Have you ever gotten back from a trip and felt like it flew by? You spent months planning and looking forward to it, then you finally reached your destination, and all the views and excursions and meals and lodgings blurred together?
A travel journal can immerse you in your destination, help you absorb all the experiences, and give you a memento to look back and remember your journey. Here are five travel journal ideas to inspire you:
The Classic Memoir
This is your standard travel journaling style: A daily log of experiences, observations, tastes, sounds, and ideas. Try to write periodically throughout the day or every night before bed while events are still fresh in your mind. It’ll make the writing more vivid.
You can enrich the process by focusing on funny, eye-opening, powerful, frustrating, captivating moments—rather than simply listing the places you visited. What are the stories that you’ll want to share with friends years from now? What did you learn?
One important tip: Don’t be shy. A travel journal is for you—it’s to record your experiences and memories. It doesn’t need to be shared with anyone else, so don’t put pressure on yourself to write an award-winning travel memoir. As William Wordsworth said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
Creating a scrapbook is a great way to keep the items that shaped your trip. You can include maps—with your route or lodging or favorite sites highlighted. You can keep tickets, boarding passes, coasters, wine labels, restaurant bills, newspapers, magazine snippets, brochures, menus, postcards—even pressed flowers!
Try starting your journal in the weeks leading up to the trip. Write down sites and restaurants that you’d like to visit. Create a checklist of activities—maybe with a bit of history or background info from your research—then fill in the pages once you’ve experienced them firsthand.
A fun way to remember the highlights of your trip is to keep a “best of” list. You can track Best Meal, Best Site, Best Shop, Best Espresso, etc. for every day or every city that you visit. Have fun and get creative with it! Think Best Bottle of Wine, Best Road Sign, Best Souvenir, Best Language Mix-Up, Best Street Artist.
The Cast of Characters
Keep a journal of all your favorite people that you meet along the way. It can be anyone! A hotel concierge, a tour guide, a server, a cab driver, another traveler. Write their name and a short story about how you met and why they were memorable. Include pieces of dialogue. You can even write down their contact info to stay in touch.
Perfect for art lovers. Flex your creative muscle by drawing your favorite views, landmarks, and characters. Again, no pressure to create a masterpiece—just draw it how you see it! Even if you snap lots of photos, taking the time to draw allows you to reflect and really absorb the subject.
The Photo Book
This is actually pretty easy to do, and you’ll already be going through your amazing photos once you return home. Check out sights like Mixbook, Shutterfly, and Snapfish to create and order amazing and hardcover-bound books of your travels! You can also go online or visit your local Costco, Walmart, or Target to print books. Most of these sights even have a travel-photo book section with ready-made and easy to use templates! Plus, since they’re hardbound, they’re a great way to create a lasting tribute to all your travels.
What’s your Travel Journal style?