Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vacation Ideas: 25 Ways to Memorialize Your Vacation

Beach Vacation Memory Jar
Display your beach vacation mementos in a memory jar.
Vacation destinations are full of souvenir shops, ready to sell you magnets, snow globes and t-shirts that will remind you of your holiday.  While kitschy style certainly has it's place, let’s consider some other ways to memorialize your special vacation.  

1. Postcard Book: Buy postcards of your favorite places and write a fun memory on the back of them.  Punch a hole in the corner of each, then thread a ribbon through.  This is a great project to do with kids!

2. Sand Candleholder: a simple way to preserve a memory.  In a small jar (mason jars work well), pour some sand collected from a favorite beach.  Add a small votive or tea light candle.  Embellish with ribbon or raffia.

3. Vacation Screensaver: A simple, but effective way to be reminded of more relaxing times during your workday.  Save your vacation photos to your computer, and set up your screensaver (or wallpaper) to display them.

Remember romantic vacation dinners and favorite beaches
4. Wine Lovers Save your corks, writing the date and the name of the restaurant on each one.  Put them in a vase or wine glass along with some gathered sand and shells.  Going through it will trigger memories of special evenings, romantic walks on the beach, and, of course, delicious bottles of wine.  This would be great for honeymooners!

5. Professional Photographs: Hire a professional photographer at the locale, and have family photos done.  You will have high quality photos taken in a gorgeous setting that will be perfect hung on your wall or in an album.  Bonus: your holiday card picture is done!

6. Photo Collage: Use photo editing software (picmonkeyis one we like) to create a collage of your favorite trip photos.  

7. Postcard in the Mail: Record a favorite moment on a great postcard and mail it to yourself.  It may even arrive after you’re home, gifting you a whisper of vacation when you’re back in the real world.

8. Calendar: Made easy by online services such as vistaprint, a calendar made from holiday photos will keep you remembering for the next year.  You can even do different formats – wall calendars, desk calendars and pocket calendars.  These make great gifts too!

9. Foodie Journal: Take a picture of each delicious meal, along with a short journal entry about the restaurant, unforgettable flavors, those that joined your, and highlights of the meal.  Create a collage or photo book with your pictures and remembrances.
10. Shell Frame: The classic kitschy
Sea Shell Frame
The beloved kitschy shell frame
shell frame is a blast to collect for and create.  Start with a basic blank frame, then plaster on those beach combed shells.  Don't hold back; this is one instance where more is more!

11. Photo Book: Use a service such as shutterfly to electronically scrapbook your vacation.  Creating a photo book is quite straightforward, and you can even add a beachy or tropical theme to match the mood of your trip.  The best part is that once your book has been created, you can have as many copies made as you’d like; they make great gifts for Grandparents or for your holiday companions.

12. Memorable Wearable: Treat yourself to a special scarf or piece of resort jewelry that you’ll wear during your vacation.  Wearing it afterward will bring back fun vacation memories.

13. Shadow Box: A fun way to display your treasures is in a shadow box.  Add sand, shells, sea glass, small souvenirs, plus a favorite photo or postcard.  Hung on your wall, or displayed on a shelf, it will be a visual way to store pleasurable memories.  

Nautical Rope Candleholder
A nautical candleholder with beach combed treasures
14. Nautical Candleholder: Start with a small votive holder or jar, then wrap it with thin rope.  Add sand, some tiny shells and a votive or tea light candle.

15. Facebook Photo Albums: If you and your family are Facebook users, create albums of your vacation there.  This way, you can easily share them with others, as well as go back and enjoy them later.

16. Cookbook: Buy a cookbook while on your trip, something that specializes in the local cuisine.  Once home, cook dishes from it, and treat friends and family to a theme night featuring the food and memorabilia from your trip.  Don’t forget the requisite 2 hour vacation photo slide show!

17. Blow It Up: Sometimes it just takes one image to transport you back to a treasured vacation moment.  Enlarge a favorite photo, frame it, and hang it in an honored place in your home.

18. Christmas Tree Ornament: Purchase an ornament that’s unique to the setting, and enjoy it each Christmas, for years to come.  That little hula girl from Kauai will bring back fond memories every December! 

19. Driftwood Frame:  This is the
Driftwood starfish photo frame
Driftwood frame: rustic meets classy
shell-plastered frame’s classier cousin.  Cover a basic frame with small pieces of gathered driftwood.  Leave it plain, or embellish with a raffia bow or sea life.

20. Instagram: So popular right now, Instagram allows you to share photos on the fly.  The photos remain in Instagram, so you’ll have the digital album at your fingertips.  But did you know about the cute ways you can have Instagram photos printed?  Use a service such as prinstagram to create magnets, t-shirts, framed prints, teeny-tiny photo books, or even a huge poster with up to 200 images!

21. Vacation Soundtrack: Before your trip, start a playlist of songs that put you in vacation mode or evoke relaxed, tropical vibes.  Enjoy the music during your trip, and as you encounter new music, add it to the playlist.  Afterwards, you’ll have a vacation soundtrack, one that you can enjoy for years, always reminding you of your extraordinary trip. 

22. Sand Lantern: Create a simple lantern by wrapping wire around the rim of a mason jar, and attaching a handle of the same wire.  Pour a bit of sand in and add a candle and surround it with tiny shells.  A grouping of these hung on a veranda would be gorgeous.

23. Travel Journal: a classic way to save memories.  In a beautiful blank book or journal, record your experiences.  Jot down details, such as the shapes used in local architecture, the colors of tropical foliage, or the new and unexpected flavor you tasted at dinner.  Write about a favorite event; who was there, funny things that were said.  As you form daily rituals, record those too: even mundane things – done in an exotic setting – will be fond memories years later.

Beach photo montage
Beach photo montage: a jar full of vacation memories

24. Beach Photo Montage:  In a pretty bottle, place some beachcombed sand, sea glass and shells.  Add a favorite photo from the trip.  Finish it off with some raffia or ribbon tied around the bottle. 

25. A Child’s Perspective: Children are natural collectors, and capturing their perspective on an exotic foreign locale will make for precious memories.  Encourage them to save small things that strike their fancy: a candy wrapper that is almost familiar, coins in different shapes and colors, a carefully selected postcard.  Give them control of the camera for a while, the pictures they take will be from a different angle, and their subjects unexpected.  Help them write down the memories that are significant to them; be it their observations of cultural differences, new beach activities encountered, or their favorite local sweet.

What is your favorite way to preserve vacation memories?

Important Notes:
-          Be sure to check local regulations regarding collecting sand, shells and other treasures at the beach, as it is illegal in some places. 
-          For projects involving candles, please be mindful of the materials used.  In some cases, a flameless candle (battery operated) is the safest option.

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