Travel scrapbooking made simple

Preserve memories of your trip by documenting them in a travel journal. Creative journaler Kia Marie Hunt explains how she brought her scrapbooking ideas to life with the Canon Zoemini S2 and Canon printers.
A travel journal is open on a dark wooden table, next to some photo prints, a pen, washi tape and stamps. The pages are filled with colourful writing, doodles and photographs.

Holidays and breaks from the everyday give us experiences and memories that we'll cherish when we look back on our lives. And these feelings are often tied to photographs – family snapshots of siblings sharing ice creams on the beach, or group selfies of teenage friends enjoying the thrill of their first trips without parents. When author, illustrator and journaler Kia Marie Hunt went to Costa Rica with her partner to celebrate their eight-year anniversary, she was determined she would make it a trip they would remember – by creating a special scrapbook.

"It was such an adventure," she says. "We all like to think we will remember things clearly forever, but the truth is that so many of the smaller details would have fallen through the cracks if I hadn't added them into my travel journal. It makes me so happy to look back on those pages and know that all of those good times will now never be forgotten."

Kia has been journaling for as long as she can remember. The creator of kids' journal series My Awesome Year, she shares journaling ideas and tips with over 130K followers on her two Instagram accounts: @InspiringJournals and @KiaCreates. She also supplies monthly DIY kits via her Journal Club and runs an Etsy shop where she sells stationery, stickers and other "journaling goodies". Here's her step-by-step guide to travel scrapbooking made simple.

A woman with long dark hair and wearing a pastel striped jumper sits at a desk choosing photos to go in a travel journal. The journal is surrounded by photos, stickers, washi tape, a Canon Zoemini S2, a Canon SELPHY Square QX10 with a photo emerging from it and more.

"For me, journaling is a way to combine a diary, a scrapbook and a photo album into one," says Kia. "I started creative journaling not only as an outlet to express myself artistically, but also as a way to record and capture details and memories."

1. Record memorable moments

Hands stick down photographs into an open travel journal, surrounded by pictures, tape and ephemera.

You can load up your Canon Zoemini S2 with up to 10 sheets of sticky-backed Zink™ Photo Paper and print, peel and stick your favourite shots straight into your travel journal. If you run out of paper, save your favourites to the Micro SD card for printing out later.

Hands hold and turn the pages of a travel journal, with colourful pictures and pieces clipped to the pages.

It's not just words, photos and doodles that could grace the pages of your journal but also things like tickets, menus or flyers. "You'll find me asking shops for their business cards, sifting through leaflets in the tourist information office and asking for maps at a train station," explains Kia. "Anything that has a nice papery texture, or a fun and interesting design, or reminds you of that place in any capacity, can have a home in your journal if you want it to."

Scrapbooking can be something you do as you go along or afterwards, it's up to you. "Travel journaling while on a trip means you can capture the moment, travel journaling when you get back means you get to relive the trip," says Kia. "It's a win-win whichever way you decide to do it." Either way, you need to keep track. "I kept notes of everything we did each day in Costa Rica and I set aside about 20 minutes every evening to journal, sticking in any items I had collected as well as adding photos, writing and doodles," she remembers.

"I always find that the most spontaneous things happen while travelling – whether that's an unexpected turn of events, an apparent mishap that becomes a happy accident, discovering an amazing view, or even trying a new food. So, I love that I can take a photo with the Canon Zoemini S2 and print it out in that instant. As the images print straight onto sticker paper, I can add those straight into my journal where the moment will be preserved forever." You can see Kia's process in action in this TikTok video.

2. Don't overthink your selfies

A Canon Zoemini S2 lying on the page of an atlas next to a notebook and a selection of holiday photos.

The mirror and ring light on the Canon Zoemini S2 make it ideal for capturing candid holiday selfies. You can set a delay of up to three seconds using the self-timer on the Canon Mini Print app to give you and your friends time to get in shot.

"Gone are the days of having to ask a random person to take a photo of you. Thanks to the mirror lens in the Canon Zoemini S2, I can see a reflection of myself and my group, and the viewfinder guides give an indication of what's in shot and what isn't, so I can make sure we all fit into the photo."

If you're travelling solo, you can also use your smartphone as a remote shutter via the Canon Mini Print app to get a selfie against a breathtaking background. When it comes to selfies, Kia's advice is to be natural. "Sometimes the photos you think are the 'weirdest' or the 'worst' at the time are actually the best. Looking back through a journal or album of posed selfies is nowhere near as entertaining as the candid ones that genuinely capture how you felt at that place or in that moment."

3. Customise your images

Hands tap at a smartphone showing a photograph with graphics being added. The phone is lying on an open travel journal, and a Canon Zoemini S2 lies to the side.

Give your photos some personality, or add time stamps and location details using the frames, stickers, shapes and layout options in the Canon Mini Print app.

