How To Use A Pocket Journal For Documenting While Traveling
Hello friends! This is Amanda from the Archer and Olive Ambassador team and today I’m going to share with you how I use the Archer and Olive pocket sized notebook to take notes when I travel. These notes help me remember the things I did, the money I spent (so I can stay on top of my travel budget), and remind me of the different travel tips and tricks I learned a long the way.
Now, before I get into the how I want to share with you the what, as in the what I use to take my best notes when traveling.
First, the notebook. Here are a couple of A&O’s current pocket sized (A6) journals that I love…
Then of course course I need pens. I typically like to use fineliners for the bulk of my writing but I love to use calliographs to create titles and highlight various things I want to remember.
Why I document like this
For my friends who know me in real life, if they had to pick a word to describe me I think many would choose the word adventurer. I love to travel and try to do it as often as possible. I also love to journal and I have stacks of moleskins from my early 20’s where I meticulously detailed every day of my adventures. I’m in my 30’s now though and I just don’t have the energy to journal everyday like I used to, at least not while I’m in the act of traveling. Now I prefer to be in the moment and to soak up every detail I can. It's a challenge however because, despite wanting to be in the moment, I still want to remember all of the amazing things I did. I mean, who knows, maybe some day I’ll write a book about all my travels and if I don’t have a journal that tells me exactly where I ate my second night in Bali how will I pass on my hot tips and relevant information to the masses? Ok, I jest about that last part, but still, I often find myself looking back at my past journals and travel notes to find inspiration and details for different elements in my current life, and because of that I found a way to document the little details of my travels in less time, and the Archer and Olive pocket journal (A6) was the perfect little companion for this task.
Abbreviated Travel Journaling
I first used my current style of documenting while on a trip to London in 2019. At the time I was about a year into my debt free journey and, while I wanted to have a great time on vacation I knew I also had to be hypervigilant with my budget. At first I just started by writing down everything I spent money on each day and how much I spent. That soon became boring though. I mean, it was nice to keep track of my money, but there much more interesting elements to the travel experience than how much a coke cost. So instead, each night of my trip I would sit down at one of the tables in my hostels kitchen area and record the things I saw that day, where I went, any fun quotes or facts I may have learned, tips for future me, and anything else I could think of that would be relevant. Now, 4 years later, as I prepare for a return trip to England I’ve been able to pull out those notes and they have been so helpful! A seriously full circle experience (and you can bet I will be taking notes again this time around).
Since that England trip I’ve had the ability to hone my travel notetaking style while traveling to several US states and European countries (yes, even during the pandemic). In fact, the pocket notebook that I started last September is nearly full already with my notes from 5 different trips.
What to include in the Travel Pocket Notebook
Now, without going into even more of my back story of whys and how's I want to share with you all so of the musts I always include in my notes.
- A title page. This can be big or small but it helps keep my trips separate for future reference.
- Flight information (if it’s a trip where I’m flying somewhere). This keeps the info easily accessible, especially if something happens to my phone.
- An itinerary if my trip is to multiple stops or places
- Daily break downs. This includes things I saw, places I visited, money I spent, what I ate, fun facts, and wild observations…
- These daily breakdowns are where I like to highlight locations I visited for easy reference later
- I also highlight money I spent so that it’s easier to work into my budget later, especially if I’m using cash.
- These could be to do lists. Packing lists, Lists of my favorite sites. If it’s a list that’s relevant to the adventure (and to me) I like to include it
If you would like to see me walk through my pocket travel journal and how I documented my most recent trip to Crater Lake you can find a video I put together at the link below
And if you would like to further simplify your travel note taking for your up coming trip you’re in in luck! I created a printable with two easy pages you can fill out then cut out and paste into your travel journal here. They’re specifically sized to fit in your pocket journal, which means they could really work with any Archer and Olive Journal Size. Yay!
And that is all I have for you today friends! If you would like to see more from me you can find me on Instagram @shenoteditall. And if you would like some more tips and ideas on how to document your travels check these other posts on the Archer and Olive Site.