Road Trip journalling: I need advice

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Road Trip journalling: I need advice

Good News: My brother and his wife invited me to go on a Road Trip with them next month! It will be a around 10 days trip through the center of Minas Gerais state. We have relatives there, so we will staying some days at an auntie´s house, others at my grandmother´s house (she passed away almost a year ago, but one of my aunts is living in her house while the heirs don´t deceide what to do with it) and we are maybe staying one or two nights in a hotel. Our plans are to see my relatives, go to historical cities (from the barroque period - our gold rush times) and go to a National Park.

The point is: The last time I traveled was on my early teens, so I´m a bit lost about preparations...

And, of course, when I come back I want to keep those memories in a scrapbooking album, probably a digital one. So, I have some questions to those who are more experienced than I with travelling and them putting trip albuns together. And the first is: do you bring a phisical travel journal with you? Or do you only write when you´re back? Are there prompts of things I can´t forget to take notes? Do you do travel diaries?

If you have hints on packing, they would be very appreciated too. I need to put stuff for 10 days in a medium bag and a medium backpack!

When I travel I don't want to spend a lot of time to do travel diaries. But sometimes I have a little journal with me to write down in a few notes what we did during the day. Or I just take notes on my smartphone, so I know what we did on the trip.. And of course I take a lot of photos. When I look at the photos, I normally know what happened..

I also take notes on my phone. But I've always written things down so I usually have a small notebook with me. IT has always been a game with my kids, for example, to write down every state license plate we see on long road trips or trips thru Yellowstone. They get a kick out of that. Or when I was with my in laws going to Iowa- I've never been so I wrote down every stop-when, where and what we saw/did.

As for packing- I hate to pack! If you're taking extra shoes you can always place stuff in them-rolled up belts, jewelry socks etc

Lórien, sounds like it will be a great trip. From past experience I suggest taking at least a little notebook with you, to write down some things that you may forget, like something funny you see or something you learned that you might forget by the time you get home. If you decide to use your smartphone for notes, I suggest sending them to yourself or someone else by text message, that way if something happens to the notes part, then you will still have it stored (this is also from experience, as all of my notes just went poof smiley )

As for packing, I am the last person to offer advice on that, since I always forget at least 1 thing important, but usually much more. Like one time I forgot shoes. I was not driving, so I decided to be comfortable and not wear shoes while riding, but I forgot to grab them and put them in the car for stops and when we got to our destination.

How about twitter for the highlights? Then flesh them out when you get back. smiley Sometimes the thought of preserving the memories gets in the way of making the memories, if you know what I mean.

Not that it's going to happen to you, but also just wanted to share that my sister forgetting to delete old pics (only copy!) from her memory card almost ruined the trip. We had to watch how many shots we took instead of going all out.

I usually carry a small notepad in my purse at all times. When I make notes I do them in outline/bullet format. This way I get the pertinent things but it doesn't take long to jot down. Those notes bring me right back to being there and I remember most of the details. Probably most significant when you are visiting with your family, try get them to tell you stories and facts that you might not remember and write those down. Since my Mom died, there are so many things I wished I had asked her about from her life and our lives when growing up. Also, if your camera has a date/time setting make sure that it is accurate. I don't put the date on my photos I take, but I do use the date/time info once I download so it is really important that it is right-especially to keep them in order. The best part of digital photos is that all the data is saved with the image.

When going on a trip I start early by writing down as much as I can think of as to what to take. Even down to dramamine (we go on a lot of cruises)! You may think some are small items but sometimes they are the most important. The second thing we do is to "stage" everything we want to take. For us this works well because we basically put the important things in one area of the house..cameras, laptops (the night before), umbrella (you never know when you might need it), jackets, books, DVDs etc. All the small luggage things should be on the list.

When packing I follow my list to the tee and then try to think of ANYTHING I might need or want, even up until the time we leave. As for packing, one trick to fit the most in your suitcase is to "roll" your clothes. Depending on the material this even can help to keep from wrinkles. Also if you have fancier clothes get some plastic bags (like from the dry cleaners, and Charles recently found some with zippers online that work really great) and put them individually in them as this helps to prevent wrinkles also. Depending on how many pieces of luggage you are taking, you might want to organize them, we usually keep a smaller bag with underclothes, toiletries, lounging wear, swimwear, etc. The larger suitcase would be for the shoes (usually heel to toe/toe to heel) and "tops" together then layed sideways on the edges of the case with the daytime wear in the center.

Hope this helps! I think you will have a great trip!

