How to Write a Travel Journal Log that’s Worth Reading

Traveling makes me more joyful and spontaneous and at the time, helps me grow more energetic and creative. That’s why, among all my pastime activities, writing and traveling happen to be top five on the list. What better way to combine the two than by writing a travel journal log? If writing comes naturally to you, updating and keeping a travel journal log that’s worth reading would be a bit simpler compared to those who may not have been bitten by the writer’s bug (Is that a thing though?).

Writing is no doubt an art and as such comes in a galaxy of infinite possibilities. Well, it is a complex gift within someone but just like reading, one can learn and be quite good at it. I’m a writer so this is very simple for me and I’ll proudly share my secrets with you.

You’re probably wondering why you’d even need to pack a travel journal in your traveling backpack in the first place. Well, there could be multiple reasons but here are just a few common ones.

Reasons Why You Should Have a Travel Journal

1. To preserve memories

I am currently building a memory box for all my travels. I must say that a travel journal was not at the top of my priorities when I started the memory box. I would put little take away items like plane tickets, restaurant receipts, movie or theatre tickets in a new place. And I figured out that such items don’t really tell my travel memories as well as they should. Hence the Journal.

2. Can act as a guide

You’ve been to new and exciting places in the world and have the know-how you lacked at the beginning of your trip. You can easily be the go-to guy or girl to your friends, colleagues or even family when choosing the next place to tour or travel to. With a well-written journal you are perfect for the job and can easily guide other like-minded travelers.

3. Passing on experiences

I’m not from the south where probably people get tales from grandparents but I’ve been in situations where I get advice based on personal experiences by the elderly. Most appear as myths or just incredibly untrue tattletales. If not backed up by relics, memoirs, diaries or confirmed by historians you might have a biased opinion on the matter.

4. Making money

Selling a scrapbook might not be easy. In most cases, it is untidy and more personal though priceless. Well, that’s no worry, let’s leave the cents and focus on how you can make big bucks on top of your leisure. There so many ways to earn but I will highlight a few major ones.

  • Use the journal as a reference to write killer unique content. I’m sure you’ve seen travel blogs online. This must have been the reason you visited a site or two. Starting one is easy and pays quite well so keep that in mind and you’ll have a better time on your vacation without cutting costs to get full exposure. You might not have time to keep up with your blog. Skip that extra hassle and focus more on a related career by being a consultant. Yes, this isn’t a full-time job but a side hustle where you advise bloggers with travel blog posts on a familiar location you’ve visited. Here you share experiences based on your written logs to give some extra content. Two minds are better than one.
  • Second. You must have pictures and videos of the place you traveled to, right? An easy way of getting cash is by selling them. Simple and quick cash, people go nuts for high-quality pictures of landscapes, animals and even your own portraits (that’s if you’re willing to sell it I suppose.) The web has many bloggers who would use them in their works and you don’t have to give them up for free.

How to Write a Travel Journal Log that’s Worth Reading

Here are the steps I personally follow to write a travel journal log that’s worth reading.

1. Quality over quantity

I like to emphasize that for all travel logs, it’s the quality that matters than the quantity. The more you write, the less time you will have to enjoy. Keep in mind memories, new adventures instead of raving on and on about the unnecessary details of your trip.

2. Don’t overthink it

No form of perfection is needed of you unless it’s for remuneration or public display. Think of it as just a record of your day to day activities. In this case, it’s a record of events on your trip to a new/foreign place.

3. Keep it light, simple and fun

Avoid exaggeration or telling false tales, it takes away from the purpose of the journal in its entirety. Don’t try to show off your new writing skills here. It is a travel journal, not a personal one.

Inasmuch as you may find yourself going a little bit into personal experiences and memories, it is important to keep them separate. (This especially applies where the journal is primarily not for your personal use).

4. Choose your means

I am an old school type of writer so my means are always pen and paper. This is essential especially if the writing is just for you or your memory collection. I always feel like handwritten journals have a more timeless and authentic feel to them (But then again I may be a little bit biased). Using a pen and paper also allows you to unplug and just be in the moment without the distractions of technology.

If the writing is for a more commercial purpose or a public one at that, let’s say a blog, then you mainly need to make it look a little more professional and opt for typing it out. However, it is advisable to write down on paper (back to basics) and then typing it out after your trip. This will make sharing easier and gives maximum compatibility in all situations.

Whether you’re adding photos or just adding something new through your phone or computer, this method is way easier and stress-free. Saving data on the cloud is the best way to assure you won’t lose anything in case of a robbery (Oh the pitfalls of new means, again my bias is showing).

5. Start and plan before the journey

To make anything work out with great results you need to plan. Just like you planned to take the trip in the first place, take notes on where you’d want to visit, where you’ll stay and your desired expectations. Include your budget and all preparations necessary heck you can even include the reason you’re going.

6. Include the dates

Most travel journals come with this part. If not, always remember to include the date and where applicable, add the time too. This ensures your work is more organized and makes it easy for future reference.

7. Write during your trip

I prefer planning and setting aside time for updating my travel journal. The most ideal time being just before clocking off for the night.

Reflect and write. This also enables you to document events whilst fresh and in the moment, hence the rawness and authenticity. You won’t forget a thing, either a new discovery or a fascinating experience.

As you carry out your activities on the itinerary, be present and mindful. Pick up all the sights, smells, sounds and tastes as you can. You’re your camera or cellphone close by to digitally capture your moments which you can add onto the travel journal later if you wish.

8. Write after your trip

You didn’t expect this much writing huh? I promise this is the final step. On arriving home it’s best to write on the overall experience. Look at it as a general summary of the whole travel experience. Step back and reflect. I, for one, always tend to see the world in a different light each time I travel especially to a new place.

Answer these questions while writing as an overview.

  • How it was like?
  • How were the locals like?
  • What surprised you?
  • Did the stay meet your expectations set?
  • Were you disappointed at any point?
  • Would you go back again?

I sure do hope that these tips on how to write a travel journal log that’s worth reading will help you in starting, writing and maintain your travel log for your future travels

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