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Tour scrapbooks

I haven’t seen any mention of the tour scrapbook contest for the 2022. I hope that RS continues this tradition. I also want to thank all of those who have created these tour scrapbooks in the past even if they didn’t “win” anything from RS. I appreciate all the hard work and thought that goes into creating these scrapbooks. Even if you didn’t “win”, you’re all winners in my book. These scrapbooks have been very helpful to us in advance of our upcoming tours. My husband and I have pored over them and they have given us a taste of what to anticipate. We have gleaned important info from each one. The tour reports that are posted on the forum are really informative as well but it’s also nice to have the visuals. Again thanks to all the scrapbook creators out there and I hope to see more in the future.

Posted by
121 posts

While on a My Way Alpine Europe tour last month, I asked our guide if the scrapbook contest would resume for 2022. A number of fellow tour participants said they were interested in submitting for 2022. Our guide said “yes”.
Like you, I was grateful for past (My Way Alpine Tour) scrapbooks… I scoured their contents all the way back to 2014 for helpful information. I wonder why nothing new / updated has been posted about scrapbooks on the website?

Posted by
99 posts

I recall receiving a number of messages from the RS office about submitting a tour scrapbook when we went to Portugal a few years ago. And then the tour scrapbooks became a feature story on this website as the deadline drew nearer prior to announcing the “winners”. I think late fall was the big push, if I remember correctly.

And I agree that even those who do not win prizes are winners overall just for taking the time to submit. It really does help so much with planning and setting expectations.

Posted by
327 posts

I appreciate that people like to view the scrapbooks. I entered for 2019 but deleted mine-- so I kind of feel bad for doing so after reading this post.

Why I deleted mine. I just felt humiliated. I wasn't verbose, I didn't include maps, nor did I quote Rick, or anything that the RS traveler already knew. I didn't regurgitate the itinerary,, nor try to be RS Junior.

I do digital as well as regular scrapbooking, and put together my scrapbook accordingly. I did a scrapbook. I scanned in ephemera. I had videos, pictures and descriptions in limited words that I hoped, conveyed a story. The off the beaten path. All on the limiting wix format which took some time to gerrymander. Mine looked so different from everyone else's as a result. When the scrapbooks were posted it was like a popularity contest on this forum too.

Maybe others feel the same way and they didn't enter as a result or won't in the future. It wasn't worth it. If someone likes a scrapbook, just show a little appreciation to the creator. Even if you don't know them or they haven't posted 20,000 times on this forum, just show some acknowledgement of the effort.

Posted by
2453 posts

@MoR I am sorry you deleted your tour scrapbook. I didn’t think there was any place to “like” someone’s post. Nor did I think it was a popularity contest. Any info in those scrapbooks is valuable - what you ate, where you stayed, weather, what you wore, etc. It’s all good stuff and really helpful. As mentioned above, my husband and I read every scrapbook in detail for 2019 and the archived scrapbooks. It built the anticipation pretrip for us.

Posted by
1501 posts

I have done scrapbooks of my tours. I felt the best about it after I stopped trying to win the contest. I am never going to win a free trip. However, I enjoy making the scrapbook (it is a lot of work!), I will always have the scrapbook to look at and enjoy, and it is a way of giving back to this community.

I have looked at each and every scrapbook on the site. I got something out of each and every one.

Some people put a contact link at the end. I try to remember to send the person a thank you to let them know that their scrapbook is being enjoyed.

I make the scrapbook for myself, knowing that it will help at least one other person by giving them information about what a RS tour is like. I include photos of the hotels and meals which I know a lot of people have questions about.

Posted by
8496 posts

I attempted to start a scrapbook once, but soon gave up in defeat after a few hours. That small experiment does make me appreciate those who follow through and give their time to create these productions. I'm glad that I don't have to be a "judge" in that contest as I would find it very difficult to pick winners from the excellent submissions.

I really like it when the scrapbook creator lets his/her "voice" shine through and allows us to really get a sense of the trip from his/her perspective. The same trip is going to be experienced in a unique way by every traveler.

I also really like it if there is some mention of the hotel that was used in a given town or location. It doesn't have to be a great deal of detail (even just a name), but it helps me when I am researching for future trips.

Posted by
3290 posts

MoR - I'm sorry you had that experience. I'm not a big fan of the scrapbooks that feel like RS infomercials. So if I had a chance to see yours, I probably liked it.

Posted by
2453 posts

I attempted a tour scrapbook myself many years ago and gave upas well. It is a lot of work. And yes, they are a bit of infomercial for RS. Perhaps those are the ones that win the contest. But if you are going to do this, do it as a service to others on the forum.

