20 Best Travel Journals to Document Your Trips

Some include prompts and templates to help get you started.

travel journals

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Last-minute planning of a trip can consist of chaotic lists in your phone's notes app while the chronicling of said trip may look like sporadic photos in your camera roll. But what if there was a collective place you could plan in advance and jot down funny moments along the way? A travel journal can culminate the ups (and downs) of your vacation with guided prompts and templates.

Our experts at Good Housekeeping Institute extended our expertise in the best photo book makers and best wedding planning books to research the best travel journals, a category we have not yet formally tested. We rounded up the best travel journals of 2023, whether you want a self-designed bullet journal or a notebook with fun maps and stickers. At the end of our list, you can find advice on how to start your travel journal as well as read more about why you can trust Good Housekeeping. And if you have a frequent traveler in your life besides yourself, check out our guide to the best travel gift ideas (although a journal is a great idea too!).

The Art of the National Parks: Park-Lover's Journal

The Art of the National Parks: Park-Lover's Journal

Perfect for the outdoors enthusiast in your life, this journal celebrates each of the 63 parks. It's 175 pages long and comes with prompts that'll help them chronicle their journey. It doesn't hurt that this journal has gorgeous illustrations of each park by real artists.

Papier Off Piste

Off Piste

Whether this is your first or fifth travel journal, or a gift for the college student in your life who's about to go abroad, Papier's notebooks will check all of the boxes. One GH editor has the Off Piste journal and loves the cover, a simple design that includes a meaningful quote, and appreciates the helpful templates you'll find inside the notebook. You'll be able to document up to six trips with templates for your budget, packing list, transportation, accommodation, itinerary and a journaling space for freestyle writing. There are also pages dedicated to a travel wishlist as well an illustrative map you can color in as you mark off countries you've visited.

Peter Pauper Press Page-A-Day

Journals can ring in at a variety of prices, but you can find a great travel journal for under $10 that will still give you enough space to write about your wanderings around the world. This leather-bound journal dedicates one page to each day of your trip, with spaces to add in the date, location and weather conditions (we especially like the delicate drawings for types of participation which you can circle with your pencil or pen). Dotted lines on the page will keep your entries neat and organized and an included ribbon bookmark will keep track of where you left off last. Even though this journal is pretty basic in design and on the smaller side, we think it's a great option for someone who doesn't want to spend too much on their first travel journal.

Clever Fox Vacation Planner

Vacation Planner

Amazon's Choice with a 4.6-star rating across over 900 customer reviews, this travel journal comes with more than just a notebook. You'll also get 150+ fun stickers to embellish your entries, plus the journal also has a pocket to hold the pages of stickers and an elastic band for your pen. But what makes this journal really stand out is its extensive range of templates geared towards helping you plan your trip. For five trips, you'll get pages for research and budget, a packing checklist, transportation and accommodation details and an expense tracker, plus a map and more journaling pages. If you like to plan out every detail, this is the perfect travel journal for your needs. We wish you could fit more than five trips in the journal, but for the price, it's a great value.

Peter Pauper Press Kids Travel Journal

Perfect for the adventure-inclined kiddo, this 96-page travel journal lets young travelers record everything from general entries about a trip to a packing list. Kids can even paste in photos, tickets and more and store the rest in the journal's back pocket. The journal is also full of games, maps, helpful phrases in other languages, metric information, quotes and fun facts. Not only is this kid-friendly journal a creative means to document their early adventures, but its accessories encourage international learning.

Leatherology Medium Spiral Snap Journal

Medium Spiral Snap Journal

Available in four hues including black onyx (pictured), brown, azure and lilac, this journal is made from gorgeous dyed leather with light gold hardware. You can choose from a spiral or bound format, but note that the spiral option has 130 perforated pages while the bound journal has 265 ruled sheets (or 128 pages). Regardless of which style you choose, you'll will get the benefit of a snap closure and a built-in pen loop, although the writing utensil is not included. We appreciate the versatility of this journal given the blank pages that let you doodle and write freely over the course of your next trip.

Mark and Graham Leather Bound World Travel Journal

Leather Bound World Travel Journal

This beautiful leather bound journal not only has pages for writing about your trips, but it also includes full-color maps of major cities plus world weather information, international dialing codes and more. A perfect gift for the international traveler, you can also add a foil debossed monogram to the cover if you want to add a personal flare to the notebook. We wish that the journal was available in more than one color, but the rust orange is a versatile enough choice that will stick out in a dark suitcase or bag.

Duncan & Stone Paper Co. World Trip Adventure Book

World Trip Adventure Book

An almost-perfect five-star rating on Amazon and the titular Amazon's Choice badge is enough to make you add this travel journal to your cart. The layflat design makes it easy to open and write on, and you'll have enough pages to reflect on 15 trips plus a back pocket for extra photos and blank pages for notes and random musings. What we love most about this journal are the helpful prompts that guide newbies through the process of journaling, with questions like "Where did you stay?." and "Something I learned from this destination/culture..." From basic to more thought-provoking questions, you'll have a boost of inspiration to help you document your journey.

Day One Day One

Day One

While the majority of picks on this list are physical journals, you can also document your trips through an app if you prefer a digital format or have minimal space in your luggage . Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director at the GH Institute Rachel Rothman , says Day One is a solid choice with ample positive reviews from consumers. You can download the app for free on your iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. You'll get one journal for one device with the ability to add a photo per entry, plus templates, export capabilities and tags. If you want unlimited journals, devices and photos plus the option to add videos, audio recordings and more, opt for Day One Premium which rings in at $2.92 per month.

Extreme Assistants Classic Notebook

Classic Notebook

If you travel a lot, or tend to squish as much as you possibly can into your carry-on (we have all been there), you'll want a durable journal that can withstand being tossed around and bumping against other items in your bag. A faux leather hardcover and thick paper ensure your journal will stay intact as you travel to and fro. The manufacturer adds that the cover is designed to be easy to clean, which is helpful if you are journaling on the airplane or train and accidentally spill your drink. We also appreciate that you can add a photo or logo to the cover for an element of personalization, especially since the notebook is more basic in style.

Deanna Didzun The Traveler's Playbook: A World Travel Journal

The Traveler's Playbook: A World Travel Journal

Journaling of any kind can be intimidating as you don't always know where to start — even a notebook with guiding prompts can lead to partial writer's block. If this sounds like you, then opting for a book that has more structure and a variety of templates is the way to go. This popular travel journal has a 4.3-star rating on Uncommon Goods is designed by explorer Deanna Didzun who created illustrations and lists to help jog your memory of your most recent journey. You can give overall star ratings for each destination and write down food and drink highlights if you so please.

Smythson Travels and Experiences Panama Notebook

Travels and Experiences Panama Notebook

There are journals and then there are journals — and this beautiful handcrafted leather journal falls into the latter category. Bound in crossgrain lambskin and available in a light blue or scarlet red, you'll have 128 pages of lined Featherweight paper to fill. This notebook is all about quality and is designed to last, but with that comes a higher price tag. It would be a great gift for the writer in your life who loves to travel, but given its simple layout and lack of templates other travel journals can have, it may not be splurge-worthy for every traveler.

DesignWorks Ink Suede Travel Journal

Suede Travel Journal

If you or a friend is traveling to Santorini, Mexico and/or Sydney in the near future, you may want to opt for this travel journal inspired by each of those stunning cities. You can add personal information in the first page of the notebook and the 240 pages are lined with spaces to include the subject and date. Although the journal does not include prompts or templates, we love the eye-catching gold design and appreciate the ribbon bookmark to keep track of your last entry.

Moleskine Traveller's Journal

Traveller's Journal

Moleskine, the established brand that has been around for over two decades, is synonymous with traditional, high quality notebooks — and this travel-specific journal is no different. There are three sections for a travel wish list, short trips and long trips plus two sheets of stickers and a ribbon bookmark. The journal has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon across over 3,200 consumer ratings. One five-star review calls this notebook "the traveler's best friend," and notes how helpful it can be to keep track of places, restaurants and sites so you don't forget.

JB Leather Personalized Travel Notebook

Personalized Travel Notebook

For a personalized touch, this pick lets you choose from over 1,000 charm and stamp combinations including astrological charms, meaningful quotes and more . There are also three different vegan leather hues to choose from: cinnamon, cedar and sandy brown. The notebook has 18 plastic card slots, a zippered pocket for storage and a total of 152 lined pages. You can also refill the notebook as you cross places off your travel wish list. A best-seller on Etsy with a perfect five-star rating, this customizable notebook is popular among customers. Multiple reviews comment on the fast delivery, and its high-quality, beautiful appearance.

Transient Books Custom Travel Journal for Kids

Custom Travel Journal for Kids

With this journal, you can customize the cover color, font and cover map, as well as choose between 100- and 200-page books with lined, unlined and prompts variations. We love the various ways you can personalize this kid-friendly journal, making little ones that more excited to explore new places. The five-star seller has over 3,000 customer reviews on Etsy. And the travel journal doesn't just have to be a gift for the kids: Adult customers also said they enjoyed using the notebook for camping trips and vacations around the globe.

Compendium Everywhere You Go

Everywhere You Go

We have included travel journals on this list that have prompts but none like the unexpected ones in this notebook that will get your creative wheels turning. The questions may catch you off guard, but prompt thoughtful reflection: they range from "If this place had a perfume, it would smell like..." to, "If this place had a soundtrack, these songs would be on it." The notebook is Amazon's Choice and has a 4.5-star rating, with multiple customers calling it the perfect gift for the traveler in your life, whether you need a gift for a teen or a present for a thirtieth birthday .

PAPERAGE Dotted Journal Notebook

Dotted Journal Notebook

Keeping a bullet journal is a popular trend that can easily translate to an aesthetic yet meaningful travel journal. This popular bullet notebook has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon with over 18 color options to chose from including mustard yellow (pictured), burgundy, lavender, royal blue and more. The 5.7-by-8-inch dotted pages lend themselves to open-ended creativity. While it can be hard to start designing and writing a journal from scratch, you have the benefit of customizing how much space you want for each list or entry.

Polarsteps Travel Tracker

Travel Tracker

Physical journals are not everyone's cup of tea, which is where an app like Polarsteps comes into play. Available for iOS and Android devices, Polarsteps lets travelers track their journeys. You can utilize over 300 helpful guides created by travel editors, as well as use the itinerary planner to dream up your perfect vacation and check the transport planner when unsure of what mode of transportation to use from one destination to another. Once you begin your trip, plot each site you visit and slowly form a personalized map that you can embellish with photos and videos. From there, share your map with friends and family or turn it into a travel book to look back on for years to come.

Glad & Young Studio The Traveler's Journal

The Traveler's Journal

If you have a bookshelf with rows of novels, photo albums and notebooks, you may want an aesthetic-looking travel journal that fits your style. This leather notebook has 60 pages to document your travels, and is available in a neutral shade (pictured) as well as two marbled patterns that are unique to each purchase. We personally love the brightly colored assorted pattern that has swirls of lavender, yellow, fuchsia and blue. The lined pages are great for daily entries and you can also note the day and weather. Note that to clean, you'll want to wipe away and spills or messes with a soft cloth.

Headshot of Elizabeth Berry

Elizabeth Berry (she/her) is the Updates Editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she optimizes lifestyle content across verticals. Prior to this role, she was an Editorial Assistant for Woman’s Day where she covered everything from gift guides to recipes. She also has experience fact checking commerce articles and holds a B.A. in English and Italian Studies from Connecticut College.

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14 Best Travel Journals for Travelers – Guide to Choosing the Perfect Travel Journal

Last updated: January 19, 2024 - Written by Jessica Norah 30 Comments

A travel journal can be a great way to record one’s memories and experiences while traveling. Laurence bought his first travel journal in 1999 to use on a trip to Namibia. I bought my first travel journal back in 2012 for a trip to France. We have both been keeping travel journals on most of our trips ever since.

Although I don’t do it often, I love re-reading my old travel journals. They bring back a lot of memories, and help me remember all the little things that happened that I may have forgotten, the good, the bad, and the hilarious.

I also find my old journals very useful in recording details, such as a guide’s name, the duration of a hike, or which restaurant we ate in during a trip which may not be something I can tell from a photo. This has helped us add details to travel blog posts, return to favorite spots, and give more specific travel advice to friends and family.

Over the years, we have used a lot of different journals for travel writing, from basic composition notebooks to custom handcrafted journals. We have used, gifted, and reviewed dozens of different types of journals.

This guide was written to help travelers find the best travel journal for them. Whether you are looking for a personal journal for an upcoming trip or looking for help in buying a travel journal as a gift, we’ll give you all the information you need to choose the best travel journal.

We’ll share what to look for when buying a travel journal, including things like size, page count, paper quality, closure types, and sustainability. Then we review a wide selection of different travel journals so that you can find one that suits your criteria, style, and budget.

best travel journals for travelers

Table of Contents:

14 Things to Consider When Buying a Travel Journal

Travel journals all have a lot in common, but there are also a number of differences. We’ll discuss the main factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a travel journal.

For many people, a journal for traveling is no different than a regular journal or diary. But there are things that may be more important to you for a journal that you take on a trip rather than one that stays next to your bed. These may include factors related to portability (size and weight) and durability (cover type, binding quality, closure type).

There is no perfect journal for travelers. My favorite travel journal is not necessarily the right one for you. Also the ideal journal may also depend on the type and length of your trip. A journal that is good for writing about short weekend trips may not work well on a month-long backpacking trip.

As you read this, I’d recommend making a list of the things that are most important to you in a journal. What size is right? What type of paper does it need to have? Do you want a guided or unguided journal? These notes can then help you narrow down the journals on our list and find the one that is perfect for you.

Journal Size

One of the more important factors to consider when buying a travel journal is its size or dimensions. The size of the journal that is best for you will depend on your needs.

For instance, someone who wants to be able to carry their journal in their back pocket or jacket is going to want a small journal. Those who plan to sketch or glue things onto pages (e.g., tickets, photos, flyers) of their journal may want to think about what size will be best suited to that.

I would recommend grabbing a book, journal, or piece of paper that you have handy at home and measuring them to get an idea of what size you prefer. You can fold or tear a piece of paper until you get the size that you think would be ideal, then you can search for journals with similar dimensions.

In most of the world, you likely see a lot of travel journals with sizing that says A5, A6, or B5 which are a standard size measured in millimeters. These are referring to the International Standard (ISO) paper sizes . For instance, A5 paper is 148 mm X 210 mm (5.8 inches X 8.3 inches).

However, if you are in North America or Central America, you are less likely to see journals advertised in ISO sizes. Countries such as the United States and Canada generally use North American paper sizes such as letter and legal paper sizes, which are measured in inches. You are much more likely to see journals that are designed to inch measurements, such as 5″ X 7″ or 7″ X 9″.

Generally if looking at measurements for journals, the first number will refer to the width and the second number refers to the height. So a 120mm X 170mm journal would be 120mm wide and 170mm high.

There is no “best” size for a travel journal, it just depends on your needs. I would just recommend not going any smaller than 3.5″ X 5″ or larger than A4 or letter-sized paper.

For some guidance from popular journal brands, Paperblanks has said its Mini (4″ X 5.5″) and Midi (5″ X 7″) sizes are the most popular. Moleskine has said that its brand’s “Pocket” (3.5″ X 5.5″) and “Large” (5″ X 8.25″) sizes are two of its most popular sizes. Leuchtturm1917 says its Classic A5 (5.75″ X 8″) and B5 (7″ X 10″) are two of its most popular sizes.

If you are looking for your first travel journal and have no idea what size to go for, I’d suggest either A5 (5.8 inches X 8.3 inches) or a “Mid-sized” one. So something that is approximately 5 inches X 7 inches (127 mm X 178 mm) to 6 inches X 8 inches (152 mm X 203 mm).

I have used a variety of journals of different sizes and tend to prefer more medium sized ones. We keep ours in our day bags or backpacks.

My current favorites are the Slim sized notebooks from Paperblanks which are 90 mm X 180 mm (3.54″ X 7″). Laurence typically uses the Midi sized ones which are 130 mm X 180 mm (5.1″ X 7″).

best travel journals for travelers journal sizes

Journal Weight

Weight is another factor to consider when choosing a travel journal. The weight is going to be affected by the cover type, the number of pages, and the overall size of the journal. Generally, journals with hard covers are heavier than those with soft covers.

Note that most journal brands do not note the weight of their journals online or on the labeling. But most journals are designed to be lightweight and portable, so this is probably mostly a factor to consider for those wanting a larger sized journal.

The weight of a journal is going to be more important for those who are backpackers or light packers. Those looking for a more lightweight journal, should consider a soft cover journal that is smaller in size. A refillable journal may also be a good option as you can control the amount of paper in it.

Most standard or mid-sized journals are fairly lightweight so this is not normally a big factor of consideration for us. Our travel journals generally range between 150 grams to 400 grams (6 oz to 14 oz), with most of my journals being around 8 ounces or 230 grams.

Number of Pages

The number of pages you will want is going to depend on how much you write, the length of your trip, and the size of the journal pages. It is also good to think about whether you want a travel journal for a single trip or if you want one that will last for several trips.

The number of pages will affect the thickness and the overall weight of your journal. So we would generally recommend trying to keep the page count under 250 pages.

It is important to note the difference between sheets and pages. A sheet of paper has 2 sides that you can write on. So if you see a journal specification that says it has 96 sheets, this means it would have 192 pages. Most journals will just advertise the number of pages you can write on, but you do occasionally see it noted in sheets.

I generally write 3-5 pages per day, so if going on a 2-week trip, I’d want to make sure to have at least 70 pages. If going for a month, 150 pages. For instance, a 176-page Paperblanks Slim journal lasts me about a full month of travel.

If you are not sure how many pages you want in a journal, most journals contain between 120 and 200 pages. So I think any journal with a page count in that general range is probably a good place to start.

If you are going on a particularly long trip, say over 3 months in length, you might want to consider starting with one journal and then getting new journals along the way as you fill them up. You might want to mail home your completed journals (recommend backing them up digitally first through) to avoid lugging them around the world.

man writing in travel journal best travel journals for travelers safari

Type of Paper

The type of paper is something most people will want to consider when buying a journal. The main question for me would be how do I plan to use the journal. For example, you will likely want a different type of paper if you would like to use your journal for both sketching and writing versus someone who solely wants to be able to write in it.

Here are some of the things you might consider regarding the type and composition of the paper in a journal:

  • Is the paper blank, lined, dotted/bulleted, or squared/graph paper?
  • For lined/dotted/squared paper, does the spacing between lines or dots matter to you?
  • Is it designed to be written on both sides of the pages (e.g., is both sides lined/dotted)?
  • Is it smooth or textured?
  • Is the paper acid-free? (acid-free paper ages better)
  • Is it designed primarily for writing or sketching?
  • What color is the paper?
  • Is it made from wood or cotton?
  • Is the paper made from a certified sustainable source (e.g., Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] certified)?
  • Is it suitable for certain types of writing instruments such as fountain pens, pencils, or charcoal?
  • Is the paper perforated?

Most journals are made of acid-free uncoated paper with a smooth texture that is designed to be used on both sides. Most paper used in made from wood pulp and is generally white, off-white, ivory, or cream in color.

