I have a thing for travel, and I have a thing for maps (and globes too!) so being able to combine the two, in a fun scratch-off map seemed like a great idea to me. I knew my son would enjoy scratching the places we'd been (some of you may remember he had a fill-in map last year when we took our road trip south to north and back again). He still has it, and intends to bring it along on our next road trip, but now we also have this large, full-sized map from Newverest to hang on a wall in our home. It reminds us daily of how wonderful it is to plan and take an adventure, and we look forward to seeing it change colors as we are able to visit more and more places. You can see my son has two maps in his hands...
One is for the USA; that is the one we are keeping (choose either a light or dark background).
The other is a scratch-off world map (and there are even more selections than these available on the Newverest website, including a really cute version for kids!). I gave the scratch map of the world to a friend of mine who also happens to enjoy travel. She has so many amazing travel pictures on the walls in her office, of places she has been all around the world. I figured this would fit right in, and she'd be excited to have it, and I was correct.
This is what was enclosed in the handy carrying/mailing/storing tube for the map we kept: (4) round two-sided sticky pads to hold the map in place on the wall (if you are hanging it up to display), a metal scratcher (that looks like a guitar pick), a soft cloth for gently wiping away the debris left from the scratching activity, and a little storage bag to keep all of those little things neatly stored and handy.
The Trek Sketcher USA Map we selected starts out silver and white, with a dark background. You can see the states are outlined in white, and the capitol of each is identified. The scratcher (that really does look like a guitar pick) is seen here as well (pointing at Alabama). This is what our map looked like before we started to scratch off places we have visited.
As you start to scratch, you see color is revealed. This is how you can easily identify where it is you have been, and where it is you still need to go. The lint-free, soft cloth is then used to gently wipe away the remnants from what was scratched away. I recommend using this cloth so you don't accidentally reveal any color away from an area you don't intend to scratch quite yet. The whole process was rather simple to do, and it was satisfying in both a tactile and visual sense.
There is also a section at the bottom of the map, where you can scratch off the state flag for each state you have been lucky enough to see. I love this feature, and don't know about you, but we always take a picture of the flags if we see them, any place that we go. They are such an important symbol of ones' culture, and even as a child, before I ever left my home state, flags were mesmerizing to me. I remember pouring over my huge world atlas as a young girl, trying to memorize flags of different states and countries.
Here you can see up close, what the squares look like when you start to scratch. We have been to these 5 states that you see here, so we scratched off the silver covering the flags. I left a little silver on the top of Alabama's flag, so you could see the process. I also included the Map Legend on the far left, bottom corner. This is where you can see what the new lines and marks mean, that are revealed as you remove the silver coating from the states. There is also a goal sheet to fill out if you'd like. We haven't done that because we would like to visit all of the states before my son graduates college (he is in his first year of middle school this year). It is a hefty goal, but one I think we can accomplish if we plan very carefully. We are going to fill it in, with that goal noted, we just haven't done it quite yet.
Here is what the colors look like as they start to be revealed. There is a very slight bump at the end of each state outline, so you don't accidentally color into another area. We have visited quite a few of the states around our own, so it was easy to scratch these areas. It was exciting to see such a large portion of our goal being shown as already accomplished. It was like having a giant check list and then being able to go right down it with a check; check; check. ✅
The dilemma for us was whether or not to scratch the two states I have been in, that my son has not (Nevada and New York). We decided to go ahead and scratch them, and then when we visit neighboring states, we will swing by (again for me, and for the first time for my son) to see them. NYC is a place that has been on little man's (not so little...man these days) bucket list for a couple of years, so we would like to plan a trip there soon. Nevada, will have to wait, it's a little too far west for us at the moment, but we'll get there. I'd love to visit another part of the state, away from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, so I'm guessing that is what we will do. There are so many possibilities too, that sound feasible... way too many to document here, which is of course, half of the fun. Planning the trip, or rather anticipating the trip you are planning is always part of the excitement.
I highly recommend Newverest maps to anyone who loves to travel, teaches about it, or could otherwise use it, or enjoy, a map of the USA or the world!
Of course, there's an app for the maps too (everything has an app) and you can scan it if you want to be signed up for discounts, product tips and more.