General Travel Tips

Digital Photos are Great, but Photo Books are Better.

There is something I’ve been doing for quite some time now whenever I go on a really big trip, and that is making a photo book of my trip after I  return.

Back in the day before digital photos were really a thing, we all used to lug rolls of film with us on trips and then dutifully take them to get developed after the trip was over. I still remember the excitement and anticipation I would feel while waiting for the film to be developed. What would the photos turn out like? I hope they look good! I can’t wait to see them!

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Perhaps I’m slightly dating myself by writing about the nostalgia I feel for the excitement of developing film, and it certainly had it’s drawbacks. Have you ever gone on a trip only to get your photos back and they looked horrible? Yeah, I’ve been there.

And let’s not talk about the time in fourth grade my parents gave me the disposable camera we had taken to San Francisco the week earlier so that I could fill the rest of the roll of film with photos from our school whale watching field trip. Ummm…to make a long story short, the camera ended up falling in the ocean and I lost all our photos from both San Francisco and of the whales. My parents weren’t too happy about that one. I’m in my 30’s and I still remember it clearly, so it must have been pretty traumatic.

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Behold, the modern photo album.

The good news is that things like that don’t really happen any more. We immediately upload all our photos to Facebook and Instagram and wherever else, so even if something horrible happens and we lose our camera, chances are there’s still a copy floating around somewhere.

The one thing I think we’ve lost from that era, however, is all the awesome printed photos. I used to make so many photo albums from my trips. I still have them on a shelf in my apartment from some of my earlier, pre-digital camera trips, and I do pick them up

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My photo books, proudly displayed next to the old photo albums.

and thumb through them from time to time.

The good news is that in this digital age of photos and internet connectivity, there are some newer, better options for printed photo albums. With sites like Shutterfly, Mixbook, Snapfish and even iPhoto through mac computers, you can make some really beautiful, custom photo books printed and bound beautifully to adorn your shelves for years to come.

What I like about them the most, however, is that problems with technology are inevitable. Hard drives fail. Backup hard drives fail. People forget to back things up to the cloud. Files get corrupted. Having some printed books with my precious travel memories in them is not only an enjoyable memento from my trip, but it’s also an insurance policy against losing those photos forever.

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