Category Archives: Travel Thoughts

Time to Float On a Root Beer Boat

August 6 is National Root Beer Float Day, and it couldn’t come at a better time! The dog days of August practically demand fizzy, frozen goodness. It’s a simple treat that’s all about the quality of the root beer, and some places do it better than others. If you’re craving the perfect root beer float, check out some of these locations.


A&W is a classic root beer brewer, and the company now has restaurant locations all over the country where you can order a float anytime you like! On National Root Beer Float Day, A&W offers their delicious, classic treats to customers for free from 2 pm until closing.

Bell, Book and Candle

NYC residents, rejoice! Bell, Book and Candle off of West 10th Street makes some of the most indisputably delicious root beer floats around. Every ingredient at this renowned spot is made from scratch, giving the resident root beer float that homemade flavor you won’t find in a franchise store. Check out hotels in New York City and surrounding areas when you’re planning a visit during the root beer madness.

Old Town House of Jerky and Root Beer

San Diego has a delectable secret: the Old Town House of Jerky and Root Beer. This place offers a variety of unforgettably delicious root beers and jerky made of every imaginable kind of meat. Stay at the La Quinta Inn in Old Town to be nearby for return trips.

Jake’s Ice Cream

Being able to enjoy a root beer float from Jake’s Ice Cream in Atlanta is a bit of a unicorn experience: People rave about the float, but it’s not always available because it sells out so fast. This August 6, though, the establishment plans to go out of its way to keep their beloved refreshment on tap.

Red Robin

Red Robin is famous for its burgers and its bottomless root beer floats. Load up and keep going, because you can stuff your belly with as much of this sweet concoction as you want. If you’re hanging your hat at a hotel in Los Angeles, Cleveland or any other major U.S. city, there’s sure to be a nearby location where you can check out this scrumptious deal.

Beat the August heat with a root beer float at one of these convenient locations. Whether you travel specifically for the fizz or just happen to be in the area, don’t forget to honor this American tradition and cool yourself off in the process!

Watch Out for Malicious Wi-Fi Connections at These Popular Tourist Destinations

Think twice about logging onto Wi-Fi while vacationing in popular locales. A new analysis found that travelers at highly trafficked tourist attractions are increasingly at risk from malicious Wi-Fi networks.

The study, which was conducted by mobile threat defense company Skycure, tracked attacks on mobile devices at popular travel destinations over the course of a year. While there’s always a chance that someone’s mobile device could be hacked (regardless of whether they’re traveling or not), Skycure found that fifteen of the world’s most popular tourist sites posed an especially high risk to mobile users. The most common threats involve the capture of private information such as banking logins and passwords or personal communications.

With over 26 million visitors each year, New York City’s Times Square topped the list of the world’s most vulnerable mobile hotspots. Here’s the list in full:

  1. Times Square, New York City, NY
  2. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
  3. Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee, France
  4. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
  5. Ocean Park, Hong Kong
  6. Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, NV
  7. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood, CA
  8. Union Station, Washington DC
  9. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA
  10. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA
  11. Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
  12. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
  13. Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
  14. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FL
  15. Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA

So does this mean we should all flush our smartphones down the toilet and stay at home in the dark? Certainly not. There are too many amazing places to see (say, Kentucky Bourbon Country or historic Edinburgh) and too many lessons to be learned from traveling the world. By taking some precautions prior to departure, you can document your trip on Instagram and keep your data safe, too.

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How to Keep Your Mobile Data Safe

While there’s no such thing as fail-proof mobile security, following these tips will help keep your phone (and other mobile devices) secure anywhere in the world:

  • Avoid connecting to free Wi-Fi networks whenever possible. They’re inherently insecure. If a network doesn’t require a password, then assume your data might not be safe.  
  • Always keep your device updated to the most current operating system. Updates include security protections against any threats that weren’t accounted for in previous versions.
  • Sign out of online accounts as soon as you’re done using them. Staying logged in just makes things easier for cyber criminals.
  • Only download apps from a trusted source. If you don’t understand the permissions an app is seeking, then don’t install it.
  • If your phone starts acting up (for example, if it starts crashing a lot or warning notifications start popping up), then disconnect from the network immediately.
  • Visit the Taj Mahal in India or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. According to Skycure, these are the safest tourist attractions for mobile users in (respectively) the world and the U.S.
  • Download a mobile security app. While no app can 100 percent guarantee your security, they can certainly help.