Of all the above listed factors, the most important thing for most travelers is probably the type of page ruling in the journal (whether lined, dotted, blank, etc.). You probably already have a preference for the type of paper you write on. For example, I always choose journals with lined paper.

Note that a dotted, dot grid, and bullet journal are generally all referring to the same type of paper. Similarly, graph, grid, and squared paper are generally referring to the same type of paper.

Journal paper types best travel journals for travelers

The other thing you should consider is the type of writing instrument you plan to use. If using a regular ballpoint pen (the most common type), most journals should work just fine. Those with gel pens or fountain pens may want a slightly heavier than usual paper to avoid the ink going through the pages.

Those wanting to use pencils or draw with charcoal may prefer more textured paper. Those planning to use watercolor will need much thicker paper.

I would recommend avoiding notebooks with perforated paper unless you definitely plan to tear out pages. Perforated paper is much more likely to tear and come out of your journal.

I personally only use my journal for writing and strongly prefer lined paper. All of my travel journals have lined smooth acid-free paper that is designed to be written on both sides. But some people may prefer unlined paper or bullet journals; it really just depends on how you plan to use your journal.

Paper Quality

There are different things that you can look at in terms of evaluating paper quality such as the material, weight, thickness, finish, grain, etc. The majority of these things are not going to be that important to most people.

The paper used in travel journals is almost always made from wood pulp, but you might also see some premium journals or handmade journals using cotton or linen paper.

The main thing to look at when assessing page quality is the weight of the paper which is typically measured in grams per square meter and may be denoted as the gsm, g/m², or g/sq m. This is the most common indicator of paper quality that is provided to consumers.

Note that in North America you’ll likely come across the U.S. paper basis system where paperweight is measured in lbs (such as 70lb or 70#). But normally measurements are also given in the metric gsm as well. For example, 70lb paper is typically equal to about 100 gsm.

As you look at journals, you’ll notice a fairly wide range of paper weights from about 60 gsm to 140 gsm. I would recommend looking for a journal with paper between 70 gsm and 120 gsm.

Note that the size of the journal can affect the paperweight with thinner paper often used in smaller journals. For example, the smaller sized Paperblanks journals often have 85 gsm paper whereas the larger ones have 120 gsm paper.

For most people, the gsm of the paper isn’t going to matter very much. But if you plan to use a fountain pen, marker, etc. then the paperweight and type is going to be much more important. For example with a fountain pen, heavier weight papers are generally better able to resist feathering, ghosting, and bleeding.

We have had journals with a range of paperweights, from 70 gsm to 120 gsm, with most being around 85 gsm. On most of our journals, we have just written with various ballpoint pens and had no issues.

I also have a Platinum #3776 Century fountain pen and it seems to perform fine on most paper in this weight range but it can vary. The biggest factor seems to be how smooth the paper is, as the pen generally does better on smoother paper.

Fountain pens users may want to read reviews by fellow fountain pens users to judge performance of any particularl journal. However, the way that a fountain pen will perform on a specific journal will depend not only on the paper, but also on your specific ink, nib, and the pressure applied during writing.

writing with fountain pen best travel journals for fountain pen users

Bound Journal Versus Refillable Journal

Most travel journals are bound, but another option to consider is a refillable journal system. These are where you purchase a journal cover that normally comes with a closure, replaceable paper inserts, and rubber bands to affix the inserts. You can then purchase additional paper inserts as you need them.

The refillable paper inserts are typically affixed inside using an elastic or rubber band, a cord, or a ring binder. Most refillable journals are designed to hold a total of 3 compatible paper inserts.

As you would expect with refillable journals, the paper inserts are not going to be as durable as a bound book. These inserts are often bound using saddle stitching and/or staples. But if you are just using these for one trip and then storing them at home, this is probably not that important to you.

Although a refillable journal is typically more expensive than a bound journal, they tend to be less expensive over time versus buying a new bound journal for each trip. They can also be a more sustainable option if you keep using the same cover and just replace the paper inserts. They also allow you to have the same journal cover and writing experience for a long time.

Investing in a refillable journal is probably best for people who already know they enjoy journaling, know the size of journal they prefer, and know the type of journal they like. You don’t want to invest in a system you are not sure you are going to like.

Another benefit of refillable journals is that you easily personalize them and change the type of paper you are using. With many brands, you can also add things like folders, pouches, pen loops, decorative charms, etc.

A couple of popular brands making refillable journals are The Traveler’s Company (Midori) and Wanderings . Most brands use leather covers but you can also find faux leather covers out there as well. You just want the material to be durable enough to last through years of wear and tear from traveling.

If you decide on a refillable journal, things to consider are the quality/durability of the cover, extra features (e.g., pockets, ribbon, etc.), and the availability of correctly-sized paper options for your chosen journal. You’ll also want to check to see how the paper refills are inserted and check to see if it will lie completely flat when you write in it.

Midori Traveler's Notebook top travel journals for traveling best journal for travellers

Journal Binding

If you are planning to buy a bound journal, you will want to consider how the journal is bound. The journal binding can affect the durability of your journal. It can also affect how it opens, such as whether you can open and lie it down completely flat or not.

There are a lot of different book binding methods and the options available may depend on the type of cover (soft versus hard cover) and the thickness of the journal. Common journal binding methods include Smyth sewn binding, case binding, glue binding, spiral binding, and saddle stitch binding.

For many people, the type of journal binding may not be very important as most people just want to make sure that their journal is strong enough to last the duration of their trip.

But if you are wanting something more durable, I recommend journals that have been bound using Smyth sewing. This is considered the best type of binding in terms of quality and durability. But these journals are also a little more expensive than ones that have been bound using other techniques.

Smyth sewn means that groups of folded pages have been stitched together with binder thread, and then multiple groups are joined together. This makes it more durable than those that have just been glued for instance and it is much less likely that pages will come out. It also allows for the book to be opened completely flat.

If you don’t like the Smyth sewn bound journals or are looking for something a bit less expensive, you might look at a good quality spiral-bound or coil-bound notebook. These are usually fairly inexpensive, lie flat, and the pages won’t fall out. However, spiral notebooks tend not to be designed as travel journals (often they are designed for school or work use, an exception being the Write it Down journals ) and often don’t have any type of closures, but you can create your own binding with a piece of elastic.

The type of bound journals I generally avoid are those bound using only glue, staples, or basic stitching. These tend not to be that durable and you may have an issue with the pages coming out, especially for the ones where pages are just glued to the spine. But if you are going on a short trip or just need something to jot notes in, these will work just fine.

notebook binding options top travel journals for traveling best journal for travellers

Journal Closure

Another thing to consider is whether you want a journal with a closure or not, and if so, what type of closure you prefer. I would strongly recommend having some kind of way to close your travel journal. This will help protect the pages and binding of your journal from getting bent, torn, or soiled. If you plan to shove your journal into your backpack or purse on your trip, we’d definitely recommend one with a closure.

Probably the most common type of closure for a journal is an elastic band that stretches lengthwise over the journal to keep it closed when not in use. Other types of closures include magnetic wrap, magnetic strap, snap, metal clasp, leather strap, hook, button wrap, and ribbon tie closures. The more creative ones, such as ribbon ties and button wraps, are more typical on handmade journals.

The type of closure may or may not be important to you. I always buy a travel journal with a closure; however, I don’t have a strong preference for a specific type of closure. I have used travel journals with a variety of closures, including magnetic strap, metal clasp, elastic band, and magnetic wrap. All of these worked fine. My favorites are probably the magnetic strap and metal clasp ones.

The only issue that I have found with elastic band closures, which are very common, is that they can with use over time lose their stretch and/or wear little grooves into the edges of the cover. These are minor issues but something to consider if planning to use the same journal for a longer period.

Note that many guided travel journals don’t come with a closure for some reason. So if you are looking for a guided journal and you want a closure, be sure to check the description carefully.

If you have a notebook or journal you like, but it doesn’t have any type of closure you could consider adding one. For example, some companies like Midori Traveler’s Company and Wanderings sell replacement closure straps for their journals that might work for your journal. Or if you have some DIY skills, you could consider adding an elastic band, ribbon, or magnetic closure of your own. For example, this is a DIY video of someone adding an elastic closure to a hardcover Wire-O bound journal.

best travel journals for travelers journal closure types

When choosing a travel journal, another feature you might consider is the type of cover. The main two options are a softcover or hardcover journal.

A softcover journal is generally lighter, more flexible. and slimmer, whereas hardcover journals are generally sturdier, heavier, and thicker. Hardcover journals generally allow for more pages for those looking for journals with a lot of pages.

Most popular journal brands such as Moleskine, Paperblanks, and Leuchtturm offer both softcover and hardcover journals. For example, Moleskine offers a selection of both softcover and hardcover journals. Most of their hard covers are made of polypropylene, while the soft covers are made of polyurethane.

Covers can be made of a variety of materials including binder’s board (chipboard), plastic, cardboard, kraft paper, leather, and cork.

Leather journals (or vegan alternatives) are a popular choice for refillable journals as they tend to be both durable and age well.

top travel journals for traveling best journal for travellers

Unguided Versus Guided Journals

A guided journal is a journal that includes prompts, questions, or exercises of some kind to inspire and encourage one’s writing. An unguided journal is just full of blank pages for people to free write as they wish.

Most people use just a regular journal or notebook as a travel journal. But you can also get journals that are designed exclusively to be used as a travel journal and include things like travel-related writing prompts, questions, quotes, and trip planning exercises.

If this is your first journal experience, you might enjoy things like writing prompts and lists that can help guide your writing and help you get into the habit of daily writing. They can also help make sure that you remember to write about all the different aspects of your trip.

Some of the really focused travel journals may come with a lot of specific travel-related features like memento pouches, waterproof covers, maps, packing lists, planning checklists, etc. So they can also be used for planning activities before your trip.

Some examples of guided travel journals include the Everywhere You Go Journal , the Promptly Minimalist Journal , the Duncan & Stone Journal, the Clever Fox Planner & Journal , the Write it Down journals , and the One Line Voyage Travel Planner & Journal .

Most journals designed for kids and teens are also guided and generally include a lot of exercises and activities in them as well.

I personally just use regular unguided journals as my travel journals as these allow me as much space as possible to just write. So if you are someone who writes a lot and likes to write about whatever topic comes to mind, you’ll probably want to avoid these types of journals. But if you are someone who is new to journaling, these can be a great first journal.

top travel journals for traveling best journal for travellers

Travel journals are sold at a wide variety of price points, from a few dollars to over $50. You’ll pay more for premium refillable journal systems, handmade journals (particularly those with leather covers), and personalized journals. Guided journals also tend to be more expensive than unguided.

Price will depend primarily on the type and quality of the materials used, the binding method, the size of the journal, where it is manufactured, and any included personalization

You don’t need to pay a lot for a travel journal. Most of the journals we have used over the years have fallen in the $10 to $20 range, although inflation has been driving up prices. The last journal I bought cost me about $16.

But I’ve also used a simple composition notebook that cost a few dollars on one trip. If you have a small budget, don’t worry too much about finding a fancy journal, just find something that is the right size and has the kind of paper you want. The most important thing is that you have something that you can and will write in during your travels.

For instance, if you have a small budget you can get a school notebook or memo pad for a few dollars. Field Notes is a great USA-based brand focused on selling packs of pocket-sized notebooks at good prices. You can easily find basic journals for under $10 at a local store or online such as the Amazon Basics Journal .

Paying more for a journal sometimes results in better quality, but sometimes not as more well-known brands can charge more than less popular brands for similar quality. So we definitely recommend paying attention to the details if you are looking for something a bit nicer.


There are a lot of factors you might consider when it comes to evaluating a brand’s sustainability. These might include the materials used to produce the journal, where its products are manufactured, where its products are shipped, the company’s ethos, the staff working conditions at the company, whether the journal is reusable or recyclable, the journal’s durability, etc.

You’ll have to do your own research on a specific brand, some brands are very transparent whereas others provide very little public information regarding their sustainability practices. Some brands that specifically market themselves as being more sustainable are Dingbats , Karst (a B Corp), Rocketbook (reusable), and Field Notes .

One factor will depend on where you are based. If you are based in the USA for instance, a journal made of American materials and manufactured in the USA, such as those by Field Notes , is likely going to be more sustainable than one that is produced in Europe or Asia. See the next section on country of origin for some tips on finding brands produced in your own country.

Refillable journals would also likely be more sustainable over time than a bound journal as you can keep using the same cover for many years. You just need to replace the paper refills rather than the whole journal. You would just want to make sure the cover is well-made and durable so it will last for a long time.

For those looking for vegan travel journals, many journals are not vegan due to either the glue or dye used or the use of leather as part of the cover or binding. Even many companies that sell faux leather journals are not fully vegan (due to glues, inks, or dyes).

However, there are still several vegan-friendly journal options out there. Dingbats and Scribbles That Matter , for example, are two brands that only produce vegan-friendly journals. So if you are vegan or buying a journal as a gift for a vegan, I’d check out those two brands first.

woman writing in travel journal during safari best travel journals for traveling

Country of Origin

Travel journals are made in countries around the world with many being produced in China since it is cheap to manufacture products there. If you are concerned about quality control, sustainability, working conditions, or carbon footprint, you may want to pay attention to where products are made and from where they are shipped. Some companies even provide details of their whole supply chain.

If you have a hard time finding where a product is made on a journal description or company website, it is typically made in China. Some companies will use phrases like “British design” or “Italian heritage” but this typically just means their products are designed in Europe but are actually produced in China.

For example, while a lot of companies are based in North America or Europe (e.g., Moleskine, Paperblanks, Leuchtturm1917), most manufacture their journals in China and/or Taiwan. This also goes for smaller more “indie” brands like BaronFig, Scribbles That Matter, Archer & Olive, and Beechmore Books, which all produce their journals in China.

It can be difficult to find a journal produced in one’s own country or region, but here are some journal brands listed by where they produce their products (to the best of my knowledge) to help get you started:

  • United States : Field Notes , Write it Down , Appointed , Leather and Earth Co ., Roaring Spring , and Word. journals are made in the USA.
  • United Kingdom : Bespoke Bindery , Pink Pig , The Stamford Notebook Co ., Billy Tannery , and Citrus Book Bindery make their journals in the UK.
  • Canada :  MacLellan Books and Ecojot produce their journals in Canada.
  • Germany : Nuuna and X17   both manufacture their journals in Germany.
  • France/Morocco : Rhodia journals are made in France (although it appears their Webnotebooks are currently being made in Morocco but still use the French Clairefontaine paper)
  • Italy : Epica , Ciak , and Belcraft produce their journals in Italy.
  • Australia : Notely makes their notebooks in Australia.
  • Turkey : Dingbats journals is based in Lebanon but journals are currently made in Turkey
  • Japan : Midori MD journals, and those of their subsidiary The Traveler’s Company.  are made in Japan (leather covers made in Thailand).
  • Nepa l: The Kathmandu Valley Co makes its journals in Nepal.
  • Any Country : Try Etsy to find homemade journals and notebooks produced in your own country or region. You can filter by shop location and then research where it is made.

The above is by no means a comprehensive list of journal brands, and if you have a brand of journals you’d like to recommend that is manufactured in your own country, feel free to leave us a comment.

best travel journals for travelers map journal

Other Travel Journal Features

There are a lot of other features you might see on different travel journals. Some are just general journal features and some are specifically tailored to travel journals.

Some common features that you may see are attached ribbon markers, interior pockets or folders, rounded corners, pen loops, foldouts, writing prompts, stickers, waterproof covers, memento pouches, travel or packing lists, etc.

  • Ribbon bookmarks
  • Interior pockets or folders
  • Rounded corners
  • Numbered Pages
  • Daily writing prompts
  • Waterproof covers
  • Travel info / maps
  • Travel packing lists

One nice design feature can be rounded corners, as these are designed to protect the cover and pages from wear and tear compared to sharp corners. Rounded corners are common in travel journals; most journals produced by popular brands Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917 have rounded corners.

Some of the really focused travel journals come with a lot of specific travel-related features like maps, memento pouches, waterproof covers, travel specific writing prompts, packing lists, etc.

For me, the only feature of the above that I always look for is an attached bookmark ribbon to keep my place in the journal during a trip. Other features can be nice but are not must-haves for me.

best traveling journals for travelers couple of travellers writing in journals

14 Best Travel Journals 

Below is our list of 14 different travel journals and notebooks. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, styles, price points, and countries of origin. All can be purchased online.

We are fairly certain that most people will be able to find the perfect travel journal for them on this list!

These 14 travel journals are listed in no particular order.

1. Moleskine Classic Journal

Moleskine is one of the best-known journal brands, particularly for travel journals. Most Moleskine journals feature rounded corners, a ribbon bookmark, an expandable inner pocket, and an elastic band closure. The journals are Smyth-sewn and bound to be able to lie flat.

The journals are available in both hardcover and softcover versions, with a choice of blank, lined, squared, or dotted paper, and in a number of colors. They come in a wide range of sizes from XS (2.5 inches X 4.25 inches) to XXL (8.5 inches X 11 inches). Most Moleskine journals come with ivory-colored 70 gsm acid-free paper.

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Don’t worry, no moles were harmed in making these journals! Most of Moleskin’s hard covers are made of polypropylene, while the soft covers are made of polyurethane. They also offer more expensive leather-covered and silk-covered versions of the Classic Journal.

The regular Moleskine Classic Journals have 192 pages, but the expanded versions have 400 pages. So be sure to double check if you are concerned about weight or number of pages.

In addition to their original Classic collection, Moleskine also offers a wide range of other journal options, including journal collections designed for those who want to sketch, draw, and/or watercolor. They have also released a number of limited editions and collaborative notebooks.

Moleskine journals are designed in Italy and most are manufactured in either China or Taiwan.

A lot of people think it is a heritage brand with a long history, but it was actually introduced in 1997 by the Italian company Modo & Modo. The name was inspired by the type of journals that English travel writer Bruce Chatwin used which he called “carnets moleskine” in his book The Songlines .

Chatwin specifically used small notebooks bound with black shiny oilcloth covers which were wrapped in an elastic band. He also notes that he used squared paper. According to Moleskine founder Francesco Franceschi, many famous writers and artists used these “moleskine” type little notebooks, including Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. These notebooks were produced in France and purchased in paper stores in Paris.

While the modern versions are certainly not the same thing, the version that was inspired by these 19th and 20th century journals of Chatwin and others is the Moleskine Classic notebook line. The closest to Chatwin’s journal would probably be the black softcover pocket-sized Moleskine journal with squared pages.

Due to their popularity, Moleskine journals receive both a lot of praise and criticism. Probably one of the biggest criticisms is that they use a fairly low paperweight (70 gsm) compared to their main rival Leuchtturm1917 (80 gsm to 100 gsm on their classic journal). This means a bit less quality, but it does mean a more lightweight journal and they are able to sell them at a lower price than Leuchtturm1917.

My personal opinion is that they are good journals and perfectly fine for most people to use as a travel journal. They are decent quality, lightweight, readily available (both online and in stores), and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles.

One of the great things about Moleskine is they are widely available in many bookstores and stationery stores, at least in Europe and North America. This means you may be able to easily go check them out in person and although color choices and sizes are usually limited in stores, the most popular ones are usually kept in stock.

