It's handy to make the first half of your travel journal about prep so you'll have easy access to it throughout your trip and have everything in one book.
I would recommend starting by pasting in a small map and outlining your general route on the first page. (Also, you may want to include an address in case you lose your valuable travel journal so someone can mail it back).
2. Divide by Country
After outlining your route, make separate sections for each country you plan to travel through. For my trip I will have a section for the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Within each country start by including some important information such as what is the emergency number for that location, what is the climate like at the time of travel, and scribble in a few useful phases in the native language of the place you are visiting. Also look into tipping customs if you're not sure.
Next, make a subsection for each city you will visit in that country. Include any attractions you want to see, where you plan to stay, must-dos, and your timeline in that location. Hint: In some places, attractions are closed on weekends so make sure you research and plan accordingly.
It may also be helpful to include a local map if you can find one online to print and paste.
If you have a specific itinerary add that to the journal too. Check back on our blog to see our itinerary in the coming weeks.
4. Packing List
This is important to ensure you're not forgetting anything for your trip. It's also good to periodically review and ask yourself "do I really need to bring that?". Most things you can buy if you forget, but important items such as prescriptions, a charger or glasses may be harder to replace.
5. We're Here!
This section is all about your actual trip. Personally, I like to keep it in a "Day 1, Day 2, Day 3" format. I include a brief summary of my day with details about people I meet, funny things that my travel companions say, favourite part of the day and anything else memorable. I also like to keep track of the souvenirs I buy so I can remember where they're from. Don't forget to review the places you eat/stay so if you go back you'll know where to return or stay away from.
And don't forget tape! It's nice to tape cut-outs, or tickets into your journal as you go so you can keep them as souvenirs without misplacing or having them clutter your home.
Do you have any other tips for keeping a travel journal? Would you include any other information/sections? Let me know!