Home TRAVEL TIPS 7 Writing Tips to Start Your Travel Journal as a Solo Traveler

7 Writing Tips to Start Your Travel Journal as a Solo Traveler

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Solo Travel Gaining Popularity

Traveling is a lot of fun. For many, it’s the most exhilarating and rewarding experience of all. Some people find the entire experience so intimate that they choose to go solo without being dependent on the whims of a companion. The number of solo travelers is on the rise, and a lot of group tour agencies have started accommodating solo travelers to meet the demand.

If you are one of them, I’m sure you have at least once in your life felt the urge to put pen to paper and start writing a travel journal. Indeed, this can be no less exciting and fun than the actual trip itself.

It is not as daunting as it may seem. We have decided to make it easier for you to get started by offering the tips below. Read them carefully and get rolling.

Write as you go

This is not an academic exercise, so no need to make it painful to make a start. Instead of going through a host of guides on how to go about it, get a pen and a piece of paper and start writing! Forget about an introduction and a conclusion. After all, it’s supposed to be fun.

When starting travel journals, many people find it useful to use sticky notes to record their ideas, observations, feelings, or impressions. As a method of non-linear writing, Vladimir Nabokov, the acclaimed American and Russian author, used index cards to jot down his notes. He would either keep them in the alphabetical order or shuffle them once in a while to prompt his imagination to seek unconventional plot lines.

Play Nabokov then! Give it a try and see what you come up with. You might as well find some latent talents in yourself.

Write often

Make it your habit to write on every single day of your day. Write throughout the day, and set aside 20 or 30 minutes late in the afternoon to pull things together or sum up your notes.

If worse comes to worst (e.g., when your trip is a bit boring or uneventful), write once every other day. Practice makes perfect, so you’ll see progress in improving your observational and writing skills.

If you feel you still need some guidance or great samples, go to WritingUniverse to find out how professional writers approach the writing process to come up with high-quality pieces on a broad range of topics.

Add pictures

Make it real by adding lots of pictures. Even if you’re not a great photographer, you can always improve as one. Pictures also do a great job in bringing back pleasant memories more vividly. Sometimes, you don’t even need to add words to your journals to tell a story. A telling picture often suffices to say.

Don’t forget to ask for permission if you are taking a picture of someone you don’t know. In some cultures, it is considered extremely rude if not threatening to take pictures of strangers. Normally, people would be fine with it but ask for permission to be on the safe side.

Keep observing

Observation matters. Train your mind, ears, and eyes to register everything worthy of notice. Leave no stone unturned as you write. Observation is key to success.

Don’t expect to understand everything you see or hear. When you travel to foreign countries, expect to come across a lot of new and weird stuff. Describe cultural shocks, make notes on differences and diversity.

Observation skills are even more important if you don’t speak the local language. They help you elicit information for your journal by observing people’s body language, mimicry, and mannerisms.

Keep a log of Dos and Don’ts

Make sure it’s not just fun but also useful. No doubt, every trip is a new learning experience. No matter how well you prepare yourself for a trip, you are sure to come up with faux pas, out-of-context remarks, or inappropriate actions.

Make sure you learn from your mistakes by keeping a log of dos and don’ts. You can have a separate section in your journal where you will be summarizing them after each trip.

Add human-interest stories

Don’t just write about buildings, museums, and events. None of this matters without people. Write a lot about the people you meet, their stories, and their behaviors. Dig deep into the social fabric of local societies, and try to get a handle on how locals interact with one another.

Treat human-interest stories as great segues into local customs and traditions. They provide clues for understanding culturally sensitive nuances and intricacies.


For a change, use some pages as a scrapbook. To this end, everything will be of use. Get paper clippings, photos, receipts, tickets, etc. to concoct a few pages by combining sundry components.

Scrapbooks serve as a way of reflecting your stream of visual consciousness. Don’t chastise yourself if your end result does not seem to make sense. It does not have to. Remember, it’s a labor of love and not an onus.

Putting Pen To Paper

No need for navel-gazing when it comes to starting your travel journal as a solo traveler. Don’t be intimidated by thinking that your writing skills won’t cut it. Get started and get started today. Treat the process as a sort of on-the-job training, in which you’ll be making progress and improvements as you go.

Your observation skills will matter more than anything in your endeavor. Pay attention to everything that’s going on. What looks like a routine for locals might be unusual for you. Be creative with your use of materials for your journal.

Don’t forget about the people you meet and talk to. In fact, try to put them front and center in your journal entries. After all, it’s all about human interactions and all the other things are just a great backdrop for how these interactions happen and evolve.