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Here are some ways to keep RV memories alive. You’ll be so happy you did

As with so many things in life, I wish I’d discovered this much sooner: recording travel memories, that is. Hubby and I have work-camped and traveled for fun the past five-plus years and just today we tried to remember our first RV trip. Although it’s only been a few years, I was surprised at how much I’ve already forgotten. Hubby had forgotten parts of that momentous trip, too. We had to join our collective memories to finally piece together most of our RV’s maiden voyage. Our reminiscing brought smiles, giggles and, at times, hysterical belly-laughing at our memories. It was fun!

What do you remember?

How many trips have you taken in your RV? Have you found a way to record the memories so that you can enjoy looking back on them years from now? Well, I set out to do just that! Here are some ideas I’m considering. See what you think and then share ideas you’ve tried.

The perfect method

There probably is no one perfect way to keep memories alive. The perfect method for me is simply the one I’ll actually do! That means, it will probably be relatively easy, take little to no time to set up, and when completed, take up very little room inside our rig.

Journaling

Ok, I confess, I tried this one. I bought a journal and a cute, coordinating pen, too. I attempted to keep the travel journal like I would a diary. Big mistake (for me, anyway). Most days I just didn’t have anything to say. Well, nothing that seemed “journal worthy.” I thought this would be my perfect method. (After all, I’m a writer!) Maybe journaling will work better for you. I just couldn’t make it work for me. Maybe if I’d only recorded the special activities or included pictures? It may have been better to use a template, of sorts. Like: Location, special sites, unique memories.

Maps

You’ve seen them, I’m sure. There are magnetic maps, scratch-off maps, photo maps, sticker maps, and more. I think combining a map with some way to also record specific, personal memories would be great. I’ll need to give this more thought…

Shadow boxes

The great thing about shadow boxes is that you can keep three-dimensional items inside. Think: drink coaster from a favorite restaurant, shell found on the beach, campground flier, photos, and more. I could see making a shadow box for individual trips or maybe a shadow box for each year of travel. You can purchase shadow boxes at hobby or craft stores or online, too.

Collections

A friend I know collects spoons. She has one from every state she’s visited. Other folks collect postcards, restaurant coasters, shells, and more. This is a good way to “check off” locations you’ve planned to visit. I really don’t have a “check off” list, but if there was a way to include specific memories, this idea might just work.

Scrapbook

As my children grew up, I kept scrapbooks for each of them. I love looking at the books now, and I think scrapbooking our RV travels would be a good way for me to record our memories. The only challenge for me is finding space in our rig to work on a travel scrapbook. I might simply collect items, take photos, and jot down memories as we travel. When we get back home, I can assemble everything into a scrapbook.

Send postcards

The idea here is to buy a postcard from each locale you visit. Record memories, favorite activities, and more on the back of the postcard. Then, send the postcard to your home address. When your trip comes to an end, you’ll come home to relive your travels. You can also note additional memories to each postcard if space allows. Use a paper punch to make a hole in a corner of each postcard. Then use a metal ring clasp to hold the postcards together.

Memory boxes

You can find these popular nesting boxes almost everywhere. Use a box (or two or three) to keep items you find as you travel. You can even write specific memories on the inside lid. I think it would be fun to bring the box along or keep the box inside as you travel. You could reminisce on past trips as you continue your journey down the road.

Memory crafts

Involve your kids or grandchildren in this memory-keeper idea. Make a craft every time you camp. Google “homemade camping crafts” for ideas. Put together a collage of found items (activity ticket stubs, park souvenirs, restaurant napkins, or photos). Put the resulting memories inside a scrapbook or memory box.

Photos or videos

This one is a no-brainer. If you take regular photos or videos as you travel, you’ll have a visual trip reminder to save in an app like Evernote, or print photos for a scrapbook.

I haven’t decided on which method will work best for me. But I’m confident one of these ideas will work. How about you?

Related:

Traveling with friends? Here are some pros, cons and tips to get you through

##RVDT1719

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Jeri Shepard
1 month ago

I have used an app called tripcast since the beginning, five years! You can post pics, locate on a map and comment. Best part is you can email a link to anyone you like, family,friends and they can follow you and comment. They also offer a hard copy if you desire. The pics and info only go to those you want and only if they feel like looking😊,no spamming the universe. It also stays on a cloud so no ones burdened with all that data. You can allow them to download what they want too, your the admin, love it!!!

