Family Holiday A to Z: Journalling your holiday
Welcome to my A to Z series on surviving, enjoying and making the most of family holidays. As you read this I am on my own 24 day odyssey to the USA with my husband and three little bears – so I am truly living what I am preaching right now! Each post in this series is designed to cover a specific aspect of family travel and provide 5 tips for making your next family holiday more special, fun and memorable. I would love to hear your stories and suggestions too, so feel free to hit me with them in the comments. I look forward to conversing with you on my return!
In an earlier post I highlighted ways that adults and kids alike can document their next family holiday. One of the suggestions made was to write a journal which, even in this day and age, is still a very relevant and effective way to document the highs and the lows of your holiday.
Today’s post digs a little deeper into what form a journal can take – you can use a traditional notebook or diary; you can start up a travel blog, use a dedicated travel app or even jot notes down on a spare bit of paper as you think of them. It’s really all down to which means of journalling suits you best and how you prefer to record your holiday memories.
There is no right or wrong way – that’s the beauty of journalling. For my part, I’ve decided to move away from a paper journal for the first time and type notes into my laptop – these notes will form the basis of future blogposts here when I return. I figure that I’m quicker at typing than writing and I will save my hands a whole lot of unnecessary pain by not attempting to hand write copious amounts of notes.
If you are interested in learning more about the many options out there for journalling your holiday, come this way…
5 ways you can keep a journal on your next family holiday
1. Write in a good quality paper journal
A quick Google search will bring up images of so many beautiful paper journals. There is something so special about the feel of a leather cover; the smell of fresh, unmarked pages and the solidness of a good quality piece of stationery. It makes me itch to write my travel tales within it’s pages – I love a proper journal. Advantages of a journal is it’s portability – it can be kept very easily in a backpack or handbag. You are not reliant on internet connectivity or a power source to record your memories. And it is something you can hand down to others or peruse at your lesisure in the future. The humble travel journal is still a great way to record those wonderful memories of your family holiday.
2. Keep a diary or take notes as you go
You can, of course, take a more casual approach to journalling your holiday. Jotting down points in a diary or quickly typing notes as you go on your smart phone or tablet can be a great way to journal as you go. There is no need for a fancy dedicated paper journal or a blog or a specific app – you can create a journal from any word processing program or from any piece of paper. This is a great option for kids too, particularly when they are young and not yet proficient in handwriting. A journal can be anything – a calendar with a quick scrawl; pictures drawn on random pieces of paper; or ideas jotted down in a notes app on your phone.
3. Start up a travel blog
If handwriting is not your thing and you have access to internet connection there are a number of ways you can start up a dedicated travel blog. Platforms such as Traveller’s Point, Travel Pod and My Trip Journal have been specifically created to host blogs for travellers. These are great options if you are looking to dip your toe into blogging or wanting to set up a different blog for each trip you take. If you want to get more serious and are looking to blog your life and your travels, WordPress is definitely the place to be. There are also many sites out there which can guide you if you are interested in setting up a travel blog – the world is your oyster when it comes to all the options with blogging.
4. Use a travel journal app
There are literally hundreds of travel apps available on both the App Store and Google Play. Many are free and provide a quick and easy way to note down the events of your day while on holidays. Some can work offline without internet connection too, which is a great bonus when you are not guaranteed continuous network connectivity. Some are very photo heavy; others map your progress as you travel; while others resemble a more traditional journal, just in a digital form. Here is a list of just a few to get you started:
- My vacation
- Off Exploring
- Map Quest
- Travel Log
Do some research before you leave for your holiday to find the app that best speaks to you.
5. Journal resources for kids
Apps, printable templates, online activities and hard copy kids’ travel journals – if you search for kid’s travel you will find all these options and more, all available for your kids to access. The best thing – a lot of these journal options are free. I’m a huge believer in encouraging kids to keep a journal in any form. In the past, our son has kept a video journal of his experiences while our eldest daughter has written in a diary. It is definitely worth the effort of finding a journalling platform that will suit them and will give them the means to document their own experiences while on holidays.
Bonus tip – 6. Journal via social media
Don’t forget the journalling potential of popular social media platforms. Facebook features a notes function which can easily host journal entries, in addition to being able to upload photo albums and link to other platforms. Twitter can capture photos together with brief, 140 character, point of time sentences, while Pinterest and Instagram can also host images together with more detailed descriptions. The great thing about social media is its immediacy – you can share your holiday while you are still living it – that’s seriously cool.
Do you have any suggestions for journalling your next family holiday?