If you are considering a Moleskine travel journal, but are not sure which to try, I would recommend starting with one of their regular Classic Notebook ones . You can then choose between a softcover or hardcover and the type of paper you prefer. If unsure of which size to get, Moleskine has said that it brand’s “Pocket” (3.5″ X 5.5″ | 9 cm X 14 cm) and “Large” (5″ X 8.25″ | 13 cm X 21 cm) sizes are two of its most popular sizes.

I’ve personally used both a large Classic soft cover (Large size, lined paper, 192 pages) and a medium Classic hardcover (Medium, lined paper, 208 pages) journal in two recent trips, which both happened to be to Italy. Both worked well as journals, but my clear favorite was the medium lined hardcover journal—I liked both the hardcover and the slightly smaller size.

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2. Leuchtturm1917 Classic Journal

Leuchtturm1917 is another popular journal brand; it is based in Germany. The brand first released its journals in 2005, although the company’s history loosely dates back to 1917 when it began printing coin and stamp books under the brand KaBe.

Leuchtturm1917 journals are Smyth sewn and feature rounded corners, an expandable inner pocket, and an elastic band closure. A few features that the brand is known for are its numbered pages (most journals come with page numbers, some feature dates), 2 attached book markers, table of contents page, stickers for labeling and archiving, and having some perforated sheets at the back of each notebook that are easy to remove if needed.

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The buff-colored paper in the Classic journals ranges between 80 gsm and 100 gsm, depending on the size of the journal. The heavier paper is used in the larger sized journals. Available paper choices are blank, lined, squared, or dotted.

The Leuchtturm1917 Classic journals come in several sizes from Pocket (A6, 9 cm X 15 cm | 3.5″ X 6″) to Master (A4+, 22.5 cm X 31.5 cm | 8.8 inches X 12 inches). Its most popular sized notebook is its Medium A5 (5.75″ X 8″).

Both hardcover and softcover journals are available, but the availability depends on the journal size. Some sizes are only available with one type of cover. Their main hardcover journal covers are made of acrylic paper and their soft covers are made from polyurethane.

Note that the page count in Leuchtturm1917 journals depends on both the journal size and whether they have a hard cover or soft cover. For example, the Classic A5 journal in the soft cover format has 123 pages and the hard cover format has 251 pages.

They come in a rainbow of colors with a wider array of color choices than many other brands. I believe the Classic journals are available in 24 colors in total, but not in every size or color type. You’ll need to shop online to find the full color range.

In addition to their classic notebooks, they also have a range of bullet journals, change journals, sketch journals, and limited editions. Their “Official Bullet Journals” have been popular in recent years with the bullet journal (BuJo) community.

Leuchtturm1917 journals are designed in Germany, and made in Taiwan and China.

The brand launched its journals in 2005 to compete with brands like Moleskine. So many of the features between the two brands are similar. Differences include the extra bookmark, heavier paperweight, page numbering, archival stickers, and more color options. The heavier paperweight is often a feature preferred by fountain pen users. But Moleskine notebooks are generally a little more lightweight than Leuchtturm1917 (and sometimes less expensive); they are also easier to find in certain parts of the world.

If you are considering a Leuchtturm1917 and not sure which to try, I’d probably recommend starting with the Classic A5 journal. It is available with either a hard cover or soft cover, with 4 paper choices, and lots of color options.

One thing I don’t love about the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks is that the number of pages and size options vary by cover types. So a softcover and hardcover journal of the same size will probably have a different number of pages. So just be sure you check the page count if you are considering various options.

I think Leuchtturm1917 journals are nice journals and are likely to work well for most people wanting a travel journal. If you are trying to decide between a Moleskine and one of these, the paper is a bit nicer than that in the Moleskine Classic journals and they offer a few more features, but the differences are not likely to make a huge difference to most people.

3. Paperblanks Journals

Paperblanks is another popular brand of journals and notebooks. The company was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1992. In 2022, it became part of the Hachette UK publishing group.

Paperblanks journals are all Smyth-sewn and use acid-free ivory paper. The paper weight used varies from 85 gsm to 120 gsm, depending on the journal size and type. The majority of journals contain a bookmark ribbon (some contain two) and an inside memento pouch. Most of the journals contain either lined or unlined (blank) paper, but they do have a few options for dot grid or gridded (squared) paper.

Paperblanks is unique in that there is no “classic journal” in their collection, and they don’t really make any plain-looking journals. They are much more focused on the journal’s cover designs and many are an homage to old manuscripts, artists, or writers. They also offer a variety of journal styles, sizes, and closure types.

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So I think with Paperblanks, the first thing to decide is what size you like, and then whether you prefer a softcover or hardcover journal. That will then narrow down your choices so you can see the available designs.

The sizes of Paperblanks journal range from Micro (7 cm X 9 cm | 2.75″ x 3.625″) to Grande (21 cm x 30 cm | 8.25″ x 11.75″), so most people should be able to find a size that suits them. If you are looking for a “standard travel journal” size, I’d recommend their Midi sized journals .

The page count varies depending on the size and design, but most Paperblanks journals contain between 144 pages and 208 pages.

Paperblanks journals are designed in Canada and made in China.

Personally, I love their hardcover Slim sized journals and Laurence prefers either the Mini or the Midi. The Slim size format, which I really like, has led to me buying a lot of these journals over the years as this size of journal is not common. I also enjoy their old manuscript designs over the more plain designs of most journals.

If you are having trouble finding Paperblanks journals available in person or online in your area, we’d also recommend checking out similar journal designs by Peter Pauper Press . These journals are easier to find in North America whereas Paperblanks are easier to find in Europe.

4. Rhodia Webnotebooks

Rhodia is a French brand that has been selling paper products since 1934. The company was acquired in 1997 by Clairefontaine which has been making paper at its own mill since 1858 and stationery products since 1890.

While not as well known as some of the other brands on this list, Rhodia is a brand that is often recommended to fountain pen users and those wanting a journal with high-quality smooth paper. Their most well-known product is the Rhodia Webnotebooks, also affectionately known by users as “Webbies”.

The Rhodia Webnotebooks are Smyth-sewn and feature 90 gsm ivory acid-free Clairefontaine paper, rounded corners, an inner pocket, a ribbon marker, and an elastic band closure. Each has 192 pages (96 sheets), and is available with a choice of blank, lined, or dot grid paper.

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The classic Rhodia Webbies are hardcover notebooks with a faux leather black and orange cover. However, they now offer hardcover Webnotebooks with a variety of cover color choices as part of their Rhodiarama range.

The Webbies come in two main sizes: Pocket size (A6) which is 9.5 cm X 14 cm (3.5 inches X 5 inches) and the larger size (A5) which is 14.5 cm X 21 cm (5.5 inches X 8.25 inches).

In addition to the Rhodia Webnotebooks, Rhodia makes a variety of other types of journals, writing pads, and notebooks. These include softcover journals, wire-bound notebooks, pocket memo pads, calligraphy pads, etc. The brand Clairefontaine is well known in France for its quality school notebooks.

Rhodia journals are designed and made in France using Clairefontaine paper. Many of the Rhodia products are made in the Alsace region. However, some of their journals, including the last Webnotebook I bought, are now made in Morocco but still use the French paper.

Rhodia journals can be more difficult to find in stores outside of Europe, so I would recommend looking online.

These are nice quality notebooks with smooth paper, and the Webbies are often recommended to those wanting to write with a fountain pen. Those who enjoy smaller journals will likely want to try one of the pocket A6 size Webbies and those wanting a more typical travel journal size will likely want to try one of the A5 size Webnotebooks .

5. Amazon Basics Classic Journal

If you like the classic simple design of a Moleskine journal but not the price, consider a Amazon Basics Classic Journal. It has many of the same features as the Moleskine journal but comes at a significantly lower price, usually priced under $10.

The Amazon Basic journal has a hard cover with off-white, acid-free paper and rounded corners. It is bound to lie flat and it has 80 gsm paper and 240 pages (120 sheets).

Simple design but does include a black elastic band closure, an attached bookmark ribbon, and an expandable paper pocket in back. Available with lined/ruled, blank (classic), and grid paper options.

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It comes in one main size of 5 inches X 8.25 inches (close to an A5 size) and comes in several different colors. Amazon journals are made in China.

So compared to my Moleskine classic hardcover with ruled paper, the Amazon Basics journal has many of the same features such as rounded corners, elastic closure, back pocket, and ribbon bookmark. It has the same number of pages as the Moleskine Classic Large hardcover journal. The Amazon one has darker lines and says it has 80 gsm paper (versus 70 gsm in Moleskine). So there are many reasons to recommend the Amazon one.

Now the price difference does mean that the quality isn’t quite the same. The Moleskine cover does feel nicer and “softer”, seems to be better constructed, and the Moleskine includes a “In Case of Loss” page in the front. So if you value the feel and construction, the Moleskine is definitely nicer and feels and looks more premium. You also get a lot more choices in the size, color, and cover in a Moleskine.

However, if you like the style, size, and color options of the Amazon Basic journals, then there is little question that it is a good value buy in comparison to the Moleskine. I am currently using an Amazon journal for daily notes and keep it in my backpack or purse, and it has been a good journal so far.

The Amazon Basics Classic Journal is a great budget buy if you are looking for a simple hardcover journal. It can be purchased online directly from Amazon.

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6. Field Notes Journals

Field Notes is an American brand that specializes in pocket-sized notebooks and memo pads. If you are looking for a pocket-friendly journal or looking for a journal made in the USA, this is a brand to consider.

Field Notes started in 2007 and was inspired by the simple 20th century agricultural field notebooks used by farmers across rural America. Field Notes staple product is a pocket-sized memo book with a kraft brown cover.

The Original Kraft memo book measures 3-1/2″ wide by 5-1/2″ tall (89 mm X 140 mm), uses 90 gsm acid-free bright white paper, is bound by a rugged saddle stitching and three staples, has rounded corners, and has a kraft brown cover. They are available with blank, lined, or squared paper. Each memo book contains 48 pages and are typically sold in packs of 3.

These pocket-sized memo books are probably better suited to those who prefer to jot down notes rather than to write out long daily journal entries. Although these little memo pads can still be great for short trips even for those who tend to write a lot. For those looking for a more traditionally sized travel journal, you can check out some of the other options from Field Notes.

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Field Notes are known for their limited edition covers and designs that change regularly. They also now offer a much wider variety of memo book and notebooks with a variety of covers, sizes, and styles. These include larger sized formats, wire flip notebooks, waterproof editions, perforated notebooks, and notebooks designed for left-handed writers.

If you are looking for a more durable or larger journal that is more like a typical travel journal, I’d check out their Field Notes Pitch Black Note Books which have sturdier black covers. These are offered in the regular pocket size in 3-packs with each containing 48 pages. They are also offered in a larger size at 4.75 inches X 7.5 inches (121 mm X 191 mm) and sold in packs of 2, each containing 64 pages.

Adventure travelers may also be interested in their durable and waterproof Expedition Edition notebooks. These feature a waterproof and durable hi-vis cover and synthetic waterproof paper.

All Field Notes brand products are printed and manufactured in the USA. The company provides some of the most detailed information I’ve seen for a company about its materials, printing, and manufacturing process.

If you are looking for simple, lightweight, smaller notebooks, these are a great option to consider. They are also very budget-friendly as you can get a 3-pack for under $15. If you are a fan of Field Notes regular kraft memo notebooks, you can get a journal cover case to help protect them when traveling.

I’d also recommend Field Notes if you are looking for a brand that prints and manufactures all its journals in the USA. These are mainly sold online and can be hard to find outside of North America.

7. Midori Traveler’s Company Traveler’s Notebooks

Midori started making paper and stationery products in Japan back in 1950. In 2006, they released their Traveler’s Notebook, a refillable travel journal, and it became very popular. In 2015, they changed the brand name of these travel notebooks from Midori to Traveler’s Company.

The Traveler’s Notebook is essentially a reusable leather cover with replaceable rubber band connectors, elastic and metal clasp, and paper notebooks. Each journal also comes with a cotton storage bag. The Traveler’s Notebook is designed to last for a very long time and all the elements are repairable or replaceable.

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Each Traveler’s Notebook comes with one paper journal insert. The inserts are saddle stitched and each contains 64 pages. Paper inserts are available in a variety of paper types including blank, lined, squared/grid, watercolor, kraft, sketch, calendar, and thin paper. It depends on the insert but the paperweight of the paper inserts is normally 80 gsm.

The paper inserts can be replaced and changed out, and you can use a variety of different inserts at once if you wish. Depending on the insert, you can fit up to 5, but most people report using 2-3 inserts at once.

The Midori Traveler’s Notebook comes in two sizes: Regular and Passport. The Regular size is 120mm X 220mm (4.7 inches X 8.7 inches) and they also have a smaller Passport size which is 98mm X 134mm (3.9 inches X 5.3 inches). The leather covers come in a several different colors.

The company also sells a number of accessories you can add to personalize your Traveler’s Notebook. These include pen loops, kraft envelopes, zipper pockets, cases, stickers, charms, etc.

The products are designed and made in Japan. The MD paper is made in Japan. The leather covers are made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I personally got a Traveler’s Notebook for the first time only last year to try it out since I had heard so much about it. I have the regular sized one in the dark brown (tea color) . It came with a dust cover, band, and a blank paper insert. I have since purchased several lined paper inserts, a craft folder, a zippered case, and a band refill set.

Overall, I really love my Traveler’s Notebook. I like the feel of the leather cover, the paper is good quality, and I like being able to personalize what I put into the journal. The downsides have been that the Regular size is a bit larger than the journal I typically choose (and the Passport smaller) and I wish they had more size options. It has also been hard to find and buy some of the accessories (they are often sold out).

There have been a lot of copycat products of the Midori Travel Company’s Traveler’s Notebooks. So if you want this specific product, be careful to check product descriptions and photos carefully to ensure it is actually from this Japanese company.

Note that Midori has gone through a lot of company name changes and now has multiple brand names which can be confusing. But The Traveler’s Company, Midori, and MD Paper are part of the same overall company which is now called Designphil.

8. Wanderings Refillable Journals

Now, the success of Midori’s Traveler’s Journal (discussed above) has spawned a number of similar products, often competing at a lower price than the Japanese brand. Wanderings is one such company which is based in the USA and has been around since at least 2016. The company mainly sells its products online via Amazon.

The Wanderings travel journals have a full-grain leather cover that comes with replaceable rubber bands to hold inserts and an elastic and leather closure band. The covers are made of Crazy Horse cow leather and come in a few different color options. Each comes with the company’s compass rose logo on the front.

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Some of the covers also have pockets that can be used to hold money, paper, credit cards, passport, etc.

Each notebook cover is designed to hold up to 3 refillable inserts. The replaceable paper inserts contain 100 gsm paper and are available with lined, blank, dotted, scrapbooking, calendar, or squared (graph) paper. The inserts are easily added and removed and secured using elastic bands.

The total number of pages varies based on journal size, but each journal is designed to hold between 180 to 240 pages (90 to 120 sheets) in total.

The Midori Traveler’s Company inserts and Wanderings refillable paper inserts are interchangeable and can be used in either brand’s journals of the same size.

The journals are available in several sizes: Pocket/Passport (4″ X 5.1″ / 9cm X 12.5cm), A6 (4″ X 5.7″ / 10.5cm X 15cm), Regular (4.5″ X 8.5″ / 11cm X 22cm), A5 (6″ X 8.5″ / 15cm X 22cm), and Grande (7.5″ X 11″ / 19cm X 28cm).

There are also the Wanderings 6-ring binder journals that come in various sizes and are very similar to the folio ones above except the paper inserts are kept in place inside by a set of 6 metal binder rings instead of elastic bands. The binders come with 120gsm paper inserts, internal pockets, and a pen loop.

Most of the Wanderings products are made in China. Although the owner notes that some of the products are also made in India.

if you are looking for a refillable leather journal, the design of the Wanderings travel journals is very similar to the Traveler’s Journals from The Traveler’s Company. Some people prefer one to the other in terms of design and quality. Some advantages of the Wanderings version is that they are less expensive, easier to purchase outside of Japan, and are available in more sizes.

For those looking for a similar refillable journal that is not made of leather, check out the refillable faux leather journals called Atlas Journals made by Tribute Products.

9. Guided Travel Journals with Prompts

If you are new to journaling and/or traveling, you may prefer a travel journal that gives you some writing prompts, asks questions, and gives suggestions for writing topics. These guided travel journals can also make nice gifts for someone who is new to traveling.

Travel themed prompts often ask about what you’ve seen, the weather, your transportation methods, people you met, food you tried, new words you’ve learned, best/worst experiences, etc. Many of these journals also leave room for drawing, sketching, pasting mementos, and adding photos.

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Some journals also contain a planning section that can be used for pre-trip planning such as packing lists, maps, budget sheets, safety tips, etc. These can be used to help you plan out your itinerary, accommodation, budget, transportation, etc. Just note that planners tend to have fewer pages for actual journaling.

There are a lot of travel journals with prompts, and when searching you’ll often see them listed as guided travel journals or travel journals with daily prompts.

Here is a list of popular travel journals with prompts to get you started:

  • Everywhere You Go Journal (112 pages)
  • Waypoint Goods Pocket Travel Journal (58 pages, designed for up to 14 days of travel)
  • Promptly Minimalist Journal (88 pages, designed for up to a month of travel)
  • Duncan & Stone Journal (100 pages, up to 15 trips/destinations)
  • A Guided Journal (77 pages, up to 10 trips/destinations)
  • Letterfolk Passport Sized Trip Journal (48 pages, up to 20 days of travel)
  • Clever Fox Planner & Journal (129 pages, planner/journal, up to 5 trips/destinations)
  • One Line Voyage Travel Planner & Journal (72 pages, planner/journal, up to 4 trips)
  • Honeymoon Planner & Journal for Couples (112 pages)

When choosing a guided travel journal, you’ll want to consider all the factors we listed for a normal journal, including size, paper quality, number of pages, type of closure, etc.

Travel journals with prompts are a great gateway into journaling. They give you plenty of ideas and ways to record your trip and your memories so you’ll have them for years to come. They can also be a good introduction to find out if you are the kind of person who enjoys keeping a travel journal or not.

10. Promptly Guided Journals

Promptly travel journals are hardcover guided journals that are designed to be used before, during, and after your trip. Their journals have a minimalist design and their slogan is that their travel journals are great from “boarding to exploring”.

Their main journals have a hardcover covered in either a lightly textured faux leather (leatherette) or a linen cover. They are debossed on the cover and spine. The journals are designed for a single trip and contain 86 total pages.

These include a world map, 4 general travel planning pages with questions, 8 pages for a trip itinerary for up to 31 days, 5 memorable moments, several pages to denote trip highlights with prompts, 2 pages for transportation, 5 accommodation reviews, 6 food experiences, 2 pages for travel companions, mementos sections, 2 pages cultural observations, 2 pages for trip takeaways, and then 10 lined pages at the end that you can use for free journaling/extra notes/address book etc.

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The Promptly hardcover journals are 6″ X 9″ (15cm X 23cm). They do include a ribbon marker, but do not include a closure or any pockets.

Note that Promptly also have smaller 4-pack paper softcover journal packs available that are designed for shorter 14 day trips. As well as a  children’s journal version 4-pack designed for kids age 5-12 which be a nice addition if you want to get journals for your kids too. So just be sure you know which variation you are buying.

