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Thoughts On Documenting Spring Break

Spring Break is just around the corner. Some of you may have had it already and others have to wait a few more weeks.

Have you thought about how you want to document your adventures? You don't have to be going anywhere special to do some documentation over the course of the week.

We are going to be traveling so I'm thinking about what's going to make sense for our situation this year.

Here's some of the things I'm considering:

1. SCRAPBOOK ON THE ROAD | This has been one of my favorite ways to document travel in the past. Think a small journal, glue stick or other adhesive, and on-the-go documentation. I've found I'm most successful with this when on solo (without kids) trips but love the idea of including them or giving them their own journal for writing and gluing as we go. I think I might try that this time regardless of what I end up doing overall. Simon is really into Diary Of A Wimpy Kid again and is asking for a new journal so I might be able to encourage him to document in more than one way (so cool).

If you're interested in learning more about this concept I've got a great Scrapbook On The Road self-paced workshop for just $14 that you can read more about here.

Maybe something like these mini-books from Amy Tangerine? Cute and ready to go - I've got a couple of these here and they look great with Instax photos.

2. PROJECT LIFE | A couple options with this one. My sister is doing Project Life and I think she's going to bring some page protectors along with her. I could do that too or just bring along an envelope and stuff paper stuff in there over the course of our adventure (that's what I did last year). When I get home I could print out my favorite photos, most likely include an insert or two and call it good. I could journal on a Word document or in a notebook along the way.

Here's a cool video from someone who incorporated a trip to Disney in her Project Life album.

3. 8.5x11 ALBUM | This one I'd put together when we get home. This is what I did for our Disney trip back in 2006. This is what I plan to do with our Italy photos from 2010. It's also what I've used for my Week In The Life album for the last number of years. One thing I like about this approach is that the stories tend to be more thought-out with the perspective of looking back on the adventure (vs. in the moment journaling). As I type this I think my ideal is a combination of the two - something that includes those in-the-moment pieces of the adventure and the over-arching perspective stories.

4. DIGITAL PHOTO BOOK | Loved seeing this example from Julie of how she used my Story Of Today layered template set (it's great for Week In The Life too). I've never tried doing a digital book on the road but might be something to try and see if I could make it work with our trip. Not that it has to be done while we are experiencing it, but I know I at least want to get a bit of documentation down while traveling (all that "in the moment" stuff). Above is an example of a summer memory book I did a few summers ago that included a trip to Chicago using my Today You layered template photobook set.

5. VIDEO | I was chatting with Amanda the other day and she brought up this idea. Definitely thinking about some ways to incorporate video as well. Even one video a day asking the kids what their favorite thing was each day and burning those to a DVD to be included in the album. I also saw a link on Two Peas last week about using QR codes in your scrapbooks (to link to videos) and then found a tutorial by that same person here. I'm interested in investigating that more. Jenny had a great post about the topic of QR codes last week too.

6. ALL INSTAGRAM ALBUM | I was super inspired when I saw Elise's Blurb book last week that showcases all the photos she took and ran through Instagram during her husband's deployment. I especially loved how she want back through the book after she got it and hand-wrote things she wanted to remember. I think this would work really well as a vacation album.

7. JUST GO AND HAVE FUN AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT | I think a bit about just going and experiencing without documenting (not sure if it's really a fantasy or a nightmare). Or at least without having a plan in advance. There's something really great about just taking photos and having fun and not having to think about writing anything down or remembering to do it after an exhausting day of fun. That said, I so know and value and treasure those in-the-moment memories. Obviously, right?

I'll be thinking more about all these options this week as I get ready for our trip.

Do you have a favorite way to document Spring Break or your own adventures?

JUST A NOTE #1 | I actually have a couple past Spring Break's I haven't documented yet either and have them on my list to go back and make something with the photos and content. Always lots of projects on my list - anyone else know anything about that? No guilt about it - it's really just a time and focus issue.

JUST A NOTE #2 | Next week I'll be celebrating Spring Break with my kids and will have a bunch of great guest bloggers to educate and inspire you.

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48 thoughts

  1. Megan says…
    03/19/2012

    Hey Ali,

    I know a lot about the feelings that surround having a list of many projects. I work 3 jobs and now I'm planning a DIY wedding. I wrestle a lot with the completion of projects and which are most important and making time to get back into my studio.

