A trip as a whole is always an experience worth remembering and the moments within the trip might be even more so. But these moments can be hard to remember months and years later if we don’t record them somehow. You may remember your trip to India was a great experience, but it’s probable that you’ll forget the humbling time when a village kid who doesn’t speak your language led you into his home where you were welcomed by his parents and served a cup of chai. There are a few great simple ways you can save your travel memories.
I’ll start with the obvious. This is the most common and accessible way to save the memories of a trip nowadays. Whether you bring your amazing DSLR, a more compact point and shoot, or use the camera in your phone to take great photos, this is one of the best ways to look back and reminisce about a trip. If it wasn’t for some photographs I took, I would have forgotten many moments of my travels.
But sure, also try to remember to take in the moment without looking through a lens or screen.
Memories from photographs can last forever. Some memories of trips I made with my parents as a kid, come alive when I look at the photos taken during that time.
I’ve been meaning to print many of my photos that are saved digitally on my computer and start making an old-fashioned photo album, especially now that I have a baby. One of my favourite activities at home when I was a kid, was to go through the drawer of photographs we had at home and turn the pages in photo books.
One unique and fun way to save your travel memories through physical photography, other than carrying a Polaroid camera or printing at home, is to find a photo booth in your destination and have fun taking photos! Instant keepsake! It’s surprisingly not hard to find one. Go looking for a photo booth, next time you’re in London or Montreal.
Souvenirs serve a unique way to remember a place, event, or person. What’s great about souvenirs is that you can bring back home a piece of the local culture. One of my all-time favourite souvenirs are the matryoshka dolls (nesting dolls) I bought in Russia. They remind me of the trip as a whole, as well as the travel memories of strolling around the unique markets where I got them.
Another cool thing about souvenirs is that you can collect them. You can think of something you can buy everywhere and get a unique piece from every place you go. It could be postcards, coins, stickers, fridge magnets, tickets, and more.
My brother took his guitar on his backpacking trip through Europe and filled it with stickers from every place he went. The guitar itself is a great big souvenir from his whole trip. And my mom collects magnets. It’s fun going back home where I grew up and looking at all the different magnets from around the world that fill the fridge door. She also likes buying a Christmas ornament, if it happens to be that time of year during a trip.
I keep currency (bills) from many different countries in my wallet and coins in a jar at home. This even saved me once when I missed my flight in Mumbai! The British pounds I carried for a year in my wallet, saved me when I was all alone and without a phone.
Journaling is a less common looked-over way to save travel memories, but one of the most effective. Sitting down at the end of the day or during a train ride to journal about your day allows for recording specific details of funny, unexpected, shocking, and fun memories of your trip.
I have a thing for notebooks. On my desk there are currently 6 of them of different colours and sizes. So I do make sure to bring one on my travels. I took a small notebook for this purpose on my backpacking trip around Europe years ago, and there are definitely fun moments in there that I would’ve forgotten if I had not written them down.
Do you have any collections from your travels? What is one of your favourite souvenirs?