The Chatbooks App: The Best Photo Book App for RV Vacations

The Chatbooks App: The Best Photo Book App for RV Vacations

The Chatbooks App is my new, favorite obsession.

RV travelers are really good at taking pictures of their trips, right? Most of us have Instagram and Facebook accounts stuffed with photos of campsites, activities, and food from our travels.

But printing out those photos for memory books or framing? Yeah, that’s another story.

On our recent Winterization Blues podcast episode, we recommended tackling a picture project to get through the cold, winter, non-camping months. Well, we practice what we preach, and in early January I went in search of a new way to print out our huge collection of RV trip photos.

I have tried a lot of things in the past, but nothing really clicked. Years ago, I made picture book collections on Shutterfly and Snapfish. However, the clunky platforms soon lost their appeal, and I was annoyed with the long upload times and very high prices.

Then we started buying those cheap little photo wallets and printing out pictures for the boys of individual trips. This was a great keepsake for them, but my aesthetic sensibilities were definitely not satisfied.

Enter the Chatbooks App.


I’m going to be honest: I liked the commercial. If you haven’t watched this hilarious ad of a mom explaining why she doesn’t have time to make photo books, you are missing out…

So I downloaded the app, and gave it a try.

I’m in love.

It’s simple, convenient, and completely synched with the way we take and store our photos on Instagram, Facebook, and the camera phone. I can easily switch between my personal Instagram account and our RV Family Travel Atlas Instagram account. In fact, I think I included pictures from 5 different apps and accounts in my last book.

One of the greatest features is that you can search by hashtag, so if we had tagged all our Disney photos #rvftadisney2017, I could have easily pulled up only those pictures to include. As it was, I wasn’t that smart. But next time I will be…

There are options for including the date, likes, and captions. You can also write your own captions if you choose. I was pretty attracted to the clean look of having no words, but I might try out captions in the future.

You can also choose the cover photo and title your Chatbook anything you please.

There are two options for buying Chatbooks: Photo Book Series or Custom Books. Because I was looking to make books about certain trips, I have only done Custom Books. These start at $15 for 30-60 pictures and then $1 extra for every 6 photos after that.

The Photo Book Series works differently. These cost $10 and include free shipping. You can set up the app to add your Instagram or Facebook posts automatically to a Chatbook. Once you hit 60 photos, Chatbooks will send you an email letting you know it’s time to edit your book.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have found an app that really works for the way we travel and capture our memories. I am now going back to previous trips in 2016 like Charleston and Myrtle Beach and making those books. It doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. I can just sit on my couch at night with my phone, tapping pictures, and end up with a really lovely little book.

A bonus is that the boys love the Chatbooks. They show them to all their friends, and often I find them just sitting in the living room quietly flipping through one. And I think, if Chatbooks can keep them quiet for just a few minutes…sign me up.

I’m going to be using this app to create great memory books of all our future RV travels.

See you at the campground,




  1. Olivia

    This blog post was the kick in the pants I finally needed to try Chatbooks! I love their ads too. Just made my first custom book using your code. It’s a look back at the first two years of my daughter’s life and it should arrive just in time for her second birthday. I’m so excited! Thanks so much, Stephanie!

    • RVFamilyTravelAtlas

      I hope you love it as much as I do. I really felt like a weight had been lifted off, because I always want to get photo books printed and always put it off. I know with this app I will just be able to do it right after a trip!!!


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