Travel journaling is mindful scrapbooking on the fly; It’s the act of taking the time to experience your journey in a different way. This method of recording your trip can be highly successful if you tailor your tools to the journaling style that suits you.
You may choose to try different methods or even use your travel journal as practice for a skill you are working on. For example, I love the look of sketches in my journals but I cannot draw. On my last trip, I used zentangle borders and flowers to make my journal come alive!
While you can create a travel journal after your trip, the real benefit comes from its use while on location.Taking the time to practice mindfulness while at your destination will help you to express it better through your creative medium.
But how do you decide what journaling style suits you? Below are 7 ways to capture your travel memories to help you get started.
A small pencil case is a necessity to keep your pencils protected. Otherwise, you can get a pencil roll.
Note: Please be aware that if you wish to visit museums, there are some art tools that are forbidden including charcoal and pen.
2. The Photographer
You adore snapping photos of your surroundings to capture the memories of your travel experiences and this is the perfect way to remember your trip. Travel journals that include a lot of photos are not photo albums. Instead, you’re using photography as a medium to bring yourself back into your shoes while you were traveling. This is the perfect opportunity to take tons of selfies and not feel guilty about it.
- It is best to use an unlined journal, slightly larger to fit your photos and write ups. Can be flexible or hardcover.
- If you take a photograph, write down a reminder of where you are/what you’re doing in the journal and make sure to mention that you snapped a great photo!
- All you need is a simple clicky pen to jot things down. No pencils, because pencils break. Why fiddle when that perfect shot is coming up! Alternatively, you can take quick notes on your cell phone.
Photography is an incredible skill to rely on for your travel journal, but remember that it’s more about remembering your experiences than how many beautiful pictures can I take? Quality over quantity is key here.
3. The Wordsmith
The written word is delightful to you, so much so that you find it easiest to record your daily experiences on the page. You may already keep a daily journal, but I urge you to create a separate one just for when you travel. After all, traveling often make the best stories!
A beautiful pen that is easy to care for while enjoying the scenic route or while on the train platform will help you to jot down your thoughts or spark the poet in your soul.
- A hardcover journal will help you to keep your writing neat while balancing it on your knee en-route.
- Avoid blank pages. Lines or grids will work well here to keep things organized
- Invest in a good pen, it is your main instrument after all.
4. Fast and Furious
You find that you’re most creative when you are in the moment and perhaps travel journaling sounds a bit overwhelming. That requires planning and supplies…well, not anymore.
A simple pen and a small lined journal will help you to remember those lists, plans, and also jot down what you had for lunch and how great it was.
A family member visited Scotland and greatly enjoyed this style of travel journaling. She would write a couple sentences at the end of each day to explain where she went and how she felt about it.
- A lined or grid journal is perfect for keeping things organized and neat.
- An envelope on the back of the journal is essential for stashing things away quickly.
- A smaller book fits in most travel packs and purses
- Semi-soft cover helps you to carry your journal and all your travel essentials
5. The Collector
Tickets, pay stubs, receipts, guides, coasters…all of these and more are stashed away in the bottom of your suitcase as memories of the places you’ve visited. With a refillable (thus, expandable) travel journal, you have enough room to store all your bits and bobs that you’ve gathered along your journey.
If you want to go with a traditional book, be aware that you will have to remove pages to make room for your inserts and tip-ins; all that extra paper makes the journal a little thick.
Want to know what a tip-in is? Watch this great video!
Things to help you organize your travel memories:
- You don’t need to spend a lot on a writing utensil since the memories are more in the pieces you’ve gathered on your travels
- A Journal with removable inserts will allow you endless space to store your collection
You take photos, collect meaningful tidbits, write poetry, try your best to sketch, and always have time for a coffee on the patio to collect your thoughts. A jack-of-all-trades doesn’t adhere to a single artistic medium while recording their travels. This method is more akin to scrapbooking and may require some pasting and re-organizing upon reaching home.
Be aware, this is not scrapbooking but a mindful method of experiencing and processing your travels; you’re merely enhancing it with your photos, words, and tidbits.
An envelope on the back of the journal is a wonderful addition, but not essential; the journal should be able to handle the few items you decide to keep. Grids or blank pages will work best here due to the mixed mediums.
7. The Socially Savvy
Ever connected and ready to go? This travel journaling style has some etiquette attached to it but it makes for an easy way to share your trip with your loved ones.
With the ability to keep a profile private, you can keep an online journal with in-the-moment editing and recording. This also allows you to create a video journal if you prefer.
You are now ready to begin your very own travel journal! There is something inherently classical about keeping a physical journal of your experiences while you travel. Just remember: Journaling is a personal experience; worry less about making it worth reading and more about keeping memories of a wonderful trip.