    I wrote a post about it over here: http://bit.ly/FPRPLb

    The biggest thing for me is something you mentioned - no guilt. I'm allowing and understanding that when the project is ready to be finished I'll get it done. Just this week I finished a greeting card album from our engagement in September. In the end, when I get it done, it feels great and I know that the time it took to get it done was just right.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. sharon says…
    03/19/2012

    Hi Ali,

    ditto for me I did a digital photo book for my niece's birthday and what i did was to document in the printed book by adding a manila tag or library pocket and daisy d had some darling birthday mini folder that I added with journal...my choice was also for her Mom to add journaling as well...selection was non bulk but space for journaling ...it worked very well

    have great spring break and relax and enjoy

    hugs & blessings

    Sharon Phoenix Az

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  3. elise says…
    03/19/2012

    super fun to see my book included in this roundup. excited to see what you end up making & follow your adventures on instagram! xo.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Neelu says…
    03/19/2012

    My family and I are going for a trip day after tomorrow. I've couple of Amy Tangerine minis and will also carry an adhesive runner. I don't know whether I'am going to be able to document everything everyday. But I thought if I don't try, I will surely regret it later. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Tina Johnstone says…
    03/19/2012

    That "Today You" book is one of my favorites that I've ever made! Made it in a class in Iowa, several years ago, with you, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. MelissaL88 says…
    03/19/2012

    We just got back from our Spring Break adventure (I know...it's soooo early!). My boys went to visit their grandparents in Tennessee while my husband and I went to London for vacation/work. I took a journal with me and wrote in it each night after we got back to the hotel. I'm not sure how I'm going to incorporate it, but it at least gives me what we did and what I was feeling at the time.

    My oldest son (almost 13) took his camera with him and took over 100 photos during the week! I was so proud of him. He even came home with a large ziploc bag filled with brochures from the places they went. My MIL even got a map of Tennessee and highlighted the paths they took and the places they went during the week.! Talk about a gold mine! It was more than I could have hoped for.

    My proudest moment was when he told me that he saved the unaccompanied flier folder and scolded his younger brother who wanted to tear up his boarding pass. He told him "Mom would want this for our Project Life book."

    I'm still not sure how I'm going to organize it all. I think I'm going to do a combination of Project Life and a separate Week In the Life type scrapbook of our adventures. I'm not sure...things could change. I'm still sorting through all the pictures I have!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Mary in IL says…
      03/20/2012

      My proudest moment was when he told me that he saved the unaccompanied flier folder and scolded his younger brother who wanted to tear up his boarding pass. He told him “Mom would want this for our Project Life book.”

      Okay, this makes me smile!

  7. Nicole B. says…
    03/19/2012

    If you're in love with the instagram book idea Paper Coterie recently announced their new MY Life product line. They have books that you can simply drop in your instagram photos or edit the book how you'd like it to be. They are currently running a promotion to get any one of their My Life products for free using the code Capturingmylife. I've used them before and really enjoy the options. The books are gorgeous when they are finished.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Suzanne Bux says…
    03/19/2012

    What perfect timing for inspiration on Spring Break documentation! My children just went back to college from their breaks and I have my own Spring Break in a few weeks (one of the perks of working in a school). Last week with them was such a crazy, hectic & FUN time and I am looking forward to getting the good times we had documented in my PL book <3. I'll also give thought to my upcoming Spring Break - I'll be road tripping to visit my sis in Ohio!

    I've got to tell you, Ali, how much inspiration I've gotten through your posts and I am beyond thrilled at having made the great decision to do PL this year!

    Thanks for always having the way to spark our collective imaginations :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Allie says…
    03/19/2012

    Hi Ali -
    Great topic! We just came off of spring break that included a family trip. A trip on Spring Break is a bit of a tradition and I've followed your lead in documenting over the past few years. One year I did week in the life over the course of the vacation, another was a digital album that was story rich, while another was a fun mini-album. This year, I decided to be more "in the moment". I took way less photos than usual and only documented quotes that I wanted to be sure to remember (my kids are 5 & 7 so they come up with some priceless stuff). When the trip was over, I had everyone come up with their top 5 memories. I then compiled a really cute mini-digi album using the memories, photos and quotes. I love how it turned out and I spent way less time capturing and documenting during the vacation and compiling the album after the fact. Thank you so much for continuing to create and inspire. Without you, I'm certain all of these wonderful memories would be limited to photos on my hard-drive!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Jenni Hufford says…
    03/19/2012

    hey ali! i love all of these ideas! i finally decided to document the greece trip in project life sleeves... hopping to start that soon-- it's only been 18months! : / have a GREAT spring break!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Carrie Rosalind says…
    03/19/2012

