It's easy to come home (or if you're lucky enough, have them shipped to you - thanks again, Mike & Nadia!), with a box full of wonderful, free and almost free items to incorporate into your travel journal. Family and friends also eagerly join in the collection process if you let them know that you're gathering these items.
I was amazed at how many items we were able to obtain from owners and employees at some of the establishments we visited - simply by asking! CA Daughter was a professional at obtaining some of these items. I have paper hats from In-N-Out Burger and Krispy Kreme that she asked for. Keith scored a clean sandwich wrapper for me from Fatburger, and I was able to salvage a paper bag and and sandwich bags from our meals, too. By the way, we don't have these yummy food places near us here in OH. That's definitely both a curse and a blessing!
TIP: Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Goodies!
Local attractions and historical sites always have pamphlets, booklets and handouts. Don't forget to snatch them up. Grab 2 of each if you can, that way you can cut one apart and still have one intact.
Remember to save those little paper bags from your purchases. They make great envelopes for your journal or if you have one that is printed with images from the place you've visited, you can incorporate that image on a page. Even if you don't use them in your travel journal, I'm sure they'll come in handy in your daily journaling!
TIP: Go Where The Locals Go!
I think every community has an assortment of free papers and magazines. Be sure to check out the local stores and look for the racks of these items. These papers and entertainment magazines came from a Chinese shopping plaza in Irvine, CA.
Look or ask for take-out menus! It will help you remember where and what you ate during your travels. When I asked for a take-out menu at R.T. Weiler's in St.Charles, MO, one of the owners insisted I take one of her laminated table menus when she discovered she was out of the take-out menus!
TIP: If you don't have time for daily journaling, stick a couple items into the appropriate day's pages!
Save those boarding passes, luggage tags and receipts from your travels! It's another great way to trigger your memory of what you did and where you went on a particular day.
TIP: Shop Where the Locals Shop!
I bought all of these wonderful Joos papers for under $10.00 at a Chinese grocery store in Irvine, CA. The most expensive pack was $2.99. They'll last me for years and I have plenty to share in giveaways (hint, hint)
If you stay at a hotel that uses key cards and you feel weird about keeping it on check-out, just ask at the front desk. CA Daughter asked for key cards when we checked out of our Grand Canyon hotel, and the clerk gave her not one, but three different cards!
I admit it - I'm a card and postcard junkie! I think they're a great deal for the price, and the postcards usually have information listed on the back that I would otherwise forget. I bought the greeting card at the Sawdust Festival at Laguna Beach, CA, from a husband and wife team. She is a mixed media artist and he is an amazing potter. They had my favorite booth. I couldn't afford original pieces, but I have a personally signed card from her and the memory of really great conversation with 2 fellow artists.
Since I decided to do separate journals for our surprise trips to Catalina Island and The Grand Canyon, I kept my eyes open for other journals. I found this wonderful journal on Catalina Island. It's really nicely made and I thought it was a steal at $14.99. Was it made on Catalina? Not hardly! According to the package sticker it was "Made in Indonesia" with a "Beachcombers, Fort Myers, FL" sticker. Alrighty then! That will make it much easier for me to alter the cover a little.
The pages are designed to hold 40, 4" x 6" photos and have protective sheets bound between each page. You do know there will be major altering, right? I don't have a journal for our Grand Canyon adventure yet. I didn't really look for one there, after all, I was at The Canyon!
Here are a few other free and not so free items I collected. I grabbed a couple sugar packets along the way (one had the business name on it, the other packet has both "sugar' and azucar" written on it) I found a losing CA Lottery ticket, an acorn from the Grand Canyon as well as a piece of glass and a tiny piece of the canyon (compliments of Keith), as well as a magnet and charm from San Juan Capistrano in CA. I also saved the clothing tags from my Grand Canyon tee. Keith also found a hoop earring near the San Clemente pier, and I found a snail shell on our walk at Oso Viejo Park.
TIP: Don't forget to look down!
Of course, not all of these items will make it into my travel journal. Some will be used in other art projects and journaling pages. Some will be tucked away into other mementos from our trip, and I've decided I'm going to have to create a special travel box for some of my goodies.
I hope you find these tips helpful for your travels. Remember, you can use these tips for daily journaling and mini outings that you have in your own area.
I'm off to continue working on my first travel journal pages. I've spent a lot of time tweaking photos, printing photos, typing up our trip itinerary so I can plan pages and sequence the days correctly, and deciding which items will go into my journal.
I'll have the first pages posted in a day or two, so until then.................
CELEBRATE * LOVE * CREATE