The company is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and the journals are made in China.

These journal are only going to work well for someone wanting to use it for a single trip (up to 31 days), and I would not recommend for someone wanting to use it for multiple trips. Since there are a number of pages where you can paste photos (or other flat mementos like tickets), then it is probably ideal for someone who wants to add photos to the book after the trip.

I personally have bought one of the faux leather ones, and these journals feel and look nice. They make it easy to follow along from trip planning to completion, and are thin and easy to pack. I think this is a great travel journal gift option for someone going on a trip of 2-4 weeks.

Price : Check the latest prices here

11. Dingbats Vegan Journals

Dingbats* was started in 2016, although it is part of a larger family-run paper trading company that has been operating in Lebanon since 1800. Dingbats sells vegan-friendly journals and is notable for its focus on sustainability and eco-friendly products.

Most of the Dingbats journals feature acid-free, coated 100gsm cream paper, a ribbon bookmark, an attached pen loop, an expandable back pocket, an elastic closure, and a vegan leather (polyurethane) cover. They are hardcover and Smyth-sewn, and most versions contain 192 pages (96 sheets).

Dingbats journals are available with your choice of lined, dotted, blank, or squared paper. Some journals contain perforated pages.

The Dingbats journals are available in a variety of colors, and each Dingbats journal features an embossed animal or natural element on the front, such as an elephant, whale, cactus, wolf, Great Barrier Reef, or deer.

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Dingbats journals are designed in Lebanon and produced in Turkey. They are 100% vegan. They also say that most of their products are fully recyclable in most countries.

Most of the Dingbats journals range in size from approximately A6 (9.5cm X 14.5 cm / 3.7″ X 5.7″) to A4 (21.5cm X 30cm / 8.5″ X 11.8″). Most open like a book, but they also have a smaller reported-style flip-style notebook as well. There is also a Pro Collection of Dingbats journals which are larger in size (B5), use higher quality paper (160gsm), and nicer textiles.

The Dingbats journals are really nice and will especially appeal to wildlife lovers and vegans. Dingbats journals can be difficult to find in stores in many countries but they can be purchased online.

In terms of choosing a size for a travel journal, their A6 sized journals are good if you are looking for a pocket-sized travel journal and the medium A5 sized journals are perfect if looking for a more standard-sized travel journal. If you are wanting something bigger, like a school composition notebook size, then you might be interested in their B5 Pro Collection journals .

12. Leather and Earth Co. Handmade Journals

If you are looking for something more handmade and crafty looking, I highly recommend going onto Etsy and seeing what you can find there. There are a number of talented artisans making various kinds of journals and notebooks.

Leather and Earth Co. is one such small business run by a mom of 4 kids named Laura in Nebraska, USA. She has also recruited a couple of other local moms to help her as well. Together they hand-make, sew, and personalize leather journals.

Leather and Earth Co personalized travel journal best journals for travelers

The paper used is a thick 90lb (185 gsm) mixed media paper available in blank, lined, music writing, or recipe formats. There is also an option for a thicker watercolor paper.  All the journals are designed to hold up to 140 pages of regular paper or 60 pages of watercolor paper.

They offer both bound and refillable journals. The hand sewn bound journals are hand stitched together with a linen thread. The refillable journals include 3 elastic straps where you can add and remove up to 3 paper inserts.

All journals can be personalized with text on the front cover. For example, you can have initials, your name, a date, or trip destination embossed on your journal. You can also design a custom title page if you wish.

The journals are available in several sizes: 4″ X 6″ (10 cm X 15 cm), 5″ X 7″ (12.5 cm X 17.5 cm), 6″ X 9″ (15 cm X 23 cm), or 9″ X 12″ (23 cm X 30.5 cm).

These journals, including the leather and paper used in them, are made in the USA. Note that these journals currently only ship to addresses in the United States.

If you are looking for more handmade journals from around the world, check out the options on Etsy , where you can search for those made in your own region. For example, Bespoke Bindery is a great option if you live in the UK. Most handmade journals can be personalized just for you.

13. Travel Journals for Children & Teens

If you are traveling with children, then getting them their own travel journal can help them record their own memories. Travel journals and activity books can also keep kids entertained when there is downtime on your trip.

Each of these travel journals are designed for children of a certain age range and reading level. Depending on the age level, they may have colorful illustrations, travel-related activities and games, writing prompts, areas for drawing or coloring, stickers, quotes, fun facts, maps, memento pockets, etc.

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There are a number of travel journals for children out there and you can find a lot of them online on Amazon. Here are some good options to consider:

  • Lonely Planet Kids Journal (ages 6-8)
  • Peter Pauper Kids’ Journal (ages 6-11)
  • Awesome Activity Journal (ages 6-10)
  • Promptly Kids’ Activity Books & Journals (ages 5-12, typically sold in packs of 4)
  • Happy Fox USA Road Trip Activities & Journal (ages 7-10)
  • Lonely Planet Older Kids Journal (ages 9-12)
  • Teen Journal (age 10-14)
  • Clever Fox Planner & Journal (teen to adult)
  • Refillable Vegan Leather Journal with Map (teen to adult)
  • A Guided Journal (teen to adult)

Each travel journal is generally designed for children of a certain age range. So you’ll want to take your child’s age, reading level, writing ability, and general interests into consideration when choosing a journal.

Some journals are also tailored to a particular region (e.g. USA or Europe) or a specific type of travel (e.g., road trip), so it is good to read the full description and user reviews.

14. Page-A-Day Journal

This next journal is made by Peter Pauper Press which is an American company based in New York, which has been selling books and other paper goods since 1928. Today, the company sells a number of journals, books, puzzles, etc.

The Page-A-Day Journal is intended to give you enough space to write and take note of memorable places and events on your travels, but is still brief enough that writing in it doesn’t take up too much time. As the journal name suggests, it is intended that you write one page per day.

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This journal is Smyth-sewn and features smooth acid-free 120 gsm paper, rounded corners, an attached ribbon bookmark, a back memento pocket, and an elastic band closure. The brown faux leather cover is embossed with “Page-A-Day Travel Journal” and has a globe design. The endpapers have a cloud design.

Each page provides space for you to put the date, location, and weather as well as a number of blank lines to write down whatever you want. The paper is lined (gray dotted lines).

The journal is 5″ X 7″ (82 cm X 114 cm) and contains 176 pages in total. So the journal will last you about 170 days of travel if you write one page per day. But you can also use multiple pages per day if you wish as you can just put the same date. For most people, this journal will last for multiple trips.

The Page-A-Day journal is designed in the USA and printed in China.

If you are on the fence between a guided journal and an unguided journal, this may be a perfect solution. This journal gives you a small bit of structure and a page per day to write whatever you want.

** You can also see many of the travel journals we recommend above in a single page on Amazon here with current prices for a handy reference. Just note that not every journal on the list is available via Amazon. **

journals for traveling best travel journals for travelers

So that is our list of the best travel journals for travelers! Which is your favorite?

Planning to purchase a travel journal in the near future, but not now? Pin this article to Pinterest to read later:

A review of the best travel journals and how to choose the best travel journal for you. We’ll share what to consider when buying a travel journal, including things like size, page count, paper quality, closure types, and sustainability. Then we review a wide selection of different journals for travelers so that you can find the travel journal that suits your criteria, style and budget. #traveljournal #journal #traveldiary #travelgift #traveling #travel #journaling #traveltips #notebook #writing

What do you think about travel journals? Have you kept a travel journal or diary while traveling? Is your favorite travel journal brand on the list? Tell us below!

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Olivia Post author

September 26, 2023 at 3:43 pm

Hi there! Could you tell me what the little blue and gold journal is in your photos? It is beautiful and would love to buy one like that for myself! Thanx

Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author

September 26, 2023 at 5:00 pm

I think the journal you are referring to is the Paperblanks Azure Journal, it is specifically a lined journal in the Slim size with a metal clasp closure. I love this journal and used it for years but have been unable to find any in the Slim size for a couple of years on their website or on Amazon. But you can get the Azure journal design in the Mini and Midi sizes, and you can see those here .

If you prefer something the same size as the one I had, the most similar one that is a newer design is the Paperblanks Blue Rhine journal as part of their River Cascade collection. You can see the Slim version here and it is available in a few sizes. I took it on a recent trip around Europe and really liked it.

Hope that helps! Jessica

ADAM HINES Post author

September 12, 2023 at 5:49 pm

Hi Jessica, My gf and I are preparing to leave for a trip to Mexico in a couple of weeks. Your review has helped me figure out what I want in a travel journal, but I am struggling a bit on the prices. Want one line (me), one grid (her), black, simple design, some kind of closure, bookmark, archival quality pages, “normal size”.

We need two journals and I think the Leuchtturm and Moleskin both fit the criteria and those look nice. But the prices are a bit high for us and I am wondering what you think would maybe be a good cheaper option for those? Have you tested the Amazon Basics or Paperage ones as those look to fit what I am looking for as well and are both under $10 right now. Thank you!

September 13, 2023 at 6:46 pm

First, so glad you know what you want in a travel journal and that our article was helpful in that. I think knowing that info can help make sure you choose a journal you are actually going to take and use on your trip. And certainly you don’t need to pay much for a journal (anything with paper will work!), I would definitely recommend sticking to your budget. Basically I would say just find something that meets your needs and that you will use and will want to keep.

Now, I can’t comment on the Paperage brand journals as I haven’t personally tried them (I suspect they are very similar to the Amazon Basics ones since they are comparable in price), but I can comment on the Amazon Basics journal versus a Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917 journal. Specifically I would say that the Amazon Basics journal is closer to a Moleskine than a Leuchtturm1917 journal as its more simple and doesn’t have any of the extra features that you see in a Leuctturm1917 journal.

The Amazon Basic journal (this is specifically the one I am reviewing and one I have in hand) seems to currently come in mainly one size (5 inches X 8.25 inches, close to an A5 size). I have it in black so you can definitely get that color. It has a hardcover with off-white, acid-free paper and rounded corners. Designed to lay flat. I think most are 240 pages (120 sheets). Says made with 80 gsm paper. Simple design but does include a black elastic band closure, an attached bookmark ribbon (gray in mine), and an expandable paper pocket in back. I have the ruled or lined version but it does also come with grid or blank paper so will work for your gf as well in terms of paper types. Made in China. I think I paid about $9 for mine.

So compared to my Moleksine I have in my hand for comparison (hardcover black classic ruled paper), the Amazon Basics journal is a bit thicker and has more pages (my Moleskine has 208 pages and the Amazon 240). The Amazon one has almost all the same basic features with the closure, rounded corners, back pocket, ribbon bookmark. Some of the differences are that the Moleskine’s cover feels nicer and “softer”, seems a bit better constructed, and there is a front title page with “In Case of Loss” info. The color of the paper and line ruling width is about the same although lines are darker and easier to see in the Amazon Basics. The Amazon Basics says 80 gsm paper while most Moleskine journals use 70 gsm. Both are made in Asia.

So yes, my opinion would be that if you like the color, style, and size of the Amazon Basics (since there is not much choice or variety), then there is little question you are getting a good value with the Amazon Basics versus the Moleskine. In a few areas, the Amazon could be a better choice depending on what you want most. Now if you valued the touch, feel, and construction, then obviously the Moleskine does look a bit nicer (and certainly feels nicer, I can tell its a more premium journal just by picking it up). But in terms of value for price, I think the Amazon Basics journal is a great choice to consider for what you are wanting and seems to tick all the boxes.

Hope that helps, and wishing you and your girlfriend a wonderful trip to Mexico!! Jessica

Anika Post author

June 14, 2023 at 11:54 am

hello, do you know where I can buy field notes in the uk or eu or have suggestions for similar simple little notebooks like this? need some for big upcoming trip. thanks for advice!!!

June 15, 2023 at 2:02 am

Happy to try to help. So the Field Notes if you purchase directly from their website they do offer international shipping options but it can take a long time and be more expensive but that is an option. But you can find them on Amazon in some parts of Europe, so on Amazon UK, for example, they have a couple of the Field Notes notebooks available. You can see those options on Amazon UK here .

If shopping on Amazon or similar, there are a lot of copycat products so if you want something by Field Notes brand, make sure it says “Field Notes” on the cover and in the description.

But if you can’t find the Field Notes product you want and are looking for similar sorts of pocket-sized or memo notebooks, some you might consider are the Moleskine Cahiers , Silvine Originals Pocket notebooks (UK made, ones with thread better than ones with staples), and Portage pocket notebooks . VENTED also has pocket sized notebooks, but they have cotton or recycled leather covers so may not be the best fit if wanting a kraft paper sort of cover.

There are other brands as well and you’ll see more if you search Field Notes notebooks in Amazon. If shopping in person you’ll have less selection but if you drop into a Waterstones (if in the UK) or similar large bookstore or stationary store, you can usually find one or two options of that type of pocket notebook or memo pad.

Hope that helps and wishing you a wonderful trip!

Best, Jessica

June 16, 2023 at 10:22 am

much gratitude and thanks Jessica, such a detailed answer. I can’t wait to check these pocket journal options out and get travelling again!

June 16, 2023 at 10:32 am

You’re very welcome Anika, and I hope you find a travel journal that works best for you.

Wishing you many future happy travels! Jessica

Lorna Post author

June 2, 2023 at 5:16 am

I am a longtime Moleskine user here but am thinking about possibly trying another journal and found your great and thorough article. Thoughts on one to choose that is similar but maybe a bit of an upgrade? Hard cover and either ruled/lined or squared paper.

Also, I always thought that Moleskine journals were made in Italy. Is that not true??

June 2, 2023 at 9:52 am

So I would say Leuchtturm1917 (see description above in article) is probably the most similar journal brand and they have hardcover notebooks and most of the sizes are similar. They have a few more features than Moleskine, offer more colors, and I think they have slightly nicer paper and covers. And they offer journals with both the ruled/line or squared/checked paper. So you could try one of them out and compare them with the ones you already have and see which brand you prefer. Prices are similar but depends where you buy it and in what country.

The Rhodia Webnotebooks (see description above) is another one to consider. But I didn’t love the quality of the last one I ordered (they started making them in Morocco) and it arrived with a dent and wasn’t as good as past ones.

So Moleskine journals are designed by a company started in 1997 and is based in Milan, Italy. The journals are designed in Italy but they are not made in Italy. According to their website they are manufactured in the “Far East” which is oddly vague. But they tend to mainly be manufactured in China or Taiwan (same as Leuchtturm1917 and many other journal brands). Although the last Moleskine I bought (while in Italy actually) says it was designed in Italy and manufactured in Turkey. I think during COVID-19 a lot of companies moved manufacturing to countries like Turkey to keep up with demand as China basically shut down for so long. But the journals are popular in Italy as we have seen several Moleskine stores while traveling in Italy.

Ciak is an Italian brand and is made in Italy so another one you could consider if wanted one made in Italy but these are a bit different in style than a Moleskine and offer fewer options in terms of sizes, paper types, and cover types.

Anyone hope that helps!

Deb Post author

June 1, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Wooooow! I just got pumped up reading about the benefits of keeping a travel journal but wasn’t really sure which journals were worth the time and money. This post was crazy helpful, thank you!!

June 2, 2023 at 5:03 am

So yes, travel journaling can certainly be helpful. We find by far the biggest benefit is being able to look back on what we did, where we went, and our thoughts/feelings along the way from past trips. It is also a nice excuse to relax with a coffee or drink and take a break when traveling 😉

Glad that you found our travel journal reviews helpful in finding a travel journal that works best for you! If you have any questions, just ask!

Hari Sitaula Post author

May 16, 2023 at 11:12 pm

Very helpful, been looking for a good travel diary! We appreciate you sharing this.

May 18, 2023 at 9:37 am

Glad you found our travel journal reviews helpful and I hope you find a perfect travel diary for you and your travels!

Martha Wells Post author

April 16, 2023 at 5:15 am

Oh, thanks so very much for this very thoughtful and detailed reply to my very specific questions. I have ordered this kids’ travel journal for my grandson (it sounds perfect!) and will be getting a different travel related coloring book for the granddaughter as she is only 4 and prob too young to make much out of the PPP one.

Thanks again for taking the time to write such a detailed reply to my questions about this journal!!!!! Martha

April 16, 2023 at 6:10 am

You’re very welcome Martha, hope your grandkids love the travel journal and coloring book!

April 14, 2023 at 7:13 am

Hello! Do you think the Kids Journal by PPP that you list would be Ok or a 9 (almost 10) year old? Does it close? How many pages of the actual journal writing part does it have? sorry if you don’t know this, just trying to buy a gift for grandkids and having lots of questions, thanks

April 15, 2023 at 4:09 am

I think you are asking about the Kids’ Travel Journal by Peter Pauper Press, this one here ?

So if that is the correct journal, we have bought that one before (as a gift) and had the chance to review it. So I do personally think it would be a good fit for a 9 or 10 year old. I think that is probably an ideal age as they should be able to read it and do the activities on their own.

It has a printed hard cover and it does close. It has a red elastic closure to keep it closed when not in use.

The book has a total of 96 pages. It contains pre-planning pages, packing lists, contact info pages, maps, games, puzzles, post-trip thoughts, fun travel-related facts, etc. In terms of pure journaling pages for writing, there are 15 pages dedicated to a daily journal so ideal for say a 2 week trip. But it also has other pages that ask questions that you can fill in about your trip related to who you met, where you stayed, type of transport, what you ate, etc. as well as some pages for free writing, drawing or pasting things. There is also a memento pouch.

If you are thinking about buying this for more than one grandchild, given the more personal and individual nature of the book and the journal, probably best to give one per child rather than having them share unless they are the type of kids who like to write and do these types of activities together.

A couple of things to note is that it has no ribbon bookmark so including a thin bookmark with the Kids’ Travel Journal might be nice if it is a gift. It is also more geared to American travelers (uses American English and terms) and for those traveling somewhere in either North America or Europe (as many of the facts are about these places), although it could, of course, be used by anyone really.

Anyway, hope that helps answer all your questions about this travel journal and will help you decide if it is a good gift for your grandchildren or not.

ROHIT PATLE Post author

March 23, 2023 at 9:22 am

Traveling is not just about reaching a destination, it’s about the journey and the experiences along the way. It opens your eyes to new cultures, people, and ways of life.

March 24, 2023 at 11:32 am

That is definitely true, and keeping a travel journal can be a great way to remember all those experiences along your travels!

conner Post author

March 9, 2023 at 4:46 am

wow, so many of these journals sounds great. could your recommend a travel diary option made in italy available online in US – looking for a gift for the gf for a month long college trip to Italy. I think she prefers lined paper and something sort of mid-sized (so no pocket or huge ones). option to put her initials in it would be great but not absolute. thanks for any help!

March 9, 2023 at 5:46 am

Happy to try to help!

So the Italian brand that is probably best known & available in the USA is Moleskine. They are really popular as travel journals. However, Moleskine journals are designed in Italy but made elsewhere (I think mostly in China, Taiwan, & Turkey).