Even if you have a great memory, I would suggest getting a small notebook to make notes of your trip, just in case you decide you want it. I have a terrible memory, so I writing things down as they happen is very important to me. I like to keep a pocket Moleskine because it's small and durable and has a little pocket in the back that I can keep small things in (like ticket stubs), but anything really would work. I also like to keep a Fisher Space Pen handy - they're expensive and a bit hard to find, but they write on more things than the average pen and the ink isn't gravity-driven so you can write at all kinds of angles, which I find helpful. I also make notes on my smartphone.

Making sure you have a date/time stamp on your photos is great advice, too! It will definitely help you keep things in sequence!

I second the list making. Actually journaling takes me too much time and I'm usually too tired to make the effort. I try and make a list of 10 things from the day before bed.

Good recommendations. The one I was going to give was space saving to roll items like Janet said, but I'll take it a step further, I roll items for a whole outfit together. Socks, bra, undies on the inside and then top followed by pants or skirts on the outside. IF you can do this, it makes it easier to grab and go. We did a working trip once with construction and then evening activities...and it helped in getting into the showers and such quickly, just because I didn't have to think and grab this item and that, but the bathroom bag and then a roll of clothes. IF you can do this, it also means that you've got most of your outfits already planned out, which can save a ton of time as well.

Also I try to keep my color scheme in the outfits very near to each other so that you can mix and match, so that jacket or light sweater can go with several outfits. So you can dress in layers, as you might not always know what the weather - inside or outside might do.

Oh and extra batteries, if you have them. Be sure to put chargers and such on your list, and double check for the devices and chargers as you leave each time. I can't tell you how many times our family has left a charger at someone else's place, plugged in to charge and just forgot it. When you arrive pick one place to charge all your items and check there when you leave. We also take a power strip with us, and plug adapters (3 prong to 2 here in the US) just so that we know we have enough to plug in what we need too. We also have power inverters that are left in our vehicles, so that phones and things can charge while we are in our cars, helpful so things don't get left as much and also if the day's travel is several hours.

Sounds like a wonderful trip...ENJOY!

well, so one thing is deceided: I will bring a tiny notebook. I have to remember, also, to collect telephones/e-mails/etc, from all the relatives I met (the other time I see them may be in another 15 years, so better stay connected in some other way!) and, I need to try collecting some family stories, but I guess I can manage re-telling them if I write only keywords.

Do you remember Marisa Family faves project? I´d love to do something like that, not only sure if I will put it only for close family or if I should try something with my relatives too... And, if so, it´s better to do it by e-mail later?

Also, thank you for the practical travel tips, they will be really useful, even the smaller ones. If, for any reason, you remember something else, please tell me. Just some comments:

about shoes: Is it possible to take a 10 days trip with a pair of sandals, one of sneakers, and one of flip-flops (for when I´m on my relatives´ house or hotel)? Since I have a problem in one of my ankles, I can´t use all kinds of shoes, only some specific. The sandals are the most comfortable that I have. I have also a pair of tall boots that I can use, but I´m wondering if they are a waste of space, or if I should bring them (on that case, I´d go wearing them and hoping they weather is not hot on that day...

@Ad - Although my twitter account is not being used now, this idea seems neat. I´ll take time for thought on it... Need to check what kind of connection I´ll have...
Also, I´m planing to buy an extra memory card for camera - so I don´t need to delete all the pics, and can show my house/cats/friends to my relatives - No way to bring an album this time, even a mini - the space is too short!

@Janet - what you said about your mom passing away, I´ll probably feel about my grandmother. I wish I could hear her stories (and she used to love to tell them!) because now I have only some of them in my memory, which I heard when I was a pre-teen and lived with her.

I guess I can have use for some dramine- my brother´s car (A Honda) is one of those new cars which "roof" looks so low, and the car I´m most used to travel is my friend´s which is a mini MPV and is taller than most of the cars. - soon I´ll start to make my "not forget" list.

@Laura: I love your idea of keeping clothes you are going to use together rolled together - I´d never think of this! I´ll try to do it, even if at first I don´t bring all of them grouped - as I plan to re-use the pants. I´ll have to be "layered dressed" because it can be either cold and dry, or warm/hot there - It will be a spring in a "baby hills" region only a bit up from Capricorn Tropic.

Also, thanks to remember extra camera batteries and for the rechargers tip!

Also, the color shceme thing will be very important - although in town I use lots of white, I´ll probably go with some color, because it will probably look better on pictures - the buildings there have lots of white.

