to FINISH the book at home is:
1. decorate the cover
ok, yeah, tihis could be done BEFORE the trip, and arguably it would even increase the feeling of having a "real" dedicated, specifically-for-this-trip book; but i often like to use something from the trip to form the base of my cover: a local newspaper or subway map or shopping bag, so i prefer to wait and do the cover when i return.
2. add photos
they can be ordinary 4x6's, larger panoramic sized pages (either single photos or colllages), or wallet sized prints you add to your text pages. the great thing about the single ring binding is that you can add them now if you're printing at home, or wait until later if you're getting professional prints. (or sharing with friends!)
3. finish journaling & adding decorative elements
again, the total flexibility of a single book-ring style means that you can add, subtract, or move things around for as long as you want. since i tend to travel with only the most basic supplies, this is where i get creative, adding transparencies, decorative papers, tabs, rub-ons, and so forth. i like a bit of dymo-labeling to journal on the brochures and postcards i've collected on my trip, as well. sometimes i'll have taken the label maker on the trip, but if not, this is when i add that detail.
4. get another perspective
lovely husband jeff DOES NOT journal...but sometimes, if i'm a bit clever, i can get him to contribute to the travel-book process. he already loves helping me collect the stuff, but i like to have his OPINIONS, too! "what was your favorite thing we did on vacation?" i'ill ask him, with my pen & paper at the ready; or, "what was your least favorite thing?" if we're flying home, this is a great time to ask that sort of thing, it's also a good time for us both to make a "top ten" list that goes into the book. even the smallest children will probably be able to tell you a few things they remember most or enjoyed the best, bigger kids might like to make and decorate a top ten list page, or help you choose which photos to include.
seriously THAT is IT!!!
ok, it's not a *traditional* scrapbook with conventional layouts, but if that was my thing, i would still argue that having THIS completed book with all my stuff AND my fresh-from-the-road memories in it would be the ultimate resource for creating those later, at my leisure. until such time as that urge strikes me, i am pretty happy with my little books!!! :)