Writing a travel diary often allows people to maintain better memories of a journey, and to better preserve the emotions during time like it was the first day. Words, images, and sometimes even small objects, they can all help travellers to better remember what they did during a journey, and to better entertain their friends while talking about all their experiences.
Following are some possible tips to write a good travel diary:
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TIPS 1: MAKE A SKETCH OF OUR FAVOURITE PLACES
The first tip to write a good travel diary in my vision is to go beyond words, by adding quick but still significant sketches of the places visited. It’s a good way to reduce the monotony of endless pages of words, by adding that special creative touch which can better entertain the readers.
In fact, i find that sketches made on the fly without thinking too much, sometimes are more good looking and even expressive than a real photograph.
Below, my girlfriend made a sketch of the “San Francisco” bridge that crosses the Jokulsarlon lagoon in Iceland inside our Iceland travel diary. I can say, yes, it resembles very well the original one, and it really brings back to my mind many good memories!
TIPS 2: ENRICH PAGES WITH SOME SMALL PICTURES
Along with sketches, i also find pretty cool to enrich a travel diary with some pictures, rather than keeping them separated from the diary itself.
Of course putting an entire album inside a diary could be unfeasible, however, making a small selection of the best 10 pictures for example, could be the way to go. The letter size in this case could be useful, since it still allows to keep some space for writing some explanation text within the same page in form of a caption.
Another cool and more quickly way to do it, if one doesn’t wish to print his pictures, it’s to cut the images from magazines and fliers collected during the journey, like we did below, where we inserted a picture of the Iceland Jokulsarlon lagoon, found in a flyer taken inside the reception of our Icelandic bed and breakfast
TIPS 3: TALK ABOUT THE LOCAL FOOD EXPERIENCE
Often people conceive a journey in terms of places and spots, but what about the local food?
It’s not uncommon to visit a place and get in love with the local dishes, or come back home and receive many questions from friends such as “hey, how was the food??”.
Food in an important part of any culture in the world, and a good way to satisfy our curiosity to understand how each country differs from the others. In this sense, a travel diary is probably a great opportunity to tell about our food experience….words, photos, or just a sketch……everything is welcomed….
TIPS 4: INCLUDE A MAP OF THE ITINERARY WITH PLACE NAMES
Including a map of the itinerary with the name of the places visited and even the distances traveled each day, can help in better remembering what we did, by also providing a “travel idea” to the readers of our diary especially in case they wish to make a similar trip….
This is also useful when we visit places with names that are incredibly challenging to remember such as in the case of Iceland…..how hard could it be to remember a name such as Eyjafjallajokull, the popular volcano which erupted in April 2010 by freezing the entire european air traffic?
And, however, although not too difficult to remember, even the easiest names of places after a while tend to vanish, no matters what….
Well, a travel diary in this sense, can seriously help….
TIPS 5: PUT TICKETS AND FOOD PACKAGES IN THE DIARY
Tickets are often a great remembrance and an original personal souvenir of a place…It can be that of a museum or of an exhibition….Why throw it away?
The same is true for some smaller food packages like those of a chocolate bar for example. Sometimes, they could contain great pictures of the places visited, as it happens for example with the icelandic chocolate produced in collaboration with the the “Friends of Vatnajokull”, where every package includes a different photo of many places, as seen from the image below, where a portrait of the Skaftafell area has been printed in the front side of the package
Just take some glue and stick them to the pages of the diary!
TIPS 6: PUT SOME PHOTOS IN BIG SIZE
Sometimes this can break the monotony of reading text in a nice and unexpected way….just take 2 contiguous pages and put a picture in big size….no text, just a big and nice shot….of course only the best shosts are recommended….
Here below we put an image of our first sunrise inside the park of Thingvellir in Iceland, since this represented the very beginning of our great journey!
TIPS 7: MAKE A TOP 10 CHART
Sometimes journey can be very long and last many weeks…..Friends in general are often curious to know the best experiences we made, apart from the narration of our entire story, and some of them are not interested enough in reading everything from scratch
For this reason, to keep the attention higher, a nice trick could be to add a section with the top 5 or top 10 experiences we made, to give an immediate overview of what effectively we liked the most of our trip, without forcing people to read our entire “bible”…..
TIPS 8: BUY A BOOKMARK FOR THE TRAVEL DIARY
Along with the tickets of museums or exhibitions, i believe that another small gadget that can enrich the travel diary is represented by the bookmarks, easy to find, and quite cheap.
They can enrich a travel diary, and be even useful, since they can help in reminding the last page read.
In the image below is shown our nice and “icy” bookmark bought in Iceland, perfectly depicting the shade of the ice colours of glaciers, ranging from a more common white, to a vibrant blue, caused by the high compression of the glacier weight, and often found in Iceland.
TIPS 9: DONT’ FORGET ANIMALS AND PEOPLE
Again, places are not everything of a journey, and as it happens with the food, spending words also about the local animals or about the local people can improve the readers experience and help them in getting a better idea of what to expect from a place….it could be a sketch, a photo or some personal comments…..
It’s not uncommon infact to make a special encounter with unbelievable animals, as well as with some crazy or fascinating people….why not including them in our story?
In the image below, my girlfriend has made a quick sketch with a pen of one of the most representative animals of Iceland, the Puffin bird, along with the portrait of the owner of the Saga museum of Hvolsvollur in Iceland, a real cool and funny guy that we met during our journey!
TIPS 10: LET OTHER PEOPLE WRITE SOMETHING
It can be an inscription or a simple thought….it can even be written in the local language…. I’m sure everyone has nice memories of someone special, met during a journey…..
Why not letting them leaving some words inside our travel diary?
TIPS 11: PICK UP SOMETHING, AND STICK IT IN THE DIARY
Probably, a leaf is the best and most common example of this. With some fantasy and a pinch of attention, probably it’s possible to find many small objects that we can pick up and keep inside the diary as a remembrance of a place
TIPS 12: KEEP AN ADDRESS BOOK INSIDE THE DIARY
It’s easy to meet new people during a journey. Why not using some pages at the end of the diary as an address book? We can take note of phone numbers, e-mails and so on
I know that with a smartphone that would be easier to do, however, i think that it would surely be less fascinating….i find an “old-style” address book to be more romantic and nostalgic…..
TIPS 13: DON’T WRITE WORDS, CUT THEM FROM MAGAZINES AND FLIERS
Just an extra idea to enrich the travel diary and make it more cool….sometimes, to write a title, it can be cool to cut with a pair of scissors some words from fliers or magazines and use them inside pages as seen from the image below, where the word Iceland, representing the title of our travel diary, has been cut and sticked from a flier
TIPS 14: WRITE SOME TIPS FOR READERS
Often our friends could find useful to read our diary not only to just enjoy it, but also to get an idea to organize a similar trip.
For this reason, why not leaving some tips inside it? It could be a suggestion to save some money on food, or some good places to stay, or even some great shops or restaurant to visit.
Whatever thing we can suggest to our friends, this can surely enrich the content of our diary
TIPS 15: WRITE THE TOP 10 MISTAKES
During a trip it’s quite common to commit some mistakes, such as forgetting the driver license at home, or to forget to call in advance our phone operator to ask for more informations about the use of our mobile phone from the country we are visiting.
Whatever big mistake we made, why not informing our friends about it? this can help them in avoiding to do the same, and for this reason, reserving a little section inside the diary to this, could even make the diary something useful
Thanks for reading! If you have further suggestions and ideas to enrich a travel diary, leave a comment and i will add it to the above list!
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