Perhaps most importantly? Don’t let this new analysis scare you away from traveling. Exploring the globe has always come with some risks—you might say stealing a tourist’s bank login info is simply the new pick-pocketing—but it has also, always, been worth it.


Where Not to Take a Selfie

Last month, a 66-year-old Japanese tourist was taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal when he tripped down a flight of stairs and died from the resulting injuries. At least 12 people have died so far this year while attempting to take selfies. Of course, it’s not the picture itself that kills, but the dangerous behavior surrounding it. As “extreme selfies” become more popular, too many people are taking unnecessary risks to achieve the perfect picture. The problem has become so acute in Russia that the Interior Ministry has initiated a publicity campaign to educate the public about selfie safety. Here are the situations to avoid, taken from lessons learned the hard way.

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There are two main dangers where trains are concerned: The force of the train itself and the live wires surrounding the track. Three students in Agra, India were attempting to take selfies with an oncoming train in January when they were run over and killed. Several deaths and injuries have also resulted from accidental contact with live wires in pursuit of “ultimate selfies.”

Moving Vehicles

It should seem like common sense, but anything that distracts from operating a moving vehicle should be avoided, selfies included. In April 2014, a woman crashed into a recycling truck and died on Interstate 85 in North Carolina minutes after posting selfies and a status to Facebook. And in May of the same year, a pilot was so distracted by texting and taking selfies that he lost control of the plane and crashed, killing himself and a passenger.

Cliffs and Ledges

It’s better to look down at the ground than at a phone screen when exploring high elevation sites. In August 2014, a Polish couple in Portugal reportedly crossed a safety barrier to take a selfie off the Cabo da Roca cliffs. They fell and tragically died, leaving their two young children behind. And just last week, a teenager died while orchestrating a selfie from the top of a nine-story building. He had already posted many such “extreme” pictures of himself.

Dangerous Animals

The primary danger with wild and potentially dangerous animals is turning our backs to them. This August, a young man died while attempting a selfie during the running of the bulls in Villaseca de la Sagra, Spain. At Yellowstone National Park, a woman thankfully survived being flipped over by a bison with whom she was attempting to take a photo. Waterton Canyon park in Denver had to close down because so many people were taking selfies with wild bears.

Guns and Weapons

A surprising number of people have accidentally shot themselves while posing for selfies with loaded guns pointed at their heads. A teenager in Houston died in September while taking selfies with a gun he had found with his cousin earlier that day. In January, two Russian teenagers pulled the pin from a grenade so that they could take a picture with it. The grenade exploded and the teenagers died. The phone and the selfie itself somehow survived the explosion, however, perhaps as a reminder for the rest of us to exercise our common sense and prioritize safety over social media fame.

The Business Traveler’s Guide to Staying Healthy on the Go

While traveling for work can at times be stressful, it can also provide a nice break from the day-to-day grind of an office job. Then again, breaks from routine can be a catch-22. When it comes to health, for example, experts often suggest the power of habit can be key to everything from a good night’s sleep to a nutritious diet a reality.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three of the biggest hurdles to staying healthy on the go, along with tips on how to overcome them.

Beating Jet Lag

Switching between time zones can wreak havoc on some, with the World Health Organization listing everything from general sleepiness to reduced mental performance to indigestion as possible side effects. Beating jet lag is relatively simple, though. Besides making sure you’re well-rested before departure, the key is to get your body into the new rhythm as quickly as possible. More specifically:

  • Begin the transition before you travel. As the CDC suggests, simply start going to bed an hour or two later than usual if you are going to be traveling west and reverse that shift if you’ll be traveling east.
  • Once you get to your destination, resist the urge to collapse and take a nap as soon as landing and instead stay awake at least until an early local bedtime — even if it means you rise extra early the next morning.

