Here’s Exactly How to Start a Travel Scrapbook

scrapbook ideas

Written by Caroline Eubanks on

Caroline Eubanks is a freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia whose work has been published by BBC Travel, Afar, Thrillist, and National Geographic Traveler and is the author of the book This Is My South: The Essential Travel Guide to the Southern States. You can follow her work at

scrapbook ideas

Relive your trips again and again by creating scrapbooks to showcase the best of your experiences. Use these specific ideas and steps to create a travel scrapbook worthy of your global adventures.

It’s nice to collect mementoes from your travels around the globe, whether it be ticket stubs, coasters, or business cards as reminders of the places you’ve been. But they very quickly collect dust in boxes as you forget about them or they sit at the bottom of your bag, waiting to be rediscovered.

You can, however, add them into a travel scrapbook for a nice reminder about your trip. It’s something you can show off to friends and family and makes for a lovely gift for the people that came with you. Here’s exactly how to start your first travel scrapbook.

Types of Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks are traditionally made of fabric covers with plastic cases to protect each of the pages. Inside you can add in photos from your trip along with the aforementioned mementos.

But you can also create a photo book using online software. You won’t need glue or paper, but instead upload photos and scan copies of ticket stubs or boarding passes. Companies like Shutterfly, Blurb, and Chatbooks have templates or you can lay out your book however you like. From there, you can get it printed into a hardbound book.

Alternatively, you can also create your own scrapbook layouts using online software like Canva, a free graphic design program, and get it printed locally. This way, you can cut down on shipping costs and support a local business.

Materials You’ll Need for a Traditional Scrapbook

- A scrapbook: Craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby sell them in a variety of sizes and colors, but you can also find them online. You can also use a school binder with clear laminate pages.

- Printed photos: I use online services like SmugMug or upload to You’ll want a variety of vertical and horizontal photos. You can also print photos straight from Instagram using Artifact Uprising.

- Pens: Add in details from your trip, like short journal entries or explanations of what pictures or ticket stubs are from. You might want to use thin Sharpie-style pens or colorful calligraphy pens.

- Paper: Acid free paper holds up best to age so get plenty of options for colors and patterns. I like to choose paper that goes with what’s happening on the page like blue for scuba diving.

- Stickers: There are some really fun stickers for travel so look for ones that go with your destination like the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty.

- Glue stick or rubber cement: You’ll need something to stick everything to the page with. Liquid glue can create a bubble in the paper, so stick to a glue stick or rubber cement.

- Scissors: You might need to cut some photos down to size. Scissors with a funky design is a fun way to add edging details like zigzags or waves.

I also like to keep all my supplies in one place like a box or bag, with each type of material in its own spot. If you have a craft area with plenty of drawers, it’s easier to stay organized. You should also get photo boxes to store the ones you don’t end up using to make sure they don’t get scratched or lost.

How to Organize Your Travel Scrapbook

So now you have everything you need, but how do you put together your own photo journal or travel scrapbook? One idea is to organize it thematically, but it’s also common to just stick to a chronologically-organized scrapbook. For example, you might have one page of all of the best things you ate on your trip (hello pasta in Italy!). But you can also do it chronologically with each page or grouping of pages representing a place you went on your trip.

It’s also smart to lay out your photos before gluing them down so that you make sure they fit together on the page. It’s nice to mix in vertical and horizontal photos on each page, depending on how much space you have. Maps also make a good addition to show where you were.

From here, pick a base paper that will be the background. I also like to layer papers so that there’s added texture. Then you can glue everything down once you have it how you want it. Lastly, add in stickers and other items (like those travel mementos!) to fill in any blank spaces you have. I like to write in the place I was in stickers or pen and leave room for added notes.

Now that you’re done, you can set your travel scrapbook on your coffee table to show off to guests!

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Store and Organize Your Travel Photos and Videos

Great Travel Books You've Probably Never Read

6 Travel Apps to Create a Digital Travel Journal