It’s official. Summer has begun, and you’ve made it through more than a year of a global pandemic. As restrictions have eased, record numbers of travelers are hitting the road for summer vacation.
According to TripAdvisor, more than two-thirds of Americans are traveling this summer, and Forbes notes that nine in 10 Americans are planning to travel within the next six months.
If you are among those planning a trip, consider these six ways paper can help make your summer vacation a delightful experience.
1. Use Printed Maps and Road Atlases
It’s easy to use your phone to navigate, but have you picked up a map or road atlas lately? Sales of printed maps and road atlases have been growing over the past five years at a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent, and year-over-year data in 2019 showed a seven percent sales increase in travel maps and atlases.
But why should you consider using printed maps or atlases?
- Printed maps engage more senses than a digital map, leading to longer-lasting memories of summer vacation.
- You can become better oriented to where you are traveling ahead of time. Treehugger.com calls this “a more holistic view of where you’re going.”
- You don’t need batteries or a charger.
- Even with advancements in mobile technology, signals still drop in some areas. Paper maps are always available.
- Your information stays between you, your maps and whomever you are with – not shared with big tech.
Also, did you know that Domtar’s Husky® printing paper is used to print maps?
If you are still committed to finding your way using an app or GPS, then why not choose printed poster-style maps as souvenirs of the places you visit during summer vacation? You can buy high-quality printed maps of breweries and lighthouses or scratch-off posters to track your travels.
2. Entertain the Kids with Road Trip Games
Tablets and on-board entertainment systems can lead to a lot of screen time.
To reduce screen time and engage kids in your travel activities, consider printing some road trip games, including oldies-but-goodies like the license plate game, bingo and tic-tac-toe, among others. Here are some options:
3. Record Your Trip in a Travel Journal
For an unforgettable trip, start a travel journal where you can record details about your vacations. Writing down your memories helps codify them in your brain, and adding in mementos, such as paper coasters or imprinted cocktail napkins, from your summer vacation makes for a nice trip down memory lane in the following months and years.
It might be tempting to rely on social media to save and share your photo memories from vacation, but technology can fail. A travel journal is a great place to add in printed photos from your adventures, and you may be able to print copies of photos on the go at a local retailer.
Here are some travel journal tips:
4. Share Your Summer Vacation Via Postcards
People love to receive mail, and you can make your family or friends smile by sending postcards during your summer vacation. Postcards are personal, affordable and less expensive to mail than traditional letters and greeting cards. And while you’re sending some to friends, consider sending one to your own home address as a souvenir.
Read why travel writer Skye Sherman mails herself postcards, and learn about The History of Postcards via the Smithsonian Institute
5. Buy or Borrow Printed Books
Acclaimed author Stephen King calls books “a uniquely portable magic.” Printed books engage multiple senses and improve knowledge retention. Whether you are planning to read on your way to your destination or read as part of your R&R, head to your local bookstore or library before your summer vacation to buy or borrow a few books for you and your family.
If you’re still looking for some summer reading recommendations, check out our summer reading list, and if you are a goal-oriented reader, download and print the reading challenges available from How Life Unfolds®.
6. Be Prepared for the Unexpected this Summer
Travel restrictions are still subject to change in the COVID-19 era, and they’re at risk of interruption throughout the hurricane season. Plus, you never know what may happen along the way.
Print paper copies of your travel documents, including your IDs, medical information and travel confirmations, and keep them in a waterproof zipper bag. These paper backups may come in handy if travel circumstances change unexpectedly. You might also consider printing extra copies to share with a trusted relative or close friend at home.
Check out this comprehensive list of what you might need to copy or print for your summer vacation: Paper Has Your Back When Traveling.