travel guide book and photo album

How to make a Lonely Planet style travel photo album

Ever since the Love of my life traveled through Southeast Asia, the blue Lonely Planet guide books have been stacking up in our book closet. The 2005 editions are no good to us anymore, but serve only as proof that we are such a wanderlustig family.  The same family life had got me behind on my photo album tradition, but this year I added another month of no blogging to my blogging vacations and put three (yes, really!) photo albums together.

I decided to try and make these in the same style as our Lonely Planet guide books, so that they good match or even better: replace the guide books that in a couple of years would be useless. As I’m not a designing genius and have no Indesign skills what soever (or have the designing software to begin with), I had to make the most of it with my improvisational skills. Hopefully it would work out better than some of my improvisations in the kitchen.

I used Blurb as the printing service for the album, mostly because of their wide range of quality papers. As one of the few printing services, you can chose not only the finishing of the paper (matte, glossy, pearlized of even uncoated) but also the weight of the paper. For this Lonely Planet style you can use any printing service, provided you can change the font type by downloading a new font and changing font colors with use of web colors.

So here are my tips:

1. Check out the Lonely Planet style guide

The online style guide for Lonely Planet is available online! You can check colors, fonts and even icons. The icons aren’t downloadable, but if you are handy with designing software you could use this for reference.

2. Download Syntax font

Syntax is the font that Lonely Planet uses for headings. The style guides only mentions one font, which is true for their website. If you can’t find a free download for this font, you could also use Lucida Sans or Open Sans. As you may have seen, they use a second font in their guide books for the body copy and some Special Section headings. You could use Times New Roman, but I liked Bodoni a little better.

3. Add a itinerary to your album

Did you know you can make your own maps in Google Maps and save them? Click on ‘create map’ and your half way done.  Add a route with multiple stops to your Google map. When your finished, choose printing. You can now save the image of your map with your itinerary to your library.

4. Add travel tips as a note

It’s funny how quickly you forget the names of the hotels you stayed, the places you’ve been and what you’ve done. Canada is only 2 years ago as a vacation destination and as I hadn’t taken many notes, I had to rely on old post-it markers in my guide book, some blogs I wrote and pictures of the city name sign to remember. So for this year’s destination, I made sure I wrote all of it down and added some of them to the album. It’s will be fun when looking through our book in the future, and it makes your photo album look even more travel-guide-book-like.

As for the size of the album, I chose the standard landscape size (8×11 inches) instead of the more guide book like portrait size. But that is because I think photos are easier to watch in a landscape size album. So on your book shelf, the album is a bit bigger than your guide book. After some ruthless selecting 200 pictures from a total of 2000 (ouch!), my album was 50 pages thick, adding to around $45 dollars, premium glossy paper included.

If you completely want your photo album to resemble the Lonely Planet guide book, you could go for the premium uncoated paper, but you have to take into account when editing that the colors will sink into the paper and you will lose some contrast and light.

How does you travel photo album look like? Have any tips to share? Those about time-saving are particularly appreciated!

xoxo – Irene.


3 thoughts on “How to make a Lonely Planet style travel photo album

  1. Thank you! I had the same idea as you, well my partner and I collect Lonely Planet as we travel through Europ and for his 30th birthday I offer him a trip to London and wanted to create a lonely planet guide of what I have organized for him. Your article is very useful thank you.

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