There are many reasons to keep a journal of your travels. But often it can be difficult to articulate what you want to write about. Don’t worry! These travel journal prompts have got you covered for that!
Traveling is, by its very definition, an act of exploration and discovery. It’s also often an opportunity for introspection and insight – a chance to explore new territory within yourself, or within the world at large.
There’s also a little secret with travel journals…it makes us feel good! Just looking back over what we’ve written will make us nostalgic for our time abroad and brings happy thoughts into our minds.
It can even give encouragement when we need it most.
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- What is a travel journal
- Why keep a travel journal
- Travel Journal Ideas
- Creative Travel Journal Ideas
- Tips on how to keep a travel journal
- 50 Inspiring & Mindful Travel Journal Prompts
- Final thoughts on travel journal prompts
What is a travel journal
A travel journal is a type of diary in which you write about your thoughts, feelings, observations and experiences during a trip. It’s an excellent way to remember your journey, see places with new eyes, meet new people or get a better understanding of yourself.
Travel journals can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
My journaling usually starts with the planning of my next trip. I think about who will be with me or whether I’ll be travelling solo, where the destination should be and when I should go.
During the trip I write about, not only what I’ve done, but also about what I felt throughout the trip, the people I’ve met, the varying thoughts I have about this place.
After my return, I’ll read through my notes. Whether it’s to see if I missed something or just want to add a note or some pictures I captured.
For some people a journal is more than just writing down travel experiences – they use their travels as a creative escape from reality so they can create art through photography, painting or graphic design.
Others use a travel journal as a way to keep track of their spending and budgets while travelling.
Then there are people who write about everything they do – even if it’s just walking around for an hour – because they want to get into detail and remember their journey better (this is me!).
Why keep a travel journal
Keeping a travel journal or travel diary may seem like a silly idea, but it can really be beneficial in many ways.
Reason #1 – So you don’t forget the incredible adventure
One of the main reasons I keep a travel journal is so that I don’t forget all the little things. Sure, I’ll always remember that skydive over the Palm in Dubai or underwater walking in Vietnam, but will I remember that incredible gluten free, vegan cookie from that hotel in Helsinki? Or those beautiful children I met in Socotra?
Some people are just forgetful, of course others may have ‘too much fun’ (is there such a thing?!) and that’s why they forget! Like that epic road trip with your college friends where nobody can recollect what happened?
Reason #2 – So you can show others
Another benefit of keeping a travel journal is that it allows people who didn’t go on your adventure to get caught up on what they missed.
It can be a useful tool for when you want to help friends and family share in the excitement of your journey.
Even if you only write a couple of sentences about a specific place, it can be enough to leave them wanting more.
Reason #3 – So you can reminisce in later years
It will be interesting to look back on your travels when you get older and see how much the world has changed. If you’re like me, you’ll love looking at old things and comprehending what life was like in the past.
Travel journals give us an insight into that time period in our lives when we were free and travelling and seeing new places for the first time.
A travel journal is also one of the best ways to keep travel memories alive long after they have faded from your mind. Being able to go back through your logs of daily activities, thoughts, feelings, conversations with locals, etc can help re-live those moments once more.
Reason #4 – For blogging purposes
Travel journals are also essential if you’re interested in blogging about your travels. A lot of bloggers use their travel journal as a base for when they need to write about something that happened on their journey.
They’ll go back and add more details or edit things that might have been forgotten during the excitement of writing an entry at the moment.
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Travel Journal Ideas
I like to use two different types of travel journals: a physical one and a digital one.
The digital one is handy for when I’m on the go and want to look something up quickly. It’s also easy for when I’m on some mode of transport where writing ends up messy, but it’s easier to type my notes out on my laptop.
Lucky for you, I’ve created the below FREE Digital Travel Journal which you can get delivered directly to your mailbox to help you document your next adventure!
Here are some of my own travel journals I currently use or have used in the past:
What I love about this travel journal is that it gives you 300 bucket list ideas from all over the world for inspiration for your next trip.
It also has ‘before’ and ‘after’ pages so you can plan your trip and preserve your special memories afterwards.
It also comes with a vision board, map of the world and has various colour options to choose from. Oh and it’s made from vegan leather!
I loved that this travel diary was refillable. As soon as you’ve finished with the 160 pages that it comes with, you can take them out and insert new pages for your next adventure.
It’s got two cute pendants and an embossed compass symbol on the front cover.
I found this great, not just for writing, but for sticking photos, sticky notes, doodling, etc.
I actually really liked the simplicity of this travel journal. It’s no mess, no fuss, just 160 lined blank pages for you to write your travel notes.
The cover also caught my attention
I also really like a hardcover journal so it doesn’t get squashed in my case and there’s something special about a hardcover too.
Creative Travel Journal Ideas
When someone says they have kept a travel journal, most people imagine a traditional notebook with a few sketches and phrases written in it. While this is a valid form of traveling memory keeper, there are definitely other creative ways to record memories from your trips, especially if you’re not someone who enjoys writing.
Whether you’re taking your first trip or your fiftieth, here are some ideas for creative ways to remember it later.
