Students often keep a journal or diary to document their travels.
It is a great way to record events and also include some daily writing practice.
A travel diary can take many different forms and can be much more than an annotated recount of events.
This is a long blog post, however you can print these ideas and keep them somewhere handy to refer to when inspiration is lacking.
- Write down events, stories, imaginings, feelings, jokes, whatever stands out in your day
- A recount – what you did that day
- A narrative – write a story. Instead of using I or we in your sentences, use they or he. You could use the setting you are in and make yourself the ranger, or create an adventure where you rescue someone. It doesn’t have to be factual, use your imagination
- Draw a picture of your campsite and write some sentences to describe the campsite
- Missing home? Write down five things or people that you miss and why you miss them
“I miss my Gran, she makes really special lemon cupcakes “
- Did something special happen today? Write yourself a Congratulations poster for losing a tooth or doing fifty chest passes without dropping the ball
- Someone’s birthday? Write a birthday page of what you did to celebrate. Maybe you could write an acrostic poem for the birthday person
- Something bugging you? Maybe only children taller than 1.2 metres were allowed on some of the rides at Dream World? How did you feel, did you think it was fair?
- Too much schoolwork? What would you do if you were the boss for the day?
- Did something funny happen or did you hear a great joke?
- What if …..? Write what you would do if you were locked in the local supermarket overnight. Make your story as wild as you like because you are not going to be in any trouble
- Pass the paper and add to the story. Start with something easy such as “Once upon a time” for the beginning of the story and the next person adds the middle. The last person writes a conclusion so that you have a story
- Secret writing. Write the first paragraph of a story and pass the paper for the second and third writers to add the middle and a conclusion. This time they do not know what others have written
- Noah’s Ark. You are staying in a place that is flooded because it has rained for days. Write an account of the flood for the local newspaper
- Re-write the rules for a card or board game
- Write about a session you heard on the radio or saw on television. You may wish to state your opinion
- Stuck for something to write about? Try this. Sit and close your eyes for several minutes and listen to what you hear around you. Think about what could be happening and write down as much detail as you can
- Have a “Feeling Dottie Day.” Think about something you saw or did today. Write as many words and phrases in dot point (like this list) to describe your experience
- Be a sleuth and make a list of the tiny details about your favourite place or somewhere you visited today
- Ten ways to annoy others when you are travelling
- Something nice happened today! Write who was involved, where it took place, what happened and why you think it happened
- Write an invitation for a family to join you for a meal at your current location
- Draw a map of the area you are in and label it
- Write a list of all the jobs you need to do today and number them in the order you think they need doing.
- Ten ways to start your day. Think about and list ten ways you could start the day
- Write an acrostic poem like the one below or any other kind of poem
Ocean of blue
Open air cinema
Miles of beaches
Endless sunny days
- Find out and write down a few facts about an interesting animal that you’ve seen, illustrate your facts with a picture
- Write a procedure – What to do when your car is bogged in sand. Or How to bait your fishing line. Or How to toast marshmallows
- Write down a recipe for campfire cooking that you’ve especially enjoyed, e.g. damper or sausages on sticks
- Draw a diagram of a survival technique like catching water from leaves overnight. Write a few sentences about how it works
- Had a bad day? Write 5 things you don’t like about travelling
- The caravan too small? Design and label your dream caravan. Include all the features you want and write an advertising blurb to go with your design
Some more ideas…
- A Family Journal – It’s fun to write a journal when everyone is involved.
Some families choose to do a diary or journal together, dividing a page into sections for each family member. They take it in turns to fill the opposite page with a picture, photos or brochures
- An A3 scrapbook can work well if all the family contributes. It’s a good size too, for young children. Buy a scrapbook with 20 – 30 pages, rather than a thick one as they can become bulky with extras such as ticket stubs
- If you like to draw, consider an artist’s sketchpad. The text can be written directly onto the page or onto lined paper which can be pasted onto the page
- Write your diary using a computer if you have one. This is a good idea if you take a lot of photos and store them digitally
- If you are writing on paper, consider an A4 display folder with sheets that slide in and out of plastic sleeves. They are well protected but easy to access so you can add photos or pictures cut from brochures to help illustrate your journal
- Young children can get tired writing. A good way to get more from them is to take it in turns to write a sentence. You write a sentence, then the child writes a sentence. You can scribe what they say if you are writing a procedure, but if you are writing a story it can be a lot of fun for both of you to contribute ideas.
Other Things to Include in a Journal
- Collect brochures from places you visit. The local travel bureau always has a good selection of brochures
- Buy a postcard from each town you visit and paste it into the journal
- Save ticket stubs from train rides, theme parks, national parks, zoos, and other attractions and put them into the journal.