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Travel Journal: How to start - Ideas, rules, and tips

Travel Journal: How to start - Ideas, rules, and tips

  • Oct 21, 2019
  • 0 Comment(s)

Every travel is an adventure! And who does not like adventures? Do not spend a moment to answer this rhetorical question but choose your next travel destination, prepare your baggage, get a map and, go! You’re not 100% ready for your next trip if you don’t get your travel journal! Keeping your travel journal is the new thing you are going to LOVE! And if you’re not convinced yet, here are some reasons to change your mind.

What is a travel journal? 

Before we go further we must start from the very beginning! What is actually a travel journal? We would call “travel” a diary for daily notes about what you saw, did, liked, ate, purchased, loved, even hated or the new friends you met along the way. And there are plenty of benefits of doing so, which are presented below!

How do I make a travel journal?

But wait a minute? How do I start a travel journal? Start at any point in the process, dreaming about your travels or destinations, planning the details of your trip, use it as a diary for daily notes about everything interesting you found out along the way. Just keep the writing go.

What is the best travel journal? 

Is there the right travel journal? That depends on your needs! But from a practical perspective, a small enough journal that fits into your bag is better. Additionally, the one that has pages to suit your style of journaling, whether lined-ruled pages, blank pages for sketching & drawing, or even dotted pages is also helpful to match your writing criteria!

Writing ideas you discover means better learning

Traveling is something that naturally leads to discoveries and new experiences! Writing down your thoughts for every piece of information you get or feelings during vacation has a massive impact on your understanding of them. For example, if you visit Rome, and then you write something about what you feel after visiting the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, this is left as a footprint on your memory as the mind has enough time to review the information with more pace. Besides that, as we learn at school, writing is possibly the best way to learn something by heart.

Travel memories not to be forgotten

Learning something by heart means that you will never forget it! Whatever you write down by hand also sends a strong signal in your mind and gets its shape as a memory, reserving its place for many years or a lifetime! When you record your travel experience by writing on your travel journal, every travel experience becomes genuinely alive.

Sometimes the best thing you can do to feel inspired for a purpose is getting something brand new regarding the task. Getting a brand new leather journal works the same way! The higher the quality is, so is the promise of what is to come. Go for a quality journal because, above all, you want something that will last forever. Then, search for the perfect style according to your personality or regarding the places you are going to visit. For example, try a classic leather bound journal if you plan to visit a city like Florence, which is widely the birthplace of the European Renaissance.

Write for practical reasons

Writing in your travel journal could be used as the best way to keep a travel plan! An efficient approach to set priorities for sightseeing or make a to-do-list for every challenge. Even more, you could have already written important information about the place you will visit -public transportation tips, local phrases, roads, etc. So your travel journal works as a personal travel-guard, so you never feel lost! Not to mention that with this valuable tactic, you will save a lot of time and -probably- money!

Handwriting is always a fashion statement

That’ s a fact! Passionate writers or journalers understand this feeling! Imagine yourself in front of a world-famous monument or after a visit to famous museums, or imagine admiring the view from the Great Wall in China. All cases are the pure fountain for inspiration, as they reflect the infinite capability of humans to create beyond any limits! Open your travel journal and write whatever you feel right then and there; it’s a divine pleasure that feeds your soul with spiritual energy! If you’re a rookie to this, just a little try is more than enough to get you inspired!

"Let’s agree that you’re now convinced to start your travel journal! The question is: how to start? Follow this 10-step kind of guide, made by the expert team at Epica, and find the best ideas, rules, and tips on how to start a travel journal!"


Travel Journal: How to start - Ideas, rules, and tips 1


Sometimes the best thing you can do to feel inspired for a purpose is getting something brand new regarding the task. Getting a brand new leather journal works the same way! The higher the quality is, so is the promise of what is to come. Go for a quality journal because, above all, you want something that will last forever. Then, search for the perfect style according to your personality or regarding the places you are going to visit. For example, try a classic leather bound journal if you plan to visit a city like Florence, which is widely the birthplace of the European Renaissance.


Journaling is a hard activity. It takes time to concentrate one’s focus, and even then, a minor distraction can be a significant momentum killer! Especially when it comes to handwriting, you need to be 100% focused your inspiration and transformed it into lines and meaningful words. An idea to overcome this confusing situation is to try to write every day. Of course, missing a day here and there it is acceptable. But when you go more than a couple of days in a row without writing anything, you risk turning your travel journal off! To get rid of this stressful situation, always remember that you’re not writing a novel or something you get paid to do! You’re writing for your benefit! So don’t let concerns about other people reading it interrupt your writing process. Write more freely following what matters to you at the moment! For example, you don’t have to write in complete sentences! Use bullet lists and small bits of dialogue or write without making specific paragraphs as a regular text!


That is the toughest part! When you’re back at your hotel usually looks like the perfect time for writing about the new things you met during the day! But many people forget that exhaustion and an inviting bed put an end shortly on their motivation to write. Do not limit yourself with a stressful writing schedule and instead try quickly writing down details throughout the day to get everything you can on the page. Short moments of inspiration like when you’re waiting for a meal at a restaurant, on a bus or airplane or train trip, or laying down on the beach can be great times to put your pen to paper.


