Many travelers keep a travel journal to help document important events, people, or occurrences that happen while on a trip. This is a great way to keep memories vivid, and the writer will be able to refer back to the journal for years. It is important to remember, however, that sometimes less is more: a smaller journal packs better and is lighter, and fewer details sometimes make for better reading. Be selective both about the type of journal chosen for writing and the items chosen to write about in the travel journal to ensure the content is interesting and accessible.
A travel-worthy travel journal will be small and packable, lightweight, and easy to write in. Some travelers choose to purchase the journal while on the trip so it holds special significance in itself. Others choose to buy a sturdy notebook at home so the trip to the destination can be chronicled as well. Whichever method is chosen, it is a good idea to choose a lightweight, hardcover journal that will stand up to the abuse of traveling. Choosing an appropriate pen to go with the travel journal is appropriate as well. Try to choose a sturdy pen that will not leak, and one that will pack easily. Some manufacturers make travel pens that collapse or fold in on themselves for easy storage.
The traveler should be selective about what he or she writes about in the travel journal. It will be tempting to chronicle every insignificant event that occurs on the trip, but the best journals will focus instead on major events and occurrences along the way. It helps to consider who will read the travel journal so the writer has an idea of what kind of audience he or she is writing for. If the journal is for personal review only, the writer should consider what stories and facts will be most interesting later on when he or she goes back to read it. The look, feel, and smell of the Sistine Chapel may be appropriate fodder for a journal, for example, but chronicling the endless time spent in line to get in or the minor annoyances along the way may not be worth remembering.
Numbering the pages in the journal will help the reader when referring back to a specific time or place. It may even be helpful to leave a few blank pages at the front of the journal for a table of contents or index once the journal is filled. This will help for quicker reference when the reader wants to find out more about a particular place or event.