Top 10 Benefits of Keeping a Travel Journal

Have you ever been traveling and noticed a person completely engrossed in the activity of journaling, perhaps with a somewhat dreamy expression on her face, and seemingly oblivious to the chaos around her? Perhaps you said to yourself “I should try that on my next trip.”

I encourage you to follow that hunch, and here’s why. There are many benefits to keeping a journal of your travels; before, during and after your adventure.

Here are my top ten benefits of keeping a travel journal, divided into three categories; before, during, and after your trip.

Before your trip:

1. Setting the intention of keeping a travel journal is a fine way to focus your excitement and prolong the anticipation of your upcoming trip.

2. Your journal becomes a place to gather information about your trip before you go; like maps, names of contacts and articles about destinations.

During your trip:

3. Slowing down — it’s too easy to rush through a trip, feeling like you can never see or do enough. If you’ve ever come home from a trip feeling like you needed a vacation from your vacation, this is as good a reason as any to start a travel journal practice.

4. Peaceful and meditative — since travel can be so hectic, it’s a chance to ‘be here now.’

5. It’s a great way to meet people, and a fun, easy way for folks to strike up a conversation with you, which is especially welcome if you’re traveling alone.

6. It’s a creative pursuit that helps you to shift into your right brain, especially if you include not only prose, but poetry, doodling, sketches and collages of your travel mementos.

7. The daily practice of keeping a travel journal helps to organize your thoughts and collect your impressions of a place and the things you wish to remember — the destinations, hotels, restaurants, and people. This is an especially helpful benefit if you are a travel blogger planning on writing articles about your adventures.

8. Gives you an activity to make time pass more quickly, as when stuck on a 10-hour flight, standing in a long line to enter a museum, or sitting at a government office waiting for travel paperwork.

After your trip:

9. Your travel journal becomes a personal souvenir; a physical product you can hold and show to people, and even pass on to future generations. What a treat that would be, since so many of our family memories are stored on private or easily lost digital devices.

10. It provides for richer memories than just a phone full of selfies, since the simple act of observing while you journal helps your brain to remember a scene longer and more clearly by cataloging it in your long term memory bank. Even if your journal is lost, the scenes you observed will burn brightly in your memory forever.

So that’s my list. If I’ve inspired you to take up journaling during your next trip, you may enjoy reading my free eBook; the Quick Start Guide to Travel Journaling which provides creative ideas for what to include in your journal, inspiring places to journal while on the road, tips on organizing your journal, and recommended art supplies.