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