Paul
1 month ago

Since 2002 I have kept a spreadsheet with every mile, every campsite, every gallon of fuel and every repair. this is the key to my pictures and to my blog https://goldberg-online.net which is the current system I use: WordPress on our own domain names. I started with emailed word documents and graduated to xctraveler.blogspot.com using google. My email signature noted “I post irregularly but often” which says it all. If asked about where I was on a specific day or month I can refer to the spreadsheet which will lead me to the blog or vice/versa. The blog is sometimes a journal and sometimes just random thoughts. If I have nothing to write, I don’t. I post these on Facebook and I email to a growing list of friends and acquaintances as they request. I have been reading through some old posts and getting a kick out of our travels and travails.

DL Jenson
1 month ago

We write in the journal every evening~ usually me but sometimes Hubby adds infor on extra fun back roads we traveled that day. We always note good or bad campsites…sometimes a great meal and good & bad experiences. Love looking back already 12 years later to earlier trips.

Diane Mc
1 month ago

Tried the journal route. Have several….none finished😂. Not a writer. From the beginning I’ve done spreadsheets in Excel. Two sheets for each trip in one workbook. Travel log shows start/stop destinations, w/time, mileage. Includes RV park, site number if we like/don’t like. Also post fuel stops with gal/price/mpg also notes if it is hard to maneuver. Sometimes a big “NO” next to name is all that is needed. The other is travel expenses which show cost of everything, breakfast, lunch, dinner, food, fuel, RV park, entertainment miscellaneous. Also column for notes. Although you can add comments to the cells too. When we are trying to remember something that happened or where we were, I can just pull these up & mentally revisit trips from long ago. Really helps trigger things we forget. Last, try to buy a Christmas ornament from every place we visit. Decorating our tree every year is a trip down memory lane. Been doing that long before RV trips.

Marsha
1 month ago

We started with our first little (23′) travel trailer in 2006. Since that time I have used the “Camper’s Daily Log” to, at least, capture the dates, the place, the location, and perhaps the weather of each camping/travel trip. On the back-side of the page, I may have made comments of what we did, what we saw, and people we met along the way. Some comments even capture any problems we had on that particular trip. If the trip included several days and activities, or even 3 months during the winter in Central Texas and I had more to say, I would have added extra pages to the book that included all of our activities for that trip. As time has gone along since 2006, 5 different trailers, and a second log book, I have great memories come to mind as I read through those pages.

Eric L
1 month ago

I have been using a free app for the last four years called Polarsteps. It’s easy to use and you can share your trip progress with family and friends, or keep it private. You can add pictures, video and text. They also offer for purchase, a high quality hard cover book that you can edit before buying.

Sue
1 month ago

My husband and I started a personal website in 2004 after we were both retired and began extensive and full-time RV travel for the next 15 years. Jim set up the site and I do the writing/photography. I have kept a daily journal on my computer all this time and reference it when posting entries to the website. I’ve also taken thousands of photos as we traveled. I edited and saved the best on my computer and back-up hard drive. The dates/locations on those are helpful when I get behind on posting to the website. We also tracked trip mileages, costs, repairs and maintenance to the vehicles, etc. on our computers.

Glenda Alexander
1 month ago

I’ve been writing a blog on http://www.mytripjournal.com. It’s very easy to set up and it includes maps that show your route. There’s a free version, which means you have to contend with ads and you’re limited in how many photos you can upload. The paid subscription gives you unlimited photos and NO ads, which is the one I use. I’ve been keeping up with it since 2006.

