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5 creative ways to display vacation memories

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I don’t know about you, but I often come home from vacation with hundreds of photos and no idea how I’ll display them all. I have huge collections of photo albums, I’ve run out of wall space for all of my framed photos, and I still have hundreds more photos saved on my laptop. Recently I’ve been trying to come up with some creative ways to display photos outside of just sticking them in a frame or an album, and as always, the internet has provided! Take a look at some of the fun and creative ways to display vacation memories that I’ve found, including some I’ve already created for our family.

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase an item after clicking on the link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. This is at no extra cost to you, and as always, all opinions and recommendations are my own.

5 creative ways to display vacation memories

1. Oh The Place You’ll Go shadow box

display vacation memories

I love this idea by Reminisceinstyle on Etsy to make a shadow box with a map as the background and the words ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ painted on the front. I’ve even seen a version of this box with the front cover of the Dr. Seuss book as the background, which is another cute idea. You could put a couple of photos in the box, but it would also be a great way to keep travel mementos such as plane tickets, hotel room keys, attraction ticket stubs, and other little bits and pieces that I always put in a drawer to keep but never do anything with.

If you’re not particularly crafty (like me) then you can buy something like this ready made from sites such as the one mentioned. If you have a little more creative flair however, then you could make this at home yourself, and it would be fun to involve the kids in deciding what to put in the box. All you would really need would be a shadow box, a picture of a map or the book cover (easily printed at home) and a glass pen to write on the front. Super easy, and super fun.

2. Memory jar

display vacation memories

This is an idea I saw a while ago, and have been meaning to do from one of our many beach trips. I love the idea of taking sand from a beach you visit and bringing it home with you; we actually did this the first time we went to Hawaii, except our ziploc bag broke and we ended up with clothes covered in sand! We always end up coming home with shells too, and they would be a great thing to display in the jar. Be sure to add a postcard to the jar, or a cute label to show where the memories are from.

All you would need to pick up for this craft is a large glass jar, and everything else would come from your trip. Just remember to bring home some sand – and maybe double bag it!

3. Push pin map with photos

display vacation memories

This is a really cute idea, and a great educational tool for kids. You could use any map of the world that you like to put push pins into, or you could avoid putting lots of little holes in your wall and buy one from Push Pin Travel Maps; these maps are made to add pins into, and come in all sorts of styles and materials. Once you have your map, add push pins to the places that you’ve been, and then tie a small piece of thread from the pin to a photo on the wall of the place you’ve marked.

My 4-year old loves to look at this map! It’s great to show him where we’ve been in the world, and then the photos from the destinations remind him of that trip. It’s also a reminder to me that we need to get out and see more of the world to add some photos to other areas of the map! We’ve only added two photos from our trips so far, and I can’t wait to add some more!

4. Creative shadow box

display vacation memories

I saw something similar to this on Pinterest last year and thought it was adorable. When ordering my photos from our trip to Hawaii (read more about our trips to Aulani and Kona), I made sure to order double copies of some of the photos of the beach and ocean so I could use them to cut out the letters that make up the word ‘Hawaii.’ I then added a couple of photos, a plane ticket, a room key, and some of the lava rocks that my son bought home from one of the black rock beaches in Kona. I’m in the middle of making one of these shadow boxes for our Christmas trip to England, and so far I’ve added a ticket stubs from some of the attractions we visited in London, a British pound coin, and a London transport card. The opportunities are endless and the shadow boxes will look different for each of your travel destinations.

5. Smash book for kids

display vacation memories

Last year I decided that as well as my photo albums, I wanted to start making something similar, but a bit less formal, for my kids. I had a look online and found the idea of a smash book; a fun, informal way to keep travel photos and other mementos. I started Harrison’s this past year, and plan to add to it as we travel more and more over the years. I printed out a black and white map of the US and of the world, so he could color in the states and countries he’s visited as he goes. I also added plane tickets, attraction tickets, stickers, wristbands, maps, and of course, travel photos. Harrison absolutely loves looking through this book, and I love that it’s something he can keep for when he’s older.

I picked up my Smash Book online, and then bought additional stickers, scrapbook papers, etc to decorate with.

display vacation memories

Do you have any fun ways that you display vacation memories? Let me know in the comments!

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Elise

Monday 24th of June 2019

Where did you purchase the shadow box from? I love the white frame and I've found that those are harder to come by! Also, what size do you recommend? I've seen a lot of 8x8, which seem too small and a lot of 12x12, which seem too big! Thanks for your input!!!

Kate

Thursday 27th of June 2019

My shadow box was from Target - I just had a quick look online and I don't see the exact one I have, but they have similar ones for less than $20. Mine is 12x12 and doesn't seem too big once it's on the wall. I hope that helps!

Harmony, Momma To Go

Saturday 30th of December 2017

I need to organize my photos in general! Sometimes I will keep ticket stubs or little travel things - each kid had a special box that stuff like that gets thrown in. These are great ideas!

Kate

Tuesday 2nd of January 2018

My kids have those little boxes too, but I've been really bad about keeping things this year! I just went through Harrison's box actually, and found a wristband from the pool from our trip to Aulani - it brought back such great memories!

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