Typing up Travel Journals Into One Book

Packing to emigrate permanently is a pain.  As well as needing clothes for 4 extreme seasons, I obviously want to surround myself with all of my personal possessions and it turns out that 3 suitcases are actually a lot smaller than expected!  Ever since I was young I’ve kept a travel journal for every trip, they are full of memories and mean the world to me.  For YEARS I have been looking for a company that would print my travel journals into one book and I’ve always struggled, but now I’m moving it was more important than ever to find somewhere, 2 books are a lot easier to pack that 30 odd!  I couldn’t find anywhere that would just print off one individual copy that was private.  Everywhere wanted ISBN numbers or bulk printing, but at last I’ve found somewhere and I’m so pleased with the result!

Sooooo I give you epubli.co.uk!

Even though it’s a .co.uk address, the company is actually in Germany!  The website is brilliant and so easy to use.  It gives you the option to publish an ebook, publish a book or simply print a book.

Recently I typed all my journals up.  As a child, I travelled a lot around the UK.  So I wanted one book with all my childhood camping trips and one with all my overseas trips.  I kept them exactly how I had written them so a lot of the early trips were very much “We got to the campsite.  I went swimming.  It rained.  We had a barbecue and went to bed”!  It was so much fun reading back through them all and seeing not only how my writing had changed over the years but I could see the traveller in me forming.

There was one particular trip down to Cornwall (UK) that I went on when I was a teenager still at school.  At the beginning of the holiday I was a typical teenager, moaning about the lack of phone signal, the rain, having to walk for miles up the hills to get back to the caravan… and then the light bulb seemed to switch on.  I discovered the evening entertainment kid’s club at the caravan park.  I was fascinated by the entertainers, that they were actually getting paid to do a job that looked so much fun.  I went along every night and studied them, I even asked one of them how they got into a job like that and suddenly I had found the path in life that I wanted to go down.  I had gone from moaning about being away to suddenly not wanting to leave and swearing I would return the following year (and we actually did thanks to my begging).  I came home and that following year I had signed up to a Travel and Tourism course at college that would start when I was 16.

Getting the book printed was simple.  I typed it up in ‘Pages’, a word processor on my Macbook, setting the page size to A5, which is the size I was going to print the final book.  I added page numbers, turned page 1 into a title page and page 2 into a contents page.  There may have been a simpler way but I literally scrolled through and made a note of what page each trip started on and then added it to the contents page, hoping that when it printed it would all match up still (FYI it did)!  I then exported the file as a PDF.

What about the front and back covers?  There was an option to just simply use the first and last page of the typed document, or you could use your own JPEG picture file.  Epubli have a ‘cover calculator’ where you choose the size of the book you want printed, how many pages your PDF file has and then it generates the dimensions of how big the cover would be.  I put these dimensions into Photoshop and chose one of my favourite UK photos for the trips around the UK, making sure it would look OK folded in half and for the worldwide trips I used a scanned copy of a double page spread in my passport that had some cool visa stamps.  I then made up a title for each book and put it in a box so the writing would stand out against the picture.  Each cover took me around 5 minutes to create.  I wasn’t making the books with the intention to sell them, I just wanted something nice for my records so I kept it simple.

I thought Epubli’s prices were very reasonable too.  I’m used to spending a lot turning my photos into photo books so when each book, including postage, came to around £10 I was thrilled!  It took them less than 2 weeks to arrive!  I can’t fault the quality either, the paper is a good quality and everything printed perfect!

I love that my journals are now in one place and all run in chronological order, no more trying to remember what notebook is home to what trip!

Do you keep a journal when you travel or have a special way of remembering a trip such as bullet journalling or scrapbooking?  Let me know in the comments below!  I love discovering new travel related creative crafts!

Please note, this is NOT a sponsored post.  I am recommending this company because I have used it and loved the product I bought!  I’d Googled in the past for companies that may be able to print an individual private book and saw that other people were asking the same thing but there never seemed to be an answer or a company that offered this service.  I hope my post helps others that are on the hunt!

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