Traveling is immensely fulfilling. There’s something magical about pushing your limits, immersing yourself in an unfamiliar culture, and diving into the unknown. The earth was meant to be explored and I believe we’re living in it for that purpose. Why not document it? Put your pen to paper and try out these great travel journal ideas.

Travel journals are a place where you can record journeys you’ve taken, what you’ve learned and the experiences you’ve had. It’s where a collection of adventures, memories, stories, and discoveries come together to form a whole new world – your world.

Even if you’re not one for keeping a travel journal in your daily life, you should make one for every trip. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or who you’re going with. We’re here to give you some travel journal ideas to inspire you.

Why Try Out Travel Journal Ideas On Your Trips?

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There are so many benefits to keeping a travel journal when writing. Here are a few reasons why you should start writing in a travel journal on your trips.

​You’ll Be Able to Remember More and In Better Detail

Have you ever stumbled upon a forgotten memory by looking at a photograph? It’s funny how we’re able to recall moments like that. Well, travel journal ideas evoke the same concept. By writing down the things you want to do on your trip and the things you’ve done, you’re far less likely to forget about them. Every time you go back and reread your musings, you can relive that amazing trip all over again.

You’ll Learn More

One of the best ways to learn about yourself is by writing. Breaking down your thoughts into something visible and tangible is so revealing and eye-opening. When you travel somewhere new, you learn about that place’s people, culture, and traditions. By having a place to record your observations, you actually absorb more of your surroundings.

Reflect More

A journal is a place to record all things new – experiences, feelings, thoughts, musings, and things you’ve learned. By having all of this information in one safe place, you will be able to go look back on it and apply what you learned to other aspects of your life.

Travel Journal Ideas for Your Upcoming Trips:

You don’t have to be traveling to Nepal to write a travel diary. You can start out with something as simple as a weekend getaway, family vacation, or a road trip down the west coast. All you need is a destination, travel journal ideas, and a pen in hand!

1. Use Your Travel Journal Ideas To Plan Out Your Trip

travel journal ideas

You can start journaling before you even begin your trip. Record your excitement, what you think your destination will be like, and what you’re hoping to get out of it. Use it to keep a list of the best coffee shops in Seattle you want to hit up. Write down your itinerary so you know you won’t lose that flight information. Make a must-bring travel item checklist so you don’t forget anything.

Once you have a little bit of info to go off of, you can start planning in better detail. If you want to go see a certain monument, write down costs, the best time to go, and how to get there from your place of accommodation. Make a list of the coolest hostels to stay at in the city. If you have your heart set on some cool activities, take note of the contact information of the people, companies, or places that run them. Your travel journal is also a great place to keep the contact information of accommodations and transportation when you’re exploring.

2. Write Down What You Imagine It Will Be Like

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Okay, we touched on this a little already but it’s such a cool exercise. It’s so interesting to compare what you thought a place would be like after you’ve been. For example, Parisians have a reputation of disliking Americans but from personal experience, that’s largely a falsehood or misunderstanding.

3. Make Sure to Write Plenty During Your Trip

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There’s nothing quite like capturing raw emotions in the moment. Writing is the next best thing to film. Writing when you’re traveling keeps your thoughts fresh and untainted. Your journal entries don’t have to be long but they should highlight what you feel is most important and exciting. How did you feel about visiting the local market? Did you learn something new from the cool bartender across the street? Were you surprised by the style people have? What did the view from the top of the mountain look like? Before you go to bed, try to recall what you did during the day – thoughts, sights, smells, tastes, and what you heard. Don’t describe – show. This will not only serve as a great way to remind yourself about your experience on the trip but also to grow from it all.

4. Add Photos to Your Journal

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Learn how to use an old film camera to supplement that DSLR or mirrorless travel accessory. Well-taken photos will compliment your writing. Even if you have your journal, a picture is still worth a thousand words. Combining photos with your first-hand accounts will make for a more cohesive narrative when you share your adventures with friends and family.

5. Write About Your Experiences After You Leave Too

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It’s also important to write when you’re winding down from a trip. Ask yourself questions like: What was it like? Did it live up to my expectations? What surprised you? What disappointed you?

Reflect on your travels. Try to gain a newfound understanding and appreciation of the place you visited. Take a step back and try to see the big picture. It just might surprise you.

6.  Travel Journal Ideas: Exercise Your Travel Journal Ideas With A Few Writing Prompts

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It can be hard to get those creative juices flowing. We get that. As cheesy as it sounds sometimes all you need is a little push. Try stream of consciousness writing, word association games, or use these tips below to get started. Document your goals. Make a collage of your keepsakes.

Why Are You Traveling?

People travel for all kinds of reasons. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, write about it. Even if you’re traveling for the sake of talking about it, do it. Are you trying to broaden your worldview? Do you want to break into the social media travel influencer industry? Whatever your reasons for traveling are, write about it. Write about your expectations, especially if this is your first big trip outside your home country.

What Are You Going to Do?

Take time to describe all the things you want to see, do, and why. Write down the type of music you want to dance to, flavors you want to taste, and places you want to explore. You’ll get so excited, you won’t be able to forget about it.

Write About the People There

Did you meet anyone new? Chances are if you asked for directions at all, chatted up the friendly travelers at your hostel, or got lost in a train station, you did. Did you make a new friend? Were the locals easy to talk to? People make the trip. Talk about the ones you met who changed your experience.

Describe the Food

Who says your travel journal ideas can’t double as a foodie diary? If there are any dishes you just loved and new-found ones you can’t live without, write them down to remember it all. Maybe your affinity for flavor will influence your tastes when you return home.

Document the Ups and Downs

What did you love most about the trip? What felt like a let down? Is there anything you would do again? What advice would you give to first-time travelers?

Record Quotes

This is one of the best ways to capture the moment. Remember that time an Italian hitchhiker tried to pick up on you? Record it. Write down the hilarious way your boyfriend tried to pronounce that German pastry with the super funny name (aka schneeballen). Write down that dad joke you made in a Czech cafe you couldn’t stop chuckling about. Later on, you and your loved ones will leaf through them and relive the laughs.

Draw Pictures and Sketch Maps

You don’t have to be the ultimate artist. Sloppy doodles of your friend and you running from a hippo on a safari gone wrong? Priceless. Sketching a map will not only help you get the lay of the land but also remember what it felt like to be in a certain place.

Get Started On Your Travel Journal Ideas

Are you all excited and ready to get started on your travel journal ideas? Check out these 5 popular travel journals and let me know which one you’d like to bring with you on your next adventure.

Related Article: The Best Travel Journal for Your Next Trek