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The Essence of a Travel Journal

As often as I’ve traveled, I’ve yet to create a travel journal for any one of my trips. I think this was a huge missed opportunity on my part. I remembered most of my trip details arriving home, but as the years go by, those memories are fading.

A travel journal – plain or elaborate – can be picked up online or at any bookstore. It’s merely an otherwise simple lined book that only comes alive once we pen our ponderings and fill the pages up with our exciting exploits.

A travel journal is a place for us to log all the adventures, events, experiences and the unexpected surprises we will encounter while peregrinating alluring destinations. It’s an exciting addition that will enhance your vacation. Without this inked record, we are left with our memory and photos to recall the people we met, places we visited, things we did and other key details we eagerly want to remember.

Travel journaling is about writing daily entries that capture the emotion, mood, tone, and energy of the day. It’s also about engaging your five senses. Find a cozy street-side cafe, have a latte, and pen what you hear, smell, taste, and feel. Describe the people you meet, their food, and their culture. It’s fun and important to jot down these encounters and special moments as they happen. If you’re traveling abroad, then names can be tough to remember if they’re in a foreign language and unusual to spell, so write it down.

I’ve seen some really cool journals with various formats. Some have a plain page on one side for photos and a lined page on the other side for content. Some may also have a cover with inside pouches on the front and back. You could stuff these areas with keepsakes and mementos like train stubs, theater and ferry tickets, banknotes, tokens, receipts, postcards, feathers, leaves, flowers, ribbons, or other things that mean a lot to you from a specific location.

If you like to scribble or doodle — or if you have impressive drawing skills, then journal pages can also be used to sketch images of buildings or enchanting scenery that inspired you. These little things may seem trivial or mundane at the moment, but as the years go by, they will mean a whole lot more as you reminisce. You may also want to consider taking an expandable clear folder for these mementos, as they can pile up.

Once your vacation is over, you’ve got a permanent record of your adventures. These chronicles can be revisiting and shared year after year with your family and friends. If you feel inspired, compile your photos and keepsakes and make a scrapbook as a companion to your journal. They’re both unique ways to commemorate your trip.



  • That looks so sweet – I have never thought to keep a journal of my travels! It would be something nicer to look at than my few little souvenirs.


  • I’ve never done a travel journal, but this is a great idea! We just created a family travel bucket list and I’d love to create a travel journal to go along with it!

  • I’ve thought of writing in a journal for my limited travels…but haven’t done it yet. I regret that, so hopefully your article will inspire me for the next trip!

  • love it – do it and will always –started out years ago when we were afraid I would forget all the places we were taking pictures of (old film style camera)…kept it up and have many good memories because of it (Niece also gave me my first travel journal ) but I usually just use my own note books now!

  • Awesome, I used to have a little journal when I traveled as a kid with the family, it’s a great for everyone.

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