Posted by
2210 posts

I am so sorry people that did scrapbooks felt like their’s didn’t measure up. Trip reports take a lot of time, so I can’t imagine how much time scrapbooks take and I’m grateful for everyone that does them. Every single one provides info for the rest of us in planning and knowing what to expect. Being able to compare several offerings for the same tour can’t be duplicated. Years ago the tour reviews were more complex in the questions they asked and the answers provided on the tour reviews , so there was more information than you get now. The scrapbooks really do give you a way to evaluate just what the tour offers and they are all in one place.

Posted by
327 posts

Thank you Mary and Estimated Prophet for your kind words. Thank you for the others who tried, or attempted to do a scrapbook, which is basically doing a webpage when this is not your day job or forte. It is time consuming and tough to learn the software and make it work. It is truly an endeavor.

My scrapbook due date was Feb 2020. I had tickets to a Warriors game I gave away because I thought "I'd go to the next game" Then hello pandemic. I lost my only chance to go to a Warriors game at the new Chase center because I was trying to get my scrapbook perfect. I had tickets for the game after this one, but then everything shut down. I haven't had a chance since then to go to a game. Then to learn that the winners were pros and former winners-- it frankly, didn't sit well with me, especially after I blew my only chance for Warrior tickets. I'll be honest. But congratulations to the winners.

I dusted off my wix account and if you are so inclined to learn about Munich, Salzburg and Vienna in December and promise not to laugh at my effort or call it total amateur hour, DM me and I'll send you the link.

Posted by
2485 posts

Mo,
Please post your scrapbook for your upcoming Munich Salzberg Vienna tour in December, I went on that tour in December 2019. I had the best time and little did I know it would be the last time in Europe for me for two years! I haven’t even attempted a scrapbook because it must feel like wrestling with a bear or something fierce! My friend I went to Turkey with, did a scrapbook and won 3rd place for 2018! She said it was tremendously difficult but she persevered - if you look hers up, you will hear her unique voice and personality shine through.
My message is: don’t give up, do it for yourself.

Posted by
4229 posts

I don't by into that urban myth that past winners are all pros. I tried a scrapbook a couple of years back because I thought it would be fun putting together a website. It wasn't. It's time consuming and a lot of work, but I think the number one criteria is being creative. Which I'm not. Rushed as it was since I decided to enter a week before the deadline with no website experience, I was still so proud of what I put together, until I started looking at others. I wrote this on another post about scrapbooks that I realized I had entered a pickup truck into a tank fight.

I wonder if it is only actual website designs that are accepted? I think someone like Diveloonie aka Tammy and her traditional Shutterfly scrapbooks would kick butt.

Posted by
327 posts

Hi Judy- we were on that tour together! I just love the pics I have of the group and stuff we saw courtesy of Rolilnka. Remember your little cat friend at the farm? I Have a pic of that. I also have a video of the cooking assistant singing Edelweiss in Salzburg. I’ll resend the link to you. Little did we know the world was going to shut down 3 months later.

We are off to East Europe next month. Maybe I’ll try my hand at another scrapbook for my own enjoyment and learning. Since people actually look at them to decide where to go it kind of makes it more fun to see it from that POV. Maybe if someone from RS reads this and wants to repost my Dec 2019 scrapbook they can contact me.

Posted by
4814 posts

I would also like to express appreciation for the scrapbooks. Before my spring tours, I looked at those for my destination to gather hints about what to expect and to build excitement. I didn't find a way to contact the authors to thank them for their efforts, though obviously some do include contact information.

When I made my own digital scrapbook, I used PowerPoint. Having used it for years at work, I could immediately do creative things with it that would take me weeks to learn with a new tool.... easy though some appear to be. As a result, I created it more for an audience of one. And it does make me appreciate how much work it would take to polish it for entry as a tour scrapbook.

Kudos to those who have the creativity and the skills!

And I'm very glad we get to enjoy diveloonie's digital albums at our travel group meetings!

Posted by
2252 posts

I love reading the text and seeing the photos in each and every scrapbook.I am so tech challenged, it’s all I can do to let google create a photo book from my photos for me to share with my family. I wouldn’t have a clue how to go about any more in-depth works. I appreciate all the hard work, time and effort that goes into creating the scrapbooks and find them valuable not just for their entertainment value but also for further travel planning. In my opinion, this shouldn’t be looked at as just a contest that must be won but rather a sharing of information for potential travelers. I hope there’s a contest this year as after two trips to Europe this summer, I am ready to be planning my next journeys and have been revisiting the previously published scrapbooks. Thank you to everyone who has published and shared one with us. You have my undying admiration.