Do you have a smartphone? They do make an app to help! Trip Journal - map, take photos and notes about the places you visit! I'd also add, take VIDEO! And maybe get some additional storage for your phone if you're going that route!

Also, for lists, I love FlyLady! She has a list for packing, too! Just customize it however you see fit!

Any time we take a big trip, I give each of member of our 6 person family a notebook and tell them to journal every day. It is great, to get everyone's perspective. (Of course now, the older members of my family also laptops). Not only is it a great reference for journaling on my scrapbook pages, but the kids really like being able to keep their books and even read through them from time to time. My older kids now do it, even when they travel with out me! LOL

@Tina: lol, I used Flylady several years back! Got into her Flying with Fibro list as well -Fibromyalgia. Some great ideas on breaking down those big projects into more manageable chunks.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who carries a notepad and pen in my purse at all times! I definitely agree with what everyone is saying about keeping a notepad or notebook with you and making lists, I'm a major list maker and I can think of many times where it has saved me at work, home, school and on vacation!

If I was doing a lot of sightseeing and taking pictures, I might take a notebook; otherwise, between Facebook posts and tweets plus my daily recap on, I'd be set with anything I need. For those not familiar with, it sends me an e-mail everyday and I reply with as little or as much detail about my day as I'd like then anytime I need to review what I've done, I can go to the website and read my entries. I prefer this over blogging because it's private. Because it's just for me I don't have to worry about what I do or don't say and I only need to provide enough detail to jog my memory.

I traveled for an entire year with just a pair of sandals. Obviously if your feet have special needs, that's something you have to consider. Having a pair of flip flops is nice for using as slippers or going to the pool, etc

It´s very good to know Marisa! In fact, the best shoes for me are one fantastic pair of sandals that I have...

I have a sort of blackberry keyboard on my phone, which makes typing easier. (I always forget my notebooks, and I always carry the phone.) Not sure if youre comfortable with typing long sentences if you go for the twitter option. (Then again, youre a nerd so why am I worried? smiley)

I rarely journal my trips.....big mistake on my part, though my memory's pretty good so I can generally recall most stuff. However, I did journal for our trip to Maui & now I'm glad I did - I haven't digiscrapped those photos yet, and the trip was 3 years ago... (blushing)

I don't travel much, but a friend of mine buys postcards at every stop she makes, then writes a bit on the back of them. Sometimes, she even mails the postcards home to herself, but on one occasion, the postcards didn't make the trip through the post office, so she doesn't mail them very often now.

@Penny Oh, that would have been nice. She could have had them "registered" though.

Like Marisa, I'm usually too tired to journal after a long day of sightseeing, so I make lists of one or two words as memory starters, i.e. (name) Cathedral, extraordinary meal, viewpoint description, interesting event, etc.

Also a few years ago I was introduced to 2 gallon zip lock bags for packing. Layer folded tee shirts, shorts, whatever in the bag, sit on it to expel the air, zip up tightly and it takes up about half the space it would otherwise. Also good for containing dirty clothes odors.

Have a great trip!

When I travel I always collect tid bits along the way - entrance tickets, tourist brochures, leaves, rocks (much to my partner's dismay), receipts - all sorts of minor memorabilia that can be scanned when you get back or refer to when you are putting your pages together.

I am also a map freak so perhaps prepare a google map to mark your route.

Sounds like an excellent adventure, have fun planning.

BTW - I always pack too much when I travel - one of these days I will learn that when I lay out my things I should put half of it back in the wardrobe.

Can you believe I have only 8 days till the trip starts? I am already missing my cats, lol. Some time next week I´ll need to read all this topic up and write useful hints on packing... We deceided some things about the trip, like some stops and the route. But will be a classical road trip, travellling into our peace, without too much pressure... I can´t wait!

Love road trips! Hope it's a great time!


I use the camera to document everything. If you write down something take a snapshot of it. This way if it gets lost, no problem. I still have a digital shot. I take shots of signs, odd objects, and of old memories of places. Etc.
I find I always fill a card or two, but I do like to be able to pick and choose.

Have fun!

Ladies, just to tell you: I arrived at one of our uncle´s house, the road was fine and we are all safe. Also bought a super cool memorabilia: a map looking like an old map from the region we are going to visit.

For today, I took the notebook and, with car moving, I wrote everything I want to remember: I started writing on topics, but then ended up writing two paragraphs in current speech. Its bizarre because I already know the pages I want to do...

Glad your trip is going well so far!