Are you thinking of journaling during your next trip and looking for easy travel journal ideas? Creative travel journaling is a great way to document your memories and something I’ve been doing for over fifteen years. The recent pandemic has reminded us how precious travel is and something we shouldn’t take for granted (I know I won’t!).
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Why You Should Keep a Travel Journal
If you’re not sure what a travel journal is and if you should keep one, know that a travel journal is anything you want it to be! It can be a place to jot down ideas and notes about a trip, document your itinerary, a daily journal, or a scrapbook. Or it can be a combination of any or all those things!
A travel journal is a great way to not only document your travels but also a way to be more mindful of your travels. Taking time to reflect on your trip each day gives you the opportunity to absorb everything you have done, seen, and thought. I find it also helps me understand what I’m really enjoying on a trip and change plans if there is something that just didn’t work for my family or me. As I’ve started writing, both for this site and personal writing, it’s become more important for me to document stories so that I refer back to them later.
And in this day and age where our entire lives are on a phone or in the cloud, it’s lovely to have a tangible way to relive your travels. Going back through your journals and reading your memories will illicit a much stronger emotional response than just scrolling on a device.
How to Use a Travel Journal
When planning, a vacation journal can be a great place to dump all of your travel journal ideas, research, notes, and anything else that you use to plan your trip. You can write down everything you think you might like to do. Including restaurants and bars you’re dying to try, or where you would like to stay. My travel journals have included all of these things as well as lists of things to buy, pack or do for my trip.
What do you want to remember about your trip? Once you have decided that you will have the starting point for how to use a travel journal. Do you want to use it primarily to document and reflect on your trip? Your travel journal may just be pages of your writing and not include embellishments. Do you want a scrapbook of your trip that you can share with others? Then your journal may include drawings, ticket stubs, cards, and more from your trip. Or your travel journal might be something more elaborate that you work on after the trip.
Travel Journal Prompts
Travel can be exhausting! If you’ve spent all day on your feet and all you can think about is crawling into the comfy bed in your hotel or rental writing in your travel journal may be the last thing you want to do. But I encourage you to write down a quick summary that you can go back in later and fill in the blanks. I’ve often regretted not journaling enough.
Intimidated by writing? An easy travel journal idea can be as simple as writing down a couple of lines each day of your trip. Your travel journal is yours. No one has to see it or read it. You can write, “Saw the Mona Lisa. She rocked.” and be done. Or you can write a more in-depth entry. One that describes what the weather was like, what you ate for breakfast, how you got to The Louvre, what the museum looked like, and how you felt when seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time.
Unsure what to write? Use some of these writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
- What did you eat today? Did you try anything new?
- Did you try any local foods/dishes? Describe the dish, the ingredients, colors, and aroma. How was it served?
- Did you try and use a new language today? What did you say? Did a local understand you? How did that make you feel?
- Who did you meet today? What did you discuss?
- What places did you visit? What was your favorite experience? Why?
Click here for more than 40 creative and thought-provoking travel prompts!
Ready to start your own creative travel journal? Easy travel journal ideas start with the right products. Here are some of my favorite items to use to make a travel journal.
Over the years I’ve used different types of journals for my journaling. Often I will buy a travel notebook for a trip and use it for one trip only. In it, I include my planning notes, daily journal entries, and a place to tuck ticket stubs, postcards, and other items I want to keep. Sometimes, I simply use the same journal I use daily at home and use it to document what I did each day.
Best Journal or Notebook for a Travel Journal
My favorite journals are part planner, part diary, and part scrapbook. And while I resist paper in my day-to-day life, I love gathering train tickets, stubs from admission tickets, maps, and brochures when traveling. The best travel journal will pages to write and a pocket to place the pieces of paper and mementos you want to keep. I also find a pen loop a great way to ensure I always have a pen when I’m ready to jot something down.
I’ve been using Leuchtturm 1917 Notebooks for years for journaling. They are sturdy, come in a rainbow of colors, have a folder pocket in the back, and have two ribbon page markers. I prefer the dotted pages but you can also get plain or ruled versions.
More Travel Journals
Journals designed specifically for travel are great because they often include pages for lists, plans and many include prompts. These journals are perfect for people that want more structure.
Promptly Travel Journal
I love the look of this journal and am tempted to buy it for my next trip. It has pages for trip itineraries, sections for each day, a map, built-in prompts and more.
Vegan Leather Travel Journal
This vegan leather-bound travel journal is well-designed and includes Each page has a spot for date, location, weather icons, and ruled lines for jotting down your entries. It also has a pocket, ribbon bookmark, and elastic closure to keep everything secure. Looks like a great option!
Moleskine Travel Journal
Moleskine journals are popular because they are well-designed and sturdy. This Moleskine Travel Journal is no exception with two ribbon bookmarks, a pocket, and tabbed sections. The travel-themed stickers are a fun way to easily add some personality to your pages.
A pen loop is a sticker with an elastic loop that you can attach to any journal to hold a pen. And is a must for me! I never have to dig in my bag or a drawer when I’m ready to write. For years, I purchased a pen loop in the same color as my Leuchtturm journal. And while that was fun, I recently purchased a pack of six for a lot less money.
Best Pens for Journaling
I used to purchase office supplies for a group of people and let me tell you, people are picky about their pens! For journaling, I like to have a variety of colors to choose from and find a fineliner works best. I also look for pens that aren’t too dark or are designed not to bleed through. This set of Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens has been my go-to for a while. With twenty colors and a sturdy carrying case, they are a great set of pens for you to add color to your travel journal.
I also keep a couple of these pens around for when I want to journal without color. The light gray ink is soft enough that it doesn’t bleed through pages, but still dark enough to be easily read.
I just discovered this set of erasable pens from Pilot and am obsessed! The truly are erasable which means I can make a mistake, and then make it disappear with a quick swipe of the eraser. No holes in the paper either. They are magic!
Other Items for Creative Travel Journal
One of my favorite easy travel journal ideas is adding tabs to a journal. Tabs can be a great way to easily organize your travel journal and quickly find what you’re looking for. I love the bright colors and different sizes in this set!
In addition to the ephemera you collect on your journeys, stickers can be a great way to add color and detail to your travel dairy. Amazon, Etsy and craft stores are great resources to find packs of stickers for a specific destination (think the Eiffel Tower, Mona Lisa, baguette, etc. for Paris) or general travel.
Check out this article for more creative ways to keep your travel memories alive!
Drop a comment letting me know your easy travel journal ideas!