A travel journal is an item you should definitely pack in your suitcase on every trip. I wish that I had started doing this years ago. I only began to journal recently. ( a few years ago)
I have found fabulous journal book blanks that I use for my writing. I particularly like the lovely moleskin journals. The beautiful leather and gold journal for Italy, the glossy cover with the Eiffel tower for Paris and the one with the bougainvilleas for Mexico, I love them all the simple ones and the sublime.
It is so nice to go back over your trip and read your entries. Believe me you will not remember all the little details that made your trip unique.
I also like to have a tiny notebook that I can carry in my pocket or purse. Before I leave home I note the addresses of art galleries, museums, interesting places or people that I might like to visit.
When you are out roaming around at your destination you may want to make a note of the name of a brassiere where you had lunch and what you had to eat. Maybe you had a miscommunication in a foreign language and ended up with some weird dish. Note the name and address of a neat shop that you purchased that fabulous item. When you make new friends add their name and info and a little bit about them. What about that recipe that you got from your new friend in Mexico…write it down.
When you get back to your accommodations you will be able to transfer your notes and thoughts into your journal, online diary or maybe even a blog. If you are too tired to put them in your journal you will have your mini journal or notebook to jog your memory at a later date.
I am an artist so I also like to take a sketch or watercolour one. What about noting the way shadows cast over the walkway at Luxembourg Park, people sitting in a cafe or that mouth-watering pastry you had. I also take lots of photos with my camera but a little pencil or watercolour sketches are very personal and can even make great postcards or gifts. You could even frame some when you get home. You don't have to be a great artist; even if you can't draw a thing then you can do an abstract to convey how you felt.
You can even paste little items into your travel journal like ticket stubs, wine labels and business cards.
Years later you can take your travel journal down from the bookshelf and relive all the wonderful or crazy memories from your vacation.
When your travel companion asks you if you remember the name of the wine and cheese you had on your first night in Paris you can just refer back to your journal before you head out to the shop!
" I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train." ~ Oscar Wilde