USA Photo Map: How to Create Your Own Personalized Travel Map

Our family has a bucket list goal to explore all 50 states before the kids reach high school. We came up with this idea in 2012 and were looking for a way to document this idea for some time. Then, we found an easy online template on how to create your own personalized travel map from Thunderbunny Labs. Essentially it becomes a travel photo map where you can customize your picture into the shape of the state you visited. It has been a fantastic keepsake of our travels and has helped us document our adventures. Our USA photo map has become one of our favorite travel souvenirs and one of our favorite things to do with travel photos. As of August 2021, we have completed 50/50 states!

USA Photo Map – Complete

How You Can Create a Personalized Travel Map

Thunder Bunny Labs has created a simple online template where you can upload your own pictures to see how they fit within each state or location to create your USA photo map. There are various travel map options to choose from, but since our family has visited so many states, we chose the blank version of the United States. We now have a personalized travel map in our living room that we love to look at and reminisce about.

USA photo map 2
USA Photo Map

Once our USA photo map arrived, we couldn’t wait to start adding pictures to see what our family travel map would look like. I will be honest, it is a little time-consuming to create, but so much fun. Once the pictures are printed, cut it out, but be sure to leave some white space around the edges of the picture. Don’t cut right on the line – if you do it leaves a little space when you place it on the map. We learned the hard way and our Oregon looks weird.

Zoomed in USA Photo Map
Zoomed in USA Photo Map

Make sure you find a large flat area (a table) and then turn your map around and start placing the states into the map. Be sure to have scotch tape handy to stick the state to another state or the edge. It can be tricky and states can overlap, so before you are done, turn it around and check before you close up the frame.

USA Photo Map Assembly
Assembly of our personalized travel map

Check out how you can create a personalized photo map by clicking the picture below.

usa photo map main

Some states are very easy to find pictures that fit your entire family, while others can be a bit tricky due to their odd shapes. Regardless, it is a fun project to be able to create our own USA travel map and find pictures of the states we have visited. Now that we have this though, we plan on keeping the shape of the state in mind when we are taking our pictures on vacation!

personalized travel map

For those of you that have other travel goals or just want to document where you have been, there are other options besides creating a USA photo map. Thunder Bunny Labs has an option of a world map where you would put in one picture per continent. That way you can create a family world travel map in a few simple steps.

personalized travel map world
Personalized Travel Map – World

There are also blank maps of Canada, the Caribbean islands, the Mexican states, Australia, and Europe. These are great ideas if you have traveled around a particular continent and would love a travel photo memory to display your vacation. Click on the pictures below to create your own personalized travel map.

personalized travel map

Personalized Travel Maps: Other Travel Photo Map Options

There are so many personalized travel maps to create besides using countries or states. For sports lovers, there are even ways to create a travel photo map of the baseball parks, basketball areas, hockey arenas, and football stadiums you have visited.

USA photo map stadiums

There are even options for those who love visiting the national parks. This personalized travel map allows you to add a picture to each national park you have visited. Our family recently used the 4th grade national park pass and visited 12 national parks in one year! Check it out by clicking on the picture below.

Personalized travel map national parks
Personalized Travel Map of the National Parks

Another great option for creating a travel photo map is to purchase solo blank templates of all 50 states. An idea as to how this could be used in your house is to buy your home state and add a picture of your family. If you have lived in another state, you could display both to show the past and present. There are so many ways to create your personalized travel map. Since we moved states, we ended up buying a Florida and Connecticut solo frame to create personalized wall decor. Check out some examples below.

personalized travel map state
USA photo map state

If you are thinking of showcasing your travel around the USA, this personalized travel map is a great way to do it. Below is a social media post about our plans to visit our remaining states and how we planned to document our family bucket list of visiting all 50 states. I highly recommend displaying your travel photos. It is such a nice way to keep your vacation memories alive once you are back.

View this post on Instagram

45/50 states 🇺🇸— • • Five years ago, my husband and I sat down to create a family bucket list. We decided to stay domestic and set a goal to visit all 50 states with the kids before they graduated high school. Well, I guess we are overachievers, because we are almost there and our kids are 9 and 11! — • • Most people think some of our road trips are crazy, but it’s been such a wonderful experience to see new places and explore the country with my family. I’ll admit that the purchase of this travel photo map has made documenting this trip even more exciting! We literally look at this map daily and smile. I’m already planning the next trip to tackle the 4 Southwest states and then Hawaii will be our grand finale! — • • For a link on how we did this and where we bought the map, click my bio.

A post shared by DQ Family Travel (@dqfamilytravel) on

Thunderbunny Labs also takes custom country orders. This can be particularly useful if you have just visited a country and would like a framed travel photo map of that location. There are many listed on the website, but if you don’t see the specific country you are looking for, send them a message and they will add it.

USA photo map blank

For other ideas on how to display your travels, check out this post – Best Ways to Document your Travels. For other ways to decorate your home with memories from your travels, check out this page that has 70+ world travel themed home decor ideas or my post on other personalized wall decor items to make your house a home.

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DQ Family Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. Your price does not change when you click on these links, but it does provide me with a small commission.

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33 thoughts on “USA Photo Map: How to Create Your Own Personalized Travel Map”

  1. I love this and am always looking for more ways to show our travels in our home. This is perfect!! We are moving soon and would love to create this for our new home =)

  2. Love this! I DIYed a cork map awhile back, and we loved it! We have been looking for a new way to document our baby’s travels now, and this looks perfect!

  3. This is awesome! I am in the process of creating a travel themed guest room and this map would be perfect. I would need Canada though. Thank you for this!

  4. This is so cute! It’s also a great motivation for travelling. I can imagine myself purchasing the European one and planning our next 10 vacations in different European countries! 🙂

  5. I like the idea of creating a whole wall of the individual frames in with the shape of the individual states, that way you can reorganize them to keep your wall looking different and interesting. Or even just buying a load of ones for the same state. I’ve spent a lot of time in California, and it’d be cool to have a whole wall of those.

  6. Love it! I have seen many scratch-off maps and magnetic ones, but this is such a neat and personalized idea!

  7. Michelle Segrest

    This is just the coolest thing ever! I am absolutely in love with this idea! I’ve seen other similar maps, but this one is truly unique and inspiring. I can imagine it is a true conversation piece in your home! How close are you now to reaching your 50-state goal?

  8. What an amazing bucket list goal. This is definitely how to create treasured memories as a family. I love it!

  9. This is so cool! I have seen these before and have been wanting to get one. My goal is to visit as 50 states as well and I would love to have something like this hanging in my living room. And its awesome that they have so many custom themes

  10. What a beautiful memento and a lovely way to document your travels! I don’t live in the US so it might take me a little while to get around all of the states! But I think those solo frames are stunning and a perfect way to capture our US trips. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. These travel maps are so special and unique because they are personalized! I really need to start one with my family asap!

  12. I’ve been thinking about a Thunderbunny for so long! I get ads for it like everyday:) They’re so cool!

  13. I have this map! And this is a great reminder to get on it and fill in more of our state spaces. 🙂 Such a fun way to document your travels!

  14. This is such a beautiful way to display your travel pictures. I love how unique it is. I’d love the world map one. And great tips about cutting out the pictures, I always wondered how that was done

  15. This is a fabulous idea. I like that there are ones to Canada and baseball stadiums which I love. I’m going to check these out. I’ve visited all 50 states but don’t have photos for all as some were many years ago and drive-throughs. I hope you get to Hawaii–it’s worth it!

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