Travel Journal – A few Things You Need To Know Before Using One.

We might live in digital life, but don’t you think there is something quite meditative and romantic about jotting down your thoughts and feelings while you are on the road. Travel journals can become your time capsules of emotions, memories, and descriptions of the people, things, and places you have encountered in your journey. They are very personal.  Even if you travel to a well-known city like New York and Paris, on which there are many travelogues, your experience is still unique and extraordinary. You will be discovering a few little hidden cafes, meeting and striking conversations with the locals and fellow travelers.  Since we tend to forget all these moments, details, and names with time, writing them down in a book will be a great way to treasure them for a lifetime.  Whether you want to chronicle your adventures or want to plan, organize, or document your journeys, I have a few things you need to know before using your travel journal. But, first, what do you think is a travel journal?

What is a travel journal?

A travel journal is where you plan and organize your trips, add paper mementos and write about the experiences and people you meet along the journey. It can be an actual book, a vlog, or an online blog.  Travel journals are not just for big vacations or when you are on the other side of the world, even a day trip just an hour from home is worth journaling about. 

Why You Need A Travel Journal?

You are missing a lot of fun when you think of your vacation as just the one week you are away. While there are many benefits of having a travel journal, I have mentioned the top three.

You Will Remember More

By jotting down the things you want to do, and what you have done on the trip, you will have a clear idea of why you went and will remember more of your visit. 

You Will Learn More

Traveling makes you experience new cultures, customs, and people. By writing these new things and your observations, you will absorb more of your surroundings.

You Will Reflect More

When you record all the new things you will discover while you explore different cultures and places, you will never forget what you have learned and will reflect that in other parts of your life.  Great, right?

Supplies You Need For A Travel Journal?

Your travel journal is personal to you. You can choose your preferred supplies and create spreads. However, there are some things that everyone needs to make their dream journal. 

Travel Diary

Your travel journal is a place where you collect all the trip’s happenings and thoughts. There are many book stores and online stores that sell blank journals. Pick one with a strong binding that will open flat on a table. Also, remember the book should be big enough to fit regular postcards (as you will have a lot of these) and small enough to carry along with you wherever you may be.  And of course, your travel journal also should contain acid-free paper as your sketches and writing should hold up for years without degrading. 

Craft Supplies

As you will be attaching photos, tickets, souvenirs, etc., to your travel journal, you will need a few craft supplies that will allow you to do so. The following are a few such supplies that I think are a must. 

Coloured Pens, Pencils, Watercolors, or Highlighters

Pick a few pens that are comfortable to use; I recommend you buy a set of gel pens. They write on almost everything, and they come in various colors. If you like to draw, you might need a few tools for sketching as well. Also, do not directly paint on your journal as it can make a mess. Instead, try painting on postcards, scraps of paper, etc., and add them to your journal. 

Glue Sticks Or Adhesive Tape

As there will be loads of photos, postcards, and a few souvenirs to add to your journal, you will need a glue stick or adhesive tape. I always use glue sticks as they are handy, easy to carry, and no mess. However, plain or washi tape can also do the job perfectly. 

Ruler And A Pair Of Scissors

You might want to trim down a few materials to attach them to your journal. In this case, you will need a good pair of scissors. So, carry a small pair of scissors with you. If your book doesn’t have lines, you might need a ruler

An Expandable, Clear Folder

Not only do you have to collect all sorts of materials throughout the trip, but you also have to save them from potential damage and keep them in one place. For this, you need to carry a clear and expandable folder. It keeps things organized and prevents any of your items from getting lost. 

A Map Of Your Destination

A map of your destination will be a great accessory to decorate your journal. Find the map online, print it out, and cover your journal with it. I print a black and white map and highlight the destination and route with a highlighter. It looks very attractive and unique.

Things To Include In Your Travel Journal

Below are a few things to include in your travel journal – 
  • The reason behind the travel – Not all vacations need a reason. But if you have a reason behind your trip, write about it. Even if you are traveling just for the sake of it, it is worth mentioning.
  • Write about your expectations – Expectations can widely differ from reality. If you are traveling to a new place or going with someone you have never traveled with before, you will have some expectations. So, write about how you think the trip will be.
  • Jot down the things you are going to do on the trip – Write about all the things you want to do on the trip, including the sights you want to see, the food you want to taste, the music you want to dance to. Write these things that will make you excited about the trip, and you will also not forget.
  • Mention the people you met and the food you ate – Whether you have met someone or made a new friend, it is worth mentioning about them. Write about all the experiences and the latest things you have learned from them. Also, if there is new cuisine you have tried for the first time, any food you loved, dishes you hated, etc., write them to remember them all. 
  • Things you liked the best and the least – List the items you want the most on the trip. If there is anything you didn’t like much, write that too.
  • Write about yourself – write about the new experiences you had, new things you learned about yourself, and the things that helped you grow in any way. 
  • Your next trip – We all have a wish list of places we want to go. Write them down and check them off!
Written by –Sowmya Cherukuri  

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