Imagine travelling to your dream location where the sand is so white, it can be mistaken for snow or where the museums are so large, you can spend an entire month exploring each of them. You’re so excited and want to cherish the vacation so much that you hoard ticket stubs, take hundreds of pictures, or buy several souvenirs. Then, you fly back to reality and shove all your precious memorabilia into a box that you put away in the closet. Sound familiar? If you’re wondering what the perfect ways are to organize and display travel keepsakes so that you can relive the memories more often, below are 15 awesome ideas.
15 Photo letter shadow box
A visually appealing way to organize travel photos, tickets, and trinkets all together is in a photo letter shadow box. You can use a photo-editing program to create letters spelling out the name of the location you travelled to. Next, simply (yet strategically) add your souvenirs (like sand in a test tube, ornaments, seashells, and ticket stubs) into the shadow box and hang it on the wall for a clean display. You can find cool shadow boxes at your local craft or department store for a very low price. These attractive shadow boxes do triple-duty as a unique piece of wall art, an organized storage, and an excellent conversation starter. If you line them along your staircase, both you and your visitors will always get the chance to see them.
14 Mounted wall cubby
If your souvenirs are too big for a shadow box (for example, a globe, vase, or decorative plates), then a mounted wall cubby may be the solution. These come in a variety of sizes and colors, depending on your needs. You can even be handy and build your own wall cubby if you want to save some money or can’t find exactly what you’re looking for (the instructions to do this can be found here). Even if you have smaller souvenirs that may look out of place on a big shelf, you can combine them artistically in a mason jar and put that jar on display in your cubby. Wall cubbies definitely add some personality to any room and give a vintage vibe to your space.
13 Pressed penny map
Pressed pennies are one of the most inexpensive souvenirs you can collect and most tourist areas have machines that allow you to pick a fun or iconic design. One great tip for collecting pressed pennies is to fill an empty M&M's candy dispenser with coins to bring along with you so that you’ll never have to struggle to find them. Once you’re back at home though, how can you display all your lovely coins? Besides putting them in a pressed penny album (which you can purchase online), you can map your pressed pennies. Grab an old frame and a map of the area you visited (country maps probably work best for this), then map your pennies onto the places you collected them from and hang the unique display on a wall for all to see.
12 Map coasters
Keep your table clean and your travel memories alive with these adorable map coasters. All you need is some Mod Podge, clear glue sealant, maps, and a block of tile (or you can even use a piece of cork or wood). Take it a step further, if you wish, and decoupage brochures and postcards into it. These map coasters will look great on any table and when they’re not in use in the traditional sense, they also make great paperweights. The best part (besides the constant reminder of your awesome vacation) is that they’re so easy to create! They also make great gifts (for that friend who just came back home or is parting for a while or for the person you spent your vacation with).
11 Travel memory boxes
One of the simplest ways to organize your travel souvenirs is by placing them neatly into a wooden keepsake box, stenciling the name of the destination onto the box, and painting or decorating the box however you’d like (keeping it plain looks nice, but you could also make a collage of your travel photos on it). The more you travel, the more your collection will grow and you can display them all on a bookshelf or around the house. This idea, though probably similar to what you already do (stashing all your souvenirs into a drawer or box), is a bit more organized and gives you the opportunity to put your travel souvenirs in the open while keeping your space de-cluttered. It doesn’t take much time, effort, or materials either, so that’s a bonus.
A lot of people like having practical things around and not things that just get stored away forever. If you’d like to creatively organize and display travel photos so that you can see them often, consider making a wall or desktop calendar out of them. Pinstagram can help you to do this for a decent price. But if you have some time on your hands and want to put your creative hat on, then you can tackle the project of creating your own travel photo calendar. You’ll need access to a computer and colour printer, as well as a binding comb (or binder rings, staples etc), high quality paper and, of course, your photos. For detailed instructions on how to make a wall calendar that you can print yourself, read this.
9 Suitcases as shelves
Instead of throwing out your old suitcases, why not turn them into shelves to display your travel souvenirs? It’s thrifty, unique, and the instructions are simple to follow (only five steps). If you’re a new traveler that doesn’t have any old suitcases yet, head to a local flea market or thrift store and you’re bound to find some. You just have to remove the suitcase lining, saw off the part of the suitcase you don’t want, add a piece of plywood to the opening, and mount your case. Since they’re so sturdy, you can add some pretty heavy things on them (vases, ornaments, etc). This travel display will totally transform and add an air of worldliness to any room (seriously, how cool does it look?).
