Timeless Tips for Preserving your Coziest Family Memories

Anyone remember their mom or aunt that seemed to be in charge of taking photos of everything you did on family trips? With the introduction of smartphones with amazing cameras, taking photos has become incredibly convenient.

Aunts and moms everywhere can take 10x the pictures in half the time.  

Why is it then, that we are so terrible at preserving our memories outside of our smartphones? What about the added convenience of taking video and photos has made it less exciting to preserve our coziest memories? WHY ARE WE SO LAZY NOW?!

It’s one of my missions lately to REALLY take in the adventures I have a chance to be remembered in a more physical way. Whether it’s a trip to Disney or Harry Potter World (which was SO FUN), or even just a weekend on a lake with my family. I’d like to find the time and motivation to really preserve my travel memories.

There’s something really special about preserving travel memories using more traditional methods. Check out these seven ways to preserve your travel memories in some old-fashioned ways.

7 Cozy Ideas for Creating & Preserving Precious Memories

Travel memories make exciting life events last a lifetime! At least, that’s how I feel when I look through the pages I’ve completed of my wedding scrapbook. It’s much easier to re-live the day and tell the stories when I have a photo album in front of me. Even better? When I’ve taken the time to include little notes (like old fashioned image ALT text) under the individual pictures.

These are my favorite 7 ways to preserve travel memories; from postcards to handwritten journal entries. There is bound to be something you’re willing to try on your next adventure:

Send Yourself a Physical Postcard

Postcards are just so simple, and yet, they create an instant, physical connection to a place you were at a specific point in time. Find a postcard that really represents your special event or trip and send it to yourself at home.

It’ll be waiting for you when you get back!

If you’re visiting another country, you may have to follow some specific rules for mailing a postcard home. If you’re like me (a hassle avoider), that’s almost not worth actually mailing the card. However, there may be some unique postage stamps that can add to the appeal of going through the snail mailing process.

Use your postcard as a bookmark, as a decorative piece in a scrapbook, or to pin up on your fridge. It’s a great little reminder of your trip or event that you can hold on to for years to come.

Start a Collection of Travel Items

This one might be tricky if you’re looking for ways to preserve the memories of trips and events that have already happened. However, there are tons of cool little collectables out there.

For some people, it’s mugs or magnets, but I think my favorite are pins. Not necessarily because pins are that cool, but because they are small, affordable, and can be pretty fun to look at. My husband and I recently went to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando. Let me tell ya, they have little collectible pins all over the place.

I think it’s a great idea to start a tradition for your family to have each member pick one pin to bring home from each travel destination. Collect them on a bulletin board or find some other way to show them off. It’s a little dorky, but what a fun way to preserve memories from trips with the fam!

Make a Travel Memories Book

There’s nothing crazy about creating a travel memories book, but it’s become the less popular option because it takes time and a little more effort. However, paging through photos and collected little items from events and travel destinations is a really cool, hands-on way to relive some of our favorite memories.

I’m a huge fan of scrapbooks, and while I’m not really one to document everyday life in a book, I am definitely a big fan of looking at the books other people have made. It’s inspired me to create at LEAST one memory page for each of the trips I’ve taken since being married—and continue to make pages to remember future adventures. 

Looking back at happy photos and exciting events not only helps remind me how full and amazing life can be, but is a great way to feel close to friends and loved ones we don’t see very often. Even if you don’t buy all the stickers and paper and extra details to go along with the photos, creating a book full of travel mementos is one of the best ways to document events and memories.

Create a Memory Shadow Box

I always imagine a shadow box to be like a more three-dimensional version of a page from a scrapbook. Plus, you hang it on the wall instead of leaving it on the table.

Shadow boxes are great because they can be a collection of preserved memories from travel destinations or life events that are summed up with more than photos. I’ve seen cute baby shoes, sand from a beach, rose petals, and so much more stored safely in a shadow box.

I have one memory shadow box where I put all my movie ticket stubs, stretching back to my freshman year of high school. Some of them are yellowing already, but it’s one of my favorite physical collections of memories. I love that I can look through the tickets and remember different times in my life that I went to the movies with friends or on a date.

Write a Travel Journal

Similar to the travel memory book is the travel journal. I am a writer, so you’d think this would be my favorite option. The fact is that I rarely remember to sit down and record things while I’m on a trip.

The only travel journal that I actually wrote is from my honeymoon, but I really do love to reread it!

I think the travel journal would be really fun for us to look back on later in life, and I wish I had more motivation to write them when we’re on a trip. However, it’s cost-effective and a great way to preserve memories and details.

A photo captures a moment in time (which you can totally include in your journal as well!). But your handwritten notes are a really special and physical representation of where you were and what you were experiencing.

Not completely related to a travel journal. But, my mom has a bunch of recipe cards that were written by my grandma who has since passed away. It’s so cool to see her handwritten recipe cards and to know that at a specific point in time, she was writing them out.

A travel journal works the same way—and it can be really sentimental for you, your kids, and grand kids to read in the future.

Retell Your Travel Stories More Often

My favorite way to preserve memories is truly old-fashioned. It’s as classic as it gets. Tell your stories! Get together with friends and family. Even better if they were on an adventure or at an event with you. Sit together and retell the stories and memories.

Some of the memories may be sad or scary, or hilarious. Telling and re-telling them as a group is SUCH a fantastic way to preserve the memories and to enjoy them many times over.

Not only will you find that telling the stories keeps the memories alive, but the people you are sharing them with might have their own recollection of the same event. Funny stories and even ridiculous tales are made much more enjoyable when told as a group.

If you’ve got a good one saved up, treasure it! Your kids and family members can use these stories to cheer themselves up or to remember important events. It’s a wonderful way to preserve your coziest memories.

Take More Intentional Videos & Create a Collection

AND for my only more high-tech/digital suggestion: a home video collection. Now, I want you to imagine this like the 90’s style home videos with the big camcorder and all the clips stored together on a VHS tape you’d throw on with the family randomly. Only, you take the videos with your phone.

Get out your camera and take video of your trips, adventures, and events. THEN, follow up by actually taking the time to create a montage or collection and put them somewhere they can be easily accessed and enjoyed.

Half of us have tons of video clips on our phones at all times. Wouldn’t it be great to have them all organized and put together so you could recall some of your coziest, nostalgic days? The problem is that no one wants to sit and watch cozy videos on your phone.

We have to commit to creating a better viewing experience so that we can relive our favorite days and share those moments with each other.

Preserving Memories Requires Planning BEFORE Making Them

The fact of the matter is that preserving memories requires us to take a little time to PLAN for their preservation. In normal people language, I just mean that we can’t forget the camera and expect to have great pictures of a day at the beach.

Planning ahead by either purchasing the tools you need, or making a thorough packing list, are definitely the key to the most efficient memory preservation. Yes, it feels a little less spontaneous when you’ve planned more (read more on my thoughts about how we set ourselves up for disappointment when we OVER plan), but I think a little planning is necessary when it comes to preserving memories.

When I am completely living in the moment, I usually completely forget about taking photos, much less collecting any little physical mementos. I want to find that perfect balance between being present, and being the mom/aunt who only ever worried about missing a good photo opp.

I want to be old fashioned in the good ways—and enjoy the convenience of traveling these days at the same time! (Now to go and actually FINISH my wedding day scrapbook!)

What’s your favorite way to preserve memories from your travels?

Classic ways to preserve your best memories
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