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Travel Diary Tips

29 June 2020

In the new world of technology, social media reigns supreme when documenting one's life. From Netflix binging and family gatherings to sailing across oceans and scaling mountains, Facebook photo-ops and hashtags have become the new form of preserving memories and histories.

While Instagram and mobile apps can make documenting your travels convenient, there's still something left to be desired. One could argue that only putting pen to paper can genuinely illustrate the experience of your journey. So, grab your journal and a few pens or pencils, and let's explore the best way to keep a travel diary.

1. Preservation

If you want to keep your journal in pristine condition to revisit your memories for years to come, keep your journal in a safe, dry place. Use a plastic bag to wrap your journal, protecting it from liquid and other contaminants. You'll also want to make sure that your journal is sturdy and well-made. A leather journal with strong binding, refillable paper, and sealable compartments will do the trick. Make sure you document your name and contact information inside the journal, just in case you misplace it.  

2. Decide Who Your Diary is For

3. Have a Framework

As you document your travels, think about who you're writing for and why. Is this journal just for you, a place to store intimate, private details of your trip? Is it for friends, family, or the world to read so that they can explore with you? Determining the purpose of the journal and the intended audience will help you keep a concise record of exactly what you want to share and what you don't.  

What type of information do you want to keep in your journal every day? Having a framework will help you keep each entry consistent with information that helps the reader experience the journey fluidly. Information such as location, date, and time can be a great start. Add in hotels, flights, restaurants, routes, and travel companions to full round out the picture of each day on your adventure.  

4. Engage Your Senses

On your journey, you'll experience amazing sights, delicious cuisine, and unforgettable smells that will feel impossible to document. There are many ways to bring those experiences back to life through your senses:

  • Smell: Keep mementos that reignite your sense of smell: pressed flowers/plants, spices, sprays of perfume/cologne.
  • Hearing: Write down conversations, phrases, music lyrics, nature sounds, and other things you hear from the people and cultures around you.
  • Sight: Include photographs, drawings, maps, and other items that will easily adhere to the page to remind you of the wondrous sights you've encountered.
  • Touch: Save pieces of rock, terrain, clothing, and other materials you come across in your travels.
  • Taste: Describe the taste of your meals, document favorite recipes, and save spices.

5. Once More With Feeling

Each day on your journey will bring forth feelings of joy, wonderment, awe, and other emotions. Were you excited when you visited a particular monument, scared as you scaled a dangerous peak, or sad when you had to say goodbye to a fellow traveler? Share those feelings on the page to help you relive those precious moments. Save items that remind you of those moments like ticket stubs, flyers, receipts, and directions toward your most memorable adventures.

Your next adventure is waiting for you. Grab your journal and let your words take flight as you preserve memories to last a lifetime. For destination inspiration, explore your next vacation right now.