do something with them!

Option 1: Share them online

If you have internet connection while on the road, share those photos and videos with family and friends immediately. Make use of services like Google Photos, which has an auto-backup option for your phone or laptop. When the feature is turned on, all your photos and videos will automatically be uploaded online. Google can even generate albums for you to share easily.

Use Instagram (TIP: keep your account private, to share with only selected individuals), or create a group on WhatsApp or LINE and upload photos there. (TIP: In LINE, upload the pics to ‘albums’, as photos shared directly in chats are deleted from the server after a certain period.) I also like the app Keepy (https://keepy.me/) for its simplicity, although the free account limits the number of photos you can upload per month.

Option 2: Print them!

Make a photobook or album when you get home. Although it requires some effort, it does not have to be complicated and there are online services that try to make it easy for anyone. Other options include printing your favourites on canvases or as a poster.

No matter how, giving tangible, physical form to mark your trip, which your kids, family, and visitors can see, hold and leaf through, will trigger the retelling and reliving of the stories. It is this repetition that will help ensure memories of your trip will become part of your personal family legend.

[Originally published in the December 2017 issue of BAMBI News.]

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