7 Ways to Keep Your Favorite Memories 

 We don’t have to get into the merits of how going on a summer vacation is good for our mental health and even our creativity (especially when you feel like you’re in a rut). But there are also benefits to being able to look back on the memories you’ve made (and not just for #throwbackthursdays). It can stimulate your memory, you might discover a creative skill, and it can relieve you from any remnants of travel stress (you know, from those kinds of vacations you need a vacation from). 

When we keep our favorite (summer) memories written down or captured in photos or in small ephemera like train tickets and postcards in a journal, a scrapbook, or even as a series of IG Stories in your Highlights, we give our future selves a convenient way to find some escape or a wellspring of joy. Which one of these do you already do?

1. Travel journaling.

Do you lean more toward solely writing about your travels (storytelling travel journaling), or getting all creative and adding ticket stubs, playbills, and all the purikura you took to go with your tales of adventure (scrapbook style travel journaling)? 

Whatever travel journaling style you want to do, you can—as crafter and journaling enthusiast Nica Cosio shares—“capture every moment,” especially if you’re the type who doesn’t want to miss anything. If you’re new to journaling, Nica gives a lot of tips (23 to be exact) in a previous YouTube interview here. You can also get started with some journaling essentials from the shop.

2. Scrapbooking.

Another way to express your creativity and rely more on printed photos and collected ephemera is through old-school scrapbooking. One can argue it’s almost similar to travel journaling, as you add photos and other small memorabilia from your travels that are significant for you. 

One thing we love about scrapbooking is it can be a collective effort. It’s something you and the people you went with on the trip can do all together (if they’re up to it). If it’s a family scrapbook, you can get the kids to put or draw their favorite memory or activity from the vacation. Be sure to have a few materials and maybe a pouch to store some scrapbooking tools and collectibles.

3. Take out the sketchbook.

If you enjoy painting or drawing, why not sketch your way through your travels? You can always take a hundred videos or photos of a breathtaking view or a quirky shop facade along with the hundreds of other tourists (you can also do vlogs and IG reels, more on that below). But giving it your own artsy take—that will be uniquely yours.

If you have the time and the skill, find a good place to sit, take out that little sketchbook, and draw what’s right in front of you that’s making you happy or that stopped you in your tracks. Stash these travel-friendly watercolor kit, paintbrushes, brush holders, or pencil sets in your travel bag.

4. Start a vlog.

When it comes to a much-anticipated trip, there’s so much excitement that it’s bound to spill over. And when those IG posts and reels and TikTok videos still don't feel enough to spread the joy (Ghibli Park dream come true! A Siargao sunset! K-drama locations in Seoul!), you can look into making a travel vlog. 

Filmmaker Tin Villanueva, who loves to do short-form videos and docus (and makes the awesome videos we have in Common Room) shows how to shoot with your phone and even to do a simple edit. From organizing your footage to matching the chosen clips with music, Tin shares her helpful video editing process.

5. Shoot some Reels

or TikTok videos, depending where you want to post. This is the easiest and fastest way we share what’s happening with our lives these days and if you prefer to edit videos on your phone, we get it. 

If you’ve also been living under a rock and you’re only catching up with social media now, this fun and informative video on How to Make IG Reels by one of Common Room’s makers, Kim Tiam-Lee of Pulseras by Kim, should help. It answers the how and the why of making IG Reels and other short-form videos, which you can use to document the favorite parts of your trip.

6. Start a collection.

Do you notice how we accumulate certain objects in certain places—in Japan, you may end up with a lot of train tickets and kawaii knick knacks; in New York, the world-class museums has so many lovely prints, we won’t blame you if you end up having several by the time you go back home.

Traveling gives us a chance to see another place’s culture—what’s prevalent, what they hold dear. If you’re the type who would rather have something to hold to remember a place, like artist Elly Ang who likes collecting enamel pins from her travels, then collecting is a good way to go about it. You can get more tips about collecting, here.

7. Send some postcards.

Call us old-fashioned, but there’s something about sending and receiving postcards that can enrich any travel experience. It’s also a quick way to share and preserve memories and cherished details of a trip if you’re not the type to spend hours journaling or scrapbooking. 

While the norm is to send postcards to friends and family, how about sending your future self some happy travel memories from your past self while you’re on your summer adventure? By the time you’re back into your daily grind, you get to receive a tangible reminder of a vacation that hopefully gave you a much needed break. Happy travels! 


Words by Mabel David-Pilar 
Mabel has been a writer and editor for many publications, including shelter and food titles and a book on the most endangered Philippine trees. She spends most of her time writing, illustrating, stalking Common Room’s online shop, and making ferments. Together with her sisters, she co-created startersisters.com to celebrate fermenting in the Philippines.