1. Pictures on Stones
Find some stones or shells at your travel destination, write down the date and location, then use them as magnets for your refrigerator, pencil holders on your desk, or even paperweights at work. Each one will serve as a reminder of your travels as well as a conversation starter with visitors.
2. Memory Bottle
This is a great method for those who love to explore the outdoors and enjoy beachcombing. Every time you come upon something interesting, such as a pretty rock or shell, some sand from the beach, take it home and drop it in the jar that will be your memory bottle. When you open it upon your return, it will be overflowing with souvenirs from your journey.
Some of us are visual learners. For those, nothing is better than a scrapbook type memory book that they can flip through whenever they want. If you are creative, include drawings or describe events in your own words on each page. For those who are less creative or prefer lists, use a chart to list location and notable facts of the destination.
4. Travel Inspired Poetry
I am in no way poetic, but poetry is how some people get their creative juices going! Write some poetry about the particular destination or trip you’re on, so that you can keep as a memento for the future. Alternatively, roll the page up with some string tied around it and leave for the next guest to your hotel, or the next visitor in a café.
5. Create a gallery wall
Take pictures of unique and interesting items from your trip and create a gallery wall in your home. Every time you see it, you’ll be reminded of your adventure.
N.B. Some destinations do not allow you to take sea shells or stones out of the country. If not permitted, take a picture of the item and use on your gallery wall instead.
Tips on how to keep a travel journal
1. Keep your journal with you when you go out for the day
2. Write in it every evening before bed so you don’t forget the events of the day
3. Don’t just write about the good things, write about the things you didn’t love too
4. Leave some doodles in your travel journal too
5. Your notes don’t have to be perfect. You’re not writing for anyone else. Write things as they come to you and don’t worry about layout
6. Remember to write about how you feel, the smells, the vibes, the sensations of the destination. Not just a play by play itinerary of what you did that day
7. End each journal entry with what you were grateful for that day
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50 Inspiring & Mindful Travel Journal Prompts
Travel journal writing prompts before the trip:
1. Create a bucket list of places you want to go.
2. How did you choose your destination, and what was your reason?
3. Create a packing list of what you’ll need on your trip.
4. Write down important phone numbers / websites you may need on your trip.
5. What was your inspiration for choosing this particular place?
6. What are your expectations for this destination?
7. Create a list of some of the activities you wish to do there.
8. Do you think this trip will be life-changing in any way?
Travel journal writing prompts on your trip
9. What was your first thought as you woke up in this new place this morning?
10. How does this place make you feel?
11. What is your biggest struggle or challenge in this place?
12. Which local foods have you tried so far, and what do you think of them?
13. Write about something that has surprised you about this place.
14. What is it about this place that makes you comfortable/uncomfortable?
15. How does this place compare to the places you’ve been before?
16. What stands out for you on this trip?
17. What do you wish you could’ve known beforehand?
18. Would you ever live in this destination? If so, why?
19. Have you seen or experienced anything that completely blew your mind yet?
20. Write about the meaning you see in the place you’ve travelled to.
21. Talk about your most treasured memory from this trip so far.
22. What would you tell somebody if they wanted to come here?
23. What are some of your best discoveries on this trip.
24. Make a list of souvenirs you would like to take home with you.
25. What do you want to learn about the place that you are in now?
26. What are you learning about yourself on this trip?
27. Was there any event that you found particularly memorable, funny, or moving on your trip.
28. How do you feel about the people here?
29. What do you know now that you didn’t before coming on this trip?
30. Have you experienced culture shock here?
31. Did anything on your trip make you feel more connected or isolated?
32. How did your trip change the way you view the world around you?
33. What was the most draining experience of your trip?
34. What was the most rewarding experience of your trip?
35. What was the most random smell from this destination?
36. Who, out of your friends or family, would love this place, and why?
37. Did anything feel familiar on this trip, even though you are in a place you have never been before?
38. Was there anything you wish you brought with you on this trip?
39. Did anything on this trip make you emotional?
40. Would you ever travel back to this place again? Detail why or why not.
41. What was your favourite activity from this trip?
42. What was something that came up in the news from this destination on the dates you were there?
Random / fun travel journal prompts
43. Make a list of things that make you feel at home, no matter where in the world you are.
44. If you could travel with anyone in the world, who would it be, and why?
45. How does travel influence the next steps in life?
46. If you were going to write a book about your travels, what would that book be called and why would the title be that?
47. How does it feel to be away from home when you travel?
48. What kind of travel do you prefer, and why? Family travel, solo travel, road trips, travel with friends?
49. Finish the sentence: ‘Travel makes me feel…..’
50. What are you grateful for?
Final thoughts on travel journal prompts
Travel journaling is something you can do at any point in life, and with any type of traveling. It’s a great way to keep track of places you’ve been, activities you’ve done, important things that happened on your trip, and memories of people you met along the way.
The most important thing about journaling is just doing it! Getting all your thoughts out on that piece of paper (or digitally on my FREE Digital Travel Journal), leaving nothing behind.
What are your favorite travel journal prompts that you like to write about on your travel adventures?