If you have ever thought of tracking your travels, world scratch maps are the perfect tool for reliving your memories — one of those timeless travel gifts, that never goes out of style.
As an avid traveller myself, I love to record my solo adventures by writing and taking photos but never came to the idea of using a scratch map. It’s only a week ago that I start diving into this fun and engaging way of scratching the world off and learning about all those curious geographical facts that I didn’t know.
And it was a fascinating experience.
Reasons for buying scratch-off maps
Why buy a scratchable map in the first place?
Well, as kids we have all learned the magic and joy of playing with an illuminated globe. Spin it and let your imagination lead you on a virtual journey until we get itchy feet to see the world by ourselves and turn visualisation into reality. A world map somehow meets reality and imagination half-way. It helps our memories stay longer with us, interact with them and spark our imagination to learn more about the Earth’s secret landmarks.
Scratching off the foil of the places you have visited creates that deep reconnection with our travel memories, an experience, a situation and people we have met by bringing a close-up perspective on a beautifully designed world map.
The London of Luckies Scratch Map Deluxe Edition
When I received a set of maps by Luckies of London, I was stunned. They all came perfectly packaged within the tubular cardboard boxes and inside them, the stylishly illustrated tubes. The Deluxe edition is a larger version of the original scratch map, which has a white background, and besides the standard features, it has many more details and islands.
Moreover, the matte black background with the golden overlay foil makes it to an elegant map, that makes it stand out on any wall. You can frame it, or you can hang it in many ways. For attaching it on the wall, I used double-sided foam self-adhesive stickers.
I was blown away by these high-quality scratch maps. They are real cartographic artworks, very detailed and with many educational facts. Furthermore, there is a wide range of products that you can get from world maps to country maps: for instance a detailed map of the US with iconic landmarks and buildings, as well as a map of Europe, to smaller travel maps and travelogues.
My Experience scratching off the Luckies map
I start scratching it on the table and then decided to hang the globe onto a wall. It looks more like a beautiful poster, and I kept working on it a little bit every day. After a week I know now two things:
- I have the feeling I have seen –almost– nothing of the world. 🙂
- I know –little– of geography! 😀
The first thing that came to mind, when I stretched out the cylindrical rolled Deluxe world map was to use a small coin. This is the most obvious thing, but it may not always be the best way. So I became more creative and used another scratch tool, made out of an old knife with a rounded edge. It is important not to use spiky tools that may damage the map. A magnifying glass is also handy to zoom into the smallest details and the countries contours.
I started scratching off the Europe Map, then the Australian Map, and more countries in South East Asia with the smaller islands. Here is the outcome of my experience.
What I like about the Luckies of London Deluxe Map
- The gold foil is smooth to scratch. Either one cent, one penny coin or a scratching tool like a knife with a rounded edge or a cuticle spatula work well.
- The country borders are marked with thin black lines. Scratching the boundaries is easy. However, this world map doesn’t allow to capture all the details of smaller islands.
- The matte background is soft and smooth to remove tidbits of foil. I used a clean eraser to remove the bits of golden foil, but a pencil eraser would do too.
- The colours underneath the gold foil are bright. And they create a gorgeous colour contrast on the matte black. For Europe the green is beautiful. For Australia, the aqua colour doesn’t stand out.
- The bottom of the map shows interesting geographic facts. Like the earth’s surface against land mass, all seven mountain summits with each continent’s highest peak. It displays the largest lakes in each continent compared to countries masses. I had fun with this and guessed 3 out of 6.
What I like less of the Luckies of London Scratch Map Deluxe
- Some of the small countries and islands are not visible; there are numbers assigned to some of them and displayed on a reference list. If you try to locate small islands in vast archipelagos, it will be difficult. While scratching the island of Madeira, it disappeared, and it was hard to find the island of Bali too.
- Only a few US cities are outlined in silver, and you could read the names underneath the gold foil. It would be good to have more city names drafted on the gold foil, maybe in another colour.
- The colour contrast for the US countries is not good. The colour of the states underneath the gold foil is orange, and it does not stand out to create a smashing contrast like for Europe and Asia.
- Some countries names are double printed. After scratching the gold foil and the black outlined names, underneath the foil, another black name outline appears again so this I think this isn’t necessary.
These are all minor issues that, I believe, can be easily fixed in the printing process.
The Scratch Map Travel Edition
The good news about the Luckies of London is that there are smaller editions of their scratch maps that you can pack into your luggage and enjoying scratching the gold foil as you go. This is on white card background, and it is double side printed, on the one hand, you can get creative and start drawing your flight itinerary and fill it in with all your details, plus there are some quirky fun facts about the world. On the main site is a miniature version of the sizeable scratchable map.
The Travelogue – The good old journal
For all people who are not fully digital-addicts, but love the idea of using those good old journals, that we all baby-boomers know. There is nothing that beats the joy of writing down your impressions and thoughts while holding a pen or pencil in your hand. I particularly like the hardcover of the board in natural beige colour. 8 mini scratches off maps in A5 format come with this Luckies of London journal too.
Conclusion about the Luckies Scratch Map Deluxe
In the beginning, it took me a bit of time to find the right tool for scratching the map. I would suggest trying a few and see what works better for you. The fact that there were no instructions on how to scratch the map may be on purpose. Use your ideas and creativity to personalise your travel map.
The Luckies of London scratch map is a high-quality product of excellent value for money. You can view the whole assortment also here on Scratch Map.
I think it is more than just a cool product to document where we have been on our travels. They also turn into a piece of beautiful art to hang on the wall at home or in the office. And a great gift to buy a travel enthusiast friend before setting off on a bold adventure.
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Disclaimer: I was asked to review the Luckies of London Maps, all opinions on this post are my own.