How do you all keep journals?

Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:42 PM
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How do you all keep journals?

Do you take a small notebook and write daily notes?..any hints will be appreciated.
loisco is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2005, 08:48 PM
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I keep one journal, which if traveling alone, I carry with me during the day. When I stop for lunch, I will write about the morning, then at dinner/or after dinner I will write about the rest of day. If there is something in particular that I want to make sure to make a note of but can't write in details about it, I will make quick notes about it so that later they will remind me as to what I wanted to write about.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 09:41 PM
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Loisco, I am glad that you asked this question because I never keep a journal. I did keep a diary one time (my trip to Italy for 6 weeks after I lost my DH). But that was not a travel journal.

I have wondered how travelers keep such good notes, without taking away from their trip.

I will be going to an area I have not been to in April, and feel though I should keep a journal,I do not want to be feeling under pressure to "write everything down". So what is the secret?
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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I keep a small notebook that can fit in my purse. It comes in handy when you are asking directions; the person can then draw a map!

If possible, I do write during a meal to keep track of what I ate, the cost, my faves and not-so-faves, and directions & hints on getting to places.

I would do this for the first few journals, especially if you are going to the same cities/countries repeatedly. This way if you need to find something/someplace again, you can look it up in your book...or take the book with you.

I didn't realize till recently how valuable the information had become. I was reading over old journals, and was reminded of fun or interesting incidents that had happened that I had completely forgotten about. That's always fun!

One thing I have started to do more on recent trips is email my family (almost) daily while on a trip. I tell them in detail about what happened that day, and I copy myself. They really seem to enjoy the emails, it's kind of like getting a blog delivered to your inbox daily! Then when I get home, they're already pumped about seeing my photos because they've heard about my trip....and I can download my emails into a word doc.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 10:04 PM
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I always have take notes in a small notebook. When I get home I type up a journal and put it inside the photo album (yes, I still take ordinary photo's with my beloved SLR). Not only are there photo's to browse through but also the journal to bring back great memories. I usually try and include basic things like meals, prices, good things and bad and especially funny things that have happened.
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Old Feb 24th, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Keeping ajournal need not "take away from your trip". I find sitting in a cafe scribbling in my little notebook is one of the best times of the day. I usually rise earlier than my DW and go out for the Herald Tribune. I sit a a cafe, have a coffee, write up notes, and people watch.

The notebook routine also comes in very handy when DW wants to shop, or stay in a museum longer than I care to. I sit, have a beer and scribble quite happily. A delightful way to rest my feet and relax.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 12:25 AM
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Having been to Greece a number of times, I was starting to find that the memories of one holiday, sometimes drifted into another, so I resolved to keep a journal to remember my precious holidays all the better. I pick up a small, cheap notebook that will fit in my bag and things scribble down, when I get a moment, often first thing in the morning or when relaxing on the beach. It's lovely to look back and relive the holiday - it's also good for identifying where some of those hundreds of digital photographs were taken. I have often though I'd type them up when I got home - but I'm afraid I'm not that organised!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 02:07 AM
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I actually have two books I consider journals. One is a small purse size book on museums/restaurants/shopping in Paris. When I find somewhere new in Paris that I definitely want to return to I add it in this book. Then I have a hardcover travel journal that I bought at a bookstore. Each night before I go to sleep I write any significant notes that occurred that day. The notes can be anything from a town I visited that had something special about it (like blink of an eye and you will miss them when driving in France and Tuscany)to quaint hotels/restaurants that I want to remember for any future visits. I also mention any cultural episodes that usually include me doing the "oops stupid tourist thing" (see my journal entries on the thread French are getting a bad rap). I also take notes of things I took a picture of. I started doing this after my trip to Ireland because we drove around Ireland and northern Ireland and I had a ton of scenic pictures that I couldn't recall exactly where they were taken.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 03:21 AM
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I carry a 5 inch x 8 inch journal in my backpack when I travel, and I make my entries during the course of the day, when ever I have free time - at lunch, dinner, snack/coffee time, travelling on the train. I also carry a small glue stick with me so I can paste in admission tickets to sights we see, business cards of places we ate at, the hotels we stayed in, train & plane tickets, etc. These journals then sit right next to me at the computer so I can refer to them when I respond to posts on Fodors. Peace. >-

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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:16 AM
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Down in the next-to-bottom drawer in my chest of drawers you will find a collection of spiral-bound notebooks, each marked with the trip destination: Eastern Europe '95, East Africa '96, etc.

