Why Keep an Online Trip Journal?

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January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Over the past 4 years, I’ve had the opportunity to review literally thousands of online Trip Journals (also called “personal travel websites”) kept up by folks on the road through MyTripJournal.com and its partner sites, as well as through webpages they’ve created themselves.

When originally researching how to improve online journals, I had studied many traditional handwritten Trip Journals that were pieced together after the trip and involved countless hours sorting through old photos, maps, admission tickets, and trying to pair them with the applicable stories.

There are a lot of reasons why people on the move choose to maintain an online road trip journal. In my experience, the most common are these:

1. A Trip Journal allows you to store all your experiences in one place. This is what makes a Trip Journal so different from emailing your family and friends each time you have a new adventure. Imagine receiving invitations to visit this typical Trip Journal homepage each time it’s updated. This format allows them the opportunity to visit the journal when they are ready to read at their leisure:

Typical Trip Journal's Homepage
Typical Trip Journal’s Homepage

Now compare that to what we’ve all experienced: a barrage of emails from a friend on the road, clogging up your inbox with a multitude of stories, photos and video clips which will take forever to sort through:

Death by Email
Death by Email

2. Trip journaling is a great way to keep friends and family current on your trip. Today we have the luxury to document our trip as we’re going, instead of having to piece it all together afterwards. Once your most recent entry is complete, you can update your friends & family literally with one click. I’ve collected a lot of comments from friends about how much they enjoy the updates. I’ll share some of them with you in later posts.

3. An online Trip Journal makes for vivid memories for years to come. Now in my forties, I fondly recall my family’s RV trip to western Canada when I was just 11. If only I could find all those slides and view them together with my family -particularly my long-departed mom – my memories of that trip would improve one hundred-fold! Fortunately, my own two boys will never face the same issues: by calling up our family’s online journals, they can instantaneously view all our best photos, videos and read our stories – even our friends’ messages in our guestbooks – from anywhere in the world.

4. Your Trip Journal will visually link you to where you’ve been. Thanks to online mapping technology, Trip Journals will instantaneously bring you back to where you’ve been and link your experiences to your location at the time. No more head-scratching: “Honey, which National Park were we in when that feisty black bear nearly gobbled up our bacon & eggs?”

Dan Parlow

www.rv.net/mytripjournal ; www.mytripjournal.com

http://goodsamclub.mytripjournal.com/explore ; http://woodalls.mytripjournal.com

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  1. chuck&gail

    The DISadvantage is it requires a computer. We vacation to get away from those. Just my opinion of course.