If you want a journal made in Italy, the most available brand in the USA would probably be Ciak. I have one of them and it has really great paper quality (most have 110 gsm paper) and they have a variety of different types and colors of covers. So you can check their website for options, not sure if they deliver to the US or not, but you can also buy many of their products online via Amazon here or online stationery shops. Hard, but not impossible, to find in person depending on where you live. They offer plenty of lined journal options in a variety of sizes. I don’t think the company offers the option to add initials or personalize individual journals but you may be able to have someone locally add personalization.

Also, a note about buying the Ciak journals via third parties, they are often listed as leather bound, but I think the company primarily uses faux leather (so expect faux leather). If looking for actual leather bound journals, I’d check out Belcraft or Epica which have a lot of leather options.

Two other Italian brands you might want to check out are Epica and Belcraft , which both produce their journals in Italy. I believe both companies offer the ability to personalize a journal, including adding initials via embossing, engraving, and/or branding.

Hope that helps. I am sure your girlfriend will enjoy whatever journal you get her!

Aimee Fionda Post author

March 8, 2023 at 4:14 am

This is such a knowledgeable, in depth article about travel journals and we thank you so much for mentioning us! We love to think of our hand bound leather travellers journals journeying with their owners across the globe! We are always happy to create a bespoke journal too, as we make everything from scratch!

Thanks again and happy travels! The Stamford Notebook Company

March 9, 2023 at 4:49 am

Thanks for taking the time to comment, and glad you liked our article on travel journals. You’re very welcome for the metnion.

For those reading this, The Stamford Notebook Company is a great place to check out for all those looking for UK made journals or notebooks!

Seana Turner Post author

February 26, 2023 at 4:33 am

In spite of everything being digitized these days, I do love all things paper! I prefer the dotted pages because they give me just enough guide to keep my journals looking orderly without having too many lines making them look like homework.

I do like the ones that have a strap to keep them closed. Not that journals falling open is really an issue, but I just like the feel of pulling that elastic over the book. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

On a side note, I’m just so happy that we are talking about traveling again. All of the flights I’ve been on recently have been packed, and I find this encouraging. Go travel! I imagine you will have to revisit many places now and give us updated, post COVID information!!

February 26, 2023 at 6:56 am

Yes, so good to be talking about and more importantly traveling again. We are currently in Rwanda and plan to be doing a lot of traveling in 2023! And yes, COVID has sadly changed or closed a lot of places so updates are certainly needed.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on journals – everyone has such different preferenes. I am a lined girl myself but I know a lot of people prefer dotted pages. I guess they probably do remind a lot of people of their school notebooks 😉 But without lines, I have a hard time writing in a straight line – Laurence is even worse.

For me, since I mostly use my journal while traveling, they have to be able to be shoved in and out of my day bag and backpack so being able to securely close it an important feature for me. When I’ve had notebooks without a closure, they were more likely to get bent and the pages damaged if I didn’t put them in the “right way”.

Wishing you a year full of fun travels!! Jessica

Colleen Post author

February 25, 2023 at 11:37 pm

I have been using Moleskine journals for many years now…I think the Large size ones with lines. I use black ones for travelling and then I have colored ones that I use for my everyday/work notes. This article gave me some other brands that I am definitely going to consider the next time I need a journal like the Rhodia and Dingbats. My daughter is a vegan so I think I may surprise her with a Dingbats one as that elephant is so precious!!!

February 26, 2023 at 1:16 am

Hi Colleen,

Thanks for taking the time to share the brand of travel journal you use.

Yes, Moleskine is a very popular option for a travel journal. I like that you can always seem to find them as it is easy to find them in most bookstore and stationery shops (at least in the US and UK) whereas other brands can be more difficult to buy in person. Yes, you may definitely like the Rhodia Webbies and Leuchtturm1917 Classic notebooks as they are very similar but have slightly heavier paper – you may or may not notice the difference though if you are already happy with Moleskine. I think it makes the most difference to those using fountain pens etc.

Dingbats is a great choice for anyone looking for a vegan-friendly journal and the animal designs are really cute!

ALAN JOHN COOK Post author

February 25, 2023 at 12:13 pm

This article is completely unnecessary. I’m so pleased I didn’t waste my time reading more than the first few paragraphs. As a vastly experienced traveller and professional writer you don’t need all this stuff about bindings and paper quality and decoration. All you need – if you don’t have a laptop computer or similar – is a spiral bound notebook and a few cheap pens. I say spiral bound as they lay flat and can be folded back on themselves which is handy (although not essential). You can buy them almost anywhere and they are cheap. Also easy if you need to rip out a page to use for something like a shopping list or to give someone your contact details. It’s not the look of the journal that counts for anything – it’s what you write in it that’s important.

February 26, 2023 at 1:10 am

Thanks for sharing your opinions on journals. As I noted in the article, any journal or notebook can work fine as long as it is something you can and will write on during your trip. For someone who is on a tight budget or using it as you are (tearing pages out for shopping lists etc.) then a composition book or spiral school notebook or something will work fine. I have used one before and they work, although I found it less than ideal in many ways compared to other options which are designed to be actual journals.

We’ve tested dozens of notebooks and journals and definitely think that there are much more ideal options for those looking for something nicer and better suited for travel. Most people aren’t using their journal to tear out pages but are wanting to keep it to look back at later.

Many people want a journal that is a bit more durable & lasting, and do care about the paper quality, binding, cover, having a closure, etc as they want it to last and to store it to read again later. Many do care about what their journal feels and looks like and some care about how and where it is made. Also some travlers also use them for sketching or scrapbooking in which the page type, quality, and size are more important, along with those like myself who have a fountain pen (it will bleed through the paper on most cheap notebooks).

Our guide is designed to help those who are new to journals or who want to upgrade their current travel journal to find the perfect notebook for them or to give as a gift. Whether it is an inexpensive spiral bound notebook or a fancy leather custom journal. There are lots of options out there and we are just sharing information and our thoughts about this so people can make an informed decision.

We are happy you have found the journal type that works for you!

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Creative Primer

How to Start and Keep a Travel Journal: A Guide to Travel Diaries

Brooks Manley

When you capture your memories, you’ll never lose them.

Traveling is a transformative and enriching experience – and one of the best ways to capture and preserve those memories is by keeping a travel journal. A travel journal serves as a personal record of your adventures, reflections, and emotions throughout your journey.

A travel journal offers numerous benefits and can become a cherished keepsake for years to come. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to start and keep a travel journal – and how to make the most of your journaling experience.

Why Keep a Travel Journal?

Keeping a travel journal is a gateway to a treasure trove of memories , self-reflection , and creative expression . From preserving the details of your journeys to unlocking personal growth, a travel journal is definitely worthwhile. Let’s uncover the magic of travel journaling together.

Preserving Memories

Preserving memories is crucial when it comes to maintaining a travel journal. It is essential to capture the moments and experiences during your trips. Here are some techniques to effectively preserve your memories:

– Write comprehensive descriptions of the places, individuals, and activities you encounter. It is important to be vivid and use expressive language in your writing.

– Capture photographs of the landscapes, landmarks, and memorable moments you come across.

– Keep tickets, receipts, and other mementos from your travels as keepsakes.

– Maintain a daily log of your activities, thoughts, and emotions throughout the journey.

– Consider recording voice memos to encompass ambient sounds and conversations, which will add depth to your memories.

– Document the people you meet on your journey, including their names and stories .

Incorporating these practices into your travel journal will allow you to effectively preserve your memories for the years to come.

Self-Reflection and Personal Growth

Self-reflection and personal growth are essential aspects of travel journaling. When you take the time to introspect and process your experiences and emotions, you not only gain a deeper understanding of yourself but also foster personal growth .

Here are five effective ways to enhance self-reflection and personal growth through your travel journal:

1. Embracing emotions : Use your journal to describe your feelings and emotions during your travels. This practice can help you process and comprehend your emotional responses.

2. Contemplating experiences : Take the opportunity to write about the impactful moments, challenges, and lessons you encounter. By doing so, you can gain valuable insights, learn, and grow.

3. Recognizing strengths and weaknesses : Assess your reactions to various situations and identify areas where you excel as well as struggle. This self-awareness will optimize your personal growth.

4. Establishing personal goals : Utilize your journal to set realistic development goals for yourself. For instance, if you tend to be shy, challenge yourself to interact with locals. Regularly reflect on these goals and track your progress.

5. Documenting achievements : Take the time to celebrate your accomplishments in your journal. Whether it’s conquering fears, trying new activities, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, recognizing these achievements will boost your self-confidence and inspire further growth.

By actively engaging in self-reflection and personal growth through your travel journal, you can maximize your travel experiences and create positive changes that spill over into various aspects of your life.

Creative Outlet

Travel journaling provides you with a valuable creative outlet that allows you to express yourself and document your experiences in unique ways.

There are several methods through which travel journaling serves as a creative outlet:

1. Writing: You can vividly describe your adventures, including the places you visit, the people you meet, and the emotions you experience. By skillfully using descriptive language, you can bring your experiences to life on the pages of your journal.

2. Drawing and Sketching: If you possess artistic abilities, you can visually represent your travels through sketches and drawings. You have the opportunity to capture breathtaking landscapes or intricate architectural wonders.

3. Collages and Scrapbooking: Incorporating various mementos such as pictures, tickets, and postcards can elevate your travel journaling experience. By artfully arranging these items, you can create visually appealing collages that effectively capture your journey.

4. Mapping and Planning: You may enjoy incorporating maps and itineraries into your journals. By using different colors, markers, and symbols, you can highlight your routes, points of interest, and even plan future adventures.

5. Poetry and Prose: Travel journals offer a platform for you to explore your emotions and experiences through poetry, short stories, and song lyrics. This allows you to express your thoughts and reflections in a profound and meaningful way.

Incorporating a creative outlet into travel journaling enhances the overall experience, enabling you to express yourself artistically. It adds a personal and unique touch to your journals, reflecting your unique personality and perspective.

Editor’s Note : You don’t have to be a famed artist to enjoy adding artistic touches to your journal – even a postcard can help you capture a moment or memory, it’s art!

How to Start a Travel Journal?

You might be wondering, “Where do I start?”

You’ll need to start with a journal and a journey. Consider the following guidelines as you choose and prepare to record an adventure you’ll never forget. Are you ready to dive into the world of travel journaling and embark on an adventure of self-expression and reflection?

Choose the Right Journal

When selecting a journal, it’s important to choose one that suits your needs and preferences. Consider the following factors:

Consider these factors to choose the right journal that meets your needs and enhances your travel journaling experience.

Determine Your Journaling Style

When it comes to travel journaling, determine your style. This helps capture your travel experiences authentically and true to your voice. Consider these factors when determining your style:

1. Writing or Visual: Decide if you prefer writing or capturing your thoughts and experiences through drawings, sketches, or collages. Some may prefer a combination.

2. Length and Detail: Consider how much detail you want in your journal entries. Do you enjoy writing long and descriptive passages or shorter, more concise entries? This determines entry length and depth.

3. Structure: Think about if you prefer a structured journal with a specific format like a daily log or reflection on specific trip aspects. Alternatively, you may prefer a free-flowing and spontaneous approach.

4. Multimedia Elements: Decide if you want to include additional elements like travel photos, tickets, or souvenirs. These bring memories to life and add a visual dimension.

Remember, your journaling style can evolve and change over time. The important thing is to find a resonating style that effectively captures your travel experiences. Experiment with different approaches and embrace the freedom to authentically express yourself. Happy journaling!

Gather Essential Supplies

To gather essential supplies for your travel journal, follow these steps:

1. Choose a journal: Select a journal that fits your style and preferences. Consider factors like page count, paper thickness, and lay-flat design for easy writing.

2. Pens and markers: Bring a variety of writing tools , including pens, markers, and highlighters, to add color and creativity to your journal.

3. Sticky notes and adhesive: Pack sticky notes or adhesive to incorporate extra elements like tickets, postcards, or photos into your journal. This will make your journal visually appealing.

4. Travel accessories: Consider including travel-specific items such as a small pouch for souvenirs, a ruler for straight lines or measurements, or a pocket-sized travel guide for reference.

5. Accessories for organization: Keep your journal organized with accessories like paper clips, binder clips, or page flags. These can be useful for marking important pages or sections.

6. Glue or tape: If you plan to add larger or heavier items to your journal, such as brochures or maps, bring glue or tape to securely attach them.

7. Travel-friendly storage: Make sure you have a sturdy and compact bag or case to store all your journaling supplies in one place. This will make it easier to access them while traveling.

Remember, the purpose of gathering essential supplies is to enhance your journaling experience and creativity. Consider which items will be most useful and enjoyable for you personally.

What to Include in Your Travel Journal?

Keeping a travel journal is the perfect way to capture the essence of your adventures. You have a lot of options when it comes to what to include – especially if you’re detailed oriented. Here are some of the major players.

Daily Itinerary and Activities

When traveling and keeping a journal, you may want to document your daily itinerary and activities. Here are some key points to consider:

– Record your daily activities: Write down the places you visit, the attractions you see, and the activities you engage in each day. This helps you remember the details and experiences.

– Date and timestamp your entries: Include the date and time of each activity in your journal. This creates a chronological account of your journey.

– Include details and descriptions: Be descriptive in your writing, capturing the sights, sounds, and smells of each activity. Use vivid language to paint a picture of your experiences.

– Add personal reflections: Alongside your itinerary, include your thoughts and feelings about each activity. Reflect on how the experience impacted you and what you learned from it.

– Document any challenges or surprises: Note any unexpected obstacles or pleasant surprises you encountered during your activities. This adds depth and authenticity to your travel narrative.

– Attach mementos: Include tickets, brochures, or other physical items related to your daily activities. These mementos bring back memories and enhance your journal entries.

Remember, the goal of documenting your daily itinerary and activities is to create a comprehensive record of your trip. By capturing the details and emotions of each day, you’ll be able to relive your travel experiences in the future. Happy journaling!

Impressions and Emotions

Impressions and emotions are crucial aspects when capturing the essence of travel experiences. By actively describing and reflecting on them, you have the ability to construct a vibrant and meaningful travel journal.

  • To start, describe your impressions by taking note of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that stand out to you when visiting a new place. Utilize descriptive language to effectively convey the atmosphere and essence of the location. For instance, instead of simply stating “the beach was beautiful,” vividly describe the vibrant colors of the sunset reflecting off the water, the delightful scent of the salty breeze, and the comforting sensation of warm sand between your toes.
  • Describe the enticing taste of local delicacies, the texture of cobblestone streets beneath your feet, or the vibrant array of colors at a bustling market. Engaging multiple senses not only makes your journal entry more immersive but also evokes a more vivid recollection .
  • It is important to reflect on your emotions while traveling. Travel often evokes a range of emotions, such as excitement, awe, nostalgia, and introspection . Write about how certain moments or experiences made you feel. Did you experience a surge of adrenaline while embarking on a chalenging hiking trail? Were you filled with a sense of wonder and reverence when visiting a historic site? By capturing your emotions in words, you are able to evoke and relive those unforgettable moments while comprehending their impact.
  • Express your personal connections in your journal. Share how you connected with the individuals you encountered during your journey. Write about the meaningful conversations you had, the friendships you formed, or the cultural exchanges that touched your heart. These personal connections and interactions leave a lasting impression and add depth to your travel journal.
  • Reflect on your personal growth as a result of your travels. Travel provides unique opportunities for self-discovery and personal development. Contemplate how your experiences challenged you, pushed you out of your comfort zone, or broadened your perspectives. Write about the valuable lessons you learned and how you have grown as an individual. Reflecting on personal growth helps to further enrich your travel journal.

By prioritizing and focusing on impressions and emotions in your travel journal, you can create a comprehensive and meaningful record of your adventures. This record will effectively transport you back to those treasured moments whenever you revisit your journal.

Photos, Tickets, and Souvenirs

Photos, tickets, and souvenirs are important for travel journals to capture and preserve trip memories. Here are reasons why these items are valuable:

– Photos: Capture landscapes, views, and moments of travel. They serve as visual reminders of places and experiences.

– Tickets: Save tickets from attractions, museums, shows, or events attended during the trip. These tickets transport you back to the exact date and time of something new and exciting.

– Souvenirs: Physical mementos that evoke powerful memories of travel. They can be notes, postcards, shop receipts, or even food wrappers. Souvenirs remind you of the culture, traditions, and unique aspects of the destination.

By including photos, tickets, and souvenirs, you create a comprehensive record of your experiences. These items add depth and richness to your written descriptions , allowing you to relive your adventures more tangibly. Photos serve as visual aids to jog your memory and bring back specific details of each location visited. Similarly, tickets and souvenirs help recall specific events or attractions interacted with during the trip.

Tips for Effective Travel Journaling

Looking to up your travel journal game? Say goodbye to mundane travel entries and hello to captivating narratives that will transport you and your readers back to your adventures in a heartbeat. Ready to unleash your inner storyteller and create a travel journal that will truly stand the test of time?

Here are our top tips.

Write Regularly

To maximize your travel journal’s effectiveness, it is crucial to write regularly. By consistently recording your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, you can capture the essence of your travels and create a vibrant and meaningful record.

1. Set a schedule : Establish a routine for journaling, whether in the evening before bed or during breakfast each morning. By incorporating journaling into your daily routine, you ensure that you don’t forget to record important moments and details.

2. Make it a habit : Treat journaling as a regular practice, like brushing your teeth or exercising. By prioritizing journaling and making it a non-negotiable part of your day, you are more likely to write regularly and consistently – at home or away.

3. Write in the moment : Don’t wait too long before jotting down your experiences. Memories fade quickly, and by writing while the details are still fresh in your mind, you can capture the nuances and emotions of each adventure.

4. Keep it simple : You don’t need to write a lengthy essay every time you journal. Sometimes, a few sentences or bullet points can be enough to jog your memory and capture the essence of the moment. Focus on the key highlights and impressions that stand out to you.

5. Use prompts and writing techniques : If you’re feeling stuck, use prompts or writing techniques to stimulate your creativity. Try freewriting, list-making, or describing a specific sensory experience. This can help generate ideas and deepen your journal entries.

By writing regularly, you will cultivate a substantial collection of travel memories for future reflection. So, make it a habit, be consistent, and enjoy the process of documenting your adventures. Happy journaling!

Be Descriptive and Detailed

Keeping a travel journal requires being descriptive and detailed. This allows you to capture the essence of your travel experiences and create vivid memories. Besides sharing sensory descriptions and your emotions and responses , here are some tips to help you be descriptive and detailed in your travel journal:

1. Include colorful anecdotes : Share interesting stories, encounters, or observations that stood out to you during your travels. These anecdotes add depth and personality to your journal entries.

2. Add context : Provide background information about the places you visit. This can include historical facts, cultural traditions, or local customs. It helps create a richer understanding of the destinations you explore.

3. Use quotes and dialogue : Incorporate conversations you had with locals or fellow travelers, as well as any memorable quotes or phrases that resonated with you. This adds authenticity and liveliness to your journal.

Being descriptive and detailed in your travel journal creates a personal time capsule of your adventures . So, grab your journal, embrace your inner storyteller, and let your words transport you back to those incredible moments you experienced while traveling.

It can also enhance memory retention – writing about experiences in detail helps solidify memories and improve recall.

Keeping Your Travel Journal Safe

When it comes to keeping your travel journal safe, there are a couple of important considerations to keep in mind. With the increasing use of technology, finding the right methods for digital backup is crucial. Safeguarding your physical journals from loss or damage is also a key aspect of preserving your travel experiences.

