What’s a good vacation without a way to remember it? While most of us have phones now that can record and capture every waking second of your trip, there is an intimate joy to documenting your travels with your own hands.

Travel journaling is a delightful and creative way to remember your vacations while illuminating the true value of seeing the world. If you want to dive into the art of travel journals, here’s how to get started.

Paint with Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but words can be just as powerful. Words can describe what you can’t see: what you liked, what you disliked and how you felt. What did you think while watching that sunset or staring out over that canyon? Was the trip worth every moment? Looking inward and bringing those feelings into words is the best part about writing a journal.

Journals are more than just a list.

It’s easy to jot down a bulleted account of what you did during your trip, but it’s more fulfilling to tap into your emotions and inspirations.

Travel is an opportunity for growth.

For many of us, traveling is more than just a de-stressor and sightseeing tour. The world has the power to change us for the better and exploring that in writing can make you learn more about yourself. Challenge: Try jotting down at least one lesson you learn from each trip you take.

Remember the people.

The attractions and natural wonders make a destination worth visiting, but don’t forget the people you meet along the way! I try to remember at least one helpful or kind person from each of my trips. They make for great anecdotes and it’s sort of my way to remember to pay it forward.

Add some Flair

Photo credit: Elizabeth M./Flickr.

If you enjoy building scrapbooks and holding on to souvenirs, you’re well on your way to building a robust scrapbook. So instead of a word-only journal, you can make a full-on vacation book full of text, photos and keepsakes. You can add:


The standard way to highlight the iconic scenery and moments.

Brochures/Ticket Stubs

Easy ways to showcase details of a particular event and your specific visit.


Keep a piece of the destination with you at all times.

If you want to see some great examples of well-rounded travel journals, check out this article on For the Love of Wanderlust.

Look Forward to Looking Back

Now that I have a small collection of documented travels on my bookshelf, I’m starting to see the fruits of this labor (my wife creates a photo book on Shutterfly with photos and captions for each vacation).

I’m still relatively young, so the bookshelf is sure to fill out much more over the years. But can you imagine what a lifetime full of travels would look like in journal form? You’d have enough content to write a memoir! That thought of what could be is enough to keep me writing.

Do you keep a travel journal? Tell us how you do it in the comments below!