Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal

Travel journals are a fun and creative way to remember your most meaningful travels. While I record my favorite tips, tricks, and locations here at A Friend Afar, I knew I wanted to start a handwritten journal to record how these destinations make me feel. Starting a travel journal was something I thought about for a long time before I started writing because I was worried that I would start one and then quickly give it up or forget to write in it. I did a lot of searching through Pinterest for inspiration, and I was honest with myself about what would work for me and what would not work. Below are my favorite tips for starting a travel journal and keeping up with it as you seek out more adventures.

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com

Keep it simple! – When I studied abroad 10 years ago (yikes!), I was great at keeping a daily travel journal of my adventures. That’s not the case anymore, so I’ve learned to set realistic goals. I’ve been able to keep up with my travel journal over the past year by keeping it simple. For each trip I take, I write out my itinerary and fill it in with a few daily highlights and favorite memories. When an experience really stands out, I take the time to write a paragraph or so about the impression it made on me. Consider including your packing list, a vocabulary list, your goals for the trip, or fun descriptions of your travel partners. A quick intro to how you decided to travel to a particular location can set the stage for the rest of your entries.

By keeping it quick and simple, I’ve created a routine that I can stick to, and I look forward to writing a little bit each day, either on a train or plane or in my hotel at night.

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com [Source]

You don’t have to be an artist to have a beautiful journal! – I am not an artist. Sometimes I do a few fun little sketches in my journal, but my journal is mostly decorated with little paper bits that I pick up along the way. It’s faster. It’s easier. I can’t mess it up, and I don’t have to wonder if it’s good enough.

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com

I keep track of which countries I’ve been to by coloring in a map that I traced for each continent.

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com

Top Souvenirs to Include in Your Journal

  • Postcards
  • Plane and Train tickets
  • Luggage Tags
  • City Maps
  • Tickets to Museums and Sites
  • Polaroid Photos
  • Candy and Food Wrappers

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com[Source]

Buy supplies you love! – Just like how a new pair of running shoes can (maybe) encourage you to exercise more, a beautiful new travel journal is begging to be filled out. Here are our favorite supplies:

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com

Look online for inspiration! – There are some beautiful examples out there of travel journals. The following photos give us new ideas for how to display our keepsakes and record our memories. We’ve started keeping track of them on our new Travel Journal Pinterest Board. Be sure to follow these great journalers on Instagram! (Links below.)

 

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com[Source]

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com[Source]

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com[Source]

Do you keep a travel journal? How do you record your travels? Share your ideas and tips with us in the comments below.

Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal - www.AFriendAfar.com

[Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means we receive compensation if you make a purchase using those links. None of the items on this list were sponsored, and all of the opinions are our own.]

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Meagan grew up in the North Georgia Mountains and spent her first trip abroad in Italy. She’s been traveling all over the world ever since, learning Spanish, Japanese, and Thai. She travels for the food, the culture, and the history.

5 thoughts on “Our Favorite Tips for Keeping a Travel Journal

  1. Therie says:

    Traveler’s Notebook is really popular among journal fans. They have a whole range of stationery perfect for travel journals. As for washi tapes, MT Tapes are the best!

  2. Kate says:

    A question: do you fill or write into your travel journal during or after your journey? If during, do you take all the stuff (washi tapes….) with you?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Meagan Martz at A Friend Afar says:

      Hi Kate!
      Great question! I try to write while I’m traveling, but sometimes a few things get filled in when I get home. I’ve been keeping a small glue stick with me, some colored pens, and some washi tape. I took a hotel room key that I accidentally forgot to return, and I wrapped a few feet of washi around it so it’ll lay flat in my journal. It’s easier than taking a whole roll. I recently bought a few sheets of small double-sided tape squares, which are a great alternative to the glue stick, so I’ll be taking them next time.

  3. Wendy Ranta says:

    I like to fill in my journal at the end of a great travel day. But in order to remember what I did, I send texts to myself (we always have our phones on us) I might just say…”starting mileage 9876, breakfast at Mel’s cost $9.00 (I like to track my expenses) got to the park at 10am, checked in for our historical tour of Gettysburg” my photos help with time line too, and I use my mini printer for pictures. I have been known to send 4-5 text a day ending with the final mileage. When I sit down by the pool that night it all ties together easily.

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