Ideas For a Travel Journal (or you could just do this.)
By Sabrina Wu.
Let’s just drop a truth-bomb right from the start. The human memory is shit. There’s only so much space in our brains able to hold the vast experiences we have throughout our lives. And for Wakeful Travelers who indulge in experiences, some memories are just too precious to lose.
Over time, the human race has developed traditional ways to keep our memories close, through photos, souvenirs, journal entries, and other keepsakes. The problem lies in which method works best, because to be honest, none of them really do. Journal entries in notebooks get lost in hundreds of pages of loose-leaf notebooks, ticket stubs succumb to a fate of faded ink and irrecoverable crease marks at the bottoms of bags, and photos get lost among thousands in the cloud.
To this, travel journals serve as a helpful solution. Travel journals are organized montages of dates, anecdotes, and memorabilia collected throughout the course of your travels. When done well, they rekindle the experience of a moment even years later. When done poorly though, they just end up wasting a lot of time.
And to save everyone’s time, the Wakeful Travel Journal has compiled everything you could possibly need into one neat, handy little travel journal. But, just in case you want to know all your options, this article has got your back.
What is the Best Travel Journal Template?
The best travel journal template takes into account the entirety of your travels. It includes all the planning before, all the details during, and places to leave travel memories after. It should be easy to follow and refer back to. The best template is going to vary from person to person and from day to day, so it should be flexible to meet your ever-changing needs.
Luckily, the Wakeful Travel Journal takes all of this into account. Even though it has a set template with organized sections with specific purposes, it is flexible with enough blank pages, open-ended travel journal prompts, and colouring pages to be personalized to meet all of your needs. It’s practical in organization for the pragmatic thinker, yet, still unrestricted for the creative mind.
Travel Journal Examples
Travel journals can be anything from a moleskine notebook, sketchbook, scrapbook, or even podcasts. The idea is just to express your memories into a medium, whether it’s through journaling, drawing, or recording your anecdotes in your phone.
DIY Travel Journal Ideas
If you’re digging the whole DIY vibe and absolutely set on creating your own travel journal, it is totally possible to do it and do it well. Some creative travel journal ideas include:
- Creative travel journal prompts. Prompts that make you experience the moment and think outside of the box. What was your favourite smell today? Make up a story about the most interesting person you met. In these travel prompts, you might find yourself expressing yourself in a way you have never done before, and you might even learn something new about yourself.
- Creative action prompts. Things that make you act and participate in your own experience. Ask a stranger how their day is going. Try a food you’ve never tasted before. These action prompts can help you get out of the constructs of your routines, allowing you to experience your travels more deeply.
- Sketches. Who says that a sketchbook and travel journal need to be separate? If you aren’t good at drawing, who cares? Incorporate sketches into your journal entries or dedicate a separate section with sketch prompts that force you to conceptualize things in a different way so you can draw them.
- Collect memorabilia. Whether it’s sand, stamps, ticket stubs, or receipts, collect things that bring you back to the moment. A receipt might transport you back to the best pizza you’ve ever had in Rome, a ticket stub might bring you back to the time you got lost on the subway in New York. Leave some journal pages aside for this. You can bring along washi tape, or even place some double-sided tape onto these pages so that when you want to attach memorabilia, you can easily do so.
- Daily journaling. Dedicate some pages each day to expressing the highs and lows of the day. If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what and how to write, you can include some prompts or travel quotes on each day’s page to get the ball rolling.
Creativity aside, there are some guidelines to keep in mind so that you can create something that makes sense to your style and needs.
- Organize. Make sure you have labeled your travel journal pages so that you can refer back to your notes. Keep separate pages for contact information, packing lists, and itinerary information. It might be useful to create a table of contents and label your pages so that you can easily flip to whichever page you need.
- Leave space for creativity. Blank pages are a must for travel journals. You can treat these pages as a travel diary or doodle on them. Empty journal pages give you the freedom to express creative ideas, or maybe not. The point is, it’s completely up to you.
- Dedicate space for the important stuff. Important dates, numbers, and itinerary information should all have a home. Instead of frantically flipping through pages for a phone number you scribbled somewhere between the beginning and middle of your notebook, have all this information in one place that you can easily flip to. This will save you all the stress you really don’t need.
Travel Bullet Journal Ideas
Bullet journaling is for the minimalistic thinker. This person likes to check things off lists, get straight to the point, and could do without the excess fluff. For the visual learner who likes to see everything clearly organized on a page, the bullet journal is a great option.
Some ideas for travel bullet journals include:
- Packing lists
- Lists of places you’ve been
- A destination wishlist
- People you’ve met
- Travel songs
- Best travel guides
- Favourite restaurants
- Road trip stops
- Bucket lists
The list goes on and on. Let your creativity run wild and you can make a list for pretty much anything. If this resonates with you, google bujo journaling for a good how-to on how to get started with bullet journaling.
While the bullet journal does work for some, for those who crave more expression, it does lack the blank pages to write about feelings and experiences. Since everything is curated into neat little boxes, being able to express yourself freely in the moment may be more difficult in this format.
How to Make a Travel Journal
First, you’ll need a travelers notebook. Hard-covered notebooks are best in this case. You can use moleskine or other similar styled notebooks. Unlike soft journal covers, hard-covered notebooks protect its contents from the bumps and bruises of travel and keeps your memories safe and secure.
Next, you will have to decide what you want your journal to include. Decide whether you prefer bullet journals, more open-ended options for journaling, memorabilia, or a little bit of everything. Then, chart out a chronological order for things that make the most sense to you. Maybe you want to put contact information, itinerary details, and packing lists at the beginning, and then have your journal slowly progress in chronological order throughout each day. Or maybe you want to separate journaling sections from lists and memorabilia, and have each day scattered throughout the journal.
Once you’ve made those decisions, then you can have some fun. Here’s where you can decide the aesthetic of your journal and make the pages of your travel journal unique to you. Do you want to keep it simple with clear, straight lines, or do you want to stray on the more artistic side with watercolor paints, stickers, and fun designs? It’s really up to you and will completely reflect your own style.
What to Put in a Travel Journal
Here’s a little recap on some basic things that you can put in a travel journal:
- Contact information
- Packing lists
- List of places you will visit
- Itinerary information
- Travel tips
- Daily journaling
- Journal prompts
- Blank pages
Of course, this list can be made much longer, but these are just the essentials for travel journaling.
Having these things will certainly allow you to document your trips, but if you want to take it to the next level, if you want to hash out the details, stay super organized, mirror yoga postures, deeply integrate your experiences, be guided by mindfulness practices, and document the transformation happening on your journeys, then the Wakeful Travel Journal includes all the features that will help you do just that.
The Wakeful Travel Journal is not just a travelers notebook. The Wakeful Travel Journal allows you to immerse in the moment and take in the experience of your travels. As well as all the organization features, travel prompts, and travel quotes, unique colour therapy pages and a boredom section provide resources for you to sink into the present moment, instead of resorting to your phone.
It includes a fold out map that you can colour in and document the places you’ve been to and the places you want to go. And, the Wakeful Travel Journal acknowledges that the thing that makes travel the most rewarding is the community. The Wakeful Travel Journal includes Triangles with action prompts that you can tear out and take photos of to share on social media with other like-minded travelers like yourself.
Are There Any Wakeful Travel Journal Downloads I Can Put Into My Journal?
When you sign up for the Wakeful Travel email, you will receive the Ultimate Backpacking Checklist (at the bottom of this post) which you can include in your travel journal. The Ultimate Backpacking Checklist includes everything you need from exploring Europe to hiking in the Amazon rainforest.
Why we Still Think You Should Try the Wakeful Travel Journal
You are a creative and unique individual, you want to express yourself, you don’t just want another commercialized trip journal. We get it. But, the Wakeful Travel Journal is anything but commercialized. It was carefully curated by the traveler for the traveler. It considers every single nook and cranny that you could possibly think of in a travel journal. It’s extremely organized, personalizable, has a hard cover, and it even has a POCKET in the back. Who doesn’t love a freaking pocket?
Not to mention, Wakeful Travel truly cares about the world. It’s printed in plant-based inks, mailed in a compostable mailer, and for every journal purchased, 5% is donated to The Changing Tides Foundation, Surfers Against Sewage, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
When you purchase a Mindful Travel Journal, you are not funding big corp like Amazon or Walmart. You are supporting a Canadian company who wants to make the world a better place. And who doesn’t want that?
Whether you decide to create your own journal, or opt to support a small business and order a Mindful Travel Journal, regardless, we hope this post got your travel bug churning and your creative wheels turning.