Documenting Your Family Vacation :: Easy Apps for Memorable Videos


Traveling with our daughter (even on short trips) has proven to be one of the best memory makers and bonding experiences. We love exploring and going on adventures together! And as professional photographers and videographers, it’s important to us to capture our memories in creative ways.

With the wonder of smart phones, it’s easy to snap photos of your children . . . but what about video? We might shoot a few clips, but do we ever view them again? I’ve found that editing a vacation video helps us sum up our trip in a sweet way (that our daughter enjoys watching too!) While we use professional cameras and video software for our RJackson Media shoots, I’m much more likely to just pull out my phone for vacation footage. So here are a few of my favorite (easy) ways we do vacation videos that will help you in documenting your family vacation.

1) The 1 Second Everyday App 

The 1SE app is a fun, easy app to use for your vacation (or to document an entire year!) We used it to capture a second every day of our daughter’s first year home with us, but it would be a fun, simple way to recap your vacay. It’s easy to use — and they now offer a “freestyle” option that will allow you multiple snippets a day (so you can capture lots of sweet seconds from each day of your trip). It doesn’t seem like enough, but that one second to see your daughter twirl, your son jump into the pool, or your baby giggle while playing in the sand will put the biggest smile on your face! And it’s short and simple enough that you’ll be done creating the video before you’re even home from your trip! The video above is one of our favorite “mashups” from one month with our little love. Last June we squeezed in work/fun trips to Arkansas, Florida, and North Carolina (plus a day at the Miss Alabama Pageant, a trip to the zoo, a doctor’s appointment, a new car, some front yard fun, and an event where we both got to be princesses for the evening! It was the busiest month EVER — and it went by in a blur. I’m so glad we have this little video to remember it by!) 

2) Get a GoPro

For those who are big adventurers (and who want a camera that will go in the water, up a mountain, or down a zipline with you), the GoPro is a great option! You can put it in a weather-sealed case, and buy whatever accessories fit your lifestyle. This would be a good choice for older kids (who want to get in on the video action!) These days there are apps and programs that put together highlight videos of your footage for you. Just upload your footage, see what the GoPro Quik app creates, edit it (if wanted), and then it’s ready to share. Another fast, easy way to get that fun highlight video of your special trip! Find out more about the GoPro video options here and here.

3) iMovie for iPhone

iMovie for iPhone is the option I use the most because I have basic editing knowledge and prefer to have more control. You can google tutorials online if you need help figuring out the details, but it’s pretty user-friendly!

Step 1: Take some iPhone clips of your family having fun throughout your trip. Remember to keep your phone steady, and shoot in landscape (wide — not up and down) whenever possible!

Step 2: Open up the iMovie app and select your vacation video clips.

Step 3: Edit it into a little highlight video, add music, and share it with your friends and family! Our daughter LOVES to see the videos we make once we’re home! Everyone tends to have the blues when a vacation is over, but being able to look back on your happiest times will bring a smile to your family’s faces!

This is one of our favorite vacation videos from when we rented a camper last year. Full disclosure: my husband did use our professional software to edit this one (because I really wanted to use that Daniel Tiger song! Haha!) But, all the footage is from our iPhone and could have easily been compiled in iMovie this way, too! 

I hope these tips help you document your family trips and create videos you’ll all enjoy for years to come!

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Just days after graduating from Auburn University, Ericka took a trip to Africa that changed her life forever. She discovered two unexpected things there: a passion for orphan care, and her husband Rusty! Together they founded The Sound of Hope, and have spent the past 10+ years working to provide holistic care to vulnerable children around the world. Though her heart (and time) is divided between other countries – she’s proud to call Birmingham, Alabama home! When Ericka & Rusty decided to grow their family through adoption, they never guessed it would take five heart-wrenching years to get their daughter home from Thailand. These days Ericka tries to soak up every moment of long-awaited motherhood to their beautiful little girl, Kate. Their Thai darling is growing up way too fast, and Ericka is mildly obsessed with over-documenting it all on Instagram and her blog! In addition to managing The Sound of Hope, Ericka and her husband run a video & photography business called RJackson Media. In her “free time" (do moms have free time?!) Ericka enjoys gardening, decorating, and DIY projects. She also loves singing, dancing, and acting – and was cast in her very first musical theatre role last year. She firmly believes that you’re never too old to try something new!