How (and Why) to Keep a Travel Journal

Last Updated May 03, 2022

Travel is an adventure, so naturally we want to capture every possible moment of our unique and exciting experiences. With the rise of technology there are so many ways for us to record the stories of our travel. You can’t go anywhere without smartphones being pulled out at the sight of anything interesting. Coupled with instant access to social media means that your story can be told from just about anywhere on the planet! Having the ability to record in-the-moment with just the touch of a button is magical; but with the advent of instantaneous communication are we missing out on one of the most ubiquitous actions associated with travel? Reflection.


On your next trip, make an effort to put down the screens and carry on a tradition from our adventurous ancestors and bring along a travel journal. A travel journal is very simple…it’s simply a place to write down thoughts, memories, and quips from your adventures. Think of it not as a replacement for your camera but an augmentation to capture exactly the way that the places in the photos and videos made you feel.

Choosing a Travel Journal

Traditional travel journals are traditionally sturdy notebooks that are often weatherproof. A smaller pocket sized notebook is also preferable so that you can jot something down on the fly. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just a place for you to share your thoughts and feelings. If you are a techie a journal app might be more in line with your tastes. Whatever you choose, make sure to put your contact information somewhere on the journal, so it can be returned to you if it wanders off!

Get Started with a Travel Journal

When starting a new practice like journaling it is important to get into the habit. A fun way to get started is to journal about your trip before you are actually traveling, this would be a great time to capture your excitement for the places you plan to visit. Ultimately the purpose of this practice isn’t to only record the big stuff, but write down the small details too, get used to doing this now before you are in a new destination.


When it is time to go on the trip don’t forget to pack your travel journal. A great place to pack it would be in your carry-on bag so you can write while on the plane to pass the time on the way to your destination.

Tell Your Travel Story

To be honest we all know that once we get to a new location it can be overwhelming at first. Let your journal be your grounding point to help you become acquainted with your surroundings. Write about what you observe as soon as you arrive, whatever details about the location really stand out to you should be what you journal. Don’t try to force it, let the story happen by starting out with this small exercise.


A journal works wonderfully coupled with your camera. Snap a few photos of what you see and then write about the sounds, smells, and energy you are experiencing in the moment. There are just some things a camera cannot capture, try to capture these through your writing.


Quotes and quips said by you and your traveling companions are also a fantastic record to keep. Oftentimes we might say or hear something truly brilliant…but when we try to remember it later, it’s gone! Use your journal to record the interesting things and jokes said by those around you. These witticisms will also make great photo captions for your scrapbook.


Keep track of all the interesting cuisine you dine on while on your travels. Write about the aroma, taste, texture, and any other details of all the food and drink you experience. Whether you are dining at a five-diamond restaurant or a street vendor, food always makes for great storytelling.


Lastly, commit to a daily reflection. After a full day of sightseeing sit down for some quality time with your journal. Allow your mind to drift over all of the feelings, experiences, and memories of the past day and write down everything you can remember. Journaling is not a perfect art, let the story form naturally and record as much as you can.


You will thank yourself for taking the time to be mindful and reflective during your travels. The story of your next adventure is waiting for you… Grab a travel journal and start writing it!


Looking for a new adventure to write about? Visit our website and check out our journal-worthy tours!


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