How To Keep A Travel Journal

how to keep a travel journal

Summer is the perfect time for travelling - wanderlust is incurable, after all. Here's the perfect method to remember your adventures. Part note-taking, part whimsical speculation...these tips and guides will guarantee that when you pick up your travel journal 20 years from now? You're going to remember every single detail about your escapades.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Trip: A Writer's Notebook.

Planning, noticing, engaging...doing each of these is where creation lies. I’ve taken this workbook on trips to all over the world, and my work has paid off in the form of short stories, blog posts, photo collages and poems. The very act of noticing and list taking becomes the moment of perfection.

Bon Voyage

The day of travel, arrive at least a half an hour before you are supposed to. Pick a bustling corner, grab your notebook and pen and start paying attention to everything.

Some Ideas to Get Started


The travelers...what are they wearing? Where are they going? Who are they visiting? For the business travelers, what kind of business are they in? Who are they leaving behind? Do they like do travel? Are they happy about their trip? What do you think is in their suitcase? What about their carry on? What would they like to read during the trip?

What about the employees? What is their day like? What is a good day like for them? How about a bad day? What is their break room like? What would they say about you? How about your fellow passengers?


Can you overhear any conversations? What are people talking about? Are they speaking loudly or softly? With an accent? Are they getting along or arguing?

Is the sound steady, or does it come in waves?

Are the announcements easy to hear? Do you notice people rush off after hearing the announcements, or do they linger?

Can you hear the sounds in nearby shops or restaurants? What's the sound there? Are people happier in those places?


Can you smell the restaurants or stores from where you're sitting? What smells are the most dominant? Are the smells enticing? Or is it at odds with the surroundings?

Are the passengers perfumed? If not, what colognes would you imagine they would like? Are there any colognes you'd think they would strongly dislike?

Live it. Enjoy it. Revel in it, even. Then write it down. Write it ALL down. Then, you can relive it whenever you want.