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Travel writing can be hard if you don’t know where to start. So if you’re wondering how to write a travel journal – then this post is a great place for you to begin.
Did you know that studies have shown that handwriting improves brain function in various ways? Apparently cursive handwriting is particularly beneficial. So when you write your next travel story, leave that laptop closed and pick up a pen!
It doesn’t really matter if you’re writing a travel journal for yourself or if you’re looking to get your travel story published. With the writing advice below, you will for sure become a better storyteller. Let’s get writing!
TIP: For a complete list of our favourite travel journals and scrapbooking supplies, have a look at the bottom of this article!
BEST BOOKS ON TRAVEL WRITING
* The Soul of Place: A Creative Writing Workbook by Linda Lappin
* Lonely Planet Travel Writing by Don George
* On Writing by Stephen King (general writing tips)
* The Art of the Travel Journal by Abbey Sy
JOURNALING & TRAVEL WRITING ADVICE
DEFINITION OF TRAVEL WRITING
According to the dictionary, travel writing is “a genre of writing in which the author describes places they have visited and their experiences while travelling”.
It sounds simple, but as we all know, travel writing is a bit more than just describing what you did in a place you visited. It’s so easy to become repetitive when writing “and then we did this…”, “and then we did that…”
That’s why in this article, I would love to show you how to make a travel story more interesting to read. My best tip? It’s to W R I T E !
TRAVEL WITHOUT LEAVING HOME?
You don’t always need to be physically on the road to enjoy the beauty of destinations from all around the world!
From vintage travel posters to beautifully displayed souvenirs and home decor items inspired by your favourite places and from travel journals and crafts to exploring world recipes, music and dance.
With our creative articles you’ll get some fresh ideas on how to bring the world closer to the comforts of your own home.
Just WRITE? This is what I mean with that:
The “W” stands for: What happened? When did it happen? Where did it happen? Why did it happen? and With Who did it happen?
If try and answer all these questions, you’re already giving a lot of information that makes the reader better understand what happened on your trip.
Reflect: How did the experience make you feel? Was it a positive experience, or a negative? Was there something you learned from it? What were your thoughts?
Did you have any expectations going to this place? Did you make any plans? If so, how did the real experience compare?
Investigate: Can you add some background information to the experience? For example, is there a historical or personal connection, a current event, or something else that you can tie into the story?
Talk: Can you add quotes or phrases from people you encountered? Did you overhear any conversations, opinions or stories? What language did they speak and how did this sound to you?
And did you perhaps also see any specific gestures or expressions that people made while speaking (or when they chose not to speak?) All these little details will really make the story start coming to life!
Embellish: What can you add to the story that will make it really stand out? Make sure to use all your 5 senses (see, hear, feel, taste and smell).
What else is there around you that you can describe? Think about people, objects, nature, animals, colours, textures, food, accommodation, clothing, customs, music… what else can you think of?
WANT TO BE A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
There is a lot that goes into running a profitable blog and there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes than you might not realize at first.
I’ve been blogging since 2006 and have a ton of tips to share! From brainstorming ideas to creating content all year round and from posting on social media to maintaining your website, tracking what’s working, networking at events and eventually working with brands…
ADDITIONAL TRAVEL WRITING TIPS
Make sure to always write like you speak, that will make your story much more pleasant to read than using big words or writing down phrases you’d never say yourself. Read the text out loud to hear the rhythm of your words. Does it sound natural, like you’re telling the story to your best friend?
Always carry something to record your experiences while on the road. It’s so easy to forget the little details that could make your story come alive! If you don’t want to write down everything right in the moment, perhaps you can carry a small audio recorder with you (or just use your phone) to record the sound of your surroundings or leave voice memo’s to yourself.
If you find it difficult to keep up with a travel journal on your travels, perhaps a small travel logbook is more for you! Here you can quickly jot down the key memories of your day, so you won’t forget later. You can always use this little notebook to write a longer story later. Some good ones are the Everywhere You Go journal by Compendium or The Trip Passport by Letterfolk.
TRAVEL WRITING PROMPTS
Looking for inspirational travel prompts to get your creative juices flowing? Head over to this blog post, where I gathered my favourite travel journal prompts for you. This blog also features the best travel journals with prompts, such as The Adventure Book, The Clever Fox Journal and The Promptly Journal.
WHICH BOOK TO READ?
The Travel Tester loves to review books that teach you something about yourself or the world around us.
From travel guides and stories to books about business and self-development and from cultural stories to cook books from kitchens around the world… if it looks interesting to us, we’ll test it!
No matter where you’re going, with our reviews you’ll know exactly what to read next!
OUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL JOURNALS
OUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL NOTEBOOK COVERS
TRAVEL JOURNALS FOR KIDS
GET YOUR SUPPLIES
Compile your own travel journal kit with these items:
MORE ARTICLES ABOUT TRAVEL JOURNALLING
DISCOVER UNIQUE TRAVEL GEAR & GIFTS
In The Travel Tester shop, you will find our favourite travel products and original gift ideas.
Whether you’re looking for the best travel gear, gadgets, electronics, packing solutions, clothing, shoes, travel books, health- or beauty products… we’ve made a personal selection for you!