When you return home from traveling, you’re bursting with excitement and want to tell everyone about everything you’ve just experienced.
At first, friends and family are eager to listen. But then…you start noticing the barely concealed eye rolls whenever you try to add to the conversation with “when I was in…”
Here’s a simple solution you can use on your next trip: create a postcard journal!
Why I Love Postcard Travel Journals
- I buy a lot of postcards when I travel but rarely end up sending any home anymore (thanks, social media). Which means I end up with boxes of postcards sitting in my attic. Postcard journals allow me to feed my postcard addiction in a positive way. 🙂
- Because postcards are so small, I only need a few minutes a day to keep up with my travel journal. No more going home with a mostly empty travel journal after a busy trip!
- I used to lug around whatever journal I was currently using but when I started traveling with a laptop, I wanted to avoid carrying additional heavy things. So I traded my clunky regular journal for a lightweight postcard journal.
- I wanted to share my travels with others but not via a personal journal. And I definitely didn’t want to carry two journals. So these days I use my I’m Thinking…TRAVEL! Journal for my personal journal, and then I’ll create postcard journal to share with others once I’m back home.
Postcards are plentiful, lightweight, and inexpensive. A postcard journal is something you can create while traveling and then display it on a coffee table. It’s a lot of fun to flip through once you’re back from your trip – and it makes for a wonderful conversation starter.
Friends and family will take a look at your postcard journal and then beg you to talk about your travels!
How to Make a Postcard Journal
Here’s what I do. Each day I buy a postcard that represents where I am or what I’m doing that day.
When I sit down for a tea break, have a few free minutes on the metro or am unwinding at night, I pull out my postcard and jot down a few notes from my day (I know, I do not have pretty handwriting. I’m ok with it.).
Sometimes my postcard is a quick summary of my day, other times I go into more detail about one experience, make a list, write about something I ate, etc. I just do whatever I feel like doing that day.
I label each postcard with the date, location, and trip “Day #.”
I keep the written postcards in a ziplock bag until I get home. If you’re on a long trip and don’t want to carry them around the world with you, just mail them home.
When I get home, I punch a hole in each postcard and use a metal binder clip to bind them together.
Tip: decide ahead of time where you’re going to punch the hole so you can keep that space clear of writing. After creating the journal in these photos I decided to punch the hole where the stamp would go.
I use an extra postcard to create a cover. (That purple one below? It’s part of a set I bought when I lived in Germany as a high school student!) I then use washi tape and a Sharpie to write my travel information on the cover. You could also simply use your “Day 1” postcard as your cover. Or get fancy with stickers and other embellishments.
I then bind all of the postcards together using a metal ring. Don’t have a metal ring? You can buy them at any office supply store or on Amazon. You could use a ribbon or baker’s twine.
Leave your postcard journal on your living room coffee table or hang it on a bulletin board in your office. You’ll find that it invites questions and conversations about your travels without you feeling like you’re forcing the topic on anyone!