Is there anything like the excitement of booking a trip and travelling to a new destination?
No matter where you go, or for how long, your anticipation builds as the trip approaches. Writing your thoughts and feelings on paper is a great way to capture this excitement, so we thought we'd offer a few tips for how to write a travel journal.
What is a travel journal?
A travel journal is your place to write ideas and thoughts as you embark on a holiday or vacation. No matter how big or small your journey may be, keeping a journal is the perfect way to store the memorable moments from your travels. You can write about what you've seen, who you've met and how the travel experiences made you feel.
How to write a travel journal - 5 tips
It is important to spend time prior to your trip and think about precisely how to journal.
What do you want your travel diary to remind you of when you look back at it? Will you include only text, or will you add photos or drawings to the journal?
Answering these questions beforehand will provide you with a broad structure which will help when filling in your journal.
How you decide to journal is totally up to you - just as every trip varies from individual to individual, so every journal will be different too.
For example, if you're an accomplished artist, then sketching your experiences may provide you with more vivid memories than the written word. Alternatively, if you like to write poetry, then a daily poem encapsulating your thoughts is a great idea. There is no right or wrong - it is your trip and your journal, after all!
Whether you decide to write or illustrate, there are a few ways to ensure you get the best out of your journal.
1. Use your journal to plan your trip
As your trip approaches, the anticipation will build and you'll spend time researching where to go and what to do. Why not make a few notes at the start of your journal to help plan your trip? You can use these as inspiration throughout your trip, and you'll always have fresh ideas for things to do.
2. Write about what you imagine it will be like
Experiencing new places can create a wealth of emotions. Whether you're excited, anxious, or a mix of several different emotions, make a few notes in advance about what your expectations are and how you think it will make you feel. You can review these notes after your trip to see how accurate they were.
3. Write during your trip
This is probably the most important tip - without filling it in, your journal will remain a blank slate! Try to maintain a routine for your journaling. Whether you spend some time during breakfast making notes about the previous day, or a few moments winding down before bed, the important thing is to record your new experiences in your journal regularly so your memories and feelings are at the forefront of your mind.
4. Add pictures to your journal
A brilliant way to create spectacular memories in your journal is to include photographs, drawings or clippings (make sure you pack a glue stick!). Adding pictures into your journal can break up swathes of text and provide you with an immediate reminder of the things you saw on your trip.
5. Write about your trip after you leave
Once your trip is over, you'll have time to look back and think about it. What did you enjoy? What did you learn about yourself? Did you meet a new friend? What do you miss? Did you enjoy your travel writing? Spend time reading through your journal entries and reflect on the things you experienced, and what you want to do next time.
Struggling with ideas?
Writer's block is not an unusual phenomenon, and travel writing is no different. You may be looking for travel journal ideas or prompts to help you as you fill it in throughout your trip.
We've provided a few 'journal starters' to help you overcome those foggy days when you aren't sure what to write about.
- Why are you visiting this place?
- What are you going to do?
- What are your expectations?
- How do you feel now you have visited?
- What are the people like?
- What is the food like?
- Did the place meet your expectations?
- What did you learn from visiting?
- How did it make you feel?
Start a travel journal today
We hope this article has given you a few tips on how to write a travel journal - now all you need to do is start writing! If you're keen to begin but don't own that perfect journal yet, we believe our grand voyageur [pocket] range makes the ideal travel companion. Good luck with your journaling!