Do You Keep a Daily Travel Diary?

How do you keep your travel diary?

Those of us who write about travel find it essential to keep a daily accounting of where, what, and, of course, how: the gritty details that will help other travelers experience the same pleasures. Document costs, addresses, schedules, and more.

But do other travelers feel this persistent need to keep this daily diary as they’re trying to relax and enjoy a vacation?

I am making the argument that they should do so.

Many are good at taking pictures to document a trip. But as months and years pass, the details of the trip are not always fully captured in these images. In years past, they’d be developed and sit in envelopes, waiting to be transferred to albums. These days, they linger untouched in digital files largely forgotten on an external drive or in cloud storage.

But the camera lens might have missed the helpful docent who provided valuable, time-saving tips for visiting that massive museum. There might not be any images of the clever shortcut that saved 30 minutes of idling in the sluggish big-city traffic. Details like these vanish, or become so hazy that they’re of little use to others. Perhaps just as importantly, they disappear from your list of good travel memories.

How should a traveler document each day? Some will emerge from a favorite bookstore with Moleskine writing tablets, and scribble every detail. Others will set up a laptop during the train ride from Montreal to Quebec City and pour out the details of the previous day while still fresh on the mind.

Perhaps you’d like to create a blog to preserve your travel experiences. provides a service where “you can show people photos and diary entries, they can send you and each other messages on the message board, and a map will plot where you are and where you have just been.” Another service that uses the tagline “Creating your own diary has never been more fun” is Here you can save pictures, create maps, and keep the whole thing completely to yourself if you wish. Click another link, and you can share your experiences with others.

These suggestions are only intended to start you on the road to documenting your experiences — both good and bad — for the benefit of others and for your future entertainment. It will become a habit, and it’s a good habit to take into the new year as you plan your travels.