Starting Your First Travel Journal
What is a travel journal?
A travel journal is a place where you can write about trips you have taken, what you learned and the experiences you had. It serves a collection of adventures, stories, memories and discovery. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or who you’re traveling with, a trip journal is the best way to preserve your memories.
Types of Travel Journals
There are many options when deciding the format of your travel journal. Pick the one (or mix of ones) that best suits your needs!
Travel Themed Art Journal:
Travel is a great way to inspire and influence your artwork. You can sketch the places you go, art that you see in museums you visit. Sketching people you meet or observe are also great drawings to include. I also love to add souvenirs to my travel journals, so I use them to make collages. Snippets from local newspapers, bus tickets, brochures and more make great additions to any trip-themed collage.
Travel Themed Scrapbook:
Another option is a travel themed scrapbook. Scrapbooks are more layout focused. You can include everything from souvenirs, drawings, photos and journaling. Your options are endless.
Additionally, a travel diary is a great way to catalog all the funny trip incidentals, emotions, discoveries and inside jokes. I find that on every trip I take I end up finding some small inside joke with my travel buddy that just makes me laugh – writing that down in my travel diary ensures that I remember the little things that make each trip special.
Online Travel Diary:
Finally, an online travel journal lends the benefit of portability. All you need is an app or Wifi connection. Personally, I love paper crafts and physically creating my journals and albums, but many people like the practicality of an app or website based diary. If that is more your speed I would suggest Travel Diaries. With that app you are able to make your route, add photos and journal all in one easy to use location.
Your travel journal can also be a mix of any of these. The most important thing is that it reflect your personality and experiences on the trip!
Why keep a travel journal?
People keep travel journals for various reasons, but mostly it is to preserve your precious memories. By starting your journal while still on your trip, you will be able to better log the small incidents and tidbits you learn and experience while travelling. Additionally, your travel diary can also serve as a way to reflect on your experience, much as a regular diary would.
What to write about? Ideas to Inspire:
1. Plan out your trip.
How long are you going for? What do you plan to do? You can write multiple travel guides for a single trip as you are planning out your adventure. Often that is one of the best ways to solidify how you’ll want to spend your time and where you want to go. To make these pages more dynamic, add drawings, stickers and photos.
2. Who did you meet?
Did you meet any locals? What interactions from the trip stand out? Did someone give bad directions, getting you lost and leading you to discover a great hidden gem? Did you make any new friends? Experiencing different cultures is one of the biggest gifts of travelling. Write about how the people you encountered on the trip changed the way you think, or made the trip one to remember.
4. Add pictures to your journal
A picture is worth a thousand words. Use them to illustrate your travels. The mix of journaling and a mini photo album will memorialize your trip like no other. You can just glue to the photos in (with archival tape) or even use washi tape to add a pop of color and fun.
5. Write during your trip
It is always easier to remember things when they are fresh in your brain, so try and write as much as you can while traveling; every day if you can. For practicality’s sake it is best to have a somewhat portable journal. The entries don’t have to be long, but try to include the key details and events of the day. You can always elaborate and make things prettier later on. How did you feel that day? Where did you go? Did anything surprise you? Jotting down notes from the day before you go to bed will help you remember more from you trip, as well as help you grow spiritually from your travels.
6. Add Souvenirs
What else should you add to your travel diary? From napkins, to business cards, to plane and train tickets, souvenirs add dimension and variety to your travel journal. Pick a few from places you love to highlight your telling of the day.
I love adding pockets to my travel journals. They are a great place to store tickets, brochures and other souvenirs. Plus – they make my journal more interactive which I love!
What else do you add to your travel journal? Comment below to let me know!