A topic very close to my heart, as I've kept trip journals for decades. So what follows is lengthy.
Nowadays, Paperblanks is my brand, although in the past Moleskin plus actual school notebooks were employed. For a few years, I utilized an excellent type of blank sketchbook and wrote in them without any guidelines. Size requirements mean that the journal must be able to fit into the side sleeve of my ancient Domke camera bag.
My set-up is similar to Christa's in keeping page one as a Flight Info section. A detailed copy of our itinerary is always right next to that. Typically, I'll also include copious maps marking researched eateries, suggested walks, plus data regarding attractions (opening times, days of closing etc). We take language learning seriously and so those pages are also placed up front. Along the trip, I'll add pamphlets, business cards, stickers, better-quality local maps and more. Like Christine, gluesticks are a must to pack.
My journals are always 8 1/2 months 'pregnant' upon return, fit to burst and full of daily descriptions. In their second lives back home, they each become depository file containers for additional found items that might be related, National Geographic maps, latter-day articles and even printouts of especially excellent forum posts whose associated topic drew many useful responses.
I got into the habit back when I did a little semi-pro travel writing on the side, starting in the 80s. My very first journal was designed to assist me report on a Beatles Pilgrimage for a local Toronto newspaper. My daily observations informed my articles for many years afterwards. For a brief while, an effort was made to decorate the cover with an arty, glued-on collage. One of our first Mexico trips was the most effective of that kind of collage, with India as a close second. For a few years, I added sketches onto the blank covers. We've kept pretty pressed flowers inside the journal, recipes and even a lovely dead blonde moth!
For years, my wife and I overdid things during travel. She'd do painting and sketching, plus photos. I'd write, do photos plus keep a running audio collage. We brought a pro-grade taper to record a wide range of sounds: interviews, Mother Nature, wildlife, children playing, oddities, live music, foreign TVs, sports crowds and lots more. It got to be too much and we eventually stopped taping, the final one being '94 in the Luberon. That sound collection was eventually digitized and I'm currently 80% of the way through itemizing it all--currently listening to somewhere in a reggae nightclub deep in Pt. Antonio Jamaica mon.
As with CJean, we keep a chronological bookshelf full of the journals. Once I finish writing the second edition to my self-published musical memoirs, then we will finally commence on starting our long-planned coffee-table book Travel Memoir. We have a catchy title and about 195,377,284,760,482,529,9667 photos to go through before making the final selection.
Of course, those journals will be indispensable for that project.
My mother kept a travel journal composed entirely of her sketches--she was a professional artist. For decades, I encouraged her to approach publishers with her best stuff, but she never did.
I am done. endahksi