Fueling Up

Food plays a large role in health as well, but the phrase “eating healthy” is a vague one that likely has different connotations for each traveler. Regardless of what it means to you, the main suggestion remains the same: Be prepared. No matter how or where you’re traveling, preparation is the main ingredient to keeping the right stuff in your stomach.

  • For starters, travelers hopping in the car for their business trip have it a bit easier since they can pack a cooler of fruits and veggies as some core eats, both for the travel itself and for staying full while at the new destination.
  • Folks traveling via air should research what’s offered on their airline to gauge how much needs to be packed in advance in order to stay full without sacrificing nutrition.
  • In both cases, keep your bag stocked with easy but healthy snacks to help combat compulsive buying food you might otherwise choose to avoid.
  • Finally, it can be useful to research both the hotel and surrounding area before departing, especially for travelers with food restrictions. (And we’ve previously rounded up some of the best hotels for gluten-free eaters and vegans!) Hunting around for hotels that come with kitchens can also be smart for folks with more severe allergies or other dining out concerns.

Staying Active

When it comes to staying active on a business trip, it can be relatively easy to hit the hotel gym early in the morning. Such an experience can vary dramatically based on the quality of the gym, of course, but an alternative approach is to make physical activity an integrated part of the itinerary.

  • To stay active even when you’re squeezing in meetings, try working in some destinations (perhaps a restaurant if no offices fit the bill) that are walking distance from your lodging.
  • If the weather permits, suggesting a couple walking meets or more active meet-ups is another way to make sure a business trip doesn’t turn into hours sitting in stuffy conference rooms.

All in all, a little extra planning is most straightforward way keep healthy habits on-point even while doing business away from home. Get into the new routine as soon as possible, fuel your body with the right eats, and work some movement into the itinerary to keep a healthy foundation everywhere you go.


There are many surprisingly cheap hotels in Paris near popular destinations.

5 Ways to Avoid being an Annoying Tourist in France

France — and especially Paris — has a love/hate relationship with tourists. Tourism is an important industry, but if you’re not careful, you can make a nuisance of yourself with locals. Here are five ways you can avoid being that tourist:

  1. Realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. The customs are different. While you’re in France, it’s best to learn to do what the French do, and refrain from doing what they don’t do. People expect tourists to make the occasional cultural faux pas. What they don’t expect is an earful about what’s “wrong” with the way they do things.
  2. Realize that some French people don’t speak English. Most French speak at least some English, especially in the larger cities, and the vast majority of those who work for hotels in Paris or other tourism-related industries speak English relatively well. However, you are in France, and you can’t expect everyone to speak your language. Many who do speak it, don’t speak it well, and some who speak perfectly good English refuse to do so. After all, vous êtes en France. Pick up a French phrase book (or, hey, it’s 2015, download a French app to your smartphone. You’ll find that French people speak much better English after you’ve at least made an attempt to communicate in French. Most importantly, if someone doesn’t appear to understand you, don’t repeat yourself louder and slower. If they speak English, you’ll offend them. If they don’t, volume won’t help.
  3. Refrain from asking where to find the nearest McDonald’s, Starbucks and so on. You’re in France! Enjoy the local cuisine. If you absolutely must have Chicken McNuggets, at least don’t announce it. If you have to ask, quietly ask the concierge at your hotel. It really does irritate the French when tourists ask for American chain restaurants.
  4. Follow the protocol on the Metro. This one’s pretty simple. You let everyone exiting the train get out before you go in. When you’re in, if the train is crowded, stand up. Only sit if there’s a clear place to do so.
  5. Don’t tip. Seriously. It’s not part of the French culture. Many of the people we typically tip in America, such as wait staff, are paid considerably better in France, and your attempt to tip can be interpreted as an insult.

Remember, to the French, France isn’t a tourist destination, it’s home. You’re the guest and the one who has to adapt, not them. Try to fit in, and you’re sure to have a great time.

A hotel in Sydney is a great base camp for adventure.

5 Ways to “Find Yourself” By Travelling The Globe

There are more benefits to travel than just having fun. If you’re trying to get in touch with your inner self, visiting other countries or just going outside of your comfort zone at home in the United States can help you learn about yourself and the world around you. Booking hotels in Sydney and cities around the globe can help you achieve your goal of better self-awareness. Here are four cities that are perfect for finding yourself.

