Do you want lasting vacation memories? Create a travel journal.

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Okay, you’re ready for a special vacation and want to have lasting memories for a well-planned trip.

You grab your smartphone, and you’re ready to document your memories on a digital device. You believe this device will record lifetime memories of your dream trip. Well, not so fast, your digital dream photos will vanish like the summer sun that slips over the horizon. Keith Wagstaff’s Today’s article, “Why your digital photos might die before your grandkids see them, reveals the transitory life of digital photo,” tells us that that digital photos can vanish like sand washed out to sea


Now let’s compare paper documents, which may last longer than your great grandchildren’s lives referenced in Mr. Wagstaff’s article.  The Guinness World states that “The oldest known piece of paper is thought to date from around AD 150 and was discovered in Wuwei in China’s Gansu province.”




There’s something else to consider in an age where it seems like everyone has a smartphone—and every smartphone has high-quality image resolution which increases the convenience of cameras that generate an unwieldy amount of indiscriminate photo-taking. With a shutter a finger-swipe away, travelers are able to document every moment of an expedition frame-by-frame, with no need to worry since there’s no cost for film and no hassle In getting images developed. No longer is there an incentive to pick and choose what to record and research indicates this lack of selectivity dulls our memory. It’s a sensory overload that dulls the mind.

While studies like Shopify, 6–psychological-benefits-of-writing-things-down, find that writing awakens creativity and adds greater value in your long-term memory.

Now you might agree that a travel journal is what you should use to capture your vacation’s adventures. Your trip’s life will last longer and generates lasting memories because you are an active partner in creating your vacation memories.   “Often the ‘exotic’ nature of a place can only be seen in the details,” says John Gimlette, an English award-winning travel writer, and author. “Give your notes a truly exotic feel with plenty of local words and names. Remember to record smells and sounds; they can be as evocative as sights when you are trying to recall the scene later.”

Ideas on creating travel journals

TRAVEL CHARM gives 5 creative travel journals

How to create:

  • Traditional travel journal
  • Postcards
  • Watercolor Postcards
  • Everything Travel Journal

TRAVEL AND LEISURE’S Dobrina Zhekova ‘s article reviews the 19 Best Travel Journals to bring on your next adventure

GINA ALYSE’S 11 things to include in your travel journal

THE STUDENT TRAVELER ideas how to create the coolest travel journal.

A PAIR & A SPARE is a guide to Travel Journaling

CHANNON GRAY’S How to set up a simple “instagramable” travel

HOMESCHOOLON’S How to bullet travel journaling

VINTAGEPAGEDESGNS 25 things to include in a travel journal

 If you want to turn your travel journal into a book, you may like these books

Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher Butcher 

A compulsively readable account of a journey to the Congo — a country virtually inaccessible to the outside world — vividly told by a daring and adventurous journalist.

Ever since Stanley first charted its mighty river in the 1870s, the Congo has epitomized the dark and turbulent history of a failed continent. However, its troubles only served to increase the interest of Daily Telegraph correspondent Tim Butcher, who was sent to cover Africa in 2000. Before long he became obsessed with the idea of recreating Stanley’s original expedition — but traveling alone.


You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal Diary  by Emma Clarke

No-one has ever seen this place in the same way you’re seeing it right now, right here, in this moment.” ‘You Are Here’ is a travel journal that takes you on your own internal voyage of discovery. By using simple mindfulness techniques you’ll find ways to develop a happy, peaceful mind. Many people buy a beautiful notebook to take on holiday. For some, the emptiness of all those pages is daunting. ‘You Are Here’ guides you through a rich variety of exercises designed to help you thoroughly enjoy your gap year, city break, odyssey, holiday-of-a-lifetime, ‘find yourself’ journey or weekend away. You’ll use fresh, creative thinking to save a memory on every page. Every moment is precious. Every moment is unique. Use this journal to live each moment to the max.


The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress by Mark Twain

The Innocents Abroad is one of the most prominent and influential travel books ever written about Europe and the Holy Land. In it, the collision of the American “New Barbarians” and the European “Old World” provides much comic fodder for Mark Twain—and a remarkably perceptive lens on the human condition. Gleefully skewering the ethos of American tourism in Europe, Twain’s lively satire ultimately reveals just what it is that defines cultural identity. As Twain himself points out, “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” And Jane Jacobs observes in her Introduction, “If the reader is American, he may also find himself on a tour of his own psyche.



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Judy Kundert

Judy Kundert, a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Excellence in Authorship award, loves storytelling, from folk and fairy tales to classics for elementary school children. She authors award-winning middle-grade novels designed to inspire and intrigue children. After she left her career as a United Airlines stewardess, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University, Chicago and a Master of Arts from DePaul University, Chicago. Most recently, she completed a master’s Certificate in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Denver. For fun, she likes reading (usually three or four books at a time), watching movies from the oldies to the current films, traveling, biking, and hiking in vast Colorado outdoors with her husband. Learn more at can find me at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains hiking, biking

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