Travel Tips

10 Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal on Vacation

Explore your creative side during your journeys with these vacation journal ideas

The Vacationeer

Storytelling will never go out of style. From ancient civilizations to modern day, stories are told for entertainment, education, and of course, to remind ourselves of the great things we've discovered while escaping the day-to-day.

Returning home from vacation can be hard enough, but talking about the memories can keep that travel fire burning bright. But as time goes by our stories are filled with less detail. Even remembering the name of that incredible restaurant in the Latin Quarter where you enjoyed a four-hour lunch is a challenge.

Here are 10 reasons why keeping a travel journal is so important and some creative journaling ideas to get you started:

Write in the Moment

The best time to be inspired to write is in the moment. Set a goal to fill a blank page in your journal every night before bed. This way you're recording your memory-making in real time. You’ll be surprised by all of the descriptive languages that rolls right off your pen.

Remember the Tricky Monikers

Have you ever been deep in a conversation with someone talking about travel, and you're so excited to recommend your favorite restaurant in Barcelona, but you can’t remember it? Simply check your journal.


Some of the best creative travel journal ideas don’t require words. Use your travel journal to doodle simple pictures, creative fonts, and flowers you see walking down streets as a tourist. Enjoy a drink while taking a moment to yourself to unwind with a silly sketch or two.

It’s the Best Souvenir

There's no need to buy souvenirs during your travels if you have a travel journal. Pack a glue stick or a roll of tape, and you can insert postcards, business cards, and brochures into your travel journal. You’ll create an authentic, DIY gift for yourself.


One of the exciting elements of writing in the moment is the opportunity for self-discovery. You never know, maybe recording that outdoor cooking class you took in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, has prompted your interest in writing down your secret family recipes that you remember making as a child.


When a travel friend says something hilarious and quote-worthy at dinner, write it down. When you hear a great new song in a new country, jot it down before you move on, forget, and rack your brain to remember later.

Make Lists

Crossing things off your list is a huge sense of accomplishment. Making a list doesn’t have to be all about chores and the monotonous to-do list at home. Make a list in your journal of places you want to see next, restaurants you want to visit, and books you’d like to read. You’ll feel just as accomplished checking things off your list.


Travel provides us with so many memories and experiences. Some we share, and some we keep close to our hearts. Use your journal to record your thoughts that you’d prefer to keep to yourself.

Helping Others

When friends or family ask you about that amazing trip you took a few years ago and want to follow your itinerary and must-dos, you can look to your travel journal. Instead of saying, “I don’t remember,” you can recall all of the important details because you wrote down.


Have you ever read journal entries or letters from an elder relative? It’s fascinating to learn where their adventures took them around the world. One creative travel journal idea store their vacation stories and memories in a travel journal. You never know who it might inspire in the lifetimes to come.

When you're ready to write, here are a few tips:

  1. Get a journal that will inspire you.
  2. Bring a glue stick to add travel memorabilia like train tickets or museum passes.
  3. Pack a pen you love. It’s not as fun to write with a pen you don’t connect with.

So the next time you're packing for your vacation, don’t forget to bring a journal and a pen to jot down your creative travel journal ideas.

Happy travel writing.


The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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