Been There, Done That: 9 Ways to Bring Your Vacation Home

Make the memories last with these keepsake ideas for every kind of trip. 

Just a guess, but I'll bet you have big plans for summer vacation. Maybe you’re going to a music festival, camping in the mountains, relaxing on the beach or adventuring abroad. (Seriously, can I tag along?)

Wherever you wander, you’ll want to savor those memories long after the trip’s over. We’ve broken down some clever keepsake ideas to help commemorate your summer adventures.

For Every Destination

Higlight Your Headboard

PVC Postcard Headboard

PVC Postcard Headboard

PVC pipes painted silver make this bed frame look like metal. Twine is strung between the pipes then clothespins are used to display vintage postcards. This is a great headboard for a kids' room – they could hang their artwork, photos or their favorite soft-cover books.

Photo by: Susan Teare ©Design by Joanne Palmissano, Photo by Susan Teare

Susan Teare, Design by Joanne Palmissano, Photo by Susan Teare

No matter where you're headed, it's safe to say that you'll find postcards along the way. To display them back home, wrap your headboard with twine and use clothespins to highlight special locations from your trip.

Design a Gallery Wall

Various Objects Add Decoration and Diversity to a Dresser
Regan Baker Design
BPF_original_fractured-frame-map_beauty-a_4x3
Brian Patrick Flynn

Various Objects Add Decoration and Diversity to a Dresser

Just because objects sit on the same surface doesn’t mean they have to match. An array of objects contrast drastically against the plain white dresser and simple gray walls.

Photo By: Regan Baker Design

BPF_original_fractured-frame-map_beauty-a_4x3

Put an artistic, modern spin on a large map with a multi frame application.

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

As an alternative, you can also create a gallery wall for your collection. Print pics from your trip and pair them with postcards, tickets and maps, or frame several pages from the same atlas. Using frames in similar sizes and shapes will help achieve a cohesive yet collected aesthetic.

For the Music Fest

Show Off Your Lineup

Clothespin Decor

Clothespin Decor

Lanyards, stickers, tickets and wristbands are necessities at concerts, but can seem pointless to keep once the show’s over. To give these tokens new purpose, hang them from a length of twine in order of each event. Now you have a band-inspired banner.

Upcycle Those T-Shirts

CI-Jess-Abbott_Pillows-made-from-T-shirts_4x3

CI-Jess-Abbott_Pillows-made-from-T-shirts_4x3

©Jess Abbott

Jess Abbott

After all the music festivals you’ve attended, you probably have quite the t-shirt collection. Set aside the ones you love but don’t wear as often and upcycle them into decorative rugs and throw pillows for your bedroom.

For the Mountains

Sketch Your Surroundings

HDSW1213_gallery-wall-frames_4x3

HDSW1213_gallery-wall-frames_4x3

From: Secrets From a Stylist

Rather than pick and preserve flowers during your stay in the mountains, consider sketching the local flora and fauna in a notebook. Not only will your drawings be easier to display in picture frames later, but they’ll also help conservation efforts.

Pick Your Park

Yosemite National Park Palette
Laura Fruchterman

Yosemite National Park Palette

Photo By: Laura Fruchterman

Of course, if you really want to bring the great outdoors into your home, you can always draw color-inspiration from our national park palettes or purchase vintage posters of your favorite landmarks.

18 More Park-Inspired Palettes

See All Photos

Shop This Look

For the Beach

Save the Sand and Sea Glass

Add a Tea Light to a Mason Jar Lantern

Add a Tea Light to a Mason Jar Lantern

Place a flickering LED light into the glass votive holder. To conserve battery power, tea lights can be turned off when they're not in use.

Heading to the beach this weekend? Bring a mason jar to fill with small treasures like sand, sea glass and shells. Once you get home, you can top the stack with tea lights to create a custom candle.

For the Adventure Abroad

Reimagine Luggage Tags

Stylish Luggage Tags
Chelsea Costa , Chelsea Costa
Dollar Store Napkin Rings

Stylish Luggage Tags

Photo By: Chelsea Costa ©Chelsea Costa

Dollar Store Napkin Rings

Give your napkin rings dual purpose as place holders. Pick up luggage tags from the dollar store; then slide a piece of card stock cut to size inside after scribing each guest’s name.

If you’re like me, you might have a habit of saving every little thing from your trip, luggage tags included. Instead of letting these travel essentials gather dust in a drawer, repurpose them into mini-wallets or napkin holders that you can use on a daily basis.

Maps, Maps, Maps

Rustic Mantel Art

Rustic Mantel Art

Designers Chip and Joanna Gaines chose an antique map and rustic wood flower vases to complement the warmth of this fireplace mantel, seen on Fixer Upper.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Larsen & Talbert Photography

Larsen & Talbert Photography

Now that you've trotted across the globe, you might develop a mild of case of wanderlust upon returning home. Keep the post-trip blues at bay by mounting a vintage map to your mantel or wall where you can enjoy it every day.

Get the Global Look With These Easy DIYs

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Keep Reading

Next Up

7 Tiny Homes That Will Spark Your Sense of Wanderlust

Pack your bags now, because after seeing these tiny homes, you'll never want to go back.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts