What To Write In A Travel Journal

Written by: Murad Huseynov



Time to read 11 min

A travel journal is the perfect companion to take with you on your adventures. From creating an itinerary for your journey to reflecting on your favourite holiday moments, let’s learn what to write in a travel journal. 

travel journal with photos

Key Takeaways

  • A travel journal allows you to create a book that documents your journeys abroad.
  • Include key details about your trip and accentuate it with decorations.
  • Make sure to write in your journal every day while on holiday.
  • Use a quality journal and stationery to create a beautiful journal that will stay with you for years.

Murad Huseynov

Murad is the founder of Mosaic Journal, based in London, United Kingdom. He is an expert on travel journals, photo journaling, photo printing and gifting.

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What To Write In A Travel Journal

If you want to capture the magic of your adventures through writing, then a travel journal is the perfect companion. You can use your travel journal to capture your thoughts and experiences on the page, giving you a physical record of your adventures. From writing about places you visit to the memorable encounters along the way, there’s lots you can include in your travel journal. So let’s go over what to write in a travel journal so that you effectively capture the essence of your trips:

open scrapbook with scattered photographs

Planning And Expectations

A travel journal is an excellent place to outline your journey plans for you to use throughout your trip. You can create a loose schedule or itinerary for your adventures in your travel journal. Then when you’re actually traveling, you can use your journal to keep on track. You can also include key information you’ll need for your holiday, such as a packing list or a checklist of things you need to get ready before departing.

Another way to utilise your travel journal is to jot down your expectations for the trip. From how you’re feeling about traveling to what you expect to experience, your travel journal can be a log for your feelings. This can be a really interesting approach, as you’ll be able to refer back to it after your trip to see how reality measured up to your expectations.

Daily Entries

One of the main ways that people use their travel journal is to log their travels day-by-day. Your daily journal entries can act as an interesting narrative for your travels. You can include details about the places you go, the people you meet and the incredible experiences you had. You can even include smaller details to create a more complete picture of your travels, such as the weather or what you ate throughout the day.

As well as the practical entries that outline your experiences, you can use your travel journal to reflect. Include details about how you felt during your times, add key moments and try to capture your emotions as much as possible. From feeling overwhelmed at a busy tourist destination to feeling at peace on the beach during sunset, these reflections are an amazing thing to look back on once the journey is over.

An easy travel journal with a free app to upload photos:

People And Interactions

Some of the most memorable experiences you have during your travels will likely be the people you meet along the way. Whether it’s the friendly locals or another intrepid traveler, the interactions you have with other people can leave a lasting positive impression on you. So you can use your travel journal to log your interactions with the people you meet along the way.

By writing about the people you meet during your journey, your travel journal provides you with another chance to reflect. From thinking about the connections you make abroad to how they might have changed your perception of things, your travel journal is a place to consider your perspectives. So use it to outline your thoughts clearly and reflect on your interactions with people while abroad. 

Culinary Adventures

A hallmark of any good trip away is experiencing new culinary delights. When you go abroad, you’re likely to come across food that you’ll have never had before. Your travel journal is an excellent place to write about all of your food adventures, including the good, bad and ugly.

You can jot down unique ingredients, flavour combinations and where you found them in your travel journal. If you have a good story about finding your favourite local delicacy from a roadside food truck, use your travel journal to write about it. When you get back from your trip, this can prove to be a useful memento and a way to get experimental with your own cooking.

Highs And Lows

Recollecting the highlights of your trip away is a great way to recapture the essence of your travels. Use your travel journal to write down your favourite parts of the trip. This might include unique destinations, thrilling experiences or simply soaking up a new culture. When you get home, you can reflect on these moments by reading through your journal entries.

A trip abroad can often be a bit of a rollercoaster, with plenty of high’s and a few low points too. So don’t be afraid to write about both sides of your holiday in your travel journey. Even if the low points are a sore spot in the moment, when you look back you’ll want to remember all of it. A good holiday away is filled with stories, both good and bad, and your travel journal is a great platform for retaining those memories.

Personal Reflections

One of the best parts about a holiday is that it gives you moments to reflect. From immersing yourself in new cultures to experiencing unique sights and attractions, travel can really help us grow. So your travel journal can provide you with a great platform to write about your own personal reflections. The process of writing down these reflections can be transformative. Have your opinions about something changed due to your experiences? Or have your learned something about yourself while traveling? Use your travel journal to log your reflections and understand your growth in the process.

Visual Elements

Your travel doesn’t need to be restricted to the written word. During your travels, it’s likely that you’ll take some incredible photographs, so include these in your journal. By providing a visual element for your journal, you’ll make it much more interesting and diverse. You can expand on photos too, so consider adding keepsakes like train tickets or postcards to add to the variety of your travel journal. 

Post-Trip Reflections

Your travel journal is more than just a travel companion - it’s a way to relive your trip when it’s over. You can write down your thoughts and provide a general overview of your time away in the journal. Think about including things you would have done differently, things you missed and things you would definitely do again. Write about activities or destinations you would recommend to others - and ones you wouldn’t. You could also think ahead to your next adventure and how your travels abroad have inspired more trips. 

Why Should You Make A Travel Journal?

