How many vacation photos do you have stored in your phone or computer? If you're anything like me, you have a lot of great pics that your family never sees.
Vacation photos represent precious memories. They can bring a smile to your face when you're feeling down. Shared memories can bring your family together for a blissful Sunday afternoon – or anytime.
There are lots of easy and inexpensive ways to enjoy your best vacation photos. Here are 10 ways to use and share your vacation photos.
Photo books have replaced traditional photo albums at my house. I choose the best photos from our vacation and drop them into an online template where they are arranged into attractive collages. I can edit, add text and more before having the book printed and shipped to my home.
Here are a handful of my favorite websites for printing photo books. If you sign up for their email lists, you'll receive promo codes that will help you save money on your next order.
- Chatbooks.com – save $10 on your first order with this link
Photography is one of my favorite ways to decorate my home. I'm not an expert photographer, but with a good phone camera, a little editing and artistic printing options like canvas, wood or metal… my best photos look beautiful.
The 11×14 canvases in the photo above hang in my front room. I chose favorite photos from Utah's five national parks, plus one state park, and hung them in a grid over the sofa. I love seeing my photos every day, and they are a conversation starter for visitors.
If you prefer framed prints instead of canvas and other options, consider purchasing a gallery set of frames from Amazon.com. This will help unify a diverse group of photos. I bought the AmericanFlat 7 Pack Gallery Wall set for photos on top of my kitchen cabinets.
Digital Photo Frame
A digital photo frame is perfect for a desk or side table – anywhere that you will see it often. This frame cycles through photos that you choose. Update it after every trip!
This is a gift that I would enjoy for Mother's Day or a birthday. My husband complains that he never sees most of our vacation photos. A digital photo frame in his office could solve that problem.
Find digital photo frames on Amazon.com or anywhere that electronics are sold.
My sisters and I make photo calendars for my parents every Christmas. These are typically filled with photos of vacations, holidays and other happy memories.
It's so fun to see a fresh photo collage every month. Even if you don't keep track of your life on a paper calendar, this can still be a handy visual tool and a fun way to display your favorite photos.
You can quickly and easily design and order your calendar from just about any website that specializes in photos. I often use Walmart because it's often the least expensive option. However, I'm usually more impressed with the design and quality from specialty sites like Shutterfly.com.
Personalized Photo Products
My mom has nine grandchildren and she loves to host them at her house. I noticed that the kids used a lot of drinking glasses or paper cups when they visited because it was hard to keep track of which one was theirs.
I ordered a personalized mug for each grandchild with their name and photo and gave them to my mom for Christmas. It was a huge hit. My mom displayed the mugs in her kitchen for weeks. Two years later, the kids still use their mugs every time they visit.
You can turn your favorite photos into mugs, mouse pads, blankets, phone cases, jewelry and many more useful and affordable items. Check out all your options at
Share Your Album
I have a husband and two teens, and each of us takes unique vacation photos on our camera phones. On a recent Disneyland trip, I created a shared album in Google Photos where we could all share our best photos with each other.
Here's another example. I took my 12-year-old son and 11-year-old niece on a quick road trip to scenic Southeastern Utah last June. When I returned home, I created an album for the trip and shared it with my sister and mom and husband so that they could see our fun photos!
My family uses Google Photos for shared albums because most of us are Android phone users. If you are an Apple family, then Apple Photos may be your best bet. Choose the app that your family is most likely to use.
Creating a photo slide show of your last trip can be as easy as adding the best photos from your most recent trip to a folder in your favorite photo app and then wirelessly casting it to your television. This works for most phones and most newer televisions.
My sisters and I often gather at my parents' house for Sunday dinners. This is how we share our recent travels and favorite photos with each other.
Google Photos made the Paris slide show above on it's own. All I had to do visit my “For You” section and save it.
I have also created more formal slide shows with a soundtrack and titles. Burn these to a DVD or save them on a flash drive, which can then be watched on a television. I use Adobe Premiere Elements, but there are many software choices for creating slide shows.
Many of us enjoy sharing our vacation and family photos on Instagram, Facebook or other social media. It's an easy way to share your adventures in the moment.
Once shared, your photo is saved in Instagram or Facebook. You can look through them anytime online. Sometimes, Facebook will drop memories from years ago into your feed, which I always enjoy.
Check out Chatbooks.com if you post a lot of photos to Instagram. Chatbooks will turn your Instagram photos into a printed photo book with little effort from you. Buy a single book, or subscribe and receive a new photo book every month or every 60 photos.
Save $10 on your first Chatbooks order when you use my referral link: http://invite.chatbooks.com/allisonlaypath76x
Don't forget to change the lock screen and wallpaper on your mobile phone and tablet every so often. My teen daughter changes hers about once a week, but mine would still be on default if she hadn't been bored one day and changed my backgrounds for me. Now I see fun travel photos when I use my phone.
Change your device's lock screen and wallpaper every time you come back from a trip or have a great family day. Pick a favorite photo or two and enjoy those memories more often.
Does it seem strange that setting a screen saver on a computer feels old-school? Nevertheless, it's still a good way to enjoy your family travel photos. I love walking into my office and seeing a blast from the past.
Here's how to set your screen saver to show favorite photos on a Windows PC.
- From Start button, select Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen
- Select a photo folder on your computer
- Adjust other settings as needed
If you don't have a folder that has all of your favorite pictures together, create one. Change it or create new folders as often as you like. You can also change your background photo in Personalization.
It doesn't matter how you use or share your vacation photos – just get them out there for your family to enjoy! Those photos represent precious memories, and they will brighten your life every time you see them.
Do you have another more ideas for using vacation photos? Please share them in the comments.