We’re back from our whirlwind trip to Paris and London! And although I’m still jet lagged and fighting desperately to stay awake, all of my ephemera from our trip is organized and ready to go into my travel journal later this week! I can’t wait to get started on putting it all together.
As I said in my last post, my expanding file is the key item for keeping organized while on the trip. The photo below was taken at the end of our trip and you can see how stuffed full it is…
Here’s a better view of how much stuff we collected….
My family became well trained on collecting paper bits as we progressed through our trip. They got to where they handed me every bit of paper they came in contact with! Since it was cold, I was wearing a coat with big pockets. I ended up designating my left pocket as the “paper pocket”, adding tickets and other small paper pieces to it throughout the day. I would empty it each night and add the items to my expanding file.
At this point, I keep pretty much everything, because I would rather have too much rather than too little when I start to put together my travel journal.
Below are some of the things we collected.
We were on a plane for pretty much all of day one, so I don’t have much. Just my boarding pass and a guide to Heathrow Terminal 5. I honestly haven’t even looked at that, someone from the airline handed it to me as we got off of the plane so I added it to my file to look at later.
Our one activity after landing in Paris, was a visit to Louvre. I have our two tickets (the kids didn’t have tickets as they got in free) and a map of the Louvre. This map was too big for my file, so it went into a pocket in my backpack. I have multiple maps in case I want to cut them up to highlight different things in my travel journal. I’m not necessarily advocating taking a bunch of maps, but if you’re traveling with multiple people and you take multiple maps to navigate the museum, I suggest you keep them all as potential material for your journal.
Disneyland Paris!! I have the guides and programs for the park, plus all of our tickets. We rode the train there and back, so I have everyone’s train tickets as well. I also added the tag from the Christmas ornament we got to the file. On the way home, we stopped to buy macarons. My daughter found a stack of the round business cards by the register and grabbed me one. I also kept the bag as I believe the logo will fit into one of the 3×4 card pockets once cut down.
On this day, we did an audio walking tour and went to several sites. I have tickets or brochures for most of them and for those that I didn’t pick up anything, I bought postcards. I have all of our Metro tickets too. From the hotel, I have a map of Paris and a piece of stationary from our room. That night we took the Eurostar to London. I grabbed an extra baggage tag for my journal. I also have a customs landing card… but mainly because I messed up on it and had to start a new one. Instead of throwing it away, I put it in the “paper pocket” just in case.
I have more tickets from sites. And from the London Underground, I have a Tube map and our receipt for our Oyster Cards. We didn’t buy the map when we went on the London Eye, but my son found several that had been discarded at the exit and picked up one. He also grabbed me a brochure from our trip to the London Beatles Store.
More maps, tickets and brochures. I bought a London postcard for my book as well. That night at dinner, the restaurant included several business cards when they brought the check, so I kept one for my journal.
Day seven was another travel day. I just have a boarding pass for that day.
I will confess that I did not work on my actual journal during the trip. I had thought that we would be in early at night, but we never were. I also thought I would work on it during our two hour train ride from Paris to London. But I was so sleepy that I napped instead. Same goes for the plane ride home. I couldn’t keep my eyes open!
I didn’t even write in my notebook until our last day. We arrived at the airport a couple hours early for our flight. So while waiting in the British Airways lounge, I decided to start taking notes….
I wrote down an overview of each day, plus any specific stories I wanted to remember. Since my family was all trapped there together, I took this opportunity to “interview” them as well. I have favorite rides at Disneyland, rankings of favorite macarons, best meals, etc. Even if these do not go into my travel journal, they will probably eventually end up in my final scrapped album. It’s good to grab the info when you can.
So armed with my notes, my pre-printed journal cards and my organized ephemera I’m ready to start on my travel journal! Next post will have my finished journal!
Totally not related to my travel journal, but I have to share with you my new favorite travel item… packing cubes!
Thanks to these marvelous things, I was able to pack for an entire week in one small carry-on! I rolled all of my clothes and organized them into two of the four cubes in the set. That still left me with enough room in the suitcase for an extra pair of shoes and my toiletries. I bought them on a whim, but I’m totally sold on them now.
Sorry for going off track a bit, I was just so excited about them that I had to share. Now to get back on course and start working on my journal so I can show you all it on Thursday!