Remember as a kid how you deliberated over which souvenir to buy with your special stash of vacation money? As adults, the magnets, shot glasses and snowglobes created especially for tourists don't cut it anymore. So, what do you choose as a memento that will do justice to your memories? Sometimes on our travels we're lucky enough to find an item that feels remarkably special, such as a piece of art. Or a necklace from a tiny boutique tucked out of sight from the well worn tourist path. But the following souvenirs we've created are equally personal and, best of all, completely free.
Collect matchbooks from favorite restaurants while on vacation. When you get home (or even on a rainy day if you're stuck inside), tear out the matches. Cut a piece of paper the width of the matchbook and fold it accordion-style, attaching one end to the inside of the cover. Jot down the names of your favorite experiences, meals, shops, etc that you've found on vacation and tuck your mementos in a clear glass jar for display.
If the restaurants you're going to offer matchboxes instead of books, these can be turned into miniature treasure chests to hold the smallest items you find on vacation, such as a shell you've picked up on the beach or a piece of salt water taffy from the boardwalk. Print out a few snapshots from vacation and cut them down to the size of the matchbook to create a tiny photo box. For each matchbox, write down one of your favorite things about vacation on slips of paper and tuck inside. Glue the edges of the boxes together in a pyramid shape and stand it up as a piece of interactive ephemera.
Before you go on vacation, find a map of the area you'll be visiting and cut it into the size of a journal or glue sections of the map to card stock for the cover. Add some blank pages for writing. Tape some other parts of the map to the pages and create pockets to hold mementos you find on your travels. Simply punch two holes along the folds of your papers to tie the pages together with string. Label the front with the place and date of your vacation and start a collection of map journals for all of your adventures.
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Here's to great memories!
Zandra & Karen June