40+ Creative Travel Journal Prompts (Beginner-Friendly)

A person sits outdoors on a grassy field, writing in a notebook. A backpack is placed beside them. They are surrounded by dry, tall grass and the sky appears overcast.

Hello dear adventurer, and welcome to your new favorite inspiration page for travel journal prompts! I started journaling a few years ago during my trip to Antalya, Turkey, and it has absolutely transformed the way I process my travels.

I’m happy to share my 45 favorite travel prompts that you can use right away (and even copy-paste if you keep a journal on your screen)!

To make things easier to find, I sorted all the prompts into time segments for before, during, and after your trip. And since I’m a big fan of listicles (and I believe you may be one, too) I also added a small section with my best listicle travel prompts!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

These are my top 3 favorite travel journal prompts that usually give me so much to write about:

  • What attraction or landmark am I most excited to see and why?
  • What fun facts did I learn about my destination today?
  • Did the trip live up to my expectations?

Best travel journal prompts for reflections

Person planning a trip with a notebook that says "Let's Travel," a passport, travel tickets, a camera, and a computer keyboard on a wooden desk. Other items include nail polish, and a glass with a yellow drink.

In this section, I group my favorite travel journal prompts in the text format. You can use them as they are for reflective writing, or they can serve as a base for you to create stories.

For example, for the “What is something I noticed after I got here?” prompt, you can simply answer in one or 2 sentences, like “Women cover their heads a lot here,” or you can make a story out of it where you describe the differences that struck you more in detail, compare them to things at home, jot down how those differences made you feel, write your guesses for why those things are different, etc.

Personal preference: I always go with the 2nd option because I dream of one day writing a book about my experiences with different cultures around the world and use my travel journal as a base. Also, taking time to write about things in detail somehow deepens the whole experience.

Alright, so now that you know how to use the prompts, let’s get started with them:

Before the trip

A person sits with a cup of coffee, a hat, and travel accessories on a wooden surface with a world map laid out in front.

Getting ready for a trip can be just as fun as being there! I love the adrenaline rush after buying the tickets and starting to visualize what my vacation would look like.

Here are some travel journal prompts for an even better time planning your trip:

  1. Why did I choose this destination?
  2. What are my expectations from this trip?
  3. What will preparation for this trip look like?
  4. What are my goals and intentions for this trip?
  5. What new activities or foods do I want to try?
  6. What is my bucket list for this city/region?
  7. What cultural aspects of the destination do I want to explore in more detail?
  8. What are my must-have items for the trip?
  9. What gadgets can I use for the trip?
  10. What’s the weather forecast like and do I need to buy new clothes to match it?
  11. What attraction or landmark am I most excited to see and why?
  12. What is my travel companion most excited about? (If you’re traveling with someone)
  13. What do my daydreams about the destination look like?
  14. What are my biggest fears or concerns about this destination?
  15. What about the concerns of leaving home?
  16. How can this trip help me grow personally?

During the trip

A person walks down a narrow cobblestone street with a blue suitcase, wearing a green jacket, jeans, tan boots, a brown backpack, and a beige hat. Stone buildings line both sides of the street.

One of the greatest perks of travel journals is boosting your memory (more on this later). When you’re out and about every day for a week, a looot of things happen, and there’s no way to remember everything in detail. That’s where these travel journal prompts jump in!

  1. What were my first impressions of this place after I landed?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What fun conversations did I have today, and with whom?
  4. What is something I noticed after I got here?
  5. What new foods did I try today?
  6. Who are the new people I met today?
  7. Did anything unexpected happen today?
  8. How did I feel today, emotionally and physically?
  9. What did I do that made me proud of myself?
  10. How many steps did I walk today?
  11. What was the highlight of the day?
  12. What is the most beautiful photo I took today?
  13. What was the low part of my day?
  14. What would I do differently tomorrow?
  15. What is something I want to do again?

PRO TIP: Make your travel journal more engaging and inspirational by adding travel quotes! We have a separate article where we reveal the 51 best travel quotes, so check it out here!

After the trip

A woman sits on a bed writing in a notebook, with an open suitcase and a laptop beside her.

The lowest part of any trip must be heading to the airport for your flight back home. I’d say the amount of sadness is proportional to the level of excitement when you’re just starting the trip and heading to the airport to fly to your destination.

But I found that travel journaling after the trip prolongs the good feels as you get to reflect on your trip, jot down some more memories, and ultimately go back to what you wrote anytime.

  1. Would I go back to this place?
  2. What did I enjoy most about the trip?
  3. What will I miss the most?
  4. What is the most valuable thing I learned from this trip?
  5. How did my perception of this culture or its people change after the trip?
  6. What did I discover about myself during this trip?
  7. What were the challenges you had during this trip and how did you overcome them?
  8. What was the best meal I had?
  9. What was the most beautiful view I encountered on the trip?
  10. What advice can I give to future travelers to this place?
  11. How do I feel now that I’m home?
  12. Did the trip live up to my expectations? 
  13. How did the initial travel itinerary work out?
  14. What are (if any) my future travel plans based on this experience?

Best travel prompts for list making

Open suitcase packed with clothes and a travel checklist notebook. A hat and sunglasses are placed beside the suitcase on a wooden surface.

Now, while the prompts above are great for creative writing, I also wanted to give you some more prompts you can use for listicles.