Of course, every trip is a chance to explore new exciting things! That maybe give us too many possible ideas for writing, but in fact, not everything is writing-worthy! Choose specific topics of things you like or you don’t like during your trip, or lay out your thoughts on a page about new cultural things you learned or people you met! Just a few words about those specific experiences that captured your attention while traveling are more than enough to keep your writing spirit high! Additionally, stay loyal to those topics and try to expand them day-by-day adding further thoughts! That’s an excellent way to see the progress of your own opinion!

Travel Journal: How to start - Ideas, rules, and tips 2


Many times travel journal is a no-man’s land! You want to start, but you don’t know from where or why. The following scale made up by the expert team of Epica will help you clear your mind and fluently do the writing:

-Write about your expectations

What are your hopes for this trip? Ok, let's agree that sometimes expectations can wildly differ from reality. Especially when you’re going somewhere, you’ve never been before, and you only have heard about it! Write down what you think the trip will be like, or hope it will be like, what traditional food do you expect to taste or sights you are willing to visit!

-What are you going to do?

Write intensively about the things you want to do, the sights you want to see the music you want to dance to, the food you want to taste. Writing it all down in every detail, adding stores or places that others suggest you visit! That will get you excited and -above all- will help you start your journey with a plan.

-Write about the people you meet, new habits or interesting cultural things you learn there!

Did you meet anyone new? Of course, you did! Did you make a new friend? Probably yes! Were the locals welcoming as you expect? Did you learn something new from a stranger having a small chat in different languages? People always make a trip more exciting. Whether you came with them or met them there, write about how the people you encountered affected your experience.

-Food addicted!

We are not saying to keep a food diary – but why not? Food always is a good reason to write! Especially if you try local foods or traditional dishes. Or maybe taking notes of new recipes you experience; then your travel journal could help you to remember them all when you’re back home!

-Ups and downs

What did you like most about the trip or you don’t like? Start writing your thoughts and keeping notes that will help you make essential suggestions to others who plan to make the same trip as you did!

-Where do you want to go next?

Every travel is like food! Appetite comes with eating! Even before you return home, ideas about your next trip may have arisen! Use your travel journal to write a wish-list of places you want to go and try to start checking them off.

Travel Journal: How to start - Ideas, rules, and tips 3


One of the biggest problems preventing to start a travel journal is when someone believes that he’s not traveling anywhere all that exciting. But there is no need to visit Machu Picchu, Narnia or Middle Earth to find inspiration for your travel journal! Even a trip within your country’s borders could be enjoyable to write about if you focus on the new people you met and the feelings you have in every travel! Theodore Roosevelt is famous for saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Most of all you have to live the moment and remember that any writing is all about you! Don’t get all judgemental about your skills and give space to less important things to impress you!


“Write a lot. But do it on your schedule. That might be every day. It might not be. The point is not to follow other people’s rules but to make your own. Then follow them.” —Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

“Every journey has two parallel experiences — the external, in which we observe the world around us, and the internal, in which we visit new places within ourselves. When we weave these two journeys together through our writing, we end up with vivid accounts of our trips — keepsakes that help us remember our travels for years to come. A travel journal is an ultimate souvenir.” —Dave Fox, author of Getting Lost: Mishaps of an Accidental Nomad

“Make sure you capture the sounds, the smell, the feel of a place. That will be much more interesting than any museum you may visit.” —Paul Theroux, author of The Last Train to Zona Verde

“I think of my journal as a travel companion. Not a whiny or strict companion is demanding my constant attention, but an affable, playful, ever-available friend that doesn’t mind spending a lot of time locked in my hotel room. Then, as I go about my day, taking in sights and having adventures, I keep it in the back of my mind, thinking to myself, ‘I can’t wait to tell my journal this story.’”—Lavinia Spalding, author of Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler


Why not? Choose a stylish leather journal unlined, grab your pen or pencil, and give your inspiration a chance! As it goes for writing, it has nothing to do with talent! There isn’t any need to be natural to illustrate a historical monument or a building! A drawing travel journal is always intriguing!

Travel Journal: How to start - Ideas, rules, and tips 4


Use storytelling as a writer would in your travel journal! Before you set foot in the first city, be more creative and write about your expectations of travel in the journal not in an ordinary way. Create imaginary characters inspired by movie characters or famous historical events connected with your destination! Use their quotes to follow your story and bring impressive things to life.


Writing a reflective travel journal can be useful. It’s a great way to recap what you have learned! Keep all the memories, information, ideas, comments on your travel journal, and you will have a valuable friend forever!



How does keeping a travel journal sounds to you? For others writing is a way of living whether they travel or not. Benefits of handwriting or keeping a diary are known so far. But a travel journal is something else; a loyal companion that keep the moment alive to infinity and beyond!

We would really appreciate any comments you might have. Did you enjoy this article? If you keep a travel journal yourself, or if you are inspired to take one along on your next trip, we’d love to hear from you and maybe even publish your Guest Blog for our readers. You can always write to us at

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