Do you keep a travel journal? This is something I’ve gotten pretty good about this year. It started as something I did for the blog. I kept a notebook with all of my notes from every trip which makes it so much easier to remember everything once the trip is over. But as time has passed I find myself constantly looking at and referencing the journal to remember those little notes: what I ate, what I packed, etc. etc.
It’s nice having a digital record here on the blog, but it’s also really nice to sit down and write every night when you’re traveling. It’s a nice little ritual but it’s also really practical. I am also so grateful that I have been doing this for so long as I can look back at old blog posts, send recommendations to friends, and look back on the memories from my trip. I was thinking about this lately, and think everyone (blogger or not) should document their trips. It’s fun and (HA – if you are getting old like me) makes it easier to remember all the places you went, meals you ate, things you did, etc etc later on.
I suggest treating yourself to a beautiful new notebook as your travel journal (if you’re feeling flush maybe something like this, if not maybe this or this!) or and maybe a new pen too. Mark this notebook as something you will use ONLY for travel so that it can be special and a part of a little ritual when you are away.
Why You Should Document Your Travels
An easy way to remember everything you did.
When you keep a travel journal, you immediately have a record of everywhere you went and everything you did. If you go back to that spot, it will be easy to remember everything.
You can transcribe it later and send to friends.
This is the most helpful when friends are travel planning. Personally, I love it whenever I am visiting a new city and a friend who has been there will fire off a google doc with everything he/she did. I have a few well-traveled, Type-A friends who do this and I love this idea. I take my travel journal and put it onto my blog after my trip; but if you aren’t a blogger, put it into a google doc that you can share with friends after your trip. When you keep a travel journal you can digitally transcribe it later and have a google doc (or a blog/website if you have one) that you can send to friends when they need a travel rec.
When I travel it’s so nice to sit down at the end of the day and just write. It’s relaxing and just feels good putting pen to paper. The perfect way to end a nice day of vacation.
Travel Journal Ideas
There are so many ways to create a travel journal. To me, the best way to do it is to write, pen on paper. I am old school though. Something about writing on paper feels more relaxing/like I’m on vacation, whereas typing it into my blog on the spot (or a google doc) feels like work. So I like to write on paper while I’m traveling and then transfer it to my blog when I’m back.
The classic way to do it.
Like I said, pen on paper is my personal favorite (for while I’m traveling). Since I’m on a computer so much for work, getting offline is an indulgence and when I’m on vacation I try to stay away from my computer except for when I’m really working. I always have to work a little when I travel as it’s just me, so writing in a notebook feels fun and special as opposed to typing on a computer. Is that weird? At the end of every day, I like to sit with my notebook (and preferably a glass of wine or a cocktail) and write down everything I did. Take note of at least one special moment per day, write down who you are traveling with, how you got there, what restaurants you ate at, what you saw, and so on and so forth.
The other classic way.
If you’re more of a visual person than a words person, consider buying a classic polaroid camera and taking photos of your trip along the way. When you get back from your trip you can make a scrapbook or a mood board with those photos.
Keep a google doc for each city you’ve visited.
This is my favorite way to do it as google docs are so easy to update and share. As I said before, it’s so helpful for any friends who are travel planning. No need to struggle to remember what you did and where you went. Just fire off that google doc!
Create a private blog.
You don’t have to be a “blogger” to have a blog… you can set it up and then just keep it private. This is a little more elaborate as that way you can upload all of your photos, etc. and go into more depth with everything you did. As a blogger, I personally love this idea and if I didn’t blog for work I would totally do this.
Actually, I did do this about ten years ago when I was unemployed and went to Greece for two weeks. I set up a little website and made a post every day so that my friends and family could follow along on my adventures. Having it private made it low stress and fun and it was a great way to document my travel memories and everything I did.
Make a video out of all of your Instagram stories or phone videos.
This sounds a little intimidating but it’s actually not very hard. At the end of every day, just download all of your instagram stories. When you get back from your trip, upload them into iMovie and make a compilation video. It might take a little while to figure out iMovie but I promise, it’s super easy (and actually how I make all of the travel vlogs on my own Youtube Channel). You can add transitions, captions, and even set it to background music!
If you keep a travel journal I’d love to hear about it (along with any travel planning/travel journal tips!)