Family Holiday A to Z: Documenting your holiday
Welcome to my A to Z series on surviving, enjoying and making the most of family holidays. As you read this I am on my own 24 day odyssey to the USA with my husband and three little bears – so I am truly living what I am preaching right now! Each post in this series is designed to cover a specific aspect of family travel and provide 5 tips for making your next family holiday more special, fun and memorable. I would love to hear your stories and suggestions too, so feel free to hit me with them in the comments. I look forward to conversing you on my return!
The whole reason you go on holiday as a family is to explore the world together and share amazing experiences that you would not have the chance to share at home. Part of the joy of travel is documenting the journey so you can revisit the memories and the emotions of your stay when you are back on home turf.
There are many ways you can document the journey. Taking photos is the obvious choice, with video another great way to document the main moments of the family holiday. Keeping a journal or a diary is also a personal choice to capture your thoughts and the feelings throughout, while you can also set up a folder to keep all the souvenirs, pamphlets and guides from your time away in the one place.
It’s really important to document the holiday but don’t forget to give your kids the same chance too. Giving them the means to make their own memories will help them enjoy the holiday and allow them to share in the excitement, particularly when they are back home and ready to share their experiences with others.
5 tips for allowing everyone to have the chance to document their family holiday
These days you can take a photo on pretty much anything. During our last trip to NZ each of the older kids had their own iPod which served as a camera, video recorder, music machine and general boredom buster. The kids loved being able to take photos of what THEY found interesting which gave us a fascinating insight into their thought process when we reviewed the photos at the end of each day. Smart phones also provide this functionality but don’t be afraid to look like the tourist you are and have a good camera hanging around your neck as you explore!
It wasn’t all those many years ago that it was almost obligatory for a family holiday to produce a cringe worthy home movie on the trusty video camera. Now, you can take those golden memories on a smart phone or iPod. And you can even take video while on the move with GoPros and water resistant video cameras too. Again, don’t forget the kids. My son absolutely loved having his own video camera on our last trip – talking to the camera and actively documenting what he was experiencing noticeably reduced his anxiety and stress. It’s also cool having multiple views of the same event – almost like having multiple cameras in play.
This is an easy and inexpensive way to document your holiday. The only cost is your time and possibly the health of your hand if you haven’t handwritten for a while! This is also a quick and easy way for kids to document their own highlights (which can be absolutely hilarious at times!) If the traditional paper and pen aren’t your style, why not type it up or, better yet, blog about your travels as you go. There are a number of sites where you can set up a blog for the sole purpose of documenting your holiday. If writing is too hard, you could also go the extra mile and video blog your experiences. Any smart phone has this capability and all you need is internet connection to upload your video blog for friends and family to view.
4. Scrapbooking/Picture book
Presenting your holiday in a visual format may be more to your liking. Jotting down memories on the go and taking lots of photos can be combined into a sensational scrapbook when you get back home. This gives you the chance to present your travel memories in a unique, personal and highly artistic way. For younger kids, they could put together a picture book of their trip complete with hand drawn pictures, photos and clippings from souvenir books and guides. Allowing your kids the creative freedom to make their own memories provides a reminder of something much more than just a family holiday – it gives you a snapshot in time and a concrete example in future years of just how young and cute and innocent they once were.
I keep a folder for every holiday – it really is a quick and easy and non-crafty way of saving every single piece of evidence of the holiday. A lever arch folder with plastic sleeves will let you save your itinerary, maps, pamphlets, receipts, guides and other paraphenalia in the one place. It may not look as good as some of the other suggestions for documenting your holiday but it is just as important. This is the nuts and bolts of your trip. This can provide reminders of where you stayed, where you had that amazing meal and how much that beloved stuffed animal souvenir cost you.
Bonus tip – 6. Social Media
Get with the times people! Sharing your holiday on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest is an immediate and fun way to keep friends and family up to date with your travels. If privacy is of concern to you, you can ensure your account settings only allow approved people to follow you. If you wish, you could also set up your own hashtag (such as #ourUSAadventure) to make it easy for everyone to follow your travels. Social media really is the way of the future when it comes to documenting your family holiday.
Do you have any suggestions for documenting your holiday to add to the list?
Do you want to become a more positive special needs parent?
Sign up to grab your free guide now! Full of practical advice from a fellow special needs parent.