Posted by: AmbleAlong | January 15, 2012

Insider Travel Tip: Capture The Trip

If the budget for your first few trips after college mirrors mine, it may require some serious creativity to bring the experience of the trip back home with you.  On a cruise with college friends, for instance, disposable cameras were thrown into every backpack or handbag I took.  Did I know the quality would not be the best? Yes.  Would it also keep me from ruining my “nice” 35mm film camera? Yes, again.  I decided it was more important to be on the move and in the moment than it was to be chained to a camera where I had to bother with changing film.

When our cruise ship docked at port in San Juan, I snapped up a few of the tourist brochures as we disembarked.  Everything looked exciting from the four-color brochures – even the Hard Rock Cafe!  We found ourselves moving with other groups from place to place in San Juan without any regard to time or snapping actual pictures ourselves.  Even with other stops and side trips during the rest of our  journey, we quickly realized that our cruise team was there to capture all of the fun for us in photos to view back onboard, and for just a small fee (but no hassle), we could walk away with some visual memories that we were actually a part of!

When vacation discussion with someone prompts me now to bring out the scrapbook of that cruise, all that they see is a collage of professional photos mixed in with cutouts of some pamphlets and a few basic shots taken with my disposable camera.  It does not look near as random as I expected it would, in fact, it looks better than I feared!

Now armed with a digital camera where immediately I know that I “got the shot”, I still do often take a look at the brochures found in my hotel or villa to get an idea of what the tourist attractions and cities think are the important highlights.  Since millions of dollars are spent on this type of tourist advertising each year, marketers are bound to find photos taken at the right time of day with optimal lighting and from the best vantage point for these visual sales pitches…  My vacation photos can therefore benefit from this approach and inform my plan for what pictures to take and when, not to mention how successful the outcome will be.

By far the biggest thing to keep in mind for capturing your trip is to make sure and get what you want to remember from the trip in some form.  I tend to prefer taking photos that feature the horizon or a place I visit (style of architecture, city signs, the formal gardens) more than photos of people.  In this way, I can look at the photo and be transplanted to where I stood at that moment in time.  For other people, the answer could lie in saving restaurant matchbook covers, local maps, business cards, playbills, or postcards from a trip. There is no one way to do this, and I encourage you to find what works for you!

Happy traveling!




  1. It is amazing what technology does for us. I like taking photos with a digital camera and retaking the shot if it does not turn out. With the old disposables, you had to wait until you get home, have the film developed and maybe you got a good shot.

    At the end of the day, I can save the photos to a CD or down load and save them some where else.

    I still grab the brochures though, they help me think about where I want to go and if there is a shot I would like to have to put in a scrap book or send out as a Christmas card.

    I look forward to more of your posts.

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