The Canon Mini Print app is ideal for adding fun customisations to pictures. You can try out a frame, slip on a filter or add your own doodles and writing. You can even combine your favourite snaps into a collage with the app's smart collage tool, or use the tiling feature to make a standout sticky poster from four or nine smaller snaps.

"If I can't decide which photos I want to print, I make a collage of multiple photos, and use the features to add fun colourful text, which is especially helpful for adding the location to the image before printing it," says Kia.

4. Print your photos – wherever you are

A white Canon SELPHY Square QX10 on a dark wood surface, surrounded by photo prints with white borders, a pack of SELPHY Square printer paper and an open travel journal.

For images that she's really proud of, Kia uses the Canon SELPHY Square QX10 – while on the go or back home – to quickly print larger images that she wants to highlight.

A woman just out of shot stands by a Canon PIXMA printer on a small table, removing a photograph that has just been printed.

If you want the freedom to experiment with different paper sizes or editing software such as Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP), simply select your favourite holiday images taken on a camera and use a printer such as the Canon PIXMA TS5340a.

With the Canon Zoemini S2, you can print as you go and add images straight to your journal, but there are also several different options for printing your holiday memories, either while on your travels or when you get home.

If you want to include images shared by friends that you're travelling with, or snaps that are stored on your phone, you can connect your smartphone to the pocket-sized Canon Zoemini printer for smudge-proof, tear-proof and water resistant 50 x 76mm photos wherever you are. The Canon Zoemini is also compatible with the Canon Mini Print app, so you can add filters, frames and doodles.

The Canon SELPHY Square QX10 produces larger 68mm x 68mm prints in rich, vibrant colours on sticker paper with a border for captions. "The bigger image size makes for more visual impact, so I use the SELPHY Square QX10 for what I call 'feature images'," explains Kia. "These are the main highlights of the journal page, which I would dot smaller photos from the Canon Zoemini S2 around.

"If I love a photo so much I want to look at it all the time, not just when I open my journal, I use my Canon PIXMA TS5341 (now succeeded by the Canon PIXMA TS5340a) to print onto 10 x 15cm photo paper and add the image to a frame so I can display it in my home or gift it to someone who went on the trip with me," she adds.

5. Pick your scrapbook

A travel journal is open on the back pages. On the left side is a holiday photograph with bright doodles and torn papers around it, and on the right an envelope is stuck down, with a hand removing a photograph from the envelope.

Setting aside time to journal means carving out time for yourself, time you can spend reflecting on your experiences and mindfully selecting what you are going to add to your pages. Even though you're journaling about the past and preserving memories for the future, you're also spending time in the present moment, focusing on your artistic process, which can be really therapeutic. This kind of journaling is also beneficial in terms of wellbeing because it gives you a space to experiment with your creative side.

"Journaling is such a freeing medium, it has no rules and it can be whatever you need it to be," stresses Kia. "Any kind of book can be a journal. Hardcover, softcover, lined or blank pages – it's totally down to your personal preference. I've experimented with all kinds of journals in the past, even making my own or reclaiming old books and turning them into journals by collaging on the pages."

Kia recommends using a journal that is sturdy enough to protect the pages, but small enough to fit into a bag. She also prefers one with a pocket in the back, so you can keep any collectibles safe – if you don't have a pocket, you can make one by sticking an envelope onto a journal page. "I always keep some paper clips in my travel journal kit, which are useful for attaching the photos to the pages you plan to add them to," she adds.

6. Unleash your imagination

A hand is placing down circular printed stickers onto a journal page. Next to the journal is a Canon Zoemini S2, printing a sheet with two more circle stickers, each showing a bright red flower.

Kia likes to use the Canon pre-cut circle sticker pack to add details from a place she has visited to a journal spread. "In Costa Rica, I took photos of interesting flowers and wildlife and printed those as circle stickers to dot around my journal pages, adding pops of colour without taking up as much space as another full photo – good for pages where there's a lot you want to write."

Two hands hold open the pages of a travel journal, showing a selection of stamps, photographs, writing and doodles, with lots of green and blue shades.

Kia suggests a fun idea for selecting photos for a journal page if you're away with others is to have a photo competition. "Set a task – to photograph something specific or simply 'capture the day' – then share your photos with each other," she explains. "Each person selects a winning photo from the other person's camera roll, and you print the winning images to add to your journal."

"Start by arranging images and ephemera on the pages, use your notes to add any writing you want to include and then go to town filling the spaces with colour," explains Kia.

You could use the Canon pre-cut circle sticker paper to help with page navigation, creating numbered stickers for each day of your trip, place names or chapter headers, for example.

If you are stuck for ideas or capturing day-by-day travel doesn't appeal to you, themed pages are a way to stay inspired. "You could journal by colour, dedicating each page to photos, collectibles or stickers from your trip that match one colour at a time," Kia suggests. "Or why not make a page about food and drink, a page about funny moments, and a page about activities you've tried?

"There are so many possibilities, and travel journaling is so personal – you can make it whatever you want it to be."

Written by Rachel Segal Hamilton

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