How to Easily Journal In-the-Moment on Your Next Vacation

Meet the newest addition to my Etsy Store: Fill-in-the-Blank Vacation Postcards!!!
These 5×7 postcards are a fun and easy way to remember what you did this summer . . . or what your kids did while they were away at summer camp!

As newlyweds, my wife and I started the tradition of sending ourselves daily postcards every time we go on vacation! This custom has been a great way of journaling in-the-moment, and a great addition to our vacation scrapbooks! Plus, it’s always fun to get mail. Even if it’s from yourself.

As soon as our daughters could hold a pen, we got them involved in this ritual, too. Sometimes they would scribble their version of something they saw during the day. Other times we would write a funny quote they said or a meaningful memory. We always made sure they added their name in their adorable little-kid handwriting. We love looking back on these keepsake souvenirs, and now that they’re both old enough to draw and write specifics, this gave me the idea for fill-in-the-blank postcards!

The front of the postcard features six blocks so my kids can draw some of their favorite things they see, hear, taste, touch, and smell each day; as well as doodle where they were. On the back, I created a traditional looking Mad-lib so they can record the date and weather, fun facts and observations each day, as well as awesome experiences and/or funny moments!

Last month, we took the kids to Disneyland for a few days, giving these postcards a test run . . . and my girls absolutely loved filling them out every night when we returned to our room. It didn’t matter how late it was, they were determined to fill them out!

In addition to prompting my kids journaling, these postcards also sparked many great conversations as we walked around the parks. All of us were more aware of what we were smelling and hearing each day. It even prompted them to try new foods (that they otherwise wouldn’t have tasted) because they knew they could draw a picture of it on their postcard!

Here are some of my favorite things they documented
in their own words AND spelling:

Mary Ann’s observations – Age 11

  • I SAW THIS:
    The AMAZING giant dragon in Fantasmic
  • I HEARD THIS:
    “MARY ANN!” on the Alice ride
  • I TASTED THIS:
    Senor Buzz Churros
  • I SMELLED THIS:
    Pirates of the Carrabein water [I absolutely love the way my kids spell things]
  • I TOUCHED THIS:
    The triangular rocks on the Indiana Jones ride
  • FUN FACT OR OBSERVATION:
    Skunks go backwards on carousels and they can be purple or blue

Caroline’s observations – Age 7

  • I SAW THIS:
    The Casle
  • I HEARD THIS:
    “Look Mom it’s Jessie” [referring to a kid that was talking about her Jessie outfit]
  • I TASTED THIS:
    Bing Bong Slushe
  • I SMELLED THIS:
    Disney water
  • I TOUCHED THIS:
    Shuter [aka “shooter”] on Toy Story Mania – 3500 [her final score]
  • FUN FACT OR OBSERVATION:
    We got stuck on Haunted Mansion 3 times [this really bothered her!!!]


What you’ll need while you are on vacation:

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Will you be using these on your next vacation???

I would love to see photos of you and/or your kids with your postcards! It could be an action shot of you drawing on them or putting them in the post box, or a scenic photo of your finished postcard in front of something while you are exploring the world! Please tag me (@curtrjensen) on Instagram or comment below with a link to your blog post.


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