In the back I keep a record of costs -- transportation, meals, souvenirs, entry tickets, etc. Lodging with costs, addresses, etc.

In the front of each book I write what occurred each day, jotting down stuff in quick-note form.

When I get home, I write up a journal report which I offer to my friends and any planning their trip. I also write up a separate (confidential) economic report, noting investment opportunities spotted along the way. From the latter I begin a research project that has led to some very profitable investments and kept me out of some very unprofitable investments. You can take the retired banker out of the country, but you can't take the banker out of his tiresome habits.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:19 AM
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My small little A6 black notebook means more to me and contains more memories than any amount of photographs I could take. It started with taking brief notes when I went on my first solo trip and escalated into what is now,a detailed account of each days events, characters, places and emotions. Great to look back on in a few years time.
Most of my "writing up" is done during the many coffee stops I insist on during the day and back at my room in that boring period between afternoon sightseeing and going out on the town.
If you've not done it before it'll probably be easier to start off with a few bullet points - just enough info to jog your memory, but try to make it more and more, a part of each day of your holiday. It might seem a bit of a chore but you WILL be glad sometime in the future.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Hi Lois,

Usually I do what others are telling you here, but on this last quick, whirlwind trip to Paris, it happened so fast that I jotted down basics along the way, then spent a good portion of the flight home creating a more cohesive and thoughtful journal.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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I bring a few small, spiral bound note pads - a la Columbo - and take notes as I go along.

In restaurants, I keep the pad on my knee and write very discreetly. Sometimes waiters think I am from a travel guide and we get better service.

As noted above, stopping and people watching is a good time to flesh out the notes.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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I buy a small journal for each trip. I try to find something that reminds me of our destination. I use the journal to make notes and references ahead of time for use when I arrive (e.g. words I want to remember, places to shop for things I want to buy). During the trip, I jot down impressions during the day and, on most days, write in more detail before going to sleep. On some trips, I sketch - usually when we are staying some place for a long time. We are foodies so I tend to have a lot about meals, markets, pastries, etc. The journals come in handy when I am sorting and annotating trip pictures in the album. They also come in handy when researching a return trip.
I am not an especially good journalist and never keep a journal at home but it is fun on a trip.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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I do two things:

1. I buy a postcard from each place we visit and write a detailed letter of what we did. Typically, at least one member of my family is at home - so they get to read what we are doing. And I save it as a timestamped remembrance of our trip (I actually got this idea from Rick Steve's book Postcards from Europe). I generally write these at dinner - it takes 10 minutes. And I always mail them from the location they relate to (buy a stamp when you buy the postcard).

2. I keep a detailed journal which both helps me plan future trips (hotel names, etc) and answer questions on this board! I'm an early riser so I either do this in the AM while waiting for everyone to get up - or during our daily afternoon break (or while flying/riding a train between stops). When I read thru these it amazes me the little things I quickly forget (a funny event, a unique person we meet, etc).
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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This is not much different than what everyone else has said, but I do take an inexpensive small noteboook and I scribble!! Within 24 hours of getting home, I type it up and elaborate. These are treasures!! I would NEVER remember the details! I also keep it in the photo album; my family likes to read these accounts. Also, my closest friends like me to email it to them. Whatever your techniques, DO KEEP A JOURNAL. Down the road, you'll be so glad you did!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Buying a small notebook is about the first thing I do when I land in Europe (or anywhere else). I like to have my trip notes in a notebook that comes from the place I'm writing about. I've been doing this for 25+ years and have an entire shelf of trip reports.
Like others, I take out my notebook almost every time I stop at a café or while I'm waiting for my lunch or dinner to be served. I keep it in my purse and jot down impressions during the day if something happens that I want to remember.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 05:24 AM
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Keeping a journal is certainly something one will not regret. It is hard to keep up with it though--easy to get behind. It is a great idea to record expenditures for future trips. If you do a memory book of your trip the journal comes in handy.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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I keep a very small journal in my bag where I write down amounts for meals, purchases, ATM withdraws etc. to keep the budget straight then in a slightly larger notebook I write down all the details of the day. I try to write through out the day so I have more details fresh in my mind. Ususally while we've stopped for a coffee or glass of wine, we'll go over details of things we just did or saw.
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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For a major trip with a lot of activites, I print a probable itinerary before I go. It includes things like how to travel between sites, their open hours & fees, reservation numbers, etc.

During the trip, I make notes on the back of the itinerary during brakes like waiting for service at cafes.

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