    Great ideas! I don't have kids and I don't get a spring break, but if I did - I'd be documenting it in Project Life! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Toni from says…
    03/19/2012

    Thanks for the qrl link, I will be making a lot more videos now, wish I had this 12 years ago. Have a great spring break Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Carmen Pauls Orthner says…
    03/19/2012

    Oh, how I wish I was going on a vacation right now -- our last real vacation was in Aug. 2010, to Seattle. I tend to find vacation photos overwhelming, so the Project Life approach to vacation documentation would be a good one for me. I have the Momento app now for my iPhone, which would be useful on a trip, and I think future trips will include some video recording as well. I will definitely check out those two instructional/inspiration videos you linked to. Thanks for sharing, Ali, and I hope you and the kids (and I gather your sister and family as well??) have a wonderful, restful, joy-filled vacation.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Paula says…
    03/19/2012

    Wishing you and the kids a fantastic Spring Break full wonderful memories written on your heart!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. HeidiY says…
    03/19/2012

    Love that Disney PL video you shared! Thanks! Loved the way she incorporated QR & videos into her PL!! Definitely will be using it cuz Hubby always records via videos & kids are starting to do it, too! Love all the other projects you shared, too! I'll be using your Scrapbook on the Road soon!! Enjoy your Spring Break!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Jan says…
    03/19/2012

    Have you thought about using the voice recording on most phones now to record thoughts/journaling as you go? Then #7 would not be so scary - you could have the pictures and the voice recordings to use later. Just a thought...

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Peg says…
    03/19/2012

    Ali,
    Love to see your thought process as always. I have never had a lot of luck doing much more than a quick writing down at the end of the day but have fantasies of doing something along the way. Maybe next time. For you, I wanted to suggest that possibly this will be an important trip to do at least some level of 'in the moment' recording. Things are changing so much in all your lives right now and it might be really different to look back on this trip with even a short period of time elapsed. Some food for thought.

    Have a lovely, lovely time and travel safe!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. christen says…
    03/19/2012

    my husband, son and i were all on different trips during spring break (last week) and all had cameras! so we are each getting two pages in my project life album (plus an 8 1/2 x 11 if needed).

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Kirby says…
    03/19/2012

    great, great post, Ali! thanks for gettin' the wheels turnin' on this. hoping that you guys have a wonderful week together!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Janet K says…
    03/19/2012

    Hi Ali, Hope you have a great spring break!! Love all the ideas that you mentioned. I just got one of the Amy Tangerine minis...my husband has a conference in Portland, OR in June and I am going to tag along to check out Portland..I was planning on using that mini book, as I will only be gone for a few days.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Mel says…
    03/19/2012

    Good thougts going on here and all great ways to get things told. I think doing little trip projects in whatever format is my favourite scrapbook method.

    Have a great break.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. JayEssJay says…
    03/19/2012

    I never fail to create a digital scrapbook to document each of our big vacations. I take along a travel journal and write in it each night (or squeeze in time anywhere along the road)... writing what we did, where we ate, what we felt. And, then back at home, I use that journaling (usually word-for-word) to accompany our photos. The last page always includes a letter to my husband (and someday my kids) that sums up the trip for me and the memories I treasure from the experience. I have the book printed by Blurb, and then add it to my scrapbook shelf. I have four "Adventures of Jana and Rob" books so far, with one more in the works. They are some of my favorites to flip through.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      03/19/2012

      I love the idea of writing a letter at the end - that's awesome.

  23. Jennifer Levin says…
    03/19/2012

    Today I'm putting together a blog post about how much I loved creating my first "scrapbook on the road" while on our Disney trip in Feb! It's my new favorite way to document vacations.

    Thanks for all the great ideas for documenting trips! ~Jennifer

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Jenny Meyerson says…
    03/19/2012

    Love the Scrapbook on the Road idea. I think that is possibly the only project I haven't completed of yours. My to do list looks a lot like this post. I have an Amy Tan album sitting on my desk and a sticky note to remind myself to do a Blurb book like Elise did. Thanks for including me in your post. Awesome ideas.
    Now I want to skip swim practice to create something!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Karman Barner says…
    03/19/2012

    Hi Ali. We just had our Spring Break last week and I did a mini page for each day for PL. All pages were less than 12x12 so that it would all still fit between the two pages. I put a "Day 1, Day 2" etc tab on each insert. I love how it turned out.

    Have fun on your break.

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