Family Travel: helping kids keep a trip journal

Our recent trip to Thailand was the second trip on which we’ve handed Hudson a camera. It’s so cool to see things through his eyes. And it’s amazing how it keeps him engaged. But on this trip, he was also asked by his teacher to draw pictures and take some notes about what he saw on the days he missed school. So we seized on the opportunity to get some small, unlined notebooks for the kids, with the hope of starting a new vacation journaling habit.

Every day he’d draw a picture of something that stood out to him as the most interesting or exciting, and I would ask him to tell me about it (and about the day in general) so I could write it down for him. At first the details came slowly—descriptions of the day were brief, like “good.”

I thought about my own travelogues. It helps to imagine an audience, to think about who I think I’m talking to.

Sure enough, as soon as I asked Hudson to tell me what he’d say to some of his specific classmates—calling out friends by name—he had plenty to say. It made such a difference! I could hardly keep up with the stories.

Do you keep travel diaries? Do your kids? What tips do you have for keeping up the habit? 

(Above, Hudson is drawing these eels that he “even got to touch.” “People eat them!”)

P.S. His photos of Mexico City. (And ours.)

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