8 Vacation memory jars
A great way to display the sand, sea shells, or any other little items (like mini landmark replicas or rocks) you may have collected from a trip to a tropical destination (or any type destination for that matter) is by creating a vacation memory jar and placing it on a shelf or table in plain sight. Simply find a decent-sized clear jar (you probably have a bunch of these lying around your house and if not, the dollar store has plenty). Then, fill up your jar with small souvenirs and a photo to create your own vacation world in a jar. The great thing about it is that you can always add to them or rearrange their contents, if you’d like. This is a fun project that kids can join in on, too.
7 Ticket collage display
If you’d like for a room to have a vintage and globe-trotter feel to it, this collage display of tickets will do the job. Simply photocopy all of those old plane tickets and attraction ticket stubs you’ve collected throughout the years onto colorful cardstock, make a collage, and frame it! This essentially turns pieces of scrap into a colorful and personalized work of art that would make the perfect accent for a white living space (though it looks good against any plain-coloured backdrop). It even looks good in the washroom, of all places! What a cool way to clear up the mess of all your scattered tickets! Alternatively, you can put all your original tickets into a shadow box or frame, with no extra work required.
6 Postcard breakfast tray
Postcards are great souvenirs; they’re cheap, pretty, and capture the special places where we’ve gained experiences that we’ll never forget. Wake up every morning to the delicious smell of your breakfast and the nostalgic sight of the postcards you’ve collected from your travels by incorporating them into breakfast trays. This is perfect if you don’t have much wall space, but would like to display your distinct postcards or photos. When choosing which postcards to put in the display, also consider flipping a couple of them over, writing a story about your vacation and displaying that side instead. Also, aim for a mixture of cards of different sizes and from different places. The simple three-step instructions can be found here. Having breakfast in bed looks good right about now!
Scrapbooking is the classic way to preserve your travel momentos. Although it’s time-consuming, it’s definitely worth it to have an organized album to look back on years from now or to share with your kids in the future. Scrapbooking starts with finding the perfect scrapbook album (the standard 12x12 ones are recommended) and getting ahold of a few scrapbook paper pads. These days, the designs you can find are adorable and there’s something for every theme you can possibly imagine (beach, road trip, etc). Gather up all of your flat travel souvenirs (postcards, ticket stubs, coins, brochures, maps, and photos) and arrange them onto the page however you please. You can also add related stickers, writing, borders, and accessories (like cloth flowers or jewels) to liven it up.
4 Collection of stones
You may have seen this type of display on Pinterest as an eye-catching wedding guest book alternative. But, the collection of stones in a glass vase can also be used in a travel context. If you happen to collect stones from your travels (or are now thinking about doing it), writing a memory from your trip (or a quote that’s relevant to the place you visited) on the stone with a marker and adding it to a vase makes for a lovely display. You can do the same thing with seashells if you’re a frequent visitor to tropical destinations. This travel display costs practically nothing (if you purchase your vase from the dollar store or re-use an old one that you have lying around your house).
3 Glass ornament
Instead of putting souvenirs in a jar or box, which can take up space, try a glass (or plastic) ball ornament instead. You can find these at your local craft store or at any department store during the holiday season. Things like sand, little shells, and mini replicas would work well in this display. You can also add a cute tag around each of them with the name of the place you visited and the date you visited.
Of course, hanging them up on your Christmas tree is a sure way to relive your memories at least once a year, but there are other ways to display the ornaments. You can find a nice bowl or vase to put the ornaments in it, creating a centerpiece that will give your dinner guests something to talk about. You can also buy or make your own ornament display stand.
2 Travel binder
Similar to a scrapbook (but much less time-consuming and costly) is a travel binder. The only thing you need to buy for this project is a couple of binder rings and you’ll need access to a hole puncher. Just gather up all your brochures, tickets, maps, travel guides, metro passes, and whatever other pieces of paper you collected on your travels, punch a hole in them, and add a binder ring to keep it all together. Such little effort required! If you want it to look a bit cooler, though, you can find a stack of paper of the same size and glue your flat souvenirs onto them then bind it together. Alternatively, you can put all the memorabilia from each city into separate envelopes and bind those together.
1 Fridge magnets
Your fridge is either completely free of anything (what kind of human are you?) or filled with everything from your calendar to shopping lists and pictures of relatives you haven’t seen in decades. Whatever the case, adding some of your travel memorabilia to your fridge won’t cause any harm. After all, we see our fridges multiple times every day so it’s actually the perfect spot to display things that will remind us of our travels. You can make fridge magnets out of the souvenirs you brought back (maps, subway tickets, or anything that you can superglue a magnet to, really). For example, you can try your hand at these adorable framed mini map magnets or these cool coin magnets. They’re so cheap (but don’t look like they are) and are easy to make!
Sources: designaglow.com, thisoldhouse.com, decoart.com, popsugar.com, marthastewart.com, ehow.com, instructables.com, designsponge.com, seattletimes.com, kellypurkey.com, survivingateacherssalary.com, tatteredstyle.blogspot.ca