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Travel documenting apps - which is your favorite?

On another thread “Carol now retired” mentioned the Polarsteps app that can document your travel and then print a hard copy book at the conclusion. Duh! I didn’t know such a thing existed. Thank you, Carol!

Now I see there are similar apps, so which do you like best? I really want the printed book at the end. I used to scrapbook trips, but I am several trips behind and haven’t even printed the photos. I still appreciate hard copy photos rather than looking at them digitally. I think it is time to start using a travel documenting app.

Do the apps allow you to upload only those photos you want to save? Delete photos? Do they allow comments and annotations on the photos? Can the app be accessed from only the phone or can you work on the final document from a computer. Newby to this travel app world here. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

(And I just realized I should have searched for the topic before posting and now don’t want to lose my post. I can delete it if this topic has been done to death and I am just late to the party.)

Posted by
158 posts

Thank you, Carol! I am reading about Polarsteps. You have introduced me to a whole new world :]

Posted by
60 posts

I've used Shutterfly in the past and have a few hard copy books from our trips.

Posted by
2140 posts

I just started using Mixbook and have done albums for 5 trips so far. Super easy to use!

Posted by
158 posts

Thank you, Ginger and mikliz97. I will check both of those out.

Posted by
2140 posts

All of my Mixbook albums have arrived and I love them! The quality is very good! Now to start in on more albums;)

Posted by
790 posts

From my reading of the question, it is wanting an app to document in the moment and later print or make a book. Some of the replies I am uncertain of in that regard. Such as Shutterfly. Sure you can make a book, but can you document as in Polarsteps, as you go, with pictures tied to locations and notations and stories? Same with goggle. I use google photos, by default it seems, and I do not see much about coherency on the trip itself.
I have looked at Polarsteps and it seems to offer what the OP inquires about. To a degree. I do not think it is available as a PC app so you can use your computer. Nor does it have the ability to go back in time. By this I mean being able to document a trip after that trip.
Admittedly I have not worked with it extensively, mostly due to the above fact of not being able to do anything retroactive. This leaves me with the ability to only use the app while on a trip, thus, I have to wait for a trip. Since I have a one week domestic trip in a few weeks I may try it and play around with it.
Retroactive trip making would be big. I could drop and paste photos into Polarsteps and create a timeline and diary and mapping of something. But, alas, I do not think so.
Can anyone enlighten me on that? Am I overlooking something?

Posted by
158 posts

You are correct, Treemoss. I was interested in documenting as I went along. Not being retroactive could be a negative. The apps like Mixbook may be useful for trips I have already taken. I got started thinking about all this when I bought my first Pastbook which recorded my pictures and posts from Facebook. I had taken two domestic trips this year and posted photos on Facebook as I went along and it was kind of nice that they were all printed in a book along with my descriptions. Thanks for your thoughts.

Posted by
8496 posts

I just went on Polarsteps to see if it is possible to edit a trip that has already been taken and the answer was a big "YES." I do upload as I go along on a trip, but if a person wanted to add information or change pictures, etc, on a past trip it is entirely possible to do so.

Posted by
2140 posts

With Mixbook, you can certainly create it as you go on your trip. You just keep. uploading photos each day and make the pages for those and then wait until you are ready the next day to do it again. You can also keep editing up until even a bit after you order. So if you want to go back to the first page and redo something, you can.

Posted by
6793 posts

I've started using Polarsteps (thanks, Carol!) and really like how it works. And as Carol noted, it does work retroactively - in fact one of the first things it did was ask to access my photo library so that it could pull up prior trip photos. I will definitely be using this for my upcoming trip.

Posted by
158 posts

Thank you! I appreciate the additional information about using the apps retroactively.

Posted by
740 posts

I make books for all of my major trips and this topic has been an eye opener.

In the past i used the Apple Book app and made my own book and that worked very well.
This year I tried Shutterfly and it was not as customizable/easy as I would have preferred as adding text was a pain in the butt of the first order.
And for the cost… that is inexcusable.

I like to have an itinerary on the inside cover as well as captions or locations on some photos. Maybe a brief “cute” comment about something that happened or an explanation of what a photo is or where ir was taken. And Shutterfly is not the best for that.
So an app that lets you kind of build as you go would be interesting as long as you can add in text.

Posted by
158 posts

I am with you, douglas, on including the itinerary. It is how my scrapbooks begin.

Posted by
740 posts

I like to make a book with the best photos and a little commentary about things. I also creat a digital album that I can look at or that can play on a screen.
And for my trips to Europe I take a picture frame (large scale) and creat a collage of tick stubs and maps and brochures and what have you from that trip,
That way as I walk around my house I get these reminders of past trips. And that will often spark a pleasant memory of the trip. Otherwise I seldom would think about trips from years gone buy.
My first trip to Europe was in the mid/late 70s and I have absolutely NOTHING from that trip. The photos and all the souvenirs were lost in a house fire. And as such I never really think about it all that much.
And even though I have photos from my more recent trips in the US with the exception of my most recent trip I don’t have much if anything around the house to remind me of my trips.

Thus the idea of a book is nice. And it looks like the Polarsteps app adds in things like distance traveled, the location/days and even a brief weather summary. And you can choose photos to add. You can do this in the evening at your hotel or after you get home.
If you can add text to the book it would be ideal for my desires.

Posted by
327 posts

Check out Day One.

I just used it for a trip. I still write in a notebook but I was intrigued to see what a printed book could look like that was based on my daily entries of writing and pictures.