Let’s explore the best practices for keeping your travel journal safe and secure!

Digital Backup

When it comes to keeping your travel journal safe and secure, digital backup is essential. Here are some options to protect your travel journal:

  • Cloud Storage: Use Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud to upload digital copies of your travel journal. This way, even if you lose or damage your physical journal, you can always access your entries from any device with an internet connection.
  • External Hard Drive: Backup your travel journal regularly with an external hard drive. These devices have large storage capacities, allowing you to store written entries, photos, and videos.
  • USB Flash Drive: Keep a USB flash drive specifically for your travel journal backups. These portable devices are compact and easy to carry, ensuring you always have a backup copy of your journal.
  • Email Yourself: Send digital copies of your journal entries to your email address. This serves as a quick and convenient backup method accessible from anywhere.

In addition to these options, it is advisable to password-protect your digital backups for added security. Remember to regularly update your backups and store them separately from your physical journal to minimize the risk of losing all your travel memories.

By implementing one or more of these digital backup methods, you can have peace of mind knowing that your travel journal is safeguarded, and your cherished memories are securely preserved. So go ahead and embark on your next adventure, knowing that your travel journal is backed up and ready to capture every moment.

Protecting Physical Journals

Protecting physical journals is crucial to ensure the safety and longevity of travel memories. To safeguard your travel journal, consider the following tips:

– Use a sturdy cover : Opt for a durable journal , like a hardcover or leather-bound notebook , to prevent tearing or damage.

– Waterproof protection : Invest in a waterproof journal cover or use a plastic sleeve to shield your journal from spills or rain, preserving your writing – especially if you’re hiking or camping with it.

– Keep it separate : Avoid storing your journal with sharp objects or liquids. Use a dedicated pouch or compartment in your bag to minimize accidents.

– Store in a safe place : When not in use, store your journal in a secure and dry location , away from sunlight and extreme temperatures to prevent fading or warping.

– Back it up : Make digital copies or scans of your journal pages to mitigate the risk of loss or damage. Store them securely on your computer, external hard drive, or cloud storage.

– Handle with care : Use clean hands and gentle handling to preserve the binding and keep the pages intact.

By following these precautions, you can protect your travel journal and ensure it remains a treasure of memorable experiences for years to come.

Interesting fact : The oldest surviving travel diary dates back to the 2nd century AD. It was written by a Roman soldier named Aulus Plautius , who documented his exploration of Britain !

Sharing Your Travel Journal

When sharing your travel journal, follow these steps to effectively communicate your experiences to others so they can experience your adventure with you all over again.

– Organize your entries : Arrange your journal entries in a logical order, either chronologically or by location. This helps readers follow your journey and understand its progression.

– Include visuals : Alongside your written entries, add photographs, postcards, or sketches that capture the essence of your travels. Visuals enhance readers’ understanding and create a more immersive experience.

– Be descriptive : Use vivid and detailed language to describe the places, people, and experiences you encountered. Paint a picture with your words so that readers can feel like they are there with you.

– Share personal insights : Include your thoughts, reflections, and emotions in your journal entries. This adds a personal touch and allows readers to connect with your experiences on a deeper level.

– Consider your audience : Think about who you want to share your journal with. If it’s a close group of family and friends, you can be more intimate and less formal in your writing. If you plan to publish or share your journal with a wider audience, make sure your tone and content are appropriate.

– Set boundaries : While sharing your travel experiences can be exciting, respect the privacy of others. Be mindful of what you include in your journal and obtain consent before sharing personal stories or photographs involving other individuals.

Sharing your travel journal allows you to relive your adventures and inspire others to explore the world. So grab your pen, gather your memories, and let your words transport you and your readers to the incredible places you’ve visited.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how can a travel journal be beneficial for business purposes.

By keeping a travel journal, you can jot down ideas and inspiration for business ventures during your trips. It allows you to document potential collaborations, networking opportunities, and innovative concepts that can be implemented in your work.

2. What are some pre-departure ideas to spark travel journal ideas?

Before leaving for your trip, consider researching the history and culture of your destination. This can help spark ideas for what to include in your travel journal, such as unique landmarks, local customs, or traditional cuisine.

3. How can a travel journal help with post-holiday ideas?

After your trip, reviewing your travel journal can jog your memory and inspire ideas for future vacations. You can reflect on your favorite experiences, places you want to revisit, or even new destinations you discovered during your previous trip.

4. What are some different versions of travel journaling?

There are various ways to approach travel journaling, including “just the facts,” storytelling, envelope-style, scrapbook style, and sketchbook. Each version offers a unique way to document and remember your trips, allowing you to choose the style that suits you best.

5. Can a travel journal be stored digitally?

Absolutely! In modern life, digital travel journal options are available. You can use diary software or dedicated travel journal apps to create a solid collection of your travel memories. Just make sure to backup your digital journal to keep it safe.

6. Is it essential to keep a separate notebook for each trip?

It is not necessary to have a separate notebook for each trip. You can use a single travel journal and section it off for various travels. This way, you can maintain one comprehensive journal that includes all your travel adventures.

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

travel journal t

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

Here’s my favorite journal for 2024: 

the five minute journal

Gratitude Journal Prompts Mindfulness Journal Prompts Journal Prompts for Anxiety Reflective Journal Prompts Healing Journal Prompts Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Journal Prompts Mental Health Journal Prompts ASMR Journal Prompts Manifestation Journal Prompts Self-Care Journal Prompts Morning Journal Prompts Evening Journal Prompts Self-Improvement Journal Prompts Creative Writing Journal Prompts Dream Journal Prompts Relationship Journal Prompts "What If" Journal Prompts New Year Journal Prompts Shadow Work Journal Prompts Journal Prompts for Overcoming Fear Journal Prompts for Dealing with Loss Journal Prompts for Discerning and Decision Making Travel Journal Prompts Fun Journal Prompts

How to Start a Bullet Journal + 25 Bullet Journal Ideas

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How to Start and Keep a Photography Journal

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Inside the Travel Lab

21 Creative Travel Journal Ideas & Prompts for Your Next Trip

February 29, 2024

Creative travel journal ideas Pinterest cover

Journaling is a great way to make the most of any trip. Here are some of our favourite creative travel journal ideas.

travel journal t

Travel Journal Ideas

Photos and videos aren’t the only ways to capture your travels. A travel diary can help you enjoy the trip you’re on and help you relive all those memories once you’re home. After all, how often do you look back through your phone’s photos?

I’ll be honest. Completing a travel bullet journal is something I often dream about more than I manage to complete, particularly when travelling with young children. But over the years, the travel journals I have managed to complete have brought me great joy and prompted my ageing brain to remember sights, smells and tastes more vividly than ever.

So, don’t get hung up on making it pretty and perfect. Just concentrate on enjoying your trip and use these travel journal ideas to deepen that enjoyment. Don’t let them turn into one more burden or chore to complete!

Vintage travel journal open on a table

What is a Travel Journal?

A travel journal is whatever you want it to be, baby! Or in more standard talk:

A travel journal is a personal, written account that documents an individual’s experiences, observations, and emotions during their journeys. It serves as a dedicated space for recording details such as daily activities, cultural encounters, and reflections on the places visited.

Typically, travel journals include a mix of narratives, anecdotes, and practical information. Whether handwritten or digital, a travel journal is a valuable tool for preserving travel memories, fostering self-reflection, and creating a tangible record of one’s explorations and discoveries around the world.

Although, don’t think you need to write reams. We’ve plenty of creative travel journal ideas if writing doesn’t happen to be your thing. We’re all about the easy way to fill those travel journal pages.

Leather-bound travel journal and pencil

Where to Find the Perfect Travel Journal

The romantic in me says that the best travel journal is found on the road. But the practical side of me knows that it’s easier if you pick one up before you go.

In my experience, you want a book that will stay flat when you fold it open and ideally have a tie or piece of elastic to hold it together again, to stop things falling out.

I also like travel journals with a space for a pen as that makes it more likely that you will actually have a pen with you when the time comes to write. In my experience, the best way to make sure that something happens is to remove as many obstacles as possible.

Personally, I prefer blank pages but I know that many prefer grids or lines. And I’ve never got to grips with a digital journal but if they work for you, then great!

A hard cover can protect from the bumps and bruises of life on the road but, then again, a soft cover is lighter to carry around.

Here are some lovely travel journal examples you can find on Amazon:

  • Vegan Leather Beechmore Travel Journal
  • Adventure Travel Journal with Prompts
  • Moleskine Hardcover Travel Journal

Note: if you buy through any of the links on this page, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Why Bother Keeping a Travel Journal in the First Place?

Firstly, because it’s fun! However, keeping a travel journal also has a number of other benefits.

Such as…

Memory Enhancement:

  • According to a study published in the journal Memory, the act of writing helps to consolidate and enhance memory. By documenting your experiences, in your own travel journal, you’re more likely to remember details of your journey. And that fits with what I learned when I was studying Neuroscience at Cambridge.

Stress Reduction:

  • A study by the American Psychological Association suggests that expressive writing can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Journaling about your travel experiences allows you to process emotions and relive positive moments.

Increased Cultural Awareness:

  • Research conducted by the Cultural Intelligence Center indicates that keeping a travel journal can contribute to the development of cultural intelligence. Writing about local customs, traditions, and interactions with residents fosters a deeper understanding of different cultures.

Reflection and Personal Growth:

  • Psychologist James W. Pennebaker’s research on expressive writing reveals that reflecting on experiences through writing can lead to personal growth and self-discovery. A travel journal provides a space for introspection and learning.

Enhanced Creativity:

  • Again, the busy American Psychological Association suggests that engaging in creative activities, such as writing, can boost cognitive function and creativity. Documenting your travels in a journal encourages creative expression.

Capturing Details:

  • Studies on eyewitness testimony indicate that people tend to forget details over time. Keeping a travel journal helps in preserving the specifics of your experiences, ensuring a more accurate recollection later on. Not that we hope you’ll end up in court. More, that we hope you’ll remember the highlights of your trip.

Improved Communication Skills:

  • Journaling encourages the practice of effective communication. Documenting your thoughts and experiences helps refine your ability to articulate ideas and stories.

Digital Detox and Mindfulness:

  • A study by the Pew Research Center found that 85% of adults in the United States use the internet. Keeping a physical travel journal offers a break from screens, fostering mindfulness and a deeper connection with your surroundings. Little details can bring about a big sense of calm.

Goal Setting and Achievement:

  • Again, the good old American Psychological Association notes that setting and achieving small goals, such as completing a journal entry each day, can boost motivation and self-esteem. A travel journal provides a structured way to set and accomplish writing goals.

Legacy and Sharing:

  • According to a study by Ancestry.com, 77% of adults believe it’s important to preserve their family history. A travel journal can serve as a legacy, allowing future generations to gain insights into your experiences and perspectives.

So, how about that? Not just a pretty page after all.

21 Gorgeous and Creative Travel Journal Ideas

OK, let’s get to the fun part! Creative travel journal ideas!

A collection of colourful ticket stubs

Collect Ticket Stubs

Ticket stubs may not seem so glamorous at the time but they’re one of those travel journal ideas that’s quick and easy to do, with great rewards later on. If you find yourself too busy on the trip, just shove (ahem, collect) them as you go along in one envelope. Once you’re home, you can then arrange them in a scrapbook or bullet journal along with notes and photos.

Carry Some Lightweight Supplies

It’s easier to keep up with your travel diary if you have the right tools with you. No-one needs to carry about an entire artist’s briefcase but a few pens, pencils and a roll or two of washi tape can help make it manageable.

Not sure what washi tape is? It’s like sellotape only comes with a pattern and is much more forgiving when unrolling and using it. You can pick up some washi tape here . It’s a great option to make sure things don’t always fall out along the way.

Brush up on Some Writing Tips

A travel diary shouldn’t feel like homework. But it will be more rewarding to write and definitely more pleasurable to read if you brush up on some writing techniques before you go.

We run a range of writing courses to get you started, including:

  • Freelance Writing Masterclass
  • Write Better, Write Now
  • The Writing Boost

So, whether it’s a quick weekend away or a road trip journal that spans several months, you’ll feel more confident about what goes into your own travel log.

Budapest and London postcards on a travel journal

Pick up Some Postcards

This is one of my favourite creative travel journal ideas.

Now, we’re not talking about standard tourist postcards here (although, obviously, that’s fine if that’s what you want to do. It’s your travel diary, right?!)

We’re talking about flyers and postcards for art galleries, live music, exhibitions and special events. Business cards from cafes. Anything you saw and enjoyed and which gave you a taste of the place.

Notes from Dominican Republic, The Gambia and the US on top of a travel journal

Collect the Cash

Spend more than a few days in a destination and the local money soon becomes a background event that you stop noticing. But when you’re back home, it’s a connection to the place.

So, if you can spare some of the lower denomination notes, it’s a great idea to tape a few into your travel journal.

A selection of Isle of Wight maps on a table

Keep the Maps

You know those maps that are folded back and forth, torn, soggy and scribbled over? Keep them! It’s amazing how quickly you forget the detail of a place but a scribbled note and the white fluff along a folded map seam brings it back right away. New places, new maps.

Stacks of colourful cardboard drink coasters

Make the Food to Go

At the risk of sounding like a hoarder, look out for sweet wrapper, chopstick wrappers, beer labels and more that really fit the local food you had in a destination.

I always look out for local flavours in particular, so this method of scrapbooking (sounds better than hoarding) works well for me.

Flower Press Stress

Sometimes, pressing flowers or leaves works wonders. And, sometimes, it just makes a mess. This is one of those travel journal ideas that you need to do just right: ideally with a big patch of sellophane rather than just a strip of washi tape.

Be careful, though. Some countries, most notably New Zealand and Australia, are very strict about flowers and seeds crossing their borders. Probably best to avoid this if you plan on heading there.

Hand-drawn sketch of a city skyline

Sketch Skills

Small sketches and beautiful drawings can really bring a travel diary to life. If you can draw, that is.

If not, never fear. While we can’t all be the best at everything, we can all master a few basic techniques.

It’s a good idea to just relax and have a go.

Colourful post-it notes with different languages on

Learn the Lingo

As everyone knows, with a few local phrases, you’ll get a better reception wherever you go. Yet, with age, it’s alarming how quickly that knowledge fades.

Write down those phrases while they’re fresh! It’s a fun way to nurture those brain cells.

Stick in Those Lists

Have you used a packing list? A leaving the house checklist? A bucket list? To-do list? If so, stick them in! They’ll be surprisingly interesting to look at come the end of your trip. Don’t let your trip planning go to waste!

And if you don’t? Check out our collection of packing lists and pre-travel checklists here .

Use Some Travel Journal Writing Prompts

When inspiration fails, fall back on these. Don’t worry if you feel cheesy. No-one has to read this but you.

Travel Journal Prompts Before You Go

  • Outline your expectations and goals for the upcoming journey. What do you hope to achieve or experience during this trip?
  • Share your pre-trip excitement and any pre-travel rituals or preparations you engage in before embarking on a new adventure.
  • Detail the research you’ve conducted about the destination, including its culture, history, and notable attractions. What aspects are you most eager to explore?
  • Reflect on any pre-trip concerns or uncertainties. How do you plan to address them or prepare for potential challenges?
  • Describe the anticipation you feel about trying the local cuisine. Are there specific dishes you’re looking forward to sampling?
  • Outline your itinerary and the key activities you have planned for each day. What landmarks or attractions are a must-see for you?
  • Consider the local customs and etiquette of the destination. How do you plan to respect and engage with the local culture?
  • Share your thoughts on the packing process. What essentials are you making sure to bring, and what strategies are you using to pack efficiently?
  • Reflect on any language barriers you might encounter. Have you learned a few basic phrases or expressions in the local language to enhance your experience?
  • Write about your overall mindset and emotions as you approach the trip. What are your hopes, fears, and anticipations for the upcoming adventure?

Man writing in journal by a lake

Travel Journal Prompts For on the Road

1. Describe your initial impressions upon arriving at your destination. 2. What local cuisine or dish did you sample, and how would you rate your experience? 3. Reflect on a memorable encounter with a local resident or fellow traveller. 4. Share a moment when you stepped out of your comfort zone during your journey. 5. Detail the sights, sounds, and scents of a particular place that left a lasting impression on you. 6. Write about a unique cultural tradition or festival you experienced during your travels. 7. Describe a hidden gem or off-the-beaten-track location you discovered. 8. Share a humorous or unexpected anecdote from your trip. 9. Reflect on a challenging situation you encountered and how you overcame it. 10. Write about a place that surpassed your expectations and why. 11. Document a day spent exploring nature, whether it’s a hike, day at the beach, or wildlife encounter. 12. Discuss the impact of local art, music, or architecture on your overall experience. 13. Capture the essence of a local market or shopping district you visited. 14. Reflect on how the local history and heritage influenced your perception of the destination. 15. Write about a moment of tranquillity or relaxation during your journey. 16. Share your thoughts on the transportation methods you used and any interesting experiences. 17. Describe a sunrise or sunset that left you in awe. 18. Document a day focused on immersive cultural experiences, such as workshops or language classes. 19. Write about a place you’d love to revisit and explore further in the future. 20. Reflect on the personal growth or insights gained from your travel experiences.

Travel Journal Prompts for Once You Get Back

  • Reflect on the overall experience of your journey. Did it meet, exceed, or differ from your initial expectations?
  • Capture the emotions you feel upon returning home. What aspects of your routine are you excited to resume, and what do you miss from your travels?
  • Share your favourite moments from the trip and how they contributed to your overall satisfaction.
  • Write about any unexpected discoveries or surprises that occurred during your travels.
  • Reflect on the impact of the journey on your perspective and personal growth. In what ways do you feel changed or enriched?
  • Describe the local cuisine that left a lasting impression on you. Are there any dishes you wish you could recreate at home?
  • Outline any challenges you faced during the trip and how you successfully navigated them.
  • Consider how the cultural experiences have influenced your worldview. What lessons or insights will you carry forward from your travels?
  • Share your thoughts on the souvenirs or mementoes you brought back. Do they hold special meaning or memories?
  • Write about your plans for future travels. Are there destinations you’re now eager to explore based on this recent experience?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of creative ways to catalogue different places and, more importantly, what they meant to you.

For all we’ve talked about the benefits of travel journaling, the important thing is that it’s fun. Don’t let your travel journal become a chore. Like all goals and tools, it’s just a way to help you fall even more in love with life.

Journal entries should make you think or make you smile. And that’s enough.

Why not bookmark this article on creative travel journal ideas on Pinterest for later?

More on Preparing for Your Next Trip

  • The Only International Travel Checklist You Need
  • Printable Holiday Packing List PDF: The Only Checklist You Need
  • The 21 Best Souvenir Ideas for 2024
  • 27 Long Haul Flight Essentials and a Flight Checklist for You
  • The Best Flight Booking Hacks For Savvy Travellers
  • The 10 Travel Skills Every One of Us Should Know
  • The 50 Best Travel Websites and Travel Resources

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Why not pin these creative travel journal ideas on Pinterest for later?

The Best Travel Quotes

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Wildflowers and Wanderlust

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping a Travel Journal

Create a travel journal for your next adventure.

Let’s talk about creating a travel journal for your next trip that you’re planning.

