If you are the type of person that keeps a journal (or several ones) and you want to start filling that journal with your travel memories, you are in the right blog post.
In this post, I’m sharing my ideas of easy souvenirs you can collect in your travel journal, some of them not-so-obvious things that I’ve been included in my own journal.
I personally use only one journal to keep my thoughts, gratitude, random words and travel memories. But you are welcome to keep your travel journal separate from your daily one.
Keeping a travel journal is fun and it will become like your “personal travel guide”.
Keeping a journal is easy, you don’t need fancy stationery. It is enough with a pen, a notebook and glue. You don’t need to be a painter or an artistic guru, your journal is yours and nobody else’s. All you need is some time and memories.
You have your journal and you are ready to travel but you don’t have any idea of what to include inside while traveling? There are hundreds of things you can collect in your journal.
Maybe you are a great artist that can sketch beautiful places in your notebook (I will love to have that skill, unfortunately, I don’t). You can start your journal with a packing list or your itinerary, or you can collect souvenirs from your trips.
If there is one thing that I don’t have when I travel it’s space. I carry my backpack with the essentials and I’ve never been the person to bring souvenirs to anyone.
I prefer to keep all my memories in my journals, plus I usually forget things quickly. Having a journal allows me to keep and preserve memories for years to come.
These are some ideas that you can start collecting from your travels and put in your journal.
It is always fun to keep a map of a city you visited. You can draw your itinerary on it or keep it as a background. Maybe is a map of that amusement park you went to, a museum floorplan, or the subway map.
Maps are quite easy to get and free.
Find them in train stations or at the airports. Look for the tourist offices, they are always a great source of cool maps.
When you visit a building or museum look for the maps in the lobby, they will remind you of how that visit was.
Photo: On the left: I visited for the first time Universal Orlando Resort in 2018 and I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried when I stepped inside Diagon Alley. So this was a visit that I wanted to remember. I include a map of the Park inside my journal as well as one of the tickets to the park. On the right: I took this fun map from the hostel I stayed in Brussels.
Stamps are unique and perfect to stick on your pages.
Countries usually change stamp designs from time to time, so your stamps will reflect that specific period. Next time you visit the country collect a different one.
Buying stamps are cheap, they usually cost some cents.
They can be found in more places than you think. The obvious place is post offices, but you can also find stamps in regular bookstores or stationary ones, gas stations, big department stores and in some countries even in pharmacies.
Photo: I bought these stamps in Nicaragua when I was living there. I actually pretended to send some letters but it never happened, so I keep them.
3. Tea bags
I love my teabag collection. I’m a tea lover and I can’t help it.
I usually have two pages just to keep all the different teas I drink, but you can also include them in your daily travel pages. It’s your journal after all.
Teabags are great to remind you of that little restaurant you went to, the time you spend with some friends, or that specific tea you drink in a country.
You can also keep the tea envelop instead of the tag. You can even stain a page with a tea you drank or keep some leaves and dried them.
4. Fruit stamps
This can sound strange, but fruit stamps are a great souvenir.
Going to the markets and local stores it’s an experience on their own when traveling. Fruits are one of my favorite foods of all time and I enjoy trying new ones.
If you are not a fruit geek like me, you probably don’t need a space for fruit stamps. But if you are one, you can start collecting fruit stamps from everywhere.
They are colorful, sticky and fun.
Photo: Not only when I’m traveling I’m keeping fruit stickers or tea bags, when I’m at home too.
Who wants to clutter their bags with receipts? Probably no one. But that’s not garbage, save it for your journal. Receipts are unique, and they are worth keeping in your travel journal.
A receipt from that supermarket can remind you of that specific trip and all the local foods you bought. It can be a receipt of that café or that tour you took.
Beware that some of them can fade over time.
However, receipts are a great collectible for your journal. They are pack with information like the date and even specific time of the day and you are giving a second life to that piece of paper.
Photo: Sometimes I feel like doing a collage with receipts like on the left, other times I include just a piece like on the right. Your travel journal doesn’t need to be fancy or perfect, just a cut can be a reminder of your travels in the future.
6. Boarding Passes
Once you arrive at your destination, you have often left with several useless tickets: a train ticket, a baggage tag, or a boarding pass.
Don’t throw them in the garbage, keep them in your journal. They are a great way to remind you of the company, time, and even the seat you had on each travel.
Even the heavy tag bag can be a memory of that trip when you pack like a crazy person and you had to spend more time than needed on a desk trying not to pay for the extra weight. Ok, maybe that doesn’t happen to everyone, but it definitely happened to me.
Tickets can be an obvious one, but they are still a great souvenir to collect.
Entrance tickets, bus tickets, museum passes, wristbands, coupons… tickets are everywhere.
Looking for more travel tips? Check out some of my other posts to help you plan your next trip!
8. Press flowers
I love to go through my journals and find that flower from a specific place, a plant from that hike or just a leaf from that city.
You can even find them on the floor for free.
Put them between some tissue paper so you don’t ruin your pages and come back after a while when they are dry, beautiful souvenirs.
Do you remember that typical candy you eat in Germany? Or that chic napkin of that café in Mexico? You will remember if you keep the wrapper paper.
Don’t keep all the lit you made, be selective. Some wrappers can be a work of art, others will remind you of a place and time, and others can be a fun memory of a disgusting sweet.
Photo: There are wrappers that are just cool and artistic. On the left, I kept the wrapper of typical chocolate in Peru called Chocoteja. On the right, I kept this beautiful envelope of a handmade chocolate I bought in Playa del Carmen, it was sooo good!
Years ago, when cellphones didn’t take good pictures and not everyone carried one, people use to ask for autographs if you encountered a celebrity. Do you remember the old days?
I remember having a friend that came back from Disneyland with a book full of autographs of Disney characters, Mickey himself signed her book, I thought she was the coolest person ever.
Autographs are maybe out-of-updated now, but it is something you can start including in your travel journal from the people you meet around.
It can sound cheese for some but ask for a dedication or a small note of that friend you made traveling. Ask the person you are traveling with for a special dedicatory to include in your journal. That’s a unique souvenir.
Do you have more weird ideas of things to include in a travel journal? Share in the comments things to collect from your travels, I would love to know.
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