Sydney, Australia

The benefit of finding yourself in Sydney is that you’ll be in an English-speaking country, so there’s no need to worry about any language barriers. Not only can you visit famous sites like the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, but you can also head out of the city to get in touch with nature at the nearby Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Hotels like the Westin Sydney give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture.

Denali, Alaska

Unspoiled Alaska is full of sprawling views and wildlife that has been untouched by humans. If you’re the kind of person who needs peace, quiet and nature to truly find yourself, the Denali National Park and Preserve is an ideal destination. Located on a mind-boggling six million acres of land, Denali features Mount McKinley, the highest point on the North American continent. When you want to get away from civilization to give yourself a better opportunity to listen to your inner voice, Alaska’s wilderness is the place to do it.

Samara, Costa Rica

When finding yourself means trying out adventurous activities that you never thought you would actually get to do, Samara is the place to go. Ziplining, hiking and kayaking are all challenging, active options in the beautiful scenery of this beach town. As the safest country in Central America, Costa Rica draws in travelers from around the world to enjoy a peaceful, tropical setting.

Napa Valley, California

You don’t have to leave the continental U.S. to find yourself. Enjoy the simple things in life by sampling local wines and farm-fresh foods in Napa Valley. This area of California is a destination for soul-searchers thanks to the farm-to-table movement and a hopping art scene that can be explored at galleries like di Rosa and the Jessel Gallery. High-end hotels like the Meritage Resort and Spa let you unwind after a long day of meditative self-exploration.

Traveling the globe gives you the opportunity to learn about other cultures first-hand while searching for your own inner understanding. Whether you are one with nature or more at home in an urban setting, visiting one of the destinations above can help you find yourself through travel.

A Stone’s Throw From Stonehenge Lies a Massive New Mystery

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Located in Wittshire, England, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most iconic man-made landmarks. Tourists flock to the raised stones to ponder their origins and meaning. Are these the marks of an alien burial site? Were ancient sacrificial rituals conducted here? How were these stones raised before the advent of modern technology? Stonehenge baffles tourists (and historians) to this day as it sits isolated in the middle of the English countryside.

Recently, a group of archaeologists from the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project uncovered the extensive remains of a 90-stone structure less than two miles from Stonehenge. Using remote sensing technologies, the archaeologists were able to detect the presence of the massive stone monument, which is currently buried under a bank of grass. Though the archaeologists aren’t entirely sure when the monument was built, they are able to place its construction as contemporary to Stonehenge itself, some time between 2,000 and 3,000 BC.

This new discovery means Stonehenge is not isolated and may in fact be relatively small in comparison to its newfound neighbor. Scientists and archaeologists alike are scrambling to figure out the significance of the new monument and where it figures into the history of the area.

Luckily for them, the new monument is surprisingly well-preserved, and excavation of the stones could lead to specimens more easily researchable than Stonehenge. If full excavation occurs, the monument would form a half moon that dwarfs its sister site. Preemptive hypotheses suggest the new stones might’ve been used for ancient calendar purposes, as a sacred space for religious acts, or as the wall of an arena.

In a statement released to the press by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, Paul Garwood, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, reflected on the project’s game-changing discovery, “The extraordinary scale, detail and novelty of the evidence produced by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project is changing fundamentally our understanding of Stonehenge and the world around it. Everything written previously about the Stonehenge landscape and the ancient monuments within it will need to be re-written.”

Regardless of what scientists uncover, this story will be an important one to watch unfold. And in the near future, the discovery might also be a can’t-miss addition to the English travel itinerary.

Stick with one carry-on and ship some of your luggage first. Whether you're going to a hotel in Dubai or a resort in Jamaica, it can make traveling much easier.

Pack for a Multi-week Vacation in a Carry-on

Maybe you’re going to Europe to enjoy hotels in London and other major cities on the culturally diverse continent. No matter where you’re headed, keeping your packing limited to a carry-on bag offers two benefits: You won’t have to pay any checked baggage fees on your flights, and you won’t have to lug around a huge bag from one city to the next. It might seem like an impossible goal, but you can live out of a carry-on bag for weeks when you follow these tips.

