10 Tips for Designing a Travel Photobook

Marianne Stenger
19th April 2022

Most of us will return from our travels with hundreds of photos. Some of these will probably briefly be featured on social media, while the rest of them are likely to end up buried somewhere on a phone or hard drive.

So, if you want to keep those glorious travel memories alive or commemorate your family holiday in a special way, why not create your own travel photobook?

Not sure how to get started? We’ve put together some top tips for planning and designing the perfect travel photo book.

1. Organise your photos

The first step when creating a travel photo book is to sort through all the photos you have. Start by removing those that are overexposed, unfocused, or just poorly composed. You can then create a separate folder where you copy and paste your favourite travel snapshots. 

Look for photos that stand out as being well-lit and well-composed, but also include those that give the viewer a sense of what the trip was like, even if it’s a silly airport selfie. 

2. Choose a theme

Think of a theme early on and try to stick with it throughout the book. For example, if you have a lot of black and white images, you could choose “black and white” as your theme. 

On the other hand, if you’re a foodie, you might want to include lots of photos of the interesting foods you encountered on your travels. Examples of other themes that might help you tell the story of your journey include “Family,” “Friendship,” “Nature,” or “Landscapes.”

3. Add captions

Your travel photo book doesn’t always need to include text, but it can often benefit from having some information or context added. This might be a brief description of the location and date on which the photo was taken, the story behind the photo, or even a poignant quote related to family or travel.

4. Edit your photos in a similar style

Another way to maintain uniformity throughout your travel photo book is to edit all the photos in a similar style. Once you’ve selected the photos you want to include, you can work on making sure they all have similar contrast, vibrancy, colour temperature and saturation levels. 

If you’re using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, you’ll have the option of editing one photo and then applying those presets to other photos. You could also look for a filter you like and apply it to all the photos you want to use in your photobook.

5. Match the colours

Your travel photos will usually have a variety of colour palettes and depict different scenes at different times of day. But, if you’re including multiple photos per page, it’s a good idea to select photos that are a good colour match or complement each other in some way. 

For example, photos that contain a lot of blue, such as those with a lot of sky or water in them, would go well together on one page, whereas photos with a lot of orange and red in them, such as those taken around sunset, would be better on another page.

6. Play with different layouts

Think about the layout you want to use in your travel photobook and play with a few different styles. For example, some photos might work well as a double page spread, whereas on other pages it could be fun to place multiple photos side-by-side or create collages of related photos.

7. Make the cover stand out

Your travel photo book’s cover should inspire you and convey some of the excitement you feel when setting out on a new journey. The cover photo shouldn’t be too busy or cluttered, as you want it to be eye-catching without distracting from the book's title or subject. 

Examples of strong cover photos for travel photobooks include silhouettes, a map showing the journey’s start and end point, or images of the open road and wide open spaces.

8. Be consistent in your use of fonts

If you’re including any text or headings in your travel photobook, you’ll want to make sure you use the same font and font size throughout the whole project. Of course, your headings will likely be larger than the body text, but the most important thing is to remain consistent. Use one font size and style for titles and headings, and another for the text, quotes or image captions. 

9. Give the photos room to breathe

Less is often more when it comes to designing a travel photo book. Although you can place as many images as you want on a single page, it’s important to leave some white space as well to ensure that each photo will have the maximum impact. If there are certain photos that stand out to you, you may even want to give them their own page or double page spread. Layflat bound photo books are ideal for this, as they allow images to flow across a double page spread, with no loss of visibility down the centre of the spine. 

10. Look for variety 

The best travel photo books have a good variety of images. For instance, posed group shots are great to include, but you’ll also want to add in plenty of photos that were taken spontaneously during activities such as hikes, train or bus journeys, boat rides, swimming, and exploring. It can also be nice to include a few photos that you aren’t in yourself, such as photos of interesting landmarks, street signs, cityscapes, nature and wildlife or local people and food. 

If you need more tips or ideas for putting together your photo book, be sure to check out our Beginner's Guide to Making a Photo Book with the Bob Books designer software. If you think you're ready to get started, have a look at some of our photobook features and choose your preferred size, paper type and binding style.