I do love to travel. I also love to plan, list and record what I get up to when I'm out and about, so I can get in touch with how I'm feeling in a particular place when doing a certain activity or talking to new people. I also love to keep travel journals to keep track of all my adventures. But what are the benefits of keeping a travel journal?
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A travel journal is a lovely tool to have, alongside photos that you capture, as it gives you a more in-depth view of how your emotions were at the time. Maybe you felt connected to the ocean or loved hiking, or to your surprise, you found that you loved a city break or just lying on the sand with a book!
Many people often use social media a bit like a travel Journal. They use it to capture the highs and lows of their experiences, which then helps them add to their social media and online presence, sometimes even managing to make money from their opinions from their travels. How cool are that?! Blogs, Instagram, Tik Tok. They say sharing is caring when it comes to fun travel adventures.
Or, if that's not your jam - keep one just for you.
What are the benefits of keeping a travel journal?
So many! A few quick ones that come to mind are:
- Remembering all the activities, you did when you were away
- The food you might have tried
- Places that you visited
- Things you tried but didn't like - so you know for next time!
- Things you didn't manage to do but would like to do next time you are away
- Emotions and feelings you experienced while you were there
- It grows your creativity; you might even influence yourself to do more creative activities when away!
Taking note of things like these - and others personal to you - can help you reflect on what you got up to. I forget what I got up to until I look through my photos. I get so 'into' the moment that my brain absorbs it and then promptly forgets! So for me, adding to a journal when I'm travelling helps me re-connect with my journeys, which I love. It's like reliving the best bits and learning from the not-so-best bits from the comfort of the sofa!
Could you turn your travel journals into a side hustle?
I already mentioned it quickly, but many people we see online have taken to sharing their travel experiences and get paid to do it - amazing, right?!
People do this by recording and jotting down their experiences when they are away; I know our minds are fantastic, but we all get busy, so having a dedicated journal to write things down in can help.
If you are thinking of making a travel blog, I am highly confident that you will be able to take your travel writing up a gear by referring back to your journal notes as you've basically already written it! Just a quick tidy up and you'll be ready to hit publish.
Don't be afraid to write about the negatives along with the positives. It will help future travellers know what you experienced and how this affected you, your trip, and your experience. It can also give that vendor a chance to improve, so everyone wins.
What kind of things should you write about in your travel journal?
You can record anything and everything that happens when you are travelling. Of course, you can't fully immerse yourself in activities when you constantly have a book and pen in your hand.
So, take some time to write the name and location and what you'll be doing before you go out. Then you can spend some time afterwards - in the evening, maybe - to write about your reflections and observations on what you got up to today.
It can be:
- Factual observations
- Prose - longer style of writing
- Poetry, if you are feeling inspired
- A stream of consciousness, if you are unsure what to start or how to write it
Write down what you are feeling and want to record. You might even forget bits of the day if it's been hectic, so it's also nice to be able to go back and add to a page when you remember more details!
Use your travel journal to plan your trips and adventures!
Now, I like to PLAN. I want to know, in minute detail, about my flights, transfers and start times of things I might be doing.
This might seem like a lot, but I like to know that I have enough time for everything and enough time to rest in between - I'm not as young as I once was. I need snack breaks!
A way that you can use your journal to plan your trips is to start by jotting out everything that you might want to do when you are in a particular place. Doing this can give you time to research the area, book activities and build your itinerary.
You can then take these booked trips and log them into your journal pages with dates. Or you could even make a holiday calendar page if you like! Again, this is about you and how you want to journal and record things. A ring binder journal is fantastic for this, as you can chop and change pages as much as you like when planning, which is super helpful.
Speaking of pages, maybe you would want to include some of the following:
- A calendar page
- Food and drinks
- Day trips
- Thoughts and feelings
- Impromptu things that happened
- Budget tracker
Of course, some of the best days happen when there are no plans at all, and you get to go with the flow, so don't feel that you must plan as much as others might 😀
Your travel journal reflects your experiences.
Like I say in all my articles, journaling is your experience, so you can't go wrong with what you write about or how you write it.
The only thing I would suggest is taking time to write in your journal each day, so you can keep on top of your experiences as they happen. Save 10 - 15 minutes of your day to reflect, and write down what you want to remember!
It doesn't matter whether you journal in the morning, afternoon, or evening - with wine or a cup of tea, it doesn't matter. Take this time for yourself and your reflections, so make it a nice way to record your adventures.
Where to start with travel journaling?
That's ok - sometimes, when we have lots of ideas, we can get stuck on choosing a starting place.
Some prompts that might help could be:
- Visualising your upcoming trip; write down anything that comes to mind
- If you could go anywhere, where would it be?
- What you liked about the day
- What you didn't like about the day
- What the most fun thing was you did today
- What was your favourite smell of the day
- What was the funniest/sweetest/most lovely thing you saw today
There is no judgement from your journal, so let whatever your mind thinks come out onto the pages!