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9 Tips For Writing a Travel Journal

Want to record the thrills and spills of your adventures? Here’s how to write an evocative and captivating travel diary…

Go Traditional

Don’t be afraid to go old school with your travel journal. Notebooks like Moleskine are ideal for travel use, since their unique design lets you journal and save things. Or, you can opt for a simple spiral notebook to record your memories in. But be sure to choose a sturdy journal that can survive the elements.

Spill Out Your Imagination

Before your trip starts, it’s fun to imagine what your destination will look like. And once you get there, you can compare the expectations that you’ve written in your journal to what you’re actually experiencing. It’s okay to be wrong about certain things, but hey – that’s the fun of it!

Use Your Journal To Plan

You can even use your journal to start planning the things you want to do. Once you establish a checklist, do some research and find out the best ways to do what’s on that list. Also, write down the necessary contact information of the persons, places, or tourism agencies that facilitate those activities, along with the necessary modes of transportation.

travel journal planning

Write During The Trip

Don’t be afraid to write as you go, especially when the memory is still fresh in your mind. Be sure to write down every juicy detail from what you’re experiencing. Here are some good writing topics to consider when writing these down:

  • How did you feel going to this place in town?
  • What did you hear, smell, and taste?
  • Did you learn anything from the locals?
  • What are the people like in town?
  • What exciting view(s) did you come across today?

Include, Or Don’t Include

It’s good to have the right information written down (contact information, list of locations, routes, etc.). However, having too much written down like mundane activities (those of little importance) can take up a lot of space in your journal. Instead, focus on the best moments in the trip – the best food you’ve eaten, the best view, etc.

writing down the best places in a travel journal

It’s Okay To Write Out Of Order

Entries don’t have to be written chronological. Whatever catches your imagination first, whenever it occurs to you, write it down.

Find A Theme, And Expand On It

As you write, you might notice a certain theme. If so, expand on it. Create a section in your journal devoted to that theme. Consider the following, when expanding the theme:

  • What does the theme mean to you?
  • What did you learn?
  • How did you change from it, if you have?
  • How did it surprise you?

As you write, describe what you thought before and after it happened, and how you feel about it.

Don’t Strive For Perfect Entries

No entry is perfect, but try your best to write every day during the trip. Writing every day can help you keep the momentum going. Though, skipping a day is fine, but keep it up the next day, to keep the memories fresh. Also, try to remember the significant things such as the places you visited, the people you met, the food you ate, the scents you noticed, your activities and the things you learned. Even take note of what made you smile.

Reflect On Your Trip

When you arrive home, it can be fun to reflect on your travels, whether in a week from now, or years from now. In your journal, you can bullet-point key details of your trip: where you stayed, the name of your favorite restaurant or park, where you got your souvenirs from, and so on. But don’t bother adding dull details.


Travel journals are so that you can document your trip from beginning to end, and to learn something from the experience. Not only is your journal a guide to your thoughts and feelings, but it’s also a collection of stories, adventures, memories, and discovery. Whether you’re traveling by yourself, or with a friend or family member, your travel journal can come along for the ride.

Finally, you don’t have to visit an exotic place to write a travel diary. You can take a journal to your next family vacation or weekend getaway. All you need is any travel destination, and let the travel-writing begin!

Guest post written by: Beatrix Potter
Beatrix is a travel writer for Essay Writing Service , and a freelance HR at She loves keeping a travel diary about the countries she visited.