Tips for Keeping a Vacation Journal

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Keeping a journal on vacation sounds easy: bring a notebook, write a few things in it every day, and you’re done. However, in practice, it can be more difficult. Activities get in the way. You’re too tired, or you’re stymied by writer’s block when you sit down every night. A good journal can be an invaluable way to remember the little things about a vacation, however, so it’s worth it to keep one. Use the following tips to create a journal that you’ll treasure.

– Write in whatever style fits you. Don’t worry about creating a masterpiece of travel literature as you’re crammed onto a bus in South America. Just write down whatever will help jog your memory later. If all that comes out is “Bus trip. Cutest baby sleeping in someone’s arms next to me,” it’s still better than six crossed-out sentences.

– Ask people you meet to contribute to your journal. If you share a meal or a spot along the beach with someone and end up hitting it off, turn your journal over to them for a page or two. Their perspective on the day or on your interaction may be fascinating later on.

– Use prompts. Some people find it helpful to start each journal entry with the date, location, time, and other hard facts.

– Schedule time for writing. You don’t need to set aside a huge chunk of time every day to write. Ideally, you’ll have many other things to do. But once every few days or so, take time to recap your activities and record the way you’re feeling about your trip.

– Include other media. Even if you’re not a great artist, try sketching something. Paste in bus tickets or a tourist brochure. Recording more than words can make a journal more fun to read later on.

– After you’re done, index your entries. Number every page, and then list major destinations and events by page number somewhere in your journal. Doing so will encourage you to reread it by letting you jump to your favorite memories.

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