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5 Ways To Save Your Travel Memories On A Budget

You did it! You successfully boarded a plane and did some pretty cool stuff. Maybe you climbed mountains in Switzerland, ate gelato in Italy, or hugged a hairy coo in Scotland. Traveling is a wonderful way to try new things, explore, and do something that you love. With all these adventures come some pretty spectacular memories, and who would want to forget those?

Well… your wallet, most likely. Traveling is expensive! As a university student, I use every tip and trick I can to budget and save some money. However, there’s nothing more unfortunate than your memories staying just that – memories! I’m a firm believer in little reminders of your adventures being a physical part of your life, so here are 5 ways to remember your travels on a healthy (and sometimes strict) budget!


  1. Chatbooks – $8 (USA)

These nifty little books are one of my favorite things I’ve discovered this year. Each book starts at just $8 with minuscule shipping costs. The Chatbooks app is downloadable onto your iPhone or Windows phone, where you start an account and choose how often and from where you want to create your photo books. Personally, I like to create these after big events that don’t need elaborate photo books dedicated to them, like my sister’s graduation or my awesome summer job as a camp counselor. This also makes them fantastic for documenting your travels!

Chatbooks connects to your Facebook, Instagram, or photo favorites to help you narrow down which photos you want to choose. It even takes the captions, dates, and locations from each photo so you don’t have to do it all over again! These little books are great and inexpensive ways to document your travels in real time. Check Chatbooks out here!

  1. Postcards – <$1

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No, not just for your family and friends back home! Postcards are some of the greatest little memories you can buy for yourself. One of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to remember your travels is to buy one of these when you visit someplace memorable. Even better, spend that night writing on the back of it what you did that day. Postcards often fit inside traditional photo album pages as well, which means you can have the location printed on the back without having to search on a map for where you were!

Postcards are also easy and fun to do crafty projects with back at home. One of my most beloved wall hangings is a frame filled with postcards from a summer traveling Europe. It just reminds me how many places I’ve been and how many I need to get back to!

  1. Physical Photos – <$0.30

A personal pet peeve of mine? People who take hundreds – no – THOUSANDS of photos but never get them off of their cell phone or computer. Don’t let your travels sit inside a machine – print them off! Put them in an album, stick them in frames, or put them on the wall. Photo prints themselves are super inexpensive, often less than $0.30 per print, and sometimes companies like Shutterfly and SnapFish frequently have deals where you can get hundreds of quality printed photos for free. You worked hard to have those adventures, remind yourself of the places and good times you had while you were there!

  1. Travel Journals – <$8-20

These are so entertaining to fill up! I know journaling can seem like a big task to take on or a lot of effort to keep up with but listen: I am NOT a detailed person when it comes to journaling. I use a little journal found in a local bookstore with simple details of my day. Bullet points of the adventures that day, gluing tickets on the pages, and keeping a list in the back of all the places I’ve been so far this semester. Grab brochures, save tickets, and collect maps to put into your journal.

One of my flat mates takes a lot of time to fill up a gorgeous journal she brought with her, basically scrapbooking without photos. Honestly? I don’t really have the time or patience to do that. But I know I’ll regret it if I don’t spend some time every few weeks updating my journal, because I will forget what I did that one day in that one village in September. Hello Traveler that has tons of journal options for really good prices!


  1. Souvenirs (Good Ones!)

From a person who fluctuates every trip how many souvenirs she gets, this is something I’m trying to be better at. Souvenirs range all over the place. From the cheesy t-shirts I bought for my sisters that proclaimed”My sister went to London and all I got was this lousy t-shirt,” to a beautiful handmade tartan blanket I saved up for. Tourist shops can be traps, but not all of the time, and some of them can have some unique products from the country you’re visiting.

There will always be shunadjustednonraw_thumb_1d08ops that sell very souvenir-y type items. If you love collecting those, awesome! Personally, I like getting things that I know I’ll actually use or admire when I get home. Some of these include mugs, books, and authentic local clothing. Local shops tend to go one of two ways: they know they’re local and raise prices because of it, or they’re local shops and don’t deal with tourists that often so they have great deals. I recently bought some great scarves in a store in Edinburgh at a third of the price I would have spent down the street in a different shop.

TIP: If you go on a tour of the place you are visiting, ask the tour guide for his or her recommendations for local souvenirs or where to get what you’re looking for! My tour guide in Edinburgh advised us to take a free whisky tasting in the city, figure out what we liked, and then buy the whisky in the airport duty-free. I would have never thought of that, but I’m probably going to take his advice!

There you have it! Hopefully one of these options will help you realize that remembering your travels doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. Sharing your travels back home through photos, souvenirs, and post cards is sometimes just as fun as being on the adventure.

Do you have a favorite souvenir you look for every time you travel? Comment below!

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Kendall Varin

I'm a native Idaho girl who decided to branch out from my roots in the Pacific Northwest. The last autumn semester of my senior year I was very studious (and slightly adventurous) in Scotland. Having lived six places in the last two years, I don't plan to stop there. I'm convinced my life’s purpose is to meet and love as many people from all over the world as I can. Follow my blog as I post about confidently traveling solo, studying literature in a different country, and how little it takes to truly feel at home! For a little Scottish appreciation, make sure to check out my Instagram too!


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