The worst part about a vacation is coming home. In an age when we’re all Instagram-and-Snapchat-obsessed all the time, we sometimes forget to bring home keepsakes from our travels because we’re busy picking out filters and scrolling through our feed. This summer, put down your phone and try a new way to remember your trip! Whether it’s purchasing a special something on vacation or doing a little DIY upon your return, we’re sure these mementos will be keepsakes that’ll always bring back sunny memories of your summer vacay.
Purchase a book on vacation and fill your shelves with chic reads from all over the world. We’d love to let this list of beautiful bookstores be our guide. Just be wary of picking one up on every stop of your European tour. No one likes to lug a heavy suitcase home!
go old school with a Lomography camera
Can you remember the last time you actually got photos developed? Now think about the last time you bought a roll of film! Sometimes there’s nothing more exciting than picking up an eveloped of freshly developed photos from the pharmacy and reminiscing about a summer vacay.
Send a favorite snapshot from your vacation to a watercolor artist, like North Carolina-based artist Susan Woodard, for a keepsake you’ll always cherish.
buy street art
We love to purchase small watercolors of the landscape or streets of the town we’re visiting. With a trip to the frame shop or with a service like Simply Framed, you can create a gallery wall with these inexpensive paintings to remember all of the places you’ve been around the world.
Save train, plane, and show tickets in a jar for a unique accent to a coffee table, tray, or bookshelf.
This mega photo frame is absolutely perfect for prints of your travel Instas.
customize a calendar
Create a calendar with your vacation photos so you can remember the fun times all year long. We just love these clipboard calendars from Artifact Uprising.
coffee table photo album
Purchase postcards from each city you visit. You can easily pop them into Ikea frames for a quick gallery when you’re ready to fill up an empty wall in your home.
Purchase ornaments from wherever your travels may take you. There’s no time like the holidays to remember your favorite travel memories with family and friends.
…or make your own!
DIY these funky ornaments with prints from your Instagram page for a customized bauble to hang on your tree.
Find the DIY via domino.
Blow up your photos on high quality paper for a stylish piece of artwork above a sofa, bench, or console. Another brilliant idea: split your photo in half and print it as a diptych á la photographer Gray Malin.
Pick up a box of matches at each restaurant, hotel, or shop you visit. After a few trips, you’ll have a collection of colorful boxes you can display on your coffee table like our friend Maria del Russo.
Take your matchbox collection one step further! Tuck tiny mementos within for a sweet reminder of your vacation.
DIY these keepsake boxes and style them within your bookshelves. Whenever you have family or guests over, show off your trip’s treasures!
Find the DIY via Martha Stewart.