Posted by
1243 posts

Hi. I do not care about the contest. Is it only an incentive to encourage participation? What I care about is looking at the people and places in the tours. So often people post on the forum asking about clothes to wear and weather - just take a look at the scrapbooks. Of course, live cams will do that for you, too, but that is another topic.

Posted by
124 posts

I love looking at the tour scrapbooks. It’s like sitting with a friend and seeing pictures and hearing about their trip. I have only traveled independently, and have not yet taken a Rick Steves tour, so haven’t done a scrapbook.

The scrapbooks are a wonderful way to “visit” places I haven’t been, to revisit places I have been, and to see those places through another person’s eyes. During the pandemic, the scrapbooks were a lovely way to travel in my mind. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to put one together.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks to all who appreciate the scrapbooks! I love looking at all of them and use them to help decide what other tour to take. And, after I take a tour I like to review the past scrapbooks just to see how other people experience my same trip.

I have entered the contest for 7 of my 9 RS tours and frankly the whole contest frustrates me! Every year there are a lot of good entries and in my opinion the best ones don't always win. I have tried but can't figure out what they are wanting. I think the winning criteria has more to do with an unknown marketing strategy than what scrapbook is best. Through the years I have shifted my focus from what will win to what I would like to see as a potential traveler. Scrapbooks take a LOT of time and work to create and I would like to see more recognition of that from the RS organization. Yes, they give every entry a free guidebook but I don't need another book. I would really prefer to not have one big winner but to have everyone who takes the time to enter recognized by a $100 or $200 credit to a purchase of their choice. Until then, I will keep on creating scrapbooks to inspire other travelers!

Posted by
92 posts

Martha, you and I are on the same page. I think the "1 big winner" approach has run its course. I would much rather see a bunch of efforts recognized -- you could have 15 (to pick a number) small awards for "Excellence in ___" covering a bunch of topics: writing, photography, finding that back door experience, connecting with locals, inspiring moment, or any number of categories. And all without an overall winner (i.e., dropping the concept of "best").

I went on my first RSE tour in 2019 (Munich-Salzburg-Vienna in the summer -- LOVED the tour, btw) and as I like to take photos I made a 100-page Shutterfly book for myself upon return. I didn't think I would do a scrapbook because 1) website design is not in my skillset and 2) I didn't want to experience this short trip with a RSE-pleasing scrapbook in mind. In the end I decided I would tackle it because, worst case, I'd learn a new skill. It certainly was a lot of work, but I did learn something new, and it was kind of (?) an enjoyable process. I'm not a selfie-taker, so I didn't expect to win (and didn't); I think the winners do follow a formula, which is now driving the process for a lot of scrapbooks to the detriment of their function.

I agree with others that getting a little positive feedback is really nice and helps connect fellow travelers.

If you're thinking about the M-S-V tour, look up my scrapbook. Note that I think it only works properly on a computer, not a phone (Wix defeated me in that regard).

Webmaster, maybe this is a thread Rick would like to hear about?

Posted by
241 posts

I love reading the scrapbooks and look forward to reading each of them. It brings back memories of prior tours/travel and inspires. Just reread the Ireland one from 2018 prior to our tour next month. I then read the Switzerland one and can’t wait for next spring.
To all of you who do these—I love them.

Posted by
1501 posts

@Allen, I literally laughed out loud when I read your post. When I did my first scrapbook, I thought it could win. I was also frustrated when Kristi won multiple times. However, my perspective has changed since then. I agree with you about the creativity. Her scrapbooks are creative and well written. I think she deserves all of her wins. I hope she makes more for me to read.

I don't think rewarding 15 people would be any better than rewarding 3 people. What about the 16th best?
I don't think that the team picking the 3 best owes us anything. They are the judges. Period. I think the judges are looking for a scrapbook that expresses how travel has affected or changed the author.

The comments on this thread are reward enough for me to continue.

Posted by
4229 posts

I would really prefer to not have one big winner but to have everyone
who takes the time to enter recognized by a $100 or $200 credit to a
purchase of their choice.

Not me. For the amount of work involved, the prize would need to be significant for me to ever consider doing it again. For $200, I wouldn't bother and would stick to trip reports on this forum and posting photos on Facebook to help inspire people.

Posted by
1224 posts

I do the scrapbooks. It is a lot of work but I really enjoy it even though I haven't won anything. I too use others scrapbooks of my next destination to plan/dream/get a feel for the tour.

I too sometimes feel the best ones don't always win. And I'm not talking about mine. There are others I thought were fabulous and they didn't even place. So I too cannot figure out what it is they are looking for. But I do hope mine help others who are going on the tour my scrapbook was of.

Posted by
14 posts

My daughter emailed Rick Steves office and the reply was that they weren't doing the scrapbook contest this year. It is a shame. I love going through then! They stated they will resume them in 2023.