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How to Make a Travel Journal

Travel is a time for growth, new experiences, and seeing more of the world. If you’re going on a trip, you’ll want to remember everything you did. A travel journal will enrich your trip at the time and will preserve your memories of the experience.

Steps

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    Before you leave:

    • Buy a lightweight but durable hardcover blank book. If you’re on a budget, look for a bound notebook that will be big enough to glue in menus and programs but small enough to fit in your day bag.
    • Make sure you have a good pen and some small colored pencils or a travel-size watercolor set for quick sketches. A small pair of scissors and a short plastic ruler will also come in handy.
    • Buy a good quality glue stick.
    • Glue a large clasp envelope to the inside of the back cover of the journal and put papers there until you have time to glue them into the book.
    • Get a small zippered pouch for all your journal supplies — preferably a clear one so you can see what’s inside. Pack it in your carry-on bag if you will be flying.
    • Buy a good quality pen or pencil that is durable and you feel comfortable writing with.
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    On your trip:

    • Date your entries!
    • Collect ephemera: ticket stubs, business cards from restaurants and hotels, paper menus or logo napkins, and other paper items that will add visual appeal and help you remember your trip. Put them in the clasp envelope in the back of your journal until you can incorporate them into the journal. Collect receipts by sticking them in the back of your wallet as you pay for things. You’re more likely to remember special meals or interesting things that you paid to see later on.
    • Glue in the ephemera as you go along, or leave room to add items later. Although you may not be able to take liquid glue on an airplane, you can buy some at your destination. Liquid glue takes longer to dry than the glue stick, but it will hold in items better.
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    Take photos. Images of the people and places you see on your journeys can help bring back memories years later when you find your old journals. Photos can capture that unique moment, a snapshot of time that can’t be expressed through words.

    • For a retro look, find a Polaroid camera and use it for your travel photos. Not only will they look fun, they develop immediately and have a spot for captions.
    • If you can’t find a Polaroid, try to get a disposable camera. While digital cameras are all the rage, you can develop a disposable camera almost anywhere, which means you can add your photos to your journal immediately.