How to Keep a Travel Journal as Amazing as Your Trip
It's the season of travel, and there's no better way to make sure your trip lasts longer than the first drink of vacation than keeping a travel journal.
Even if you feel that you trip was more a vacation than a journey, the act of documenting your visit with more than the bajillion out of focus selfies on your phone will be a wonderful way of revisiting your journey.
In the good old days, people used to host parties after they got back from a trip where they would set up a screen, get out the projector and start up the old slide machine. One image at a time, in grainy, shadowy color, the story of their trip would unfold.
Doesn't matter if your summer journey was just around the corner or to another corner of the world - these are your memories and you want to treat them right.Magical or boring? I'll leave that one to your memories. But the act of creating a travel journal, something to be enjoyed solo, can solidify the memories of the trip far longer than scrolling through the photostream on your phone.
Creating a multi-media journal of your travels will leave you with a keepsake you can savor year after year.
Even if you've already had your trip, you can still create a travel journal - start now before the memory of why you were really smiling in that picture in front of the stained-glass window is lost to the passage of time.
And don't forget - a travel journal can be started before your trip. Planning the journey is half the fun.
On a practical note, I like to use a small, soft cover notebook that's easy to fit into a purse or travel bag, while I'm traveling. Preferably with a little pocket in the back to stuff it with keepsakes. Then, once I'm home, I print out pictures, tear out pages from my journey journal and paste it into a bigger book. A lot of times, I use a fancy 3-ring binder as my "permanent" journal.
Below are some ideas on how you can document your own journey for your travel journey.
Hand Drawn Maps & Sketches
If your travel adventures take you to foreign countries or regions, consider using a travel journal as a way of creating your own color-coded map of the area. You can sketch a basic outline of the city or region and place familiar landmarks you've visited, city streets you've walked, or other useful information on the sketch to help you to navigate the city. You can even use colored markers or pencils to color in specific areas of the city to coincide with specific emotions, events, or tourist attractions.
Sometimes, a vacation can turn into more of a journey with many different stops, flights, and overnight stays. If you happen to find yourself booking flights and hotels for multiple locations, it might benefit you to turn your travel journal into an organizational planner to keep you on track. You can lay out your flight details including departure gates, list out your hotel names and addresses, gather the names and phone numbers of local taxicab companies, and even make a list of things you'll need on your flight as a reminder to yourself.
Scout out cafes, destinations, shops, etc.
Trips and vacations can often consist of many different plans to complete, places to visit, and deadlines to which you must adhere. Should you find yourself traveling with a long list of things to do, try using your travel journal to keep track of your plans and destinations. Make a list of the restaurants, coffee shops, and local stores you'd like to visit while you're in a particular area. You can also keep track of all the tourist destinations you want to see along with their hours of operation, admission cost, and address for easy navigation and planning.
Track Your Packing List
Before you set out on your grand adventure, it is crucial that you pack all the items you'll need for the journey. This can be a challenging task since you're likely to forget an essential item or two while packing. To prevent yourself from neglecting to pack important items, use your travel journal to create a packing list. You can separate the items into categories such as clothes, toiletries, electronics, etc. and color code each category.
Keep a daily log
On your journey, keep an entry for every day. Right out what you did, where you went, what you enjoyed, even if it was the mid-afternoon stop for coffee and a charming cafe, or a moment of peace and quiet on a bench. You can then print out pictures from your phone or camera and line them up with your daily log.
Create A Souvenir Travel Book
Finally, make sure you collect stuff! It's only human nature to want to bring home souvenirs of your adventures to keep with you as tokens of those wonderful memories. If you've begun to collection delicate or small souvenirs such as tickets, pamphlets, or other small items from your travels, consider consolidating them into a travel-themed scrapbook. You can add borders to the pictures, write descriptions to explain the souvenirs, and even draw or sketch on the pages to add personality and beauty.
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