They say that the trick to remembering anything you learn, think, or feel, is to write it down. Travelling is all about learning, thinking, and feeling, and these free travel journal apps make it easy for you to maintain a trip diary, which you can embellish with photos and share with friends.
1. Find Penguins (Android, iOS): Auto Track Your Travels and Post Updates for Friends
Find Penguins is a smart app that automatically tracks your movements during your trip, while your phone is in your pocket. It also updates the weather, temperature, and altitude, providing a quick snapshot of what the conditions were like that day.
All the data that the app gathers is presented in cool statistics and interactive maps. It’s fun to see how you traveled represented on a map as a trail and posts about the noteworthy events. Find Penguins also updates your profile along the way, noting how many countries you went to, how many trips, and so on.
Each post in Find Penguins is called a footprint, which can include text, images, videos, or a combination of these. The app is a bit like using social media, and you can control who sees your posts. If you discover something you want to do while browsing a friend’s feed, you can add it to your “bucket list” and save it for later. If you’re traveling with someone else, you can add them to your trip to get joint updates on your statistics.
2. Travel Facets (Web, Android, iOS): Turn Your Camera Roll Into an Automatic Album
Travel Facets turns all the photos you take on a trip into an organized album of your travels. The app reads the geotagging location data in each picture you’ve taken with your phone, matches the date and time with weather records, and maps out the trail. You won’t have to lift a finger throughout this process.
Once the album is ready, you can edit it to add captions or additional data. These are called waypoints, and you can even add non-image waypoints manually to note something worthwhile.
You can also skip the entire automatic album maker and make a trip manually. You get more control over each waypoint and how it represents your trip. You’ll want to use this mode if you want a robust travel diary, adding your thoughts to create a memorable journal.
Share albums with other Travel Facets users or privately so that only those with the link can see your trip.
3. TravelMap (Web): Simplest Way to Create a Map of Your Travel Blog
Sometimes, you don’t want the complexities of an app, social news feeds, auto-tagging, and all that jazz. Instead, all you want is to create a map where you add places of interest to plot your trail, along with photos and journal entries. TravelMap is that simple, free solution.
The simplicity of this web app is its best part. Sign up, create your mini-site with a unique address, and start creating your map. The map is your homepage, where you add places by searching or clicking placemarkers. You can always reorder these too.
Then, add images to your map or write posts and link them to the placemarkers you’ve already mapped. The result for a viewer is a neatly ordered map showing your journey, with a sidebar that displays images or posts to reveal more about your adventures.
The free version of TravelMap should be enough for most people, as its restrictions are still pretty high (like a maximum of 100 images). However, the premium version removes all such limitations if you need it. You can also check out a cool demo of TravelMap to see its full possibilities.
4. Jauntlet (Web, Android, iOS): Journal That Looks Like a Travel Blog Timeline
The Jauntlet web and mobile app look a bit dated compared to others in this list, but the final output looks so good that it deserves a recommendation. It’s a mix of a travel journal and a travel blog, presenting your trip in a neat timeline.
When you sign up, Jauntlet asks you to also connect your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. This lets the app import photos from your different profiles. When you make any new post of a city you’ve been to, add the location to plot it on a map, write a journal entry of what you saw and felt, and select photos to add to the entry.
The final result looks fantastic, as seen in the image above. It’s a timeline of where you’ve been, showing a map on the left, the city and date at the top, and your thoughts and photos on the right. Viewers can also comment under the entry. The whole thing can be played as an automatic slideshow, taking readers through your entire journey.
5. Travel Diaries (Web, Android,iOS): Create an Actual Diary and Optionally Print It
Travel Diaries is a free app to design what a travel journal of your trip will look like and optionally print it too. The app is a virtual open book where you can write beautifully formatted entries.
For each page, you can apply one out of 38 custom layouts, choosing how text and images will appear on the page. Based on the layout, select and upload images from your camera roll, and write text in the simple text editor.
Travel Diaries isn’t the best app for on-the-fly travel journaling while you’re on the trip. It’s more a place to reflect on your journey and compose a good-looking travel diary that you would be proud to show to friends. If you like what you’ve created, you can pay to download a PDF of the journal or ask the app makers to print and ship the travel journal to you directly.
6. Traveldays (Web): Travelogue of Photos With Location, Time, and Captions
Traveldays is one of the best online photo album creators to show off your trips and vacations. It’s shockingly easy to use, as it takes your photos and automatically turns them into a picture journey of your travels, almost like showing postcards or polaroids to friends.
Upload your pictures in the order you want, and Traveldays will seek their geotagging information to pin it to a Google Map. You can also write small captions on each image. Share the link with your friends, and you’re done.
Try a Physical Travel Diary
So which travel journal app should you go for? There’s no one-size-fits-all app here. As a rule of thumb, Find Penguins, Travel Facets, and Jauntlet can better log your thoughts while on the trip. TravelMap, Travel Diaries, and Traveldays are better to create a travel diary after you’re back from the trip.
But as much as we love these apps, there is a case to be made to use a physical travel diary instead. Not only do many travelers swear by the little diary they carry with them, but How Life Unfolds offers a detailed guide on how to use a travel journal while you’re on a trip to make it more memorable than ever before.