Tips For Making A Vacation Photo Book


I will admit that I am one of ‘those’ people who doesn’t stop taking photos while on vacation. In fact I managed to snap more than 1,000 photos in just 7 days on our last vacation.

Cover from Picaboo books
Cover from Picaboo books

I never want to miss a moment and love putting together photo books of our vacation for friends and family of trips we have taken together.

But if you look at the books I make now as opposed to the ones I made 5 years ago they are more organized, bigger and have a wider variety of photos.

Sample page from Mixbooks
Sample page from Mixbooks

On average I use between 100-150 images for a vacation book and never worry about the number of extra pages I am adding.  While most companies will now print 100 page books, a book that documents a 7 day vacation may only end up being 35-40 pages long.

I don’t just focus on our family, but I also like to take a lot of photos of landmarks, quirky signs or unusual buildings to break up all the photos of us.

Creating a book that will document our journey is not only a passion for me, but it gives us something to

Here are some tips I have learned for creating a nice vacation book:

  • Create an itinerary page to remember where you went each day.  If we are cruising I will try to find a map on board that shows the route the ship will be taking and snap a shot of that for the first page of the book.  If you are doing a road trip you can list the cities you visit each day along with the day, month and year.  You can also find a map online and note points on it along with your route and destinations.
  • Document fun moments from each day and include any interesting facts you learn about your destinations
  • Be in the moment and always take the photo as soon as you see something interesting. Don’t think “Oh, I’ll come back after and get this later” because plans change, weather happens and most of the time you don’t get back and are later kicking yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your friends and family to pose for a picture and don’t forget to ask others to take a photo of your family together.  Some of the best photos I have of my family were taken by other vacationers.  Often the ‘would you like me to take a picture of your family?’ will turn into the offer to do the same for you.
  • Organize your trip by events and take advantage of the auto-fill feature that most photo book makers are now using.  If all of the dates are accurate then this feature will sort put 4 or 5 shots on each page. This makes it easier to get all the pictures into the book and then you can go through and fine tune which photos you would like to be together on each page.
  • The bigger the better.  I recently made a 12″ x 12″ book for my mom and was in love with how big and beautiful each page was. Most images were 4″ x 6″ but many were 5″ x 7″, which allowed us to see the detail of every photo.   Even though it is more to make, I have noticed in the last few months that it was the size that goes on the sale the most.

In addition I make 3 copies of each photo book; 1 hard copy for my husband and I and two 8×8 soft covers – one for each of my boys when they get older.  I also complete the book but don’t print it until the printer has a good sale. ie. 40% off or free extra pages.

Before the digital age I scrap booked the old fashion style, which was messy and VERY time consuming.  Having my books printed  gives them a more polished, professional look that will last forever.