Make a List

It may seem obvious, but the simple action of making a list helps to solidify and consolidate essentials, even if it’s just in your own head. From there, it’s easier to then eliminate the items that can be purchased at your destination. For example, toiletries are often available at hotels or nearby convenience stores. Having a list available as you pack eliminates the haphazard guessing that leads to an overstuffed suitcase.

Wear Layers

Wear as many layers as possible to the airport, but be sure to leave yourself enough time to strip down to one layer when going through security. If you wear a shirt, sweater and coat plus your heaviest shoes, the largest pieces of your wardrobe won’t need to be packed. Wearing layers is especially helpful when you’re staying somewhere like Taj Palace Hotel in Dubai, a city where the temperature can drop over 20 degrees from day to night.

Ship It Before You Go

If you’re going on a long trip to just one city, mailing clothes before you set out on your trip can make sense – just be sure to do the math before you head to the post office to make sure it’s cheaper than checking a bag. This option makes the most sense when you travel to cities in North America; for example, those staying in a hotel like Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto may save money and time by shipping their clothes. Be sure to call the hotel prior to your trip so that they know a box is arriving for you.

Choose Lightweight Clothes

A sweater takes up a lot more space than a long-sleeved shirt, so opt for lightweight clothing when you’re packing. Neatly folding your clothing is one way to make the most of limited space; rolling clothing into a tight tube also works. Clothing also acts as an ideal base to cushion your electronics, chargers and shoes.

Checked luggage fees add to the cost of flying, and lugging bags from one location to the next during a long trip is no fun. Stick with a list, wear layers on your flight and consider mailing clothing to your destination to cut down on baggage, and you can brag to your friends about your extreme packing skills.

Turin (Torino), river Po and Monviso at sunset

The Black Magic Triangle of San Francisco, London, and Turin

Did you know that San Francisco, London and Turin comprise an ancient route of black magic? This legend dates back to Roman times, but today it lives on in these cities’ contemporary cultural life. As relevant, exotic and exciting today as they were centuries ago, these three cities come together to form a must-see tour.

San Francisco

From its Gold Rush origins to its current seat as the tech-capital of the country, San Francisco has long been attractive to the adventurous. Throughout the years, San Francisco, home to the Beat Generation, housed famous writers like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Beat aficionados will love the hip, vintage feel of City Lights Bookstore. After browsing for books, have an absinthe at the Beat hangout Vesuvio’s then hop on the train to the Mission, home of San Francisco’s first Latino Poet Laureate, Alejandro Murguía. In the afternoon, grab a snack at the enormous food co-op and onetime hippie hangout, Rainbow Grocery.

When you arrive at San Francisco International Airport, it’s easy to jump on the AirTrain to BART and be downtown and within walking distance of the best hotels in San Francisco in under an hour.


When you arrive in London, don’t be surprised if you are greeted by some royally dark British humor. From Gatwick airport, it’s an easy half-hour trip to Victoria Station, a major transportation hub for the entire city, where you can fill your Oyster card and hit the town. Check out the modern textiles at the Tate Modern on the South Bank then cross the London Bridge to stop at the Apex City of London Hotel before checking out the London Wall.

London was home to the designer, craftsman and socialist William Morris, who was well-known for his love of textiles. The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is free to enter and boasts gardens and a tea room in addition to its many galleries. Visitors with a sense for the macabre should also check out the Hunterian Museum, which is full of medical oddities like pickled fetuses and brains in jars. The British Library, which is walking distance from countless pubs, hotels, and other attractions, is also a must-see.


Although it is a stunning, historical city, Turin is generally not as well-known as London and San Francisco. Nonetheless, Turin, home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and located at the foot of the Italian Alps, is home to many artists, writers, and modern businesses, which lends it a modern and cosmopolitan feel. There are flights to Turin and trains also arrive right downtown at the Porta Nuova station.

