So, here we go....
This is my unfinished cover :-) I held off on decorating it, since it was going to take some abuse on the trip with being unpacked and packed a bazillion times. As you may remember from my prep post, we decided on using the Creative Chaos journals from Michael's Recollections line. I was very pleased with this decision. The cover is sturdy, the pages are super thick and durable and I love that it is a three ring binder. That gave us lots of options for including the stuff we accumulated along the way.
In prep post number two, I talked about the things I made and had printed. I really liked having the daily dividers for multiple reasons. I liked having a clear beginning and end to each day of the trip, I loved the map and the dividers just made the journal feel more "me" since I put them together based on my style. What I didn't like was 1) they were a much thinner card stock and my writing (especially my route map) always bled through to the other side and 2) I wasn't a big fan of the blank white page staring at me when I went to decorate the other side. Some I like better than others, but they always seemed so plain compared to the other pages in the book.
Below I've posted a few random pages from my book to give an overview of what it looks like. Now that my journal and my project life pages for the trip are done, I'm going to do a day by day detailed post with my journal pages and project life pages. So keep checking back if you would like to see a more in depth look at my journal.
Here's one from day two...
As you can see below, I used my instax printer a LOT...
In the photo above and the one below, you can see that we were getting better at finding random things to include in our books. Above is our tram ride ticket and below, we picked up some animal information cards in Yellowstone...
One time on our trip we actually spent two nights at the same hotel, and by that hotel was a Wal-Mart. I decided to save my instax film (which ends up being around $1 per photo) and have photos printed at the one hour photo in Wal-Mart instead. I used an app to put four photos on a 4x6 print. Just an FYI if you plan on doing this... I don't normally print at Wal-Mart, so I don't know if this is typical or not, but the only way I could print with them was to set up an account online, upload to their website and pick the print at store option. I tried walking in and doing it all there, but they had no way to download photos from your phone in store. It was a little frustrating trying to figure it out, but once I did, it was smooth sailing.
Another use of the three ring binder...
Nothing new here, just liked how bright and busy it is! :-)
Something we figured out a little too late...
And finally, the last photo for this overview...
Let's see, what are my final thoughts about my first travel journal...
- I really truly enjoyed it and I especially enjoyed that my daughter was doing one too.
- Three ring binder is the way to go for me. I really don't think I could do it any other way.
- I didn't need as much "stuff" as I thought... scissors, glue stick, hole punch and washi... lots and lots of washi. I really wish I would have packed more so I would have had more variety throughout the book. I used a few stickers and journal cards, but a very small fraction of what I brought. I think I would have used more if I was doing it after the fact, but since we did it on the go (staying current), we kept things simple.
- Having a travel journal kept souvenir shopping fun and inexpensive. This was big for me with having Clara along. She's a shopper and a total sucker for things like t-shirts and stuffed animals (which she only really enjoys while on the trip). With the journals, we were first and foremost on the hunt for free things to include... brochures, info cards, stamps, etc. Then we scoured the gift shops for just the right post card and then looked to see if they had any sticker packs. We spent quite a bit on stickers over the course of the trip... but that amount was probably about the same as one t-shirt/stuffed animal souvenir from just one of the many places we stopped. She was always thrilled with her smash book bounty when leaving each stop, even if we hadn't purchase anything more than a 50 cent post card.
- Having a way to add photos along the way was another big thing. I really liked having each day done at the end of the day and not having to wait until we were back to print and fill in the gaps.
I'll add links to the other pages related to the journal as I post the pages:
Journal Prep Part 1 - What we bought
Journal Prep Part 2 - What we made
Journal Prep Part 3 - How we packed
Days 1 and 2