It all started many years ago when I went on a school trip with my soccer team and the boys’ soccer team. We toured Italy, playing matches against Italian schools and seeing some of the Italian sites. It was so much fun that even though it was 10 years ago, I still remember a lot of the trip. One of my favourite memories has nothing to do with all of the soccer we played, which is surprising because I do love soccer, but instead what happened at dinner each evening. Once we had finished our dinner together, the boys’ soccer coach would stand up and read from a small notebook all of the funny things that had happened that day. It was a hoot!
Throughout the day we would report back to the coach if anything funny had happened while we were sightseeing, playing soccer or in our free time. Being such a large group, oftentimes we would break off into smaller groups and so it was extremely enjoyable to hear what had been going on with our other teammates and friends and it was also fun to report to our coaches. More importantly, it was such a bonding experience. We would never laugh at a person- always with them and it was great reliving a funny moment. I remember each team member made it in the book at least once.
Now I have taken this idea to our family holidays. We refer to it as the “Little Black Book’ and I carry it around (I say me but it is usually my husband now) with my pen and write down anything that was said that was really funny, when anyone does something heroic or good or when anyone does something that might be a little bit embarrassing.
This is such a great idea because we often remember the significant moments from our travels but the smaller, funny moments can often slip our memories. Whenever we read our Little Black Book entries, we get to chuckle and reminisce. Photos are great for capturing memories but there are situations that photos just can’t capture and yet we still want to remember them. The Little Black Book is great for jogging our memories. It is also perfect for large families travelling together, 2 or more families travelling together or a group travelling together as it is a great tool for bonding.
We kept a Little Black Book when Carol and I went on an Australian cruise with two of Carol’s friends and also on numerous holidays. Just this past Christmas when 13 of us were on the Queen Mary 2, we kept a Little Black Book (it was actually the pink book in the picture!) and the whole family really got into it and after anything funny was said, usually a chorus of ‘that’s going in the book!’ would follow. My Dad ended up in the book a lot and one entry was for going down to the Purser’s Office in his new bamboo shirt that still had all of the sale tags on. My cousin made it in the book for coming second in a darts’ competition so a number of scenarios, that we would have likely forgotten by now, made it in the book.
Before starting your own tradition, we have some guidelines for you:
Nominate someone to be in charge of writing in the book (and also typing it up when you return home to send to everyone)
Make sure you are laughing with the person entered in the book, not at them
Ensure everyone makes it in the book at least once
Encourage people to actively report back
Set aside a time each day to read out the day’s entries
Our family holidays only last a number of days but our memories can last a lifetime so why not actively make more memories that will stay with you for years to come!
Family Travel Specialist