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Travel Tip For Today

Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Vacation Scrapbooks

Travel Tips

Just the other night, our 15-year-old son pulled out a scrapbook from one of our family trips. It brought on an avalanche of memories, and we ended up spending the whole evening reliving that trip, talking about the things we saw and did and ate. We even reprised a gin rummy game to see if we could beat the figure on the scorecard we'd saved. Yes, Dad lost. And just for fun, I tried out the hairdo I'd worn five years ago. A scrapbook really brings it all back.

Scrapbooks can become very powerful family mementos. The key is to collect all sorts of stuff on the trip and let every member of the family join in. Sometimes we've actually taken a scrapbook with us, and partially assembled it on the road. Other times we've just stuffed our souveniers in a manila envelope, or a bag picked up along the way. We always take lots of action photos, which of course, become part of the book--only the best ones though, and no pictures go in that anybody doesn't like. If you doubt your photographic abilities, and you're in an incredible spot, by all means buy a postcard and plan on adding it to the scrapbook. Our rule is we have the photos developed immediately upon our return, and put the scrapbook together on the next free weekend day we have...but soon.

Some of our scrapbooks include whole essays that the kids were required to write for school, as part of their homework on the road. Others include detailed letters written to family and friends which we asked them to save for us. We find that as we assemble the book, little bits of commentary really help bring it to life, such as World's Best Swimming Hole, or Worst Meal of the Trip (Ugh!). Since we always seem to make up funny songs featuring place names, I usually scribble those lyrics down, along with the name of the tune we used.

To ensure that your memories are truly long-lasting, keep the following pointers in mind when compiling and storing your scrapbook.

1. Store your memorabilia properly. Light, heat and moisture are a photo's worst enemies, so photo albums and scrapbooks should be stored in the house, preferably in a room where the temperature is fairly constant.

2. For all your vacation photos, make sure that your photo lab uses paper that will stand the test of time. According to Henry Wilhelm, author of The Permanence and Care of Color Photgraphs, Fujicolor paper is the best product in terms of longevity. Wilhelm has done extensive testing in which photos on Fujicolor paper last four times as long as pictures on other brands of photographic paper.

3. Most of the photo albums on the market are not the best way to preserve your vacation memories. The plastics, papers and glues used in many popular products will damage photos irreparably over the years. Experts recommend archival-quality with white or off- white acid-free paper and archival-quality corners. The popular self-stick albums are notorious for discoloring photos, with the xception of 3M's Flashbacks albums, which fared well in tests.

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