Malika Kapoor

Travel journal guide for beginners

What is a Travel Journal?

A travel journal is a document made by a traveler about his experiences, feelings, thoughts, etc. of a specific vacation or trip. It is made in a book format or a diary.

You can express yourself via different creative mediums like pictures, poetry, painting, writing, etc. in your travel journal.

Why should one make a travel journal?

We forget too soon the things we thought we would never forget. A travel journal is like an album of memories. It can be kept as a private thing or we can share the experience with our family and friends. We all click pictures as much as we can to remember our trip. Pictures can capture a moment but not feelings. Travel journals are all about capturing feelings with concrete detail.

Like any other journal, a travel journal calms our mind and it’s a creative way to know more about ourselves. Journaling gives a sense of organization and helps to become a stronger communicator.

Points to consider while making your own Travel journal:

  • Supplies to carry

If you are planning to complete your journal while on the trip, I would suggest you travel light. And for that, opt for A5 size or smaller size notebook/ diary as your journal, as it is travel friendly and you can either hold it in your hand or put it in your handbag. I would also suggest you, instead of carrying a whole bunch of stationery, carry basics like a small pencil case, an eraser, a glue stick, 4-5 colors, a pen or a pencil, and a sharpener. (Carry 2 pencils as we might lose one while traveling).

And if you need some more colors or any other stationery, you can always complete that particular section after you reach home.


  • Pictures

Take as many pictures as you can! Whatever you feel is interesting, take a picture of it. Click the picture of the café you ate in, the museum you visited, the theatre you watched, the landmarks you came across, street lamps you may find interesting, etc. Also, everyone has a different style and preferable angles which makes your pictures more like how you see and what mood you were in. Take more photos then you can narrow down what you want to use in your journal.


  • Writing

Writing is an important part of journaling. It builds strong communication for a reader. You can write about your experience, quotes, poems, etc. You can also write on pictures and drawings to explain your mood well. You can also write the words you learn new foreign words you might need while traveling, emergency local numbers, or you learned on your trip. I will also suggest you write your personal details so even if you lose your journal, someone can return it to you.


  • Doodle

Doodles or drawings can help you to record your travels. It adds your personal touch to your journal. You can doodle your mood or your feelings which a photograph wouldn’t be able to capture.

E.g.: Excitement seeing an ice cream cart.

A picture will show just an ordinary ice cream cart but fail to express your excitement/ cravings.


  • Souvenir

Take a small souvenir from the places you visit like pamphlets, flight/ train/ bus tickets, stickers, bills/receipts, visiting cards, etc. You can use these as an embellishment in your journal or become a memory of that experience. You can make a collage or just glue them in your journal. It will add an essence to your journal.


  • Enhancement

Enhancement/Decoration/Embellishments are used to fill the black space or can add an interesting addition to your journal. Embellishments like textured/colored paper, glitter, washi tapes, stickers, etc. Everything which enhances your style and doesn’t overpower your work.


  • Maps

Maps can be used to know where you are going or where all you traveled and you can use it to decorate the page. You can buy a printed map which is available on any tourist stand or you can get creative and draw yourself or use photoshop. It also helps you to plan your trip accordingly.


  • When to work on a journal?

Many people don’t have a travel journal just because they don’t know when to write your journal. There is no right or wrong time to write your journal. Some people plan a daily time slot for writing their travel journal, but you can write while enjoying your coffee while traveling by bus or plane while eating your food, or before you go to your bed. And it is possible you may not finish your journal in your trip duration and that’s ok, you can complete later when you reach home.


A travel journal is your travel guide as well as travel buddy. There are many ways you can make your travel journal. Being a beginner, you may not know your style yet and that’s ok, you can find inspirational pictures online. I will suggest you go with your guts. I hope these tips were helpful. Try writing your first travel journal and share your experience with me here in the comment section. Bon voyage!



Malika Kapoor (MK) is a community where we want to help everyone, from student to entrepreneurs, to improve and raise their standard of living and encourage them to build a profitable business.

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