If you’re new to the idea of a travel journey, you might be wondering what the point of it all is. It might seem like an extra task to complete during your journey, but there are plenty of reasons why you might want to spend time writing in your travel journal. So, let’s go over why you should consider making a travel journal for your next trip:

  • Preserving memories: Your travel journal is a timeless keepsake that allows you to preserve your memories and relive them. Even if your memory of the experience gets foggy, the words and pictures on the page won’t.
  • Processing your thoughts: The practice of writing is a great way to reflect on your thoughts and emotions during your trip. So if your journey had challenges, then your travel journal is a great way to process those difficult emotions and understand them.
  • Creating a memento: Your travel journal will become a treasured memento that will stay with you for life. You can even pass it down the generations to preserve your history and experiences.
  • Conversation starter: If you have friends or family over, then whipping out your travel journal can be a great way to spark an interesting conversation. You get to relive your past memories alongside the people you care for.
travel journal with coffee next to it

How To Start A Travel Journal?

If you’re interested in starting a travel journal, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s a fun and simple process. So, let’s go over how to start a travel journal that will stay with your for years to come:

  • Gather journal supplies: Pick up your journal supplies including a blank journal, stationery and other accessories. Aim for quality materials that will travel well and enjoyable to use.
  • Write an introduction: Although not essential, starting your journal with an introduction page is a great way to outline the contents. If your journal is for a single trip, include details about where and when you’re going.
  • Daily entries: As you travel, spend some time each day to write an entry for your experiences. Try to be consistent here to ensure you don’t skip a day.
  • Add accentuations: Alongside the entries, include some additions to contextualise your work. Add things like maps, train tickets or other mementos to the page.
  • Don’t aim for perfection: It can be too easy to worry about imperfections when creating your travel journal, but they should be embraced. From smudged ink due to bad weather to poor handwriting as you were on the move, the imperfections often hide excellent stories.
blank journal placed on a map beside glasses

How To Choose The Right Travel Journal For You

Choosing the right travel journal for you is important because it will encourage you to use it every day during your trip. Making the right choice will also make the process of writing a more pleasant experience. So here are a few pointers to help you choose a travel journal that suits your needs:

  • Sizing: Think about the size of travel journal you want. It should be easy to carry with you, so consider your carrying capacity. If you’re backpacking, then a smaller journal might be more appropriate than a bulky hardback.
  • Quality: This is a matter of preference, but if you purchase a higher-quality journal then it will last longer and be more pleasant to write in. Look for journals with good quality paper that won’t fade or degrade over time.
  • Binding: The binding of your journal is another consideration. Something like a spiral-bound journal will be easier to carry around and write in as it lies flat. However, a hardback is much more durable and higher quality.
  • Pages: Think about the pages carefully, as they will determine how you use your journal. Lined pages are great for text, but can be troublesome if you want to sketch too. Or if you want an easy option, look for a journal with pre-made sections for you to write in.

Although all of these tips are important, the key thing to focus on is finding a journal that’s high-quality. The Mosaic Album is the perfect travel companion due to the fact that you can journal with their free app, and it's likely you will be travelling with your phone already. It provides plenty of space for you to write in and will last for years thanks to it’s luxury linen-bound album cover.

Take one photo a day during your travels to keep forever:

Tips To Keep A Meaningful Travel Journal

If you really want to elevate your travel journal, then there are a few things you can do to make it a worthy memento. It should go beyond creating a simple itinerary and delve into your thoughts during the trip. With the right process, you’ll end up with a journal that manages to truly capture the essence of your travels. So, let’s go over a few tips to help you keep a meaningful travel journal:

Stay Consistent

You’ll want to stay consistent when writing your travel journal so that each page has a clear structure. This will help you include all of the details - both big and small - for each day of your trip. It’s also good practice to dedicate a specific time each day to jot down your musings. So consider writing in your journal at the start or end of the day to reflect on your experiences. 

Be Authentic

Sugarcoating your holiday and exclaiming how fantastic it was isn’t always a fair representation of your journey. Instead, try to remain authentic with what you write - which sometimes means writing about bad experiences too. Honesty is the best policy here, as it will help preserve the true nature of your holiday. 

Add Creativity

A little creative flair can really help with expressing your thoughts and feelings of your journey. So consider thinking outside of the box with your entires and include sketches, unique color schemes or other decorations to make each page pop. 

Review And Reflect

Remember to review each entry in your travel journal and reflect on what you included. This will not only help you craft better entries moving forward but can provide you deeper insights into your experiences. Also, consider adding a summary that outlines the trip as a whole. By doing so, you can provide a top-level overview of your time away. 

Top rated travel journals:

Frequently Asked Questions About What To Write In A Travel Journal

What To Write In A Travel Journal

Your travel journal is a great platform to write about your experiences while on holiday. You can include an itinerary for each day that you’re away and write about your experiences. It’s also a great way to reflect on your time away, so be sure to write about your feelings as well as the high points and low points of your travels.

Why Should You Make A Travel Journal?

A travel journal is a fantastic keepsake from your time away. It’s a collection of your experiences abroad, from your favorite food to stunning destinations that you enjoyed. As the years go by, you might forget key details about your time away - but your travel journal won’t. What’s more, it’s a great conversation starter with guests and can even get passed down for future generations to enjoy.

How To Start A Travel Journal?

Starting a travel journal is really simple. Once you gather your supplies (including a blank journal and stationery) you’ll want to dedicate one page per day to documenting your travels. Set aside time every day of your trip to write a summary of your journey. You can also reflect on your feelings during the adventure and include decorations for each page like train tickets or maps.

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