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10 Reasons To Keep A Travel Journal

What Is A Travel Journal?

A travel journal, a traveler’s notebook, a travel notebook, is a compilation of memories, moments, and experiences, personally narrated, which tell the stories of your travels. Very personal, they contain what you most want to keep from your travels. You might paste in photos, tickets, or go old-school with maps.

As you re-read you see again the rainbow swords of lights coming through a cathedral window, or hear the babble of children speaking French in a Paris park. Your travel journal takes you back to the magic, the beauty, even the challenges of your trip.

Why Keep A Travel Journal?

If you’ve done any looking online, you’ve no doubt run across examples of travel journal ideas, and that may be the reason you are asking why. Some examples can be intimidating. But don’t let that put you off from creating a travel notebook that is a real and authentic reminder of your travels. Your journal is for you. You never need to show it to anyone else!

Here are 10 reasons you might want to consider packing a journal or notebook for your next trip.

1. Plan and Look Forward

Half the journey is anticipation. Choose a Leatherpress journal and put down your plans. Create a list of must-sees, and throw in a couple to take a chance on. Leave time for interruption or a detour – that’s where the magic happens. Make a packing list and cross off half of it. Your travel notebook primes your excitement for what you’ll do and what might happen.

2. Learn To Pay Attention

Most often we arrive at our destination jet-lagged and tired from getting ready to go. Taking even a minute to write a sentence in your journal helps orient you to a new experience. You’ll find the discipline of taking those minutes to get your impressions down helps you notice the little things, the details of your story.

3. Unwind And Relax Into Your Adventure

When we get on that plane or climb the ramp into that ferry, so much more than we can possibly anticipate is waiting for us. Keep a running journal of your impressions. Your vacation notebook provides the colorful captions for your pictures. What are your other travel companions saying about what they’ve seen? Reduce the sightseeing intensity. Let time pass while you relax at a café on the street. Write yourself out of the swirl and into the beauty of the setting, the moment, and the people.

4. Capture Beauty That Revives

As you unwind, you’ll find that a change is a good as a rest. Seeing and sensing a new place is often enough. And numerous studies show that people need to see beauty, whether simply in nature, or in art and created beauty. We travel to put ourselves in places of beauty. Describing that in your travel notebook keeps you attuned to what’s around you.

5. Relive and Remember

Travel journals take you back to your travel experience. Even when we are sure we will never forget that golden sunset in Umbria or the colors or the smells and sounds of the Istanbul market, there are some details bound to fall from our minds.  Re-reading these stories brings back the experience in full technicolor.

6. Stay Organized

It might seem like an unnecessary accessory if you’re packing light, but the end result organizes all those photos, souvenirs and other lovely debris we bring back from our travels. Back home, re-read through the journal and print out the best photos to illustrate your stories. Better yet, curate the space for photos as you go along, knowing exactly which ones you’ll put in your journal. Re-read your journal entries after you get home and keep only the photos you really want (print them out or clean up your phone’s photo album) and tuck any of those museum tickets, etc. into the journal. (Our Leatherpress Inspire Journal has an inside back pocket just for these bits!) You’ve now got a lovely slim volume that holds all those memories.

Coral red pocket notebook and Pacific Blue large notebook in a packed suitecase with clothes, sunglasses, and camera

7. Bring Your Family Together

Ever been on a trip where half the family was disengaged, or it felt like you couldn’t please everyone on the itinerary? The truth is, you probably can’t. But assign each family member a day for the “Travel Journal Takeover.” They are responsible for chronicling the adventures that day. Give them a few prompts and they’ll be on their way to a future of travel journaling.

8. Plan For Future Travel

Your traveler’s notebook becomes your guide to travel journaling ideas. You’ll know from experience which travel site is best, what additional notes you could have included in your journal and what travel notebook sizes work the best for you. Take special note of new places that surprised you and add to your bucket list – that’s another journaling idea in itself.

9. Give Travel Advice To Others

Travel journals offer recommendations to others, as well. Your friend is headed to Morocco? Give them the rundown on the best restaurants and sites. Most important, let them know if there were any places you would skip if you went back again. And, share the unexpected experiences to look out for.

10. Pass Your Travel Notebook Along To Your Kids

Do your kids think you’re not the adventurous type? Surprise them with your travel journals and vivid recollections of places you’ve been and people you’ve met. You might find yourself with unexpected invitations to go along on their next adventure.

Leather Travel Journals

Leatherpress journals and notebooks wrap up your travel notes beautifully. Full-grain leather wears in over your trip to show off its own adventures, and to remind you of experiences you don’t want to forget. Keep your traveling stories in a leather notebook and you’ll have a beautiful souvenir for years to come.