For those of you wondering what we are going to do with this site now that we are starting to settle back into regular life, have no fears, there will still be posts. Not only do we try to travel much of the time we have off work/school, but I have been keeping paper travel journals for years. The hope is that I will be able to go through those from a few recent trips, match the descriptions with our pictures, and get some reasonably accurate blog posts out of them. I am looking forward to taking a trip back through time!
I love paper journals. You can write down your ideas, you can tape mementos in them, you can take them to a coffee shop. In the early years of our marriage we also used them to help with budgeting while traveling. We would keep all our receipts and tally our expenditures at the end of the day. Now, I just keep a few of the nicer looking receipts, and business cards from hotels and restaurants.
When choosing a journal, I almost always try to get one that is spiral bound. If you are planning on taping anything into it, the journal will get really fat, really quickly. With a spiral bound journal, you simply get one with more pages than you think you will need, then at the end of the trip, you tear out the extra pages. The result is a book that has reasonable thickness. And if you end up using more pages than you expected, you have extra pages, even if the end result is a thicker book than you hoped.
I love keeping tri-fold brochures from places we have visited. Simply tape in the back side, keep it folded, then unfold it as you flip back though the journal. The only problem is when you purchase too short of a journal. When shopping for one, I try to focus on the ones that are tall enough for this purpose.
Maps, hotel/restaurant business cards, and museum entrance tickets are also priorities for keeping. It’s a fun project, but you need to make sure that you have a journal, a pen, and some tape with you. You might be surprised by how much tape you end up using. I avoid glue since I sometimes want to remove a piece to look at what is on the back. Once, in China, we bought a journal at our destination, but it was surprisingly hard to find since we couldn’t read the store names.
The best part of keeping a journal is that someday you will be able to look back and remember the pros and cons of travel at each age. Some will make you laugh, others might bring tears, but you will be grateful for the memories!