Before the trip

Most of the listicle travel prompts I like are actually part of the planning process:

  • Movies/songs/books about the destination
  • List of cities/places to visit
  • Meals to try
  • Things to do
  • Accommodation to stay in
  • Road trip songs (check out this article for inspo)
  • Tours to take

During or after the trip

You can also use these listicles that can be filled both during and after the trip:

  • Things you bought
  • Meals you had
  • New phrases of the local language you learned
  • People you met (and their contact details)
  • New facts you learned about the destination
  • Favorite photos from the trip
  • Top 5 favorite moments
  • Top culture shock moments

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How to keep a travel journal: my 5 favorite tips

A person writing in a journal on a desk with a map of Europe, glasses, a phone, and a vintage camera

I didn’t want to let you go before sharing a few final tips to make your travel journaling more engaging and creative!

I found the process of journaling rather boring in the beginning. Then I discovered that I could let my imagination dictate pretty much every detail of the process, and now I can’t wait to write in my travel journal!

Here are my 5 favorite tips for a smoother travel journaling experience:

1. Make it visual

Hands decorating a travel scrapbook with photos and decorative tape.

Adding visual elements to your travel journal will make it more personal and informative. Think gluing memorabilia or ticket stubs, sketching what you see (buildings, foods, people), or just adding a small photo you took.

You can also use stickers, stencils, washi tapes, stamps, and pretty much everything else you’d use for a bullet journal to help you decorate!

PRO TIP: Consider an instant camera or a portable printer that can print tiny photos to fit your travel journal! Yulia has the HP Sprocket and swears by it!

2. Engage all 5 senses

A person in a long, green dress stands in front of an intricately decorated, arched building entrance with colorful tiles.

This tip is super fun to do, especially for those exotic travels to other parts of the world where everything, including the air, is different.

For example, I live in Tel Aviv and have recently traveled to Uzbekistan where temperatures were around 35 degrees (same as in Israel). In Tel Aviv the air is super humid because of the sea, making you sweat immediately. In Uzbekistan (which is a doubly landlocked country), the air is really dry, and you can walk around feeling hot, but you won’t sweat nearly as much.

In Tel Aviv, 35°C (95°F) feels like a Turkish bath, while in Uzbekistan, it’s more like a sauna. 

This is an example sentence from my travel journal that captures the details that are not obvious until you actually visit the place and feel basic things like the air and temperature!

Not to mention the sounds on the streets, the taste of the food (the very same ingredients can taste differently in another country), or the colors of buildings. You’ll suddenly have plenty of things to write about when you think about engaging all your senses!

3. Write right away

A person writing in a journal while standing outdoors with a bridge in the background.

Try to write in your travel journal while the memories are still fresh. The main reason for this is that excitement levels are much higher then, and you can capture how you felt more vividly if you do it right away.

For example, I described some moments of my Uzbekistan journey as they happened and then wrote about some retrospectively a week after arrival with much fewer details. The difference in writing style and emotional engagement is just incomparable!

4. Use travel journal-friendly tools

A woman in a hat and striped shirt holds a smartphone and looks around while standing outside near a fountain and large buildings.

Sometimes, you may want to write in your travel journal but lack the time to sit back and add it all nicely. Or you may need extra help planning your trip and documenting every part of the process.

Luckily, there are tons of useful (and completely free!) apps you can use to help you out!

  • Voice recorder apps (pre-installed in most phones) can help you document thoughts or moments. They’ll save your voice recordings as audio files you can listen to later and transfer them into a text format.
  • Digital note-taking apps, like Notion, where you can make notes while on your journey and then access them on any device.
  • Travel itinerary apps, like Wanderlog, where you can add all your travel documents, booking reservations, plane or train tickets, and create a customized itinerary on a map.
  • Automatic journey trackers, like Polarsteps, that’ll track your itinerary automatically and add photos at places where you’ve taken them.
  • Online cloud storage, like Google Drive, where you can keep photos, videos, and just about anything related to your trip that you can access from every device.

NOTE: Amazon is packed with beginner-friendly travel journals with prompts, dedicated spaces for photos, and fun prints. This Travel Journal for Women and this Clever Fox Journal are my favorites. I do like to have more freedom in my travel journal to organize things the way I want, but if you prefer more guidance, then definitely consider buying one of these!

5. Make rank listicles

A person is planning a trip, writing in a notebook with travel items such as a map, camera, toy airplane, compass, and jar labeled "Travel" on the table.

Here’s just another fun activity I really like to do. You can make your listicles more interesting by ranking the things in a specific order (best to worst, top 5 lists, etc).

For example, you can make a simple listicle about all the dishes you tried on your vacation. But you can also sort that listicle from your most to least favorite dish or even in order that you tried them.

The same can apply to accommodation, trip highlights, restaurants, interactions with people, and pretty much any other listicle you include in your journal.

Final thoughts on travel journal prompts

A woman with long blonde hair, wearing a sun hat and a summer dress, sits on a stone wall with her arms outstretched, overlooking a medieval stone tower and fortress set against a backdrop of rolling hills and a river

Keeping a travel journal is a special way to preserve memories, get creative, and reflect on your experiences on the road. Whether you choose a digital or handwritten journal, you’ll be processing your adventures on a much deeper level!

Hopefully, the prompts I shared above gave you inspiration to get started!

Do you have any other ideas or advice for fellow journal keepers? Share them in the comments below, we’d love to read them!

For more inspiration for your trip, check out our 51 best travel quotes article here or see any of the related posts below!

Enjoy journaling,

Darija


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