One Tradition, Everywhere You Travel

We do one thing that is quintessential, quirky-us everywhere we travel; it's our own “One Tradition Everywhere You Travel” thing we do every trip whether it's a destination minutes away or a city in a further-flung region of the world.

And it turns out we're not the only travel bloggers who have created a tradition like this. One that we consistently do, no matter where we go.

Here are some ideas for you, so you can start doing your own tradition everywhere you travel, to build a fun, consistent thread in your memories. Please let us know if you have a tradition in the comments section at the end of the post. We love hearing from our readers!

Our Tradition Everywhere We Travel: Photo Strip Captures

Travel tips on one thing to do everywhere you go, from the same photo post to getting the same dessert from Sometimes Home blog.

Unbeknownst to us at the time, our tradition started years ago. In 2010 when Verizon finally started to carry the iPhone I happily traded in my LG Chocolate (whoa, flashback!) in favor of a phone that could do much more.

I excitedly downloaded dozens of photography apps, including two photo strip apps. It was a nod to photos of yesteryear or what's today would be considered a novelty picture booth at a trendy, posh NYC restaurant. (The Standard Grill, right underneath The High Line in west Manhattan comes to mind).

Such a throwback to yesteryear is a fun juxtaposition to modern technology. The kickback to a strip of four photos, with four different poses, in a matter of seconds is a one-two punch we really enjoy. Dan and I are goofballs and the photo strip frames reveal all our goofy tendencies WHILE capturing the silliness that ensues.

We didn't realize it would become such a staple of travel until we saw a trend begin to form with each trip we took.

The apps are Pocketbooth and Incredibooth (by Hipstamatic).

We tend to use Pocketbooth more but we have both available on my phone.

Travel tips on one thing to do everywhere you go, from the same photo post to getting the same dessert from Sometimes Home blog. App options of Incredibooth and Pocketbooth.

Sometimes I want to capture something as simple as a night out in our local neighborhood, or doing a puzzle at home. Or something a bit more unique and as memorable as a river cruise, or time at a jungle lodge in Belize. Sure, I do it in my phone's normal camera and on my pro Nikon as well. But the photo strip has become a novelty common denominator in our travels.

We can look at the same confines of a long rectangular photo crop, divided into a handful of photos, and see the giggles and sites we've experienced over time. If we take a two week trip, maybe we partake in three to five, or so, photo strip sessions the whole trip; it's worth it.

Here are some examples:

Travel tips on One Thing to Do Everywhere You Travel, from the same photostrip app to getting the same dessert from Sometimes Home blog.

We love being able to look back at them. You can even print them through the app and have them mailed to you. Or, do what we do and add them into the general photo folders from your trip on your computer AND GET THEM PRINTED in photo books! When we create a vacation photo book we include them – so we highly encourage you do the same.

An added bonus for me, especially, we never edit them. Ever. I don't do any post-processing on them or lighting adjusts, no re-cropping, etc. Nada. They forever remain AS SNAPPED. They're truly no fuss. All fun.

“ET” Fingers Tradition Everywhere You Travel

Kerri and Chris of Passport Penguin wrote:

When we first started dating ten years ago we watched E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and have been affectionately touching index fingers ever since.  This gesture is our way of connecting and showing affection and we now incorporate this into our travel memoirs by taking an β€œET finger” photo at each landmark we visit.  After completing a one-year trip around the world we put together a video of over one hundred such photos. This tied together our travels in a way special and unique to our relationship and without any bad hair or shut eyes to contend with! Check out the video below or here.

I just love some of the cheeky “ET finger” pictures they have in there. Did you catch the one with the elephant trunk?

Challenge Yourself to Have One Conversation in the Native Language, Wherever You Go for One Tradition Everywhere You Travel

Chantal of Translating Traveler does one thing locally in the native language:

Wherever I go, I always try to have at least one small conversation in the local language. Order ice cream in Italy, haggle over the price for a souvenir in Egypt or ask for directions in Mexico. It's my little challenge for each destination.

Travel tips on one thing to do everywhere you go, from the same photo post to getting the same dessert from Sometimes Home blog. Ice cream photo from Translating Traveler.

I've already dreamed of speaking every language. If ordering gelato in Italian could get me to the sweet treat faster I would definitely do it! Sign me up!

Take Photos with A Plush Everywhere you Travel

Ana of Travels of Plushy added: 

When I started going out more often, whether it was for the weekend or for a whole holiday, I felt bad leaving Plushy alone at home (a childhood toy of my boyfriend). Thus I decided to make room for Plushy in my backpack (he has the main pocket, so he can see the world)…though he has aches to pay on long-hauls when I use him as neck support!

Having Plushy makes it easier to break the ice, as people find him interesting/cute/adorable/bizarre and they come to talk to me about him. We started a debate with a little girl and her family in France, if Plushy is a dog or a bear. Several (very old) ladies in Japan wanted to keep Plushy. Our trekking friends in Myanmar asked if he was enjoying the view from my backpack. We had a cup of coffee in Venice, were warned by Tea Shop guys that the beverage was hot in Warsaw. And in Martinique the scuba dive coach asked if Plushy could keep her cat company while we were diving. And many other cute experiences. Plushy's my travel buddy; I take him everywhere and take photos with him around the world.

Travel tips on one thing to do everywhere you go, from the same photo post to getting the same dessert from Sometimes Home blog. Myanmar stuffed animal photo from Travels of Plushy.

Additional Ideas for One Tradition Everywhere You Travel

Here's some other ideas we've brainstormed from seeing other travel bloggers partake. Or ideas we've simply dreamed up ourselves:

  • Take pictures of your tattoo wherever you go, and include the background for context
  • Take a mini Polaroid camera with you and snap physical prints you collect – Fuji's Instax camera is a popular option
  • Do the same pose for a photo, every destination you visit. It's the ever popular JUMPING pose for so many travelers. Or a person in front holding the hand behind her, of the traveler behind the camera.

You won't regret doing one thing everywhere you travel, especially years from now – it'll be amazing to look back and see where you did it throughout your lifetime.

Traveling soon? Here's some key tips and advice for you!

Do you have “one thing” you do everywhere you go? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Hey, Mikkel!!
    Thanks for this awesome compilation of ideas! I think almost everyone has their little ritual when they travel, but being consistent with an idea in the photographs, videos, or simply interactions with locals makes the experience even more memorable.
    I’m glad you found interesting that I carry Plushy around.


  2. Great idea about taking photos with a tattoo! I’ve taken a few with mine in different places, but maybe I should make it a thing! We also need to get better about taking photos of ourselves in places – we just got back from Berlin and I don’t think we took one photo of both of us the whole time! So bad!

    1. I always try to offer a couple to snap a photo of them together if I see one person with the camera, taking a photo of the other. Challenge yourselves to get photos together, even if they’re selfies! πŸ˜‰

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