A great way to remember everything you’ve done on your vacations is to keep a travel journal for every trip that you go on. You can add things like memories, mementos, and souvenirs into it that you can look back on and also share with others.
Here’s how to create a travel journal for your next trip.
Start with the Planning Phase
The journal should begin the moment you start planning your trip. You can use the journal to plan by writing the things you need to do and then checking off what you completed for the trip. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish on the trip. What do you want to experience, what do you want to learn, and when will you do each activity?
Write Daily During Your Trip
Once you’re on the trip, don’t miss out on writing on any day. Try to find time to write in your journal when the experience is vivid in your mind. You might want to consider taking a recording device with you so you can record your initial thoughts while you’re doing it.
Add Physical Mementos to the Journal
Don’t just add text to your journal – also add color, images, and mementos. For example, save your tickets, a napkin from a restaurant, or other little things you touched during your trip. You don’t even have to buy anything extra to do this part.
Write About The Good And The Bad
You don’t want to look back on the trip and see that it is not written realistically. It’s perfectly okay to talk about what was good and bad about the trip. When you do that, you can plan differently next time. Maybe you learned that you need new more comfortable shoes if you’re going to walk that much, or you didn’t enjoy staying in a hostel. Whatever you loved or didn’t enjoy, it is a good idea to write it all down.
Write About What You’d Do Differently Next Time
If you ever go back to that travel destination, what would you do now that you’ve done it once? Would you change what you chose to do to something else?
Include The Things That Disappointed & Thrilled You
Talk about the things that were disappointments. Were the people nice or rude? Did the train smell like excrement? That might seem like a strange thing to write, but it will help you remember even more. Also, did something unexpected happen that thrilled you and excited you?
Share What You Learned From Each Day
Add some facts that you are learning about your destination, the people you met, the people you traveled with, and yourself. For example, did you learn that you love people-watching when you didn’t know you did? Did you discover a historical fact previously unknown?
Include Photographs That You Took During Your Travels
Rather than just writing about the highlights and low points of your travels, include some photographs as visual memories. One way to do this is by including some photos for every day of your trip.
When It Is Over, Finish By Writing a Last Reflective Entry
After the trip is over, take the time to write one last entry where you reflect again on everything you learned about the trip. Think about what it was like, what you learned, what surprised you, and so forth. Name the thing you’d do again and the thing you’d not do again, plus something you’d do next time.
A travel journal will improve your memory of the event. You’ll retain more information and – believe it or not – it will help you make the next trip even better. Use these tips if you want to get the most out of your travel journaling now and in the future.
Gemma Lawrence is the creator of This Brits Life. Born and raised in England, she has been living in British Columbia, Canada as a permanent resident since 2016. A solo traveler for the past 9 years, she hopes to inspire and help others to enjoy solo adventures too. As someone who has always struggled with her self-confidence and mental health, she also shares tips and inspirational stories relating to self-love, self-care, and mental health.