Snaps and scraps for happy hol­i­day mem­o­ries

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - One Perfect Day - Sarah Bryden-Brown

TRAV­ELLERS with­out chil­dren may need noth­ing more than a whim­si­cal glance at the empty match­book cover from Paris’s Cafe de Flore or a prized New York City Bun­ga­low 8 bar coaster to evoke hol­i­day mem­o­ries. But if you are pack­ing a stroller and in­dus­trial sup­plies of nap­pies and toys, me­mory prompters need to be fam­ily-friendly. Happy scraps: The phi­los­o­phy be­hind a fam­ily hol­i­day scrap­book should be lit­tle more than ‘‘ if you can stick it down, in it goes’’. Sup­ply ev­ery­one with a large zi­plock bag for their con­tri­bu­tion; don’t limit your­selves to the ob­vi­ous and for­get chronol­ogy. The ideal is a col­lec­tion of ev­ery­day mem­o­ries and noth­ing is too mun­dane, from bus tick­ets to soap wrap­pers with ho­tel lo­gos. A sim­ple gro­cery re­ceipt from, say, Rome, can bring to mind those crazy break­fast ce­re­als you found in Ital­ian su­per­mar­kets.

Once home, you’ll need lots of acid-free loose-leaf pages that can be bound or se­cured to cre­ate a book. Spend an evening to­gether cre­at­ing a fam­ily hol­i­day scrap­book and re­live your travel ex­pe­ri­ences as you log ev­ery­one’s of­fer­ings, lolly wrap­pers and all.

If your chil­dren are too young to con­trib­ute to a scrap­book, keep a daily jour­nal to record the minu­tiae. All the news that’s fit to print: Launch your own news­pa­per of hol­i­day records. Whether it’s a scoop (Mum fi­nally gets her hair wet at the beach), a scan­dal (hold the front page: ‘‘ Fam­ily eats a break­fast of choco­late three days in a row’’) or just plain silli­ness (Dad re­fus­ing to ask for di­rec­tions and get­ting lost . . . again), charge your new­shounds to faith­fully record the events of the day as they un­fold.

Once you re­turn home, de­sign your fam­ily news­pa­per and fill it with all your gath­ered scoops, scan­dals and silli­ness. A soft­ware pro­gram such as Mi­crosoft Pub­lisher is easy to use. Video easy: Film­ing your hol­i­day will leave you with a priceless piece of his­tory that will no doubt be­come a parental tool for black­mail in years to come, as well as a lovely re­minder of spe­cial times away. You could make a David At­ten­bor­ough-style doc­u­men­tary with voiceover or a Jerry Bruck­heimer ac­tion ex­trav­a­ganza with spe­cial ef­fects, or a Chevy Chase-style Gris­wolds-go-to-Wally-World romp (a la Na­tional Lam­poon’s 1983 hit movie Vacation). Win­dows has the easy-to-use Win­dows Movie Maker for PC lovers (www.win­dows­moviemak­ers.net/), while Ap­ple afi­ciona­dos could try imovie (www.ap­ple.com/ilife/imovie/).

Tips in­clude start­ing to film be­fore the trip: drag­ging the teens out of bed, Mum freak­ing out about for­get­ting pass­ports, or re­al­is­ing a spe­cial soft toy has been left in the cot when you are half­way to the air­port. And take turns be­ing the cam­era op­er­a­tor so no one is left out. Mak­ing mu­sic: A sound­track is vi­tal so choose mu­sic that suits your hol­i­day style and des­ti­na­tion. Par­ents will no doubt go for Cat Stevens’s Morn­ing­hasBro­ken to match the peace­ful start to each new day, while the kids will prob­a­bly go for TheRoad toNowhere by Talk­ing Heads for their favourite scenes.

Bring on slide night. Sarah Bryden-Brown is ed­i­tor of www.kidspot.com.au and the au­thor of a fam­ily mem­oir, DadandMe (HarperCollins).

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