Bob Books travel photo book review and 2024 giveaway

Our Bob Books travel photo books collection

UPDATE: NEW GIVEAWAY for March-April 2024! We’ve teamed up with Bob Books to offer one lucky reader a £50 voucher towards their own travel photo book. Scroll down to enter – giveaway ends 8th April 2024! There’s a 20% discount code too if you can’t wait to get started.

Why we love creating our own travel photo books

Photographs. Tens of thousands of them. A number that will only increase as Hubbie insists on expanding his already rather substantial camera collection (one that always travels with us in its entirety). He never leaves any of his cameras at home…’just in case’. I realised this was becoming a bit of a problem when I had to cut down on the amount of clean underwear I took on our trip to Kenya, to allow for the extra weight of all those cameras.

Spare pants or photos. One of the few things we disagree about!

Predjama Castle, cave castle, Postojna, Slovenia
A guy can never have enough cameras up his sleeve

On our recent trip to Sri Lanka we took over 4800 photographs in just 6 days, whilst in Kenya we came home with over 3100. I’m not even going to start counting all the gigabytes of film that Hubbie took. When we first started travelling, back in the day when we thought living in flip flops and washing every other day was perfectly acceptable, we carried around our 35mm film cameras. Our bags would be bulging with precious bundles of spare films, and we would try to make every photograph count, knowing once we’d used up our stock, that would be that. There weren’t many places to buy new film rolls in the depths of the Guatemalan jungle or the remote valleys of Peru.

Today is a different story. Digital cameras have solved this problem, and with hundreds of gigabytes of memory at our disposal we can snap away quite happily for hours. Yet this enthusiastic photography comes with its own problems. Namely the vast quantity of images that end up sitting forgotten on hard drives and cloud storage. That never happened with film.

Mosque Hassan II Casablanca
We took 197 photos of this mosque in Casablanca (that would have been 6 rolls of 35mm film!)

One of exciting (and sometimes disappointing) aspects of 35mm film photography was getting the images developed, and finally seeing your travel snaps for the first time several weeks after returning home. It sort of prolonged that holiday feeling. Something to look forward to after you’d said goodbye to the sun and the sangria for another year.

I’ve always enjoyed surrounding myself with travel memories, and was never one to sling photographs into a desk drawer, to gather dust alongside that ancient pot of Tippex and a few perished elastic bands. I loved the ritual of selecting and arranging the pictures in an album, to be proudly displayed on our travel bookcase and promptly pulled out whenever an unsuspecting relative foolishly enquired about our holidays.

However this became completely impractical when we made the move to digital cameras. We took too many photos to have them all printed, and it was impossible to select just a few for a photo album. Plus by this time the albums were taking over our living room. And our loft. They were too big and bulky, and had started to look a little outdated. Yet I still wanted to display our images, and enjoy diving into an album now and then to remember the adventures we’ve had.

So I was thrilled when I discovered Bob Books several years ago.

About Bob Books

Bob Books is a unique online photo book design service that allows you to create personally customised photo books and printed products. It’s really easy to use, and you don’t require any design skills to be able to come up with something that looks sleek and professional. Phew! All you need is a computer, the Bob Books Designer software (which can be downloaded from their website – more on that below), and a pinch of creativity.

Just a few of our Bob Books photo albums

Bob Books photo books

The photo books come in several different formats, so if you’re creating a travel collection it’s a good idea to pick one style and stick to it. We always opt for the Portrait 21 x 28 cm because it fits nicely on our bookshelf and is easy to hold, but the books also come in larger sizes as well as landscape and even square.

Paper and finish options

Once you’ve chosen your style you need to decide what paper you prefer. We find the ‘classic’ is perfectly good for showing off photographs, although there are gloss, matt and photographic paper options too if you want something extra special. Then it’s on to the cover. For us, a hard cover is a no-brainer for a photo book, but if you need something a little more pliable, then paperback is available too.

Your final decision is whether to get a standard binding or a lay-flat binding. The latter is a great choice if you’re going for more of a coffee table style book or have large double-page images that would look best flat. We usually go for the standard binding, but find on the thicker books (when we’ve done a big trip with lots of photos) the double-page spreads don’t work as well.

To give you an idea of price, our portrait hardcover photo book starts at £32.99 for 26 pages. Extra pages can be added as required, at £2.50 for each additional 4 pages.

Travel photo book Bob Books review
The portrait books are great for looking good on your travel bookshelf

How to design your photo book with Bob Books

Once you’ve chosen your format, it’s time to get down to the fun part. The design. To start, you’ll need to download the Bob Designer Software, and then you’re good to go.

The first thing to do is select your design layout. You can used the pre-arranged layouts or create your own from scratch:

Choose your page layout

Then you need to find your photo folder using the handy panel on the left. You can then simply drag and drop your images onto the pages.

Upload your photos

If you want to change the design as you go, there are templates for arranging the images on each page under the Page Layouts tab, with options for different numbers of photos, high or low coverage, and jaunty angles. You can also add text if you wish. If you have an eye for design, the image boxes can be edited and dragged to create your own layout.

Don’t forget to choose a background (it can be different for each page if you like) if you haven’t opted for full page photo coverage. I tend to go for black, because it looks slick and professional, but if you like a bit of fun, there are themed backgrounds such as ‘nature’, ‘holidays’ and ‘flowers’. There is clipart available too if you want to add something extra to your design.

Bob books backgrounds
Add your background

Finally there are masks and frames to choose from if you want a particular image to stand out. I love the ‘countries’ mask, for obvious reasons.

Bob books overlays
Get creative with overlays

Don’t forget to put a title on the spine, and be aware that if you want the spine to be a particular colour, you need to add a background first (as a double page spread behind any images you might use). After you have done that you can add the text.

