You know how you return home from traveling and you’re bursting with excitement, and you want to tell everyone about everything you’ve just experienced?
And then after a couple days, friends, family, and colleagues are already tired of hearing you say “when I was in…” Here’s a solution for your next trip…
Create a Postcard Travel Journal
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. Which meant that my beloved, big, clunky journals had to stay home.
I also wanted to share my travels but not my personal journal. And I definitely didn’t want to carry two journals.
These days I use my I’m Thinking…TRAVEL! Journal for my personal journal. But I also often like to create a simple 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. Your friends and family will 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 it’s a quick overview of what I did, other times I go into more detail about one experience, make a list, 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. I punch the hole where the stamp would go since I’m not mailing them.
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 for a couple bucks. You could use a ribbon or baker’s twine.
Leave your postcard journals on your coffee table or hang them on a bulletin board. They’re a great way to invite questions and conversations about your travels without feeling like you’re forcing the topic on anyone. Instant scrapbook!
Why I Like Postcard Journals
I’m a fan of traveling light, postcards, and keeping things simple. I’m addicted to postcards but rarely send any when I’m abroad (thanks, social media), which means I end up with boxes of them sitting in my attic.
Postcard journals allow me to feed my postcard addiction in a positive way. 🙂 It’s so easy to pick up a few postcards at a time and keep them in my day bag. And, 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!