DPHooper
1 month ago

This looks doable. I tried journal on Google and WordPress, too complicated. I will look at this more.
thanks.

dale
1 month ago

We also write a blog…We take lots of pictures but only use a few in the blog. My wife keeps reminding me to tell the story…ie; instead of…that’s a bear in yellowstone.. write the story around why you took the picture. ie’ we were up early yesterday and just outside of canyon we came across this huge bear that was sitting right in the middle of the road. He was huge…i think it was a grizzly but we weren’t getting out of the car to check for sure..
Then the next picture and story and you blog will be more meaningful as well as entertaining for you and your family in the future.
I use ‘Open live writer’ to compose my blog then use word press to publish it…I found writing it in word press to be confusing…that’s why I downloaded and use Open live writer.
If at all interested you can see our blog at geezertrekker2.wordpress.com

Deborah Mason
1 month ago

We started, with our second motorhome, a book r that has start time & mileage, end time & mileage, where we stopped. There’s also an area for had stops, then almost half the page for notes, wildlife sightings, memories. We’re now nearing the end of volume 2 for our current (3rd) motorhome. I’ll need to print & bind a new one soon

TIM MCRAE
1 month ago

Haha. I know myself too well. The thing that works is the one you will do, says it all. I am very bad with follow thru…

So my method requires no effort at all on my part. I allow Google to track me and the Google Location History reports reminds me of all the places we have been (along with pictures and local flair).

I am amazed at the memories that come flooding back of forgotten trips and places!

“Hey honey, do you remember that time we went to Sullivan MO by accident? I had completely forgotten that day!”

TIM MCRAE
1 month ago
Reply to  TIM MCRAE

Oh, I hate big tech tracking me and I espouse privacy! But, I can’t give this up it is so easy… What a hypocrite! Right?

Nanci
1 month ago

We are full-timers and not much room to collect. I keep two maps, a United States and a National Park one. I highlight every highway and town on the US map and highlight every National Park, Monument, Historical Site on that one. Also can check on RVtripwizard the campsites we have written in and been at.

Ellie
1 month ago

Some people scrapbook online and have their photo books printed. Some companies will only let you put in photos, while others allow you to add text. The printed book is much smaller and lighter than a traditional scrapbook.

John B.
1 month ago

My wife keeps a journal. At the end of every trip while I am packing up, she fills in things and places we visited, who was with us, site number, etc. Also as we walk around the campground we look at other sites we would like to stay on next time. We also take lots of pictures of the campground and places we visited.

John
1 month ago

My wife keeps a journal as we camp. Sometimes I’ll add something but 99% is her writing. If we camp with others, they’re invited to add something as well. The entry always begins with the name of the campground and site number. She includes details about both for future reference but also she writes lots of comments about what we ate, where we went, what we did, happenings that our children & friends may have shared with us, etc. We often refer to the journal if we’re returning to the same campground to research our choice of sites and will occasionally sit at the campfire reading about past trips.

Dianne Belk
1 month ago

We started out making large scrapbooks and we still do that on a smaller scale. I now take our favorite 20 pictures from a trip and turn them into a coffee mug. We drink lots of coffee so as we drink our coffee it’s our joke to say “where are you drinking from today.” I also use the same company and make pillow covers and lap throws and canvas wall hangings from favorite spots. Basically our RV is decorated in the ghosts of trips past. Great for conversation and memories!

Thomas Boltik
1 month ago

I plan every trip in RVParky. Then at the end, I update with stops, and rename it, adding “DONE – ” in front. That gives me a record of dates and places, and routes taken. Add to the date stamps on the photos on my phone (stored in the cloud) and I have a good idea of where we’ve been!

Sharon L Boehmer
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Boltik

I do the same thing. Its easy to edit trips, add or delete places, in RVParky. I then use google photos, upload lots of pictures and give each group a name. I can access the photos on any computer, and if going somewhere for a second time, compare photos then and now.

Steve
1 month ago

I collect brochures of places we visit, business cards from places we eat, state maps, etc and keep them in a plastic grocery bag……when we stop and are ready to start a new adventure, I assemble a montage on a map using all the things we did in a 8.5×11 format and put them in a $1 glass frame that I hang in my garage… I have a pic of all the memorable things we did to look at and say……oh yeah , now I remember that…..sometimes I have more than one to make as the bag of memories is easy to store in a closet…

Don
1 month ago

I’m a bit surprised you don’t mention what to me is the most obvious way – keeping a logbook. I have logbooks for both of our most recent RV’s (a 5th wheel that we used for 7 years, and our current coach now in it’s 6th year). It’s an excel spreadsheet that can be configured any way you like. Ours records each travel day with date, start and finish locations, the town & RV Park we stayed in, the distance traveled, nights stayed, and a column for important notes about that location.
It’s simple to update (and doesn’t have to be done every day) and becomes a permanent record of our travels.