The Importance of Travel Journals

Let’s be honest … I have a TERRIBLE memory. I’m talking like put on my seat belt and then try to put it on again bad. Yes, this has happened more times than I can count. I legitimately don’t remember much of what happened in high school or really anything before that. Because I would really enjoy remembering my life, I have slowly learned to adapt.

When I went to the Galapagos, it was part of a college course. One of the requirements was to journal every day, and the journal would be graded at the end of the trip. Of course, initially, I was a little bit annoyed by the idea of having to journal every day when I could be doing other things like … I don’t know … playing cards, sleeping, staring at the ceiling. But, I had no choice in the matter, so I went and found the cutest journal I could possibly find and sucked it up like the strong, independent woman I am.

Here is my journal with my favorite, Rite in the Rain writing pen and my favorite Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens for decorating!


I WILL NEVER NOT JOURNAL AGAIN! If you’ve been following me for a little bit now, you know I just finished my Galapagos series, where I recounted each day of the 10-day journey (if you haven’t read them, you can start them here). These posts would not have been even remotely possible if I hadn’t written in my journal every day. Honestly, I relied on my daily notes for everything, and for any holes I had, I relied on my photos and videos taken during the trip.

You can see the inside cover of my journal, including a faith sticker and a Wyoming sticker!

Luckily, even though my memory is crap, I can usually recall some stories if I see a photo that I, or someone else, took during the trip. However, without the notes, I can only make it so far before I start making stuff up.

I found my travel journal at Target for about $15 (you can find the same one here), and I absolutely love it! It has three different types of paper: Lined paper, blank brown card stock, and graph paper. Separating each of these, is a map of one part of the world and two folders for you to store paperwork, small souvenirs, etc. The journal comes packed with tons of stickers and several spots to put all of your papers, postcards, stickers, passport and other items!

You can see one of the maps and folders here. This was very useful in storing all of my papers!

While I loved this journal, there were a few things that I hated. It was made using a 2-ring design and the lined paper is really flimsy. Because of this, nearly every paper that I wrote on ripped during the trip. Luckily, one of my friends brought every type of tape imaginable, and I was able to tape them back up, and even make them a bit sturdier. Also, with the three different types of paper, the journal was very thick and hard to flip through, which also aided in ripped pages. I ended up just removing the graph paper, and it mostly fixed the problem.

Here, you can see a couple days of my writing and my quick-fix masking tape solution.

When I travel, I have found a love for purchasing stickers and postcards. This is probably because they are both sold practically everywhere and very cheap. I’m not the type of person to put stickers onto a water bottle or my laptop, so I’ve started just throwing them onto the brown card stock of the journal! I also include receipts, plane tickets, postcards, and anything else that will fit taped onto the card stock as well!

Here’s an idea of what my card stock pages look like … I’m not the most creative person in the world.
Here is a photo of me actually working on the journal, camera at the ready!

Even after this trip, I have used the pages for stickers and postcards from other places. It is a great way to keep them all together, and it just takes a quick date and caption to help me remember the memories forever.

What about you, my lovely readers? Do you journal while you travel? If not, would you consider it? Is there anything you collect from your travels?

The Importance of Travel Journals

25 thoughts on “The Importance of Travel Journals

  1. Pingback: The Importance of Travel Journals β€” Adventures Of A New Floridian – Collective Cogitations

  2. Debbie

    I need a journal just like this, but with sturdier pages of course, for Walt Disney World. I love little pockets for things. And I love maps – all maps.
    When I visit WDW (I’ve been 4 times) I’ve saved the receipts from everything. Once the financial duties are done, I love just going through them and finding little surprises I had forgotten about.
    Even though I take and cherish all the photos I take as well, you are right, there are some things that you forget – how you felt, a personal interaction, what you would or wouldn’t do in a particular situation next time.
    Thanks for this great suggestion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You should definitely find a journal that will work for you! This journal is amazing, other than the flimsy pages! If it weren’t for those, I would buy it over and over again. I’ve seen a lot of really cute ones on Amazon that are relatively cheap. WDW sounds like a blast! I love saving receipts and all of my plane tickets and whatnot! I hope you are able to find a great travel journal for yourself! If you find one that you fall in love with, let me know! I will soon be retiring this one and hunting for something new! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for reading! πŸ™‚


    1. I love my Notes app! I use it for so many things as well! The issue I have with keeping travel notes and other journals in there is trying to decipher my abbreviations and shorthand later on! I’m never able to sit down and type out a full entry in there. I much prefer typing or hand-writing entries. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you have found what works best for you! That is the most important thing! πŸ™‚ Thank you for reading!


  3. sgmart187

    I need to discipline myself to do things like this more. We took a cross country road trip when I was little and my mother MADE each of us make a travel journal complete with pictures, brochures, the works. I still have it. I haven’t been as good about doing it without her making me, and I sometimes wish I was! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Unbound Roots

    Journaling is awesome! πŸ™‚ We journal whenever my family goes on our road trips. We started the kids on this before they could write, so they’d draw pictures of their favorite part of the day, or new things they experienced or observed. Makes for a fun end-of-the-day activity. I love the picture of our journals and colorful pens too. You take wonderful pictures.:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so awesome, Erin! I’m glad you started them young, too! Hopefully, they will keep up the habit. I feel that it is the best way to hold onto all of the memories and emotions felt throughout the trip! And thank you so much for the compliment! The colorful pens are actually my FAVORITE pens! They write really well and dry really quick, so they almost never smear! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I couldnt agree more and I just love your journal! I did a two year round the world backpacking trip in my younger years, and I kept a journal, as well as wrote actual letters to my mum every week. I cannot tell you how happy these make me to read back, and share with my kids (not all of it gets shared with them ahem). You will be even more pleased you kept a journal as time goes on. Fabulous idea. Im off to read your trip posts now…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Wow! A two-year backpacking trip is an actual dream of mine! I’m so glad you maintained a journal through this and still have access to the letters! I can only imagine how amazing they are to read now! And I’m sure there are definitely pieces that your kiddos probably don’t need to know about! I hope you enjoyed the trip posts! Thank you for reading and your comment! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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