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July 26, 2016

Why Smart Travelers Keep a Travel Journal

Keeping a travel journal is one of the smartest things any traveler can do, especially if you’re on a longer trip. We always think we’ll remember everything perfectly, but that’s rarely the case. It’s those delicious little details that make up the whole experience that are the things you want to keep safe to savor weeks, months and years into the future.

When I was a young girl in high school, I went on a month long tour for college credit and was required to keep a travel journal. Back then, I naively thought that it was a waste of my time, but looking back many years later I am very grateful to have a book full of memories. If it wasn’t for my journal, all of my activities, locations, and impressions of that wonderful experience would be a giant blur. 

Tips for keeping a great travel journal: 

  • Decide if the journal is for just you to read or will you share it with others? 
    • If you’re going to share your stories with others, passing around your journal to family members or friends on the trip will give your journal an interesting twist since everyone has their own unique perspective.
  • Keep all your tickets, labels, receipts, etc. 
    •  Make sure you keep them together with the day they refer to. 
    • Date every memory and keep a copy of your itinerary if possible. 
  • Remember there is no right or wrong thing to write. 
    • Whatever makes an impression on you is fodder for your journal. 
    •  Write about whatever catches your attention and what you’ll want to remember years from now. 
  • Write using all your senses; sounds, smells, taste, touch and see. 
    • Draw out some sketches to really paint the picture too! You don’t need to be an artist for this one. As long as you understand your drawing, that’s all that matters. 
  • The journal doesn’t have to just be about your day. You can keep lists and notes too!  
    • For example, you can have contact lists of all the new people you have encountered, a “best of” list, a list of foods you want to try and cook at home and some travel tips. 

Don’t be afraid to really make the journal your own and to enjoy your time writing it. This is what’s going to keep your experience fresh in your mind for years to come. Plus, you’ll be able to tell your travel stories with 100% accuracy because you were smart and you wrote it all down!

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