Traveling starts long before an actual trip begins. 

It usually starts with a dream. 

A dream of a different place, new scenery, a vacation or a getaway.  It can  even just start with a feeling.  We call it Wanderlust….

Planning a trip is just as much a part of traveling as the trip itself.

A travel journal can be start all the way at the beginning of the idea of the trip and then be a keepsake when the adventure ends.

~This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.  This helps us fund creating great content for you! For more information  click here  ~

A travel journal is a great way to plan and keep a memory of your trip. We've got the ultimate guide of creating your own journal for your next adventure WildflowersAndWanderlust.com

Why Keep a Travel Journal?

When you travel, you are collecting memories. 

When you bring those memories back home with you it gives you a chance to relive them, and share them, and maybe even learn from them. 

Travel can expand your view of the world around you, even if you don’t go very far from home and it gives you a chance to escape from your daily routine.

I know that we all use our phones to organize things thees days, I love having everything at my fingertips too, but there’s something romantic and special about writing things down in a journal. 

This is your chance to disconnect from your daily habits and try something new.

A travel journal can be a great keepsake and also a great resource after your trip has ended.  How much easier will it be to remember the name of that fantastic restaurant if you’ve got it written down in your journal?

By keeping a travel diary you have a reflection of your experiences that you can revisit anytime.

What is a Travel Journal?

A travel journal is your diary of a trip, or multiple trips.  It’s where you can write about your experiences and how you felt about them.  It’s the place for you to collect your stories and memories of your trip.

Your travel journal is yours.  It’s personal and it can include anything that you want to jot down about your trip or during your trip.  It’s also a great place to store memento’s.

Using Your Travel Journal to Plan Travel

You can use your travel journal before your trip even begins.  Keep a travel bucket list of places you want to see and things you want to experience.  This is a great list to refer to, and to update and see if it changes as you travel and have more experiences.

You can keep your packing list in your travel journal.  Make notes on what things worked best on your trip and what things you didn’t need.  This can help you plan your packing for future trips. 

Remember that one thing you always forget?  Write it down for next time!

Best Travel Quote by WildflowersandWanderlust.com

Travel Journal Tips

Plan your trip in your travel journal.

Use your travel journal to plan your trip.  Write down your ideas while you’re researching your trip or talking with fellow travelers.  Is there a great hike you heard about or a restaurant you want to try? 

Put them in your planning pages.

This is a great way to keep track of your ideas before the trip to help you plan your time during the trip.  You can keep contact information and planning all in one central location.

If you’re moving around to different places you can keep your itinerary and lodging information in your journal.

Blank Travel Journal | WIldflower and Wanderlust

Write During Your Trip

You don’t want this to feel like a chore, but you do want to get a few notes down while they’re fresh in your memory.  Try to spend a few minutes each day putting your thoughts on paper.  Even if it’s just a few lines to be able to jog your memory later, getting some notes down will help you put your story together.

Try to use all your senses when you’re writing – how did you feel, what were the smells and tastes  you experienced.  All these details will help you retain a more vivid picture of your trip and experiences.

There’s always an aspect of wonder when you travel too. 

Try to put down a few of your feelings so that you will be aware of how the trip changed you.  Travel is a great chance to experience personal growth.

Add Keepsakes to Your Journal

You can glue in photos, menus, napkins; really anything that strikes your fancy can be included in your travel journal. 

I like to keep ticket stubs and entry bracelets and write about the places that we’ve visited.  After we return home I might add a few photos that go along with the trip.  If we pick up a tourist brochure for someplace we visit I like to keep those too.

Finish Up When You Return

When you get home be sure to take a little time to look back through your journal.  You may have some memories that you want to add or you may just want to relive a few moments from your trip.

It can also be a great stress reliever to review your journal after you’ve been home awhile.

A travel journal can be just like your bullet journal, a place to organize and keep your plans for your adventure WildflowersAndWanderlust.com

The Benefits of Keeping a Travel Journal

It’s a great way to beat boredom.

If you’re traveling a great distance, or traveling alone, your journal gives you a nice distraction when you need something creative to work on.  You can write anything you want in your journal, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you when it’s all said and done.

But don’t feel that you have to write about every little thing.  You journal belongs to you and it can just be a keepsake of your favorite things, or notes for future travel.  Remember that it’s always supposed to be fun and not a chore.

You’ll Remember More

Writing helps us commit things to our memory. 

By putting down your thoughts and memories in a journal you will remember more about your trip.  It’s also a great place to jot down notes when you visit with the people you meet along the way.

Ask the local’s the best place to eat and jot it down.  Ask a fellow traveler about what they saw that was unexpected and make a note of it.  Sometimes these are the things that will you get off the beaten path and have experiences that you didn’t expect.

It’s a Great Keepsake

When your trip is all said and done you’ll have a live scrapbook about it.  It can be a great resource when planning another trip or offering tips for someone traveling to the same area. 

It’s also a great place to revisit some memories later.

I always like picking up little things, bottle caps, napkins and other small items.  This gives me a great place to hang onto them so that they’re memories and not clutter.  It’s always fun to keep a bit of the local currency and ticket stubs. 

But don’t be limited to that, you can keepsake most anything.

It also helps me keep different trips and places straight.  I can look back and tell my friend where we ate or the name of the hotel.  It’s all written down and easy to find.

Travel is Good for the Soul | Wildflower and Wanderlust

Travel Journal Prompts

Do you need some ideas for thing to include in your travel journal?  Sometimes staring at a blank page can be a hard way to begin.  Here are some prompts to help get you writing.

Where are you going and why?

It can be as simple as taking a vacation or it can be traveling for a service project.  There are no right or wrong answers, it’s your trip.  Tell about why you chose the place and what you hope to find there.

Some trips are mainly for relaxation and some are to enjoy a great activity.  They are all equally important.

What are you planning to do?

Maybe some drinks by the pool, or maybe you’re building a school.  Hey Dr. Seuss, what do you want to do on your trip?  This is something you can write about before you leave and then follow up with while you’re traveling.

Don’t forget to talk about the food  you want to try.

No matter where we travel, we always make it a point to eat locally and not at chain restaurants.

Pick something to focus on

I have a thing about doors. 

I love to see all the beautiful painted and patinaed doors and I make it a point on every trip to take door photos.  At this point I could probably publish a book of just those alone, but it’s also something that ties many of our trips together.

If you have a similar fascination it’s a great focus.  Do you visit all the beaches?  Do you collect sand from each one?  It’s amazing how different beach sand can be.

Write about the Food

You can use your travel journal as a food diary too.  Trying new foods can be a great experience when you travel, or it can be a funny tale in the future.

I know that we only eat beignets in New Orleans.  In my mind they are part of that city and the food there is part of the whole experience.  Conch fritters in the Bahamas, Red Stripe beer in Jamaica.  Is there a food that’s native to the region that you want to try while you’re visiting?

Make a Highlight Reel

If a friend was visiting, what experiences would you tell them to not miss.  What restaurants would you send them to?  Where’s the best place to see the sunset, go dancing, etc. 

Devote a page to just your favorite’s from the trip for reference.

Next time you visit

Every time we visit a place we make a list of things we’d like to do the next time we are there.   The best part of traveling is feeling like there are still things to discover when we return.

Where do you want to go next?

Did this trip give you more ideas of places to visit?  Is it someplace that you can’t wait to visit again?  Did it change your mind about other places you thought you were interested in? .

Travel Journal Inspiration

Here’s a great example of a journal spread for your packing list.

Here is a great example of a memory page in a travel journal.

Here’s a map spread so you can keep track of where you’ve been or where you want to go!

As you can see there’s no end to the creativity you can use in your travel journal.

Do you already keep travel journals or are you planning to start? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow us on Pinterest and on Instagram for lot’s more ideas and inspiration!

Pin It | WildflowersandWanderlust.com

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This was quite useful for me. I already purchased a nice notebook for my next travel plans. I would like to receive more ideas about this. Thank you very much. Mariana

Mariane: We’re so glad that you found this helpful – I bet your travel journal is going to be amazing! WildOnes

Your post on Pinterest says ‘Hot to make a journal…” instead of ‘How’

Thanks so much for letting us know!

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flatlay of a traditional travel journal ideas with a coffee and flowers

33 Terrific Travel Journal Ideas, Tips + Prompts!

Looking for the best travel journal ideas to help you remember your next trip–plus some prompts to help you think of what to write?

You’ve come to the right place!

As a lifelong lover of both journaling and travel, I have experimented with all kinds of travel journals over the years, ranging from the time-consuming to the simple, from the unique to the very basic.

I absolutely love the travel journaling system that I use now (more on that below), but depending on your habits and writing style, there is no limit to the number of ways to preserve your travel memories on the written page.

person writing in one of the best travel journals with photos and a cup of tea spread out next to them

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

This guide to travel journal ideas and prompts covers everything from the physical kind of travel diary to use, to tips on journaling effectively, to travel journaling prompts to help you get your writing started.

Remember, though, that the #1 rule of travel journaling is that there are no rules!

Anything that helps you preserve the intense memories of your travel experiences counts.

That being said: here are some of the best travel journal ideas out there!

Table of Contents

Terrific Travel Journal Ideas

Travel journaling tips, inspiring travel journal prompts, planning a trip.

Kate Storm in a blue skirt standing in front of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. She's looking away from the camera.

While there are plenty of beautiful travel journals on the market, don’t feel like you need one to keep a memorable travel diary!

I’ve kept travel journals in everything from a $0.99 composition notebook to elaborate leather-bound notebooks to the Notes app in my phone, and I can confidently say that the best travel journals come from the heart–the physical place you put them is the least important function.

That being said, if you are looking for beautiful travel journal examples, I highly recommend these!

View from Santa Maddalena Church near Bolzano Italy, as seen during an amazing Italy road trip

One Line a Day Journal

This is my current favorite travel journaling system, and I’ve been using it for nearly 5 years now!

Here’s the format: each page in this diary has a date at the top (say, August 17), and 5 small sections to write 1-2 sentences below it.

For 5 years, keep a daily journal of a memorable moment, and at the end, you’ll be able to look back and, on a single page, see what you did on all your August 17ths.

While this isn’t specifically a travel journal, I absolutely adore using it as one: the tracking of time through both days and years simultaneously is incredible, and the short time commitment is perfect for my lifestyle that already includes lots of writing.

I do still try to keep a long-form travel journal once a week or so, too, but I love my One Line a Day Journal so much that I recently bought two more, just to ensure I have the next decade covered if they stop making them!

one line a day journal being held up in front of greenery, one of the best travel journal ideas

Page A Day Travel Journal

Looking for something formatted for you, but with more of a travel theme and more of a long-form approach?

The Page A Day Travel Journal is perfect for that!

In addition to space to write about your day, there are spaces to note your destination and event the weather.

woman sitting in a cafe with coffee writing in a travel diary

Classic Leather-Bound Journal

What reading-and-writing nerd among us hasn’t dreamed of owning a leather-bound journal to track their travels in?

I have always enjoyed this journal style and have owned a few in my life!

There are tons of similar ones on the market these days, given how popular they are, but I love the compass detail and great reviews on this one .

leather bound travel diary with a compass on the front

Postcards To Yourself

Looking for more unique travel journal ideas?

Consider sending postcards to yourself from the road!

In many destinations, you can mail yourself (or someone else) a postcard right from the souvenir shop where you purchase it–so bring a pen along, write some quick thoughts about your day, and drop it in the mail.

By the time you get home, you’ll have a collection of memories delivered right to your front door that you can save forever.

The Ultimate Packing List for Italy: postcards from Lucca

Travel Checklist Journal

If you’re the kind of traveler who wants to make sure they don’t forget a thing, the Travel Checklist Journal is the perfect choice!

With daily prompts covering everything from the restaurants you ate at that day to your most memorable moment of the day, it’s an in-depth log of your adventures.

I’ll be honest: I could never keep up with this much travel journaling on a daily basis.

But, some people absolutely can!

If you find yourself not sure what to put in some sections, though, don’t worry about it–better to skip a prompt than make your journal feel like work instead of fun.

beautiful travel journaling prompt space with tulips in a vase

Bullet Journal

A classic bullet journal like this makes a fantastic travel journal idea!

In addition to writing, consider including drawings, hand-drawn maps, charts, and more.

Standard Notebook

You don’t need anything fancy to keep a beautiful, memorable travel journal!

Anything from a simple composition notebook to the back of a receipt will do in a pinch, and I would never recommend putting off writing because you don’t have the “perfect” vessel to store your memories in.

If you’re looking for a fairly standard, lined notebook that is durable without including much formatting to get in the way of your creativity, though, I love these notebooks .

I’ve owned them in various colors and designs for years, going out of my way to replace my old ones with the same brand when they get full.

Photo of a Macbook Pro, a notebook with mountains on the cover, and a red pen. A copy of Moon New York City is laying on top of them--use this to find some of the best things to do in MIdtown NYC!

Buy one on the road!

While I definitely recommend keeping a travel journal from hour one (airports and train stations are great places to write!), there’s also something special about buying a diary on the road.

If you find a journal you love while you’re traveling, consider picking it up and journaling there from then on.

pile of travel journal ideas in a market

On Your Computer or Phone

I’ll admit, I’m very biased toward analog travel diary ideas–it’s just my style!

But if you prefer typing to writing, or you just don’t want the hassle of carrying a physical journal on the road, you can easily keep a detailed travel journal on your phone or laptop!

Evernote is a fantastic app for journaling on your phone, though a basic Notes app works fine too.

A Word document or Google Doc can work as well.

Alternatively, you can type and send emails to yourself and store them in a certain folder in your inbox!

jeremy storm working on a macbook on a train in italy, combining work and traveling

There is no wrong way to keep a travel journal–whatever works for you, is more than fine.

That being said, based on my personal experience of keeping travel journals over the years, here’s my best advice for preserving your memories!

inspirational spread travel journal prompts and postcards with notebook in the center

Try to write as often as possible.

Here’s the sad truth: you will forget much of your vacation.

Even if you remember the basics such as where you went, what you did, and who you were with, the passing years will steal the sensory details from your memory, jumble the order of events, and soften the edges of your stories, making it hard to recapture the emotions of your travel experience.

While some of that is the inevitable result of living a full, exciting life packed with beautiful memories, a travel journal can absolutely help preserve those experiences for you for decades to come.

The period of time that I was worst at keeping a travel journal– the first year of our full-time travels –is also the one where memories have faded the most.

It’s my #1 travel regret that I didn’t keep a detailed travel journal that year!

kate storm overlooking the bay of san juan del sur nicaragua

Imperfection is better than procrastination.

Don’t have time to write pages and pages?

Can’t find the right words to capture exactly how you felt seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time?

Don’t worry about it: a couple of sentences jotted down that afternoon while waiting for your coffee to arrive will capture your emotions far better than waiting weeks to find the right words.

flat lay of a travel diary with a map and coffee cup

Write what you can’t see.

Photographs and videos can do a lot to preserve visual and even auditory memory–but they can’t capture scents, or the feeling of the humidity lingering in the air, or how soft the dog you stopped to pet was, or the expression on the waiter’s face as you managed to order lunch in a language that you barely speak.

These kinds of recollections, paired with photos and videos, are invaluable for helping place you back in that moment of travel, even years after it has passed.

How to Ethically Visit Elephants in Thailand

You don’t have to be a “good” writer.

Forget the English essays of your youth: whether you consider yourself a skilled writer or not, you can absolutely keep the world’s most perfect travel journal for yourself.

Because travel journaling is nothing but a conversation with your memory, and you know exactly how to talk to yourself!

It doesn’t matter if you wouldn’t want to publish it as a memoir or that other people wouldn’t understand what you’re trying to say, because you’re the only audience!

Trust me, as a professional writer of sorts, the things that I write publicly–even in more personal blog posts like this –are not nearly as unguarded as the conversations I have with myself when preserving my own travel memories.

kate storm standing on top of a staircase of books at libreria acqua alta venice italy

Don’t edit yourself.

This goes somewhat with what I wrote about being a “good” writer, but it’s a solid tip for travel journaling even if you’re a very confident one.

Each of us sees the world in a completely unique way and will use entirely different experiences and criteria to jog our memories.

If none of the travel journal prompts in this blog post speak to you, ignore them.

Write about literally anything you like–anything that speaks to how you experienced your day.

The uniqueness of how we each see the world is never more obvious to me than when I compare the things that Jeremy writes in his travel journal to what I write in mine–many times, we each remember things that the other person didn’t even notice!

person writing travel journal examples in a notebook with laptop open

Save more than words.

Ticket stubs, brochures, boarding passes, postcards, even foreign currency–anything small and tactile that you can tuck into your travel journal is a fantastic addition.

If you print out any photos along the way or purchase any of the cheesy-but-fun souvenir photos for sale around the world, those can be great components of a travel diary, too.

Full maps are often too big to save in a traditional travel journal, but you can save them separately–or cut out your favorite section(s) and place them in your journal!

Kate Storm in a black coat standing on a brick footbridge in Brugesduring a trip to Belgium

Sadly, the ink on receipts tends to fade within a couple of years, but you can try storing a few memorable ones for a while as well.

Depending on your travel journaling style and how much you collect, you may want to tape these extra items to individual pages or keep them tucked into a separate pouch (cheap and fun cloth zip pouches can be found at souvenir markets across the world–maybe you can buy one along the way!).

For something more fun than basic tape, buy a few souvenir stickers along the way and use those to secure your mementos to the page!

Second Trip to Paris: Books on Banks of the Seine

Avoid spiral notebooks.

If you want a very inexpensive place to save your memories, opt for a composition notebook over a spiral one–trust me.

Between the spirals being pulled out of place from being moved around so much during your adventures to the fact that they’ll scratch up anything they’re stored near (like your laptop, for example), they’re just not worth the trouble.

I learned this lesson the hard way and will never use a spiral notebook (without a cover, that is) for anything while traveling again!

young woman writing travel writing prompts in the mountains

Always keep your travel journal in your carry-on.

I’ll admit, I’ve broken this rule before, but it’s terrifying checking your travel journal–especially when, like my current one, it contains years worth of irreplaceable memories.

Much better to keep careful watch over it in your carry-on/hand luggage!

Kate Storm wearing a brown coat and blue backpack, looking up at a departures board in an airport. Her purse holds some of her long haul flight essentials!

Wondering what exactly to write down in your travel diary?

These travel journal writing prompts will get you started!

Choose any of these travel journal topic examples from below and expand upon it in detail, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself jotting down details of memories that would otherwise be lost to time.

As always, the point of travel writing prompts like this isn’t to limit what you write–it’s to provide a jumping-off point.

If you find yourself veering off in a different direction after a few sentences, just roll with it!

woman writing a travel diary using travel journal prompts at a table with coffee and flowers

What did you do today that you’ve never done before?

Make a list of everything you bought today, from food items to metro tickets.

Describe the most memorable person you interacted with today.

What was your favorite thing you ate today?

Full Irish breakfast served in Dublin, one of the best things to try when looking for the best food in Ireland

What new thing did you learn today? How did you learn it?

Describe your morning routine in detail: what was different from home?

What was your most memorable form of transport today?

What animals did you see or interact with today?

ranger storm sitting in a square in savannah georgia

What was the weather like? How did it impact your day?

What were you wearing today? How did it impact your day?