Once you are happy with your design, simply save it, add it to the basket, upload your creation and wait for it to arrive in the post. It’s as easy as that!

Our design suggestions

  • Try and keep your double pages symmetrical in layout, or have several images on one side with a single large one on the other. Like this…
Bob books design
Consider your layout
  • Throw in a few images that take up the entire double page spread to break up the pages crammed with lots of photos.
  • Mix things up a bit, and don’t have every page looking the same.
  • Clip art and funky frames are fun, but if you want a slick look, leave the frames alone and stick to a single colour background throughout.
Travel photo book Bob Books review
Mix things up by throwing in some full page images

Quality and Service

We’ve always been very happy with the service, and all our queries and problems have been responded to very quickly. We once received a book with a scratch on the front cover (that was South Africa 2009!), and when we contacted Bob Books they resolved the issue by sending us not one, but several copies to replace the damaged book.

Delivery usually takes 1-2 weeks in my experience, which isn’t bad considering each item is individually printed. The books come well packaged in thick cardboard with polystyrene corner protectors.

Tips

  • If you want to save a bit of money, sign up to the Bob Books newsletter and wait for their discount codes to arrive in your inbox, sometimes offering 20% off!
  • Bob Books have a Bookshop where you can share your creations with your friends and family, and even publish your books for others to purchase with a small mark up fee if you wish.
  • There are also calendars, photocards and wall art available. We designed our first calendar this year, and love how we’re reminded each month of a particular place we’ve visited. This month it’s snorkelling in Brazil.
Travel photo book Bob Books review
Our photo book from Kenya

The 2024 Giveaway – £50 Bob Books Voucher

We’ve partnered with Bob Books to offer you the chance to win a £50 voucher to put towards your own photo book. This giveaway is open to UK residents only (due to postage restrictions).

The giveaway starts on Monday 25th March 2024 and ends at midnight on Monday 8th April 2024.

Bob Books have also kindly offered our readers a 20% discount on purchases – just use the code CONVERSANT20 at checkout. This code is valid until 30/6/24.

How to enter

Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, completing as many of the options as you like.

Make sure you select your entries on the Rafflecopter widget to validate your entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The prize is provided by Bob Books, and is a £50 voucher valid for 1 year. The voucher is not valid in conjunction with any other offer. There will be one winner.

The prize is not refundable or exchangeable for cash, and no change will be given. This giveaway is open to entrants with a UK address. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and end at midnight on Monday 8th April 2024. The winner will be determined on or around the 8th April 2024 by a random drawing of eligible entries received. Your chances of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries. Winner must respond within a week of receiving the notification email, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Please check our Conversant Traveller Privacy Policy and also the Rafflecopter Privacy Policy for more information on how your data will be used and stored.


Bob Books kindly provided us with £50 towards our latest photo book for the purposes of this review, as well as a £50 voucher for the lucky winner of this giveaway. All opinions remain our own, and we only agree to review products that we’d be happy to pay for ourselves. We’ve been using Bob Books for a long time so our recommendation comes from years of personal experience.

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  1. says: Tania R

    I would do a book of our trip to Paris this year and add some pics of Paris six years ago. A place that means a lot to me and the family.

  2. says: Alison Macdonald

    OMG this prize is meant for me! My teenage son is currently travelling around Europe and is due to return home early May. I had planned to buy him a photo album as a welcome home gift so he can print all of his favourite photos to remember his amazing journey. This would be so more professional and a lovely keepsake. Fingers crossed

  3. says: Nadia

    I think I would probably make a photo book of the last few trips we’ve done so we can remember the best moments!

  4. says: Pat

    I have used Bob Books before and been very pleased with the photo books – I have lots more holiday snaps witing to be put into photo books.

  5. says: michelle o'neill

    No holidays planned yet as we are in the process of fostering our granddaughter, but lots of days out, so something from a special day out

  6. says: Wendy Lam-Vechi

    I am going to Egypt this weekend so it would be great to get some photos printed in this book as a keepsake. It’s our first holiday out of Europe as a family so it is a big deal for all of us. So excited and can’t wait to capture some happy memories

  7. says: Sarah Ward

    I have many family holidays I just don’t have physical pictures for! This would be perfect for my upcoming trip to Skiathos island in Greece, will remind me to take a lot of pictures to fill one of these books 🙂

  8. says: Ana

    Such a lovely idea. We were saying only last week that our photo albums take up too much room, these are a great alternative (and much more modern looking ha ha). We have Tanzania and Zanzibar coming up for our honeymoon (cant wait!!!) so it would be for that.

  9. says: Pat Jones

    Pictures of the children when they were younger ….or the granchildren ….or those wonderful trips to India, Mexico, Nepal, Canada etc. …..or my years as a Brownie leader …..or …the possibilities are endless!

  10. says: Claire Nutman

    Im having a little wedding next month, and its on a shoestring so i would be using it for my wedding, many thanks

  11. says: Rachael Dobson

    We’re doing Route 66 this summer, so this would be lovely to show off all our photos from the trip. Can’t wait.

  12. says: tracy collins

    Love this idea! And absolutely love those country masks!! What a great idea! I took my niece to Italy for her 21st and one of these books would be a great keepsake for her!

  13. says: Jodie Cook

    I would make one for all the photos I took while attending events during the London 2012 Olympics – got 12,000 to choose from!

  14. says: debbie melville

    I would use the voucher for pictures of our holiday to Las Vegas and San Francisco last year, we loved it! and would be amazing to see the happy memories in a book

  15. says: Isabel O

    My niece is 4 in July so I think I would make a photo book for my sister (her mummy) of the first 4 years of her life in pictures. 🙂