Journaling is a great way to record document your travels, but what makes for the perfect travel journal entry? Personally, I like to include quite a lot of details in my travel journal.
However, this can be quite time-consuming and tiring, so this style definitely won’t suit everyone. To make it easier, I like to jot down details that I’m likely to forget on my phone and then write it up later in the day. It’s so much more convenient to take notes on your phone as you go about your day, than having to lug your journal with you everywhere. I also try to write entries as close to the day as possible, to make it easier to recall the details.
Writing a journal entry a bit later can be a way of revisiting those holiday feelings and keeping the trip alive for a little longer
However, at the same time, reflective pieces weeks or months after the trip can be an alternative way to journal. These entries might be more focused on how the trip made you feel, what you learnt from them since your memory of these things is going to stick with you for longer, than the name of that street with the cool statue, for example. These entries might compare a holiday to a previous trip, either to the same place, or a different one. Writing a journal entry a bit later can be a way of revisiting those holiday feelings and keeping the trip alive for a little longer.
While I like to write a lot, it is sometimes nice to cut back on the writing. To break up it up, I might add some small doodles relating to what I’ve written or add some cute stickers to make it a more aesthetic journal. If you’re feeling particularly artsy, then you could try adding a sketch, whether it’s a sketch of the Eiffel Tower, or of a fancy dessert you tried out. Alternatively, washi tape is something that’s small enough to pack with you, and decorate a page with, or to stick things in – a quick way to add a little something to your journal.
Use your journal to make the next trip even better
I think the important thing to remember is that journaling shouldn’t be stressful, and it’s okay to miss out a day or too. Of course, it’s nice to have a perfect record of it all, but don’t feel bad if you only jot down a couple of things for one day or write none at all. If you don’t want to write too much, try bullet points, or a mind map, rather than trying to write in beautiful flowing prose.
If you’re a frequent traveller and plan to travel to the same place again in the future then it’s a good idea to record in your journal the names of restaurants that you’ve tried out and enjoyed, and maybe even the exact dish that you loved. On the flipside, write down the things you shouldn’t try again! You might also want to record the weather and see whether it was the best time of the year for that particular destination; use your journal to make the next trip even better. Journal entries can also be used to track spending on holiday and ensure you don’t overspend.
The perfect journal entry for me would be colourful, have all the main events recorded, plus some little anecdotes, and balanced with little doodles and mementos. There are lots of things you could stick into your journal entry, such as tickets, wrappers, receipt, and postcards. There’s something very satisfying when you flick through your travel journal and find physical pieces from your travels.
Keeping a travel journal can be a fun and therapeutic process when done in a way that suits you
Personally, I think the best journals to use are those that aren’t too big, so they don’t take up too much luggage space, but big enough to write comfortably on. I also like journals to have pockets, so you can slip bits and pieces in that you don’t want to glue in, or pieces you haven’t had a chance to stick down. Finally, a travel journal, like any journal or notepad, should have good quality pages so that the ink doesn’t bleed onto the next page.
All in all, keeping a travel journal can be a fun and therapeutic process when done in a way that suits you, and a lovely thing to look back at afterwards. It can be interesting to see how your travel experiences have changed, but also whether your writing style has changed. It’s also perfect for inspiring future travel trips, and if you’re a writer, it might provide inspiration for your writing too.