4 Fun Ways to Document Your RV Travels
4 Fun Ways to Document Your RV Travels
From tangible souvenirs to digital memory keepers.
By: Shanae & Mark McDevitt
Entering our third year of full-time RV travel, we’ve found that the longer we stay somewhere the more opportunity we have to make a connection with the place. This may seem intuitive, but anyone who’s gone on vacation can relate to the feeling of wanting to see it all. Because of that, we spent our first year of travel going between changing locations every two weeks to every few days, thanks to our campground membership. It left us with an abundance of memories, but also quite a few places on our list we’d love to get back to. Now we’ve settled into a slower cadence of travel that suits our energy level and lifestyle much better.
As with many of life’s big moments, we began considering pretty quickly how to best document our adventures. Is social media enough? Would we wish down the road there were tangible relics of this time in our life?
We’re excited to share five of our favorite ideas to document your travels:
Ideas for Documenting Your RV Travels
1. Creative Maps
Maps are a great way to visualize where you want to go and reflect on where you’ve been! A simple internet search will reveal the very crafty ways that they can be used as a template for documenting your travels. For example, inserting a picture of your own into the shape of each state and framing it. Some companies will even create a map of your route to reflect on later (a fellow RVer offers this here).
In our RV, we have a map on our bedroom wall that is glued to a corkboard and covered in push pins. Each color pin represents a different year, and certain criteria must be met in order for a pin to go on the wall. It’s simple, we have to stay for more than 24 hours and have an experience in the area. So, sleeping at Walmart and grocery shopping between destinations doesn’t cut it!
Most RVers know that a great conversation starter is the sticker map on the outside of their rig. Ours is located next to our entry door and has gotten us chatting everywhere from parking lots, dump stations, to hiking trailheads. Anyone wanting an opt-out of that interaction may consider putting the map sticker on the slide of their rig, so it’s conveniently hidden while in transit. Then, when you’re all set up and slides are out, it’s an open invitation!
2. Display or Make Art
As a traveling artist, I’m inspired by the ever-changing views outside my window. Each piece represents a place and freedom found through time spent in nature. And I hope, elicits similar feelings for the viewer. In this way, art can be a thread between time and place. Whether it’s through original pieces or prints, I encourage you to search for artists’ work during your travels. It could be found while walking through local shops at your destination, or through an internet search. You’ll know the piece is right when it pulls you in! Or consider making some art of your own as well.
3. Showcase Photos
Most people take hundreds of photos when traveling, if not more, but what happens to these photos? For the most part, they stay in our phones or cameras, but they don’t have to. Here are some different ideas for getting those photos out of your phone and into the physical world:
Get creative! For the DIYer, the possibilities are endless. Consider collecting tickets and brochures for scrapbooking or turning those photographs into postcards with a simple hand stamp! I love sending postcards to family throughout our travels and to friends that have visited us on the road as a token of our time together.
Print-on-demand companies have made it easier than ever to create projects from our photos. Create a photobook, mug, or even phone case cover with just a few clicks. Every year, we make a calendar through Shutterfly showing where we traveled the year before. It’s become a fun trip down memory lane at the start of each month.
Video can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! I have very fond memories from childhood of my dad following us around with a camcorder. At the time, we gave him a lot of grief to put it down, but now we love watching the recordings all together. In that spirit, it’s worth saying that not every video needs to go viral, some of them are for the love of looking back and laughing.
A few years ago, we discovered the app called One Second Every Day (1SE) through a friend, and it’s been a game-changer. The app takes the live photos from your phone's photo library and creates a one-second video clip that is put together with other days, months, or years to make a full video for viewing. At the end of the year, it makes for a different spin on the year in review!
Have your own crafty or creative way of documenting your travels? Share with other Winnebago travelers in a comment below!