Turin boasts a vibrant underground art cafe, the Cafe des Arts, as well as the Museo Egizio, which is the only museum outside of Cairo dedicated solely to Egyptian culture. Additionally, this city’s nightclubs along the River Po make it home to some of the best nightlife in the world, with plenty of art and music going on at all times. When you’re in the mood to eat and drink, take advantage of the city-wide happy hour that includes a wide selection of food and cocktails as well as world-class people watching. After a long night, head back to one of Truin’s beautiful hotels, such as the Grand Hotel Sitea, to prepare for another day visiting Il Circolo de Lettori, a brilliant and hospitable reading room where visitors can sip thick, creamy hot chocolate while pondering Nietzsche’s famous work titled The Turin Horse.

Turin’s magic can be attributed to its location on the 45th parallel. According to esoteric legend, the Black Magic Triangle between San Francisco, London and Turin is based upon ancient, energetic currents flowing between the cities. While we may never know if the Shroud of Turin actually exists or what the people who built the London Wall were thinking, this three-city voyage is meant for the thrill-seeker who appreciates the finer things in life.

Head to Hipmunk to book your trip to San Francisco, London and Turin today.

How to Keep a Great Travel Journal

In an age when much of human communication takes place in 140 characters or less, somehow the travel journal still persists. There are many wonderful reasons to catalogue a trip, from recording facts to sharing the experience with others, chronicling advice or travel tips from locals, quashing boredom in the airport or during solo meals, processing the wide array of emotions that can crop up during travel, and feeling a little less alone.

Ultimately, the best reason for keeping a journal lies with the traveler who writes it. Just keep these few tips in mind and you’ll have a travel treasure for years to come. 

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Consider the audience

Will other people read the journal, or is it for your eyes only? If the journal will be shared, will it be read by close friends and family or on a public blog? The answers may influence the style, tone, and content you choose to adopt. If the journal will be public, readers may be less interested to know what time you brushed your teeth each night. If it’s private, consider the details you’ll most want to remember when revisiting the journal decades from now.

Choose a medium

There is no wrong or right way to record a journey. Pick the medium that works best for you, whether that’s a pen and some notebook paper, a fancy leather-bound or homemade journal, or the “notes” feature on a smartphone. What matters is that you’re excited to write things down.

Include the basics

So much happens during vacation that it can be tough to know what or how much to include. A good place to start is recording the trip itinerary and/or plotting the route on a map tucked into the journal. Also chronicle names and descriptions of people you encounter along the way (be sure to jot down their contact info if you want to stay in touch!).

Personal observations and tips also make great fodder for journals. If you develop a knack for traveling with pets or camping in bad weather, record those lessons so you can share them with fellow travelers. Then focus on highlighting your favorite parts of the trip, whether that’s sunrise in London or perusing art in Athens. And always remember to date each entry.

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Make it come alive

A journal doesn’t have to consist of a step-by-step, chronological recap of each day’s events. The pressure to record everything can get overwhelming (and boring) real fast. Instead, create a vivid diary of experiences by highlighting exceptional moments (say, standing in the center of the world or surfing in La Jolla), writing down funny dialogue, describing the experience from the perspective of all the senses (tastes, sounds, smells, textures), journaling about your emotions during the trip, and incorporating multimedia like drawings, receipts, theater or train tickets, postcards, brochures, interesting leaves, or the business cards of new acquaintances. These mementos will help bring memories alive when you revisit the journal down the road.

Keep up

Try to write things down on the day that they happen (or the next day at the very latest). Otherwise, it’s easy to forget things as you’re inundated with new experiences. Even if it’s not possible to write out a narrative entry every day, consider jotting down a few notes each night in order to keep track of events.

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Tag team it

Invite travel companions to take turns keeping the journal and recording their own thoughts, reflections, and mementos. This can both infuse the journal with fresh perspectives and take some pressure off if it’s feeling daunting to write every day.

Look for themes         

Near the end of a trip, consider pouring back through the journal and noting any themes that arose. Did you learn a big lesson or change in some way? Did the trip meet or defy your expectations? These reflections can spark concluding entries as well as personal insights.  

Above all, remember to keep it low pressure. The fastest way to kill journaling motivation is treating it like homework. Instead, write when you want to, write however much (or little) you want, and don’t worry about spelling, grammar, and the like. Do it your way, and it’ll be much easier (and more fun) to chronicle your adventures.