by Debbie Hodge

In Travel & Vacations, I described 5 kinds of trips/vacations. Each of these types of travel have their own “story arc” that can help you figure out what pages to include. Here I show you how to approach the “Themed Destination.”


The “themed” vacation is one that takes you into a created world where you are doing more than viewing, where you’re entering into and experiencing a manufactured reality. You may have gone on a Disney vacation, visited a historic settlement where you’re re-enacting the way things were done in the past, travelled to Santa’s Village, or many other variations on the themed destination.

The photos from a themed vacation can cover a lot of territory, and they don’t usually require a chronological telling. Aspects of a large theme/amusement park may include: characters, rides, performances, events, posed portraits, sights and more.

Your job is to define the pages within the series, find logical groupings of those pages, and organize them in a way that gives the series a flow that makes sense and conveys the experience. A good place to start is by going through your “stack” (print or digital) of photos and selecting the keepers and grouping them by subject and then, within subject, by page. See How to Select Events Photos for Scrapbooking. Use the Travel Page Planner to start defining pages and how they’ll sit in the series in relationship to one another.

imageTheme parks frequently offer photos of your group in setting you couldn’t easily photograph yourself. The enlargement I purchased from our visit to StoryLand was a photo I wanted to scrap on its own and use as an introduction into the series.

Flow and rhythm

With a series of pages that aren’t chronologically placed, the key to making the story accessible and understandable to your viewers is to consciously plan your flow and the rhythms within it. Think about the shape of a poem and then the stanzas within the poem and then the structure and/or rhythm of sentences within the stanzas. All of these provide a structure that helps you understand what’s in the poem and anticipate and better access the upcoming words.

For your series of pages from the themed vacation, you need:

  • a way to unite ALL of the pages (repetitions)
  • a way to unite related pages (other repetitions) AND a way to set groupings off from one another (contrasts)
  • an ordering that makes sense

What does all this mean practically?

Get contrast between groupings with any or all of:

  • different color strategies/schemes/approaches
  • an introductory/break page for groupings
  • differing series lengths (i.e., use one or two pagers that go together in between several pages that go together)
  • design (for example, use a blocked design for one kind of grouping and pages with only one photo and lots of white space for another type of page)
  • product (i.e., how you render your titles or embellish pages)

Plan to incorporate particular repetitions WITHIN a grouping AND other repetitions ACROSS the whole series using any or all of:

  • color
  • design
  • photo treatments
  • product (titles, embellishments, patterned papers)


While in California, we visited California Adventure and Disneyland. I used a bundle of coordinated sketches/templates for all of these pages. I’ll incorporate contrast between the pages from the two parks with different color schemes. The Disney pages will use a complementary color scheme of blue and orange. The California Adventure pages will also use a complementary color scheme, but one of green and red-violet. I’ll use a third color scheme and a design with more white space for the pages from the hotel and dinners and other activities that overlapped the two parks.