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How to Organize a Travel Journal

Store and organize your travel momentos in a neat and compact travel journal.


perpetual paris calendar from little borwn pen

Perpetul Paris Calendar from Little Brown Pen - photographers Evan Robertson and Nichole Roberston capture Paris by the numbers in their Pepetual Paris calendar available on Etsy.

Photo © Little Brown Pen on Etsy.com
Organizing a travel journal is a quick and easy way to store your travel memories.

Travel journals aren't just for writing; they are a great way to capture, store and display those little mementos and keepsakes you collect on a trip that may be just as meaningful as your gift shop purchases. Here is a step-by-step guide to keeping a simple and interesting journal of your trip.

Step 1: Collect
This is the easy part. Each day of your trip, go through your pockets, handbag, beach bag, wallet, etc and pull out all of the little receipts, ticket stubs and mementos. Now decide which ones to keep and which ones to toss.

Here are some examples of keepsakes for your journal:

  • Ticket stubs from museums, shows, parks, galleries, and walking tours to name a few.
  • Restaurant bills from memorable meals.
  • Wine bottle labels from memorable meals. This one comes courtesy of my friend Stacey who on a trip to Paris left a series of one or two word voicemail messages for her husband with the names of wines we tasted on our trip.
  • Brochures of memorable sites. Rip out a picture of a page, depending on the size of your journal.
  • Phone numbers/business cards of people you meet along the way.
  • Pieces of the local newspaper/magazines. A clever way to document the dates of your trip is to rip some headlines and dates out of the local newspaper.
  • Beach vacation? My fiend Kristin, a frequent beachgoer, recommends gluing in some sand.

Step 2: Create
Depending on your level of craftiness and the amount of time you have, you've got two options:

  1. Glue-As-You-Go: Take some time each day to assemble your journal. You'll need a glue stick, and possibly a ruler if you're symmetrically inclined.
  2. Scrapbook-It: For those born to craft (and that group most certainly does not include me), this is your time to shine. I would recommend putting the bare-bones together on the road and embellishing with your scrapbooking materials once you arrive home.

Step 3: Complete
A travel journal is very versatile, and you have several options for displaying, gifting or using your journal once it's complete.

  • Keepsake to save for yourself after a trip.
  • Picture Book: this is a ready-made great place to store your photos (if you're still printing out photos!)
  • Makes a great gift for your travel companion.
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