Ever since I was a kid, I’d take a vacation journal on every trip.  I liked capturing the day’s activities and little details.  It was always fun to look back and remember exactly where we went, what we saw and who we met.  I have several half-finished vacation journals and know someday I’ll turn them into a cool scrapbook or travel book.

Vacation Journal Tips

Not everyone loves writing like me, I realize that.  So, if you hate the idea of writing after a day of vacationing, these vacation journal tips are for you!

Keep it simple

You’re not writing the next great American novel.  You’re just jotting down some details about a fun experience.  Who, what, when, where, why — answer those questions each day or every couple days.  Throw in a few details, like names of restaurants or shops, funny things your partner or kids said, and prices/costs of things.  If you really hate writing, don’t even make complete sentences.  Make lists or draw sketches.  Just make that vacation journal!

Use a dedicated notebook

It doesn’t have to be a fancy vacation journal (although I think they’re more fun to write in and show off on the bookshelf), but you need a dedicated notebook for your vacation memories.  In a pinch when I’ve forgotten my fancy vacation journal, I’ve used plain old spiral notebooks and they worked great.  It’s really fun to have a history of vacations and memories all in one place — reading through old vacation stories is a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon at the beach or coffee shop.

Channel your inner poet

One of the best parts of vacations is exploring new places and beholding amazing new sites.  If you’re sitting on the beach staring at the ocean, pull out your vacation journal and write about what you’re seeing and feeling.  If you’ve just climbed the mountain and are looking at that majestic view of the valley below, record your thoughts and describe exactly what you saw.  Those little details will make all the difference in 20 years.  Plus, it’s really great to record your feelings once in awhile, especially when you’re happy and enjoying life.

Record your family’s observations

Taking a long road trip between national parks or sitting in traffic on the way to the beach?  Ask your partner, children or friends about their favorite moments of the trip and put them in your journal.  Whenever we’re vacationing and I ask the kids what’s been their favorite part, they always surprise me with their answers.  Kids find joy in little things we never expect them to remember, like the late-night trip to the crappy hotel swimming pool, or the amazing ice cream shop we found after missing our exit.  Make sure you ask and record their stories in your vacation journal, too!

Create a family time capsule

OK, so this isn’t really a vacation journal tip, but it’s a fun vacation tip!  When you’re on vacation and looking for a fun activity to do around the picnic table or on a rainy evening, fill out a family time capsule (I happen to sell a really fun one!).  It’s not only a fun and interactive family activity, but it’s a great way to record and preserve this moment in your family’s life.  Kids grow up so fast.  Capturing this snapshot of their personalities, habits, and attitudes will be so much fun for everyone to look back on in 20 years.


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