The best way to keep a travel journal is to keep two. A “draft” one that you will take with you on your trip to “pencil in” thoughts and notes while on your travels, and a permanent one you will write in when you return home.
By keeping a “draft” journal on your trip that you can transfer into a permanent journal on your return home, you reduce the risk of losing your only journal of all your travels. You will also often find that when you have returned and are reviewing all of your pictures and souvenirs from your trip, that you will remember things that you didn’t write down in your “draft” journal. You might also be able to refresh memories that you will be able to elaborate on in your journal once all the hectic moments of your travels have ended.
At the start of each trip, in your “draft” journal – and a school notebook is often best for this – you can mark out your travel plans for each day of your trip. This way you will be able to scribble notes and thoughts at the end of each day, and even list some of the sights that you may have taken pictures of just to remind you when you have your film developed. Often when you return home with several rolls of film to develop you may forget where or when you took specific pictures. By putting a small piece of paper in the film case with the date on it, or even writing it on the outside of the film case, you will be able to keep your photos in order when you are later scrap-booking them.
Each evening before you go to sleep, or during any lunch or dinner breaks while you are waiting for your meal to arrive, you can write in your “draft” journal where you have been that day so far, or what you are thinking and feeling about the sights you have seen. You can track the cost of any souvenirs, or who you bought something for, or pictures you have taken. You can also make notes on new friends you have made, addresses, email addresses or phone numbers.
When you have returned home after all of your exciting adventures, gone back to work, washed all your dirty laundry, and finally caught up on your sleep, you can then sit down and transfer all of your thoughts, memories, and notes into a permanent journal or scrapbook.
Your permanent journal will be something that you can refer to after each trip. It can be big or small, elaborate or simple. You can use a scrapbook to collect all of your journal notes, pictures, and mementos – such as ticket stubs, receipts, or brochures.