NOTE: I’ve started a road trip gallery, where you can see road trip photography and read my road trip memories from some of my best road trips.
Road Trip Photography
Your road trip pics are the most natural way to relive your road trip memories. Photography is an immense field of study…you could spend years learning all about it. But for our purpose here, we only need some basics. Here is my perspective on road trip photography.
Road Trip Album
Creating a road trip album really immerses me in the experience all over again. And those who look through it can feel the love I put into it. Sit down and look through it together, and the stories will flow.
Sharing a road trip album with someone is a really great way to tell your road trip stories. It’s like storytelling with props. You can put more than just pictures in your album. You could include:
- A menu from a fantastic restaurant
- A leaf from a tree that you’d never seen before
- A brochure from a bed & breakfast that you really enjoyed
- A small flag from a neat place you passed through
- A cutout from a map of someplace that fascinated you
Creating and sharing your road trip album is a good bonding experience for you and your travel-mates. Once you’re home, plan a night to gather all your travel-mates and your pictures together. Layout the timeline of your road trip and create a story from that. Weed out pictures if you can. I’ve found that too many pictures can be a drag on the flow of the story. Have just a few pictures for each leg of the journey. Write out some catchy captions or quote bubbles for your road trip pictures.
Get a small map that fits into your album and shows stops you made along the way. Trace the road trip route with something colorful. You could label parts of the map where certain wonderful things happened and reference them to some part of your album.
For those of you with some computer savvy, you could create a digital version of your road trip memories in the pdf format. It would be free to send everyone you know a copy of your road trip album. But if you do, I encourage you to make a hard copy as well. There is a certain magic in having a quiet sit down with your album, away from a computer screen.
Road Trip Map and Colored Pencils
I like to plan my route with colored pencils and a highlighter. I can buy a new Rand Mcnally road atlas for each road trip I go on, because they are really inexpensive. I highlight the roads I plan to travel one color, and I highlight the roads as I traveled them another color.
Road Trip Journal
This is easy for those of you who already keep a journal. During your road trip, just make some time now and then to write things down that mean something to you.
- Enjoyable road trip moments
- Funny things people say along the way
- The events of the day as they happen
- Interesting places you drive through
- Splendid connections you make with people you meet
- Spectacular vistas that you witness
- Document your road trip photography
I love the thought of keeping a road trip journal. But if it’s left up to me, it probably won’t get done. I have a tendency to focus too much on the journey and forget to write things down. I usually assign this task to a travel companion.
It could be as simple as taking small notes down when fascinating things happen. It could be as involved as writing a novel. And even if the details don’t get into your road trip journal, at least you’ll have reminders to spur your storytelling.
I find that the act of writing something down in itself helps me retain my road trip memories. I could take notes during my travels, and then lose my notebook; but, when storytelling time comes, my road trip memories come back with much greater ease, because I wrote them down before.
This is a good way to remember the context of photographs you’ve taken. Sometimes it’s not enough to just take a bunch of pictures and figure that later you’ll remember what they’re all about. I’ve often looked through a batch of pictures from my road trip and found one or two that made me scratch my head and say “what in the world was that?” And if you’ll make a road trip album, your journal notes will help you make captions for your pictures.