Did you use any words in a language you don’t speak today? What were they?

What’s the big news where you are right now? Is it the same as at home?

Jeremy Storm climbing a pyramid at the Becan Ruins in Mexico, wearing a black t shirt and pulling on a rope for support

What’s the funniest thing that happened today?

What’s the most memorable thing that you physically touched today?

What did you eat for breakfast?

Look up, and describe everything that you see in detail.

kate storm standing in front of 3 blue domes on Santorini, Honeymoon in Santorini

If you took a tour: describe your tour guide, including their name!

What did you do today that you didn’t expect to do before your trip?

What’s an interesting story or legend from your destination?

Describe your route from where you’re staying to your first destination of the day.

One Day in Paris: Metro Sign

What’s your favorite word to say in the language of your destination?

What was your least favorite moment of the day?

What was the most surprising thing you saw today?

What interesting conversation did you overhear today?

cozy cafe with coffee and a leather chair in iceland, a great place to try out travel journal prompts and other travel journal ideas

None of these travel journal ideas or prompts speak to you?

Have something different in mind?

There’s no wrong way to keep a travel diary–whatever feels right when you’re on the road, that’s the best travel journal for you.

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two photos of travel journal examples, black and red text on a white background reads "33 travle journal ideas and prompts"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

1 thought on “33 Terrific Travel Journal Ideas, Tips + Prompts!”

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How To Write A Travel Journal: Ideas, Tips, Prompts & Resources (2023 Definitive Guide)

Travel Journal

Before I give you the A-Z on creating your travel journal, I have an interesting thought experiment for you…

Can you imagine packing up your life into ONE SINGLE duffel bag?

That’s exactly what my wife and I did when we first moved onto our sailboat  Sea Otter : one duffel of personal items each, and one small box of other items stored at our folks back home.

It turns out over  90% of the “stuff” we all own can happily be given away  or tossed in the bin.

Look around you right now. How much of the things you see are truly meaningful enough that you’d NEED to keep if all you could leave your home with was ONE duffel?

You’ll like this…

One of the  DEAD SIMPLE decisions you’d face with a “purging” like this is with your travel journals  because I can GUARANTEE it wouldn’t take more than a nanosecond for them to be placed delicately in your bag so you could keep them forever (which is exactly what I did with mine).

That’s how important your  travel diary  will become to you. It will become a cherished vault of memories…

…stories you’d have forgotten if you didn’t jot them down…

…memories you’ll look back on for the rest of your days with an ear-to-ear grin…

…a memento you can pass along to future generations so they can bask in your adventures.

And today you’re going to see  how to write a travel journal of your very own , including travel journal ideas, writing prompts, tips and all the best resources around!

What Is A Travel Journal?

What is a travel journal

Simply put, a travel journal is a diary of your time on holiday or vacation. It’s a place to jot down the things you never want to forget: people you met, important details, funny events, raw experiences.

And as we’ll discuss, it can take many forms, such as a paper notebook, a DIY scrapbook, an app, a website, and everything in between.

Is There A Difference Between A Travel Journal, Trip Diary, And Travel Log?

People often get confused about whether there’s a difference between these terms, but the answer is that they’re all the same thing.

Whether you prefer to call it a diary or a log doesn’t matter because you enter inside is the same: the stories of your travels.

And here’s an interesting fact you might enjoy: 

The term “travel log” (otherwise known as “travelogue” or “travelog”) originally comes from the term “ship’s log,” which was how sailboats and other seafaring vessels tracked the details of the voyage. They called it a “log” because of a wooden float that they used to drag behind the boat to measure speed.

…You know, in case you were really wondering. 😉

Why Keep A Journal While Traveling?

travel journal memories

The experience is priority one.

Followed closely by a way to remember that experience.

You know this conundrum:

If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?

Now how about this doozie:

If you forget most of the things you did on your trip, did they really happen?

Well of course they did! But wouldn’t it be so much sweeter if you KNEW you would remember that adventure for the rest of your life? Hell yeah!

THAT is why it’s SO important to keep a journal while on your trip: to remember the best days of your life — those days spent abroad exploring new places, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures.

What Are The Different Types Available?

If you want the best travel journal, you first need to know what  type  you would prefer.

There are  2 main types  to consider, and they are very different:

1. A paper notebook style journal 2. A digital, multimedia style journal (such as an app)

Let’s take them one by one:

A Paper Travel Journal:

Travel notebook

These are, most often, simple notebooks that you tailor to your travels. Blank page after blank page, ready for ink to cover the lines.

The main benefits of a paper notebook style journal are:

  • Some people like the physical act of writing, as opposed to typing on their phones or tablets.
  • It’s physical. You can hold it in your hands. It can sit on your bookshelf and physically take up space. 
  • They make really cool gifts (especially  personalized travel journals ). 
  • You scrapbook with it by gluing in boarding passes, ticket stubs, and anything else you want to keep a hold of.

A few shortcomings of a physical journal are:

  • You can lose it! 😩
  • You can only write it in, not easily add pictures or videos from your phone.
  • You can’t track or tag locations automatically.
  • They take up physical space (if you are a diehard minimalist).
  • You can’t share your stories online.

A Digital Travel Journal:

digital travel journal

Digital journals are usually apps and websites that work well for journaling. That said, you could also DIY it by simply documenting your travels in a simple text doc on your computer or the ‘Notes’ app on your phone (just make sure you back them up properly!).

The main benefits of a  travel journal app :

  • The best ones store all your entries securely to the cloud, so you never have to worry about losing your memories.
  • You can add pictures directly from your phone’s camera.
  • The best ones allow you to add videos too!
  • You can collaborate with travel-mates to the same journal, which makes sure you get ALL the stories from all angles (and pics too).
  • The best ones automatically tag locations for you and show your routes on a map.
  • The best ones allow you to  ‘publish’ your journals online for your friends and family to follow along .

A few shortcomings of a digital journal are:

  • It’s in the cloud, so you can’t place it on your coffee table and peruse when you’re in the mood (although the best ones do allow you to print your journals too).
  • You can’t glue in physical mementos you want to hold on to.
  • They’re harder to give as gifts because the “ unwrapping ” just isn’t the same.

As you can see, there are tradeoffs with each style and the answer to which is better truly lies in what you find as more important. Do you want to  share it online  or are you happy to  keep it privately written  on your bookshelf? Are you cool with just being able to write or do want to add pictures, videos, and maps ?

Think about what’s best and go for it! Remember, you can always choose a different style next time!

5 Of The Best Travel Journal Notebooks To Buy

best travel journals

There are loads of travel journals available for you to buy online. Some with simple ruled pages, others with prompts and other interesting things inside, and some are personalized for that extra cool touch.

Here are our top 5 favorites (including a few of our best selling personalized journals, of course 😊):

1.  The Extraordinary Life & Adventures Notebook (Personalized!)  by Journo Travel Goods

2.  Refillable Leather Journal Traveler’s Notebook  by Moterm 3.  Personalized ‘Comrades in Life, Love & Adventure’ Couples Travel Journal  by Journo Travel Goods

4.  Simple Premium Leather With Monogram  by OxAndPine

5.  The Custom Boarding Pass Travel Journal  by Journo Travel Goods

There are plenty of options out there. The best of which comes with personalization and are an ideal size for hauling around on a trip.

What Is The Best App For Journaling?

best travel journals

I founded  Journo  to do ONE THING: help fellow travel junkies track, remember and share their adventures like they couldn’t do ANYWHERE else.

It all started while at anchor in a secluded bay in The Bahamas, when I was trying to describe in my paper journal the most strikingly red sunset I’d ever seen. But I couldn’t find the words.

…and  I felt like I was going to miss out on that memory  if the only way I was trying to document it was on paper.

The very next day the idea for  Journo  was born. It’s taken on a life of its own since – developing a huge community of incredible travelers and winning “Best Travel App” by IMA Awards. 

National Geographic Travel put it simply:

“Sharing memories from a trip can get messy. Journo removes the pain.”

Journo  is loaded with cool capabilities that make it so much easier to document your trips. And even comes with your very own travel blog so your friends and family back home can follow along (and endlessly drool at your adventures 🤤).

Journo is  available on iOS for iPhones and iPad , with Android coming soon. Of course, there are a few other travel journal apps out there and I encourage you to compare with Journo and use whichever you think is best. 

What do you write in your journal? 10 Fun Travel Journal Ideas To Inspire You!

Travel Journal Ideas

A little nudge can go a long way when you’re first starting out. So to get your mind running, here are 10 of our favorite ideas to include in your trip diary:

1. Start before your trip.  Jot down your  pre-trip planning list , where you’re going, who with, what items are on your  must-see and must-do lists . Write about anything you’re most excited about, even if it’s simply relaxing on the beach and going through a couple of  great books !

2. A picture is worth a thousand words.  If you’re using a travel journal app like Journo, the simplest thing to do is start in your photo album. Look through, grab a pic that catches your eye, add it to your Journal and then write the story about it! If you’re using a paper journal, consider bringing along  a mini polaroid like this , and then paste in your pics!

3. A video is worth all the words.  This one only works with a limited number of apps that allow for video (like Journo, of course 😉), but including a video of a memorable moment can really take your entries up a notch.

tourist attraction

4. Oh, the sights!  We often say, “ Don’t be a tourist. Be a traveler. ” But we always recommend seeing the big sights, even if they’re in massive tourist traps. They’re big sights for a reason – they’re incredible! Add them to your journal. Write about if they lived up your expectations or not.

5. It’s all about the people.  I guarantee some of the longest-lasting memories you’ll have from a trip are of the people you meet. We, humans, are built for connection, and so a beautiful connection with a new friend or complete stranger can have a lasting impact. Document it!

6. Let’s not forget about the food.  Even the most non-foodies amongst us love to talk about  amazing food experiences abroad . I’ll never forget my squid ink spaghetti on The Amalfi Coast, or navigating my way through Cuy (Guinea Pig!) in Cuzco, or my daily  street dumplings  in Shanghai. Take pics of your favorite dishes, jot down the restaurant (or pin it on a map in Journo), and describe the food in detail! 😋

7. Map it!  If you’re anything like me, you love the look of a cool map. Now, doesn’t that map get even sweet when it’s of YOUR travel route? Yep! Draw it and color it if you’re using a paper journal (gives you something to do when in limbo or on a  long train ride ). If you’re using an app, it should  pin your route for you .

travel ephemera

8. Paste in awesome mementos.  This one is best for the paper journalers amongst us because you can literally glue in cool stuff from your adventures, like maps, ticket stubs, bottle labels, coasters, postcards, foreign dollar bills, candy wrappers, etc. Whatever you find interesting, toss it in! If you’re using an app, just take a pic of it!

9. Write about yourself.  No better place for a little bit of introspection than on a trip. And that’s usually because – if you’re doing it right – you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and growing as a person. Write about that. Write about your feelings, changed opinions, ups, and downs, whatever it may be that you’re going through!

10. Team up!  We created Journo as a collaborative journaling tool because it’s a ton of fun for you and your travel-mates to be journaling in the same place ( here’s my wife, Mak, and my collabo Journo from a sail a while back , as an example). You get all the stories and, oftentimes, a hilarious new angle on a shared experience. If you’re using a paper journal, just pass it around, maybe even taking turns documenting the days.

>> New: 100 travel journal prompts for ever part of your adventure.

And whatever you do… don’t overthink it! It’s better to just roll with it than overthink it. It’s just an entry, after all. Just write!

One thing we’ve discovered from our community of travel journalers is that it can be hard to find the time  while on a trip  to keep up with your journaling. Here’s some help with that…

4 Writing Tips To Fill Your Travel Journal With Ease WHILE Vacationing

Travel journal prompts

1. Start with today.  With limited time, and being pretty beat after a long day, it’s tough to keep up. So just don’t worry about previous days, just start with today (and catch up as soon as you can or when you get home and maybe  feeling the post-trip blues ).     

2. Think “highlight reel.”  The quickest way to get that entry rolling is to think about the top 1-3 things that went down today. Add those, then expand later if you want. 

3. Start in your phone’s photo album.  As mentioned above, it’s simplest to start by pulling up the date in your phone’s photo library, find the best pics, add them to your journal and write a short snippet of it.     

4. Consider giving your friends back home a touch of the #TravelEnvy bug.  😜 With Journo, you can publish your entries to your very own travel blog with a couple of taps. This will both  make your friends drool  and also keep you on track with adding more stories of your adventures.

I hope you found this helpful in getting started with traveling journaling. Remember, the most important thing is to simply begin.

Step one is to grab the right journal  for you  (thanks for considering Journo in your decision).  Step two , if you have time before your departure date,  is to start writing now ! That easy!

Ok here’s one last helpful tip for you…

Try to develop the habit of daily journaling now will make it even easier while on your trip.  Here is a free downloadable journaling prompt exercise book for you: The 21-Day Journo Challenge.

Inside you’ll get ONE word or image, and all you need to do is write about WHATEVER comes to your mind as you read the word or lay your eyes on the pic.

Have any tips we didn’t mention? What do you love travel journaling about the most?  Tell us in the comments below!

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Travel Journaling Guide: How to Write the Ultimate Travel Diary

Travel Journaling Guide: How to Write the Ultimate Travel Diary

Travel journaling allows you to preserve your travel memories for life. It’s a fact of life that memories fade over time. Some may disappear within seconds, while others can stay clear for hours, days or weeks. Travel memories that are written down, however, are there for life.

If you’ve been tracking down waterfalls in the Cuban jungle, it’s only a matter of time until you forget the blood-red feathers of the Cuban trogon you stumbled upon. What about the name of that man you met on the Paris Metro? The ins and outs of your journey on a night bus in Vietnam? The accidental shortcut you found in Switzerland?

As a travel writer, I’ve been travel journaling in one shape or form for my whole life. However, you don’t have to be a writer to start a travel journal. It can be as simple, as short or as complex as you like, with the following travel journaling guide.

Whether you bullet-point everything or smash out several pages of prose per day, your travel journal doesn’t just preserve precious travel memories. It’s a place to self-reflect on your journey, record facts and quotes, and creatively display your travels so far. The best part? All you need to start travel journaling is a notebook, a pen and a travel plan.

Table of Contents

What is travel journaling?

Travel journaling is the act of keeping a written record of your travels. While this typically refers to keeping a chronological (hour-by-hour and day-by-day) travel diary, some travel journalers might also sketch, create collages or draw infographics to tell a story.

Travel journaling is unique to each storyteller, but at its core, it’s about relaying your experiences for an imaginary or real reader and recording your adventures for your future self to look back on.

A woman travel journaling and flicking through the pages of a book.

The only piece of equipment you need to begin travel journaling is a notebook. This could be as simple as a basic lined or unlined notebook. However, some notebooks are designed specifically as travel diaries and aim to prompt the author, such as the  Travel Listography Diary  and the  You Are Here Mindful Travel Journal .


Planning your big escape? These are the booking resources I return to time and time again.

Book your hotel or hostel on Booking.com or Hostelworld .

Protect against accidents and emergencies with insurance from Staysure or SafetyWing .

Find a tour or experience on Get Your Guide .

Travel the world for free with TrustedHousesitters .

Travel Journaling: Should I keep a travel journal?

Anyone can keep a travel journal, whether you’re creating a travel journal to share memories with family and friends when you return home, or just for yourself. It’s a souvenir of sorts, but one that has a personal meaning to you and captures your exact thoughts and feelings at a specific time and place in your journey.

You might want to keep a travel journal if…

1. You want your memories to become sharper and more meaningful.

At school, teachers often advise students to write down facts to remember them. The same goes for memories. Writing about a memory stimulates your brain to recall and remember specific details from that moment.

When you revisit a memory like that, it sends your brain a signal that that particular memory is important. It is prioritised above other, more insignificant memories from the day, the week or the year. As a result, you’re more likely to be able to recall it in the future.

Blonde woman wearing red t-shirt dress gazes over tea bushes in Munnar

At the same time, revisiting a memory allows you to add meaning to your experience. By exploring the thoughts and feelings that came along with the physical sensations, you’re able to bring a unique, personal meaning to what happened.

2. You’d like to relive a memory a second time.

When I urged a friend I met on my travels to try recording his memories on paper, one of the most significant things he said was, “It’s like I get to experience it all over a second time.”

That’s one of the best parts about travel journaling. In your own, unique way, you get to experience something in detail for a second time. You might feel the same rush of adrenaline, the same apprehension or the same ‘lightbulb moment’.

3. You want to jot down contact details of new friends.

Sometimes you meet people on the road and they have a huge impact on you in some way or another: a blasé comment that stuck with you, a new perspective on a topic you thought you’d already figured out, or an unexpected friend in a moment where you really needed it. Just as often, you forget to ask for their contact information or you lose it in the mayhem.

Kathakali performers in elaborate costumes and makeup

Anything can happen to your phone when you’re travelling: loss, theft, damage, or unexpected memory wipes. Jotting down important contact details in your travel journal creates a second, permanent copy of their details. You never know, you might want to share some of the entries they starred in as a way to reflect on your fleeting time together.

4. You want to work through complex thoughts and feelings.

There’s a reason why many therapists and life coaches suggest writing down how you’re feeling. It’s a very effective way of processing complex or difficult emotions.

You might have had a travel experience that has shook you up slightly – an illness or a missed flight, perhaps – and want to get your immediate frustrations out on paper. Maybe you’ve come to a big realisation about the way you handle stress or adversity. Either way, your travel journal is a great way to work through the feelings.

Bottling up emotions isn’t good for anyone, so this is a particularly handy use for a travel diary if you’re a solo traveller who doesn’t have anyone to vent to immediately. This can all boost your self awareness, protect yourself from future mishaps, and generate a greater understanding of yourself.

5. You want to reflect on your travels so far and what you’d like out of the rest of your trip.

Travel can be a whirlwind. However, by reflecting on your travels so far, you can assess what have been the most meaningful experiences in your trip so far, and seek out similar experiences in the future.

Lady operating a street food stall

Similarly, it can help you to realise if you’ve been focusing on one particular experience so far – for example, hiking or visiting historical sites. It might influence you to try something new, like attending a cultural festival, going on a village walk or engaging in some  offbeat travel  experiences.

6. You want to save ideas for an online travel diary or social media posts.

Whether you’re a content creator, a digital nomad, or simply someone who likes to share your travels with friends and family, travel journaling can be a great way to fine-tune ideas for future stories, whether written or visual.

You might be planning to create your own blog or post photos on Instagram with in-depth captions. Setting up your own website is relatively inexpensive to do nowadays with websites such as  Bluehost  offering cheap, affordable domains and hosting plans – this is the site I used to set up my own blog.

Draft ideas for stories and captions in your travel journal, and use a highlighter to pick out your best ideas.

7. You want to improve your writing skills

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a complete beginner, the simple act of travel journaling every day (or every other day) will give you more practice in the art of the written word.

This will carry over into your studies, essay-writing, creative writing, email-writing, or general communication skills. It also boosts your confidence as a writer.

8. You want something tangible to share with family or friends.

Unless you’re planning on keeping your travel journal to yourself, a travel diary is a great hand-me-down that will give your ancestors a taste of your travels and personality. It’s also an excellent way to connect with friends and families back home, and give them the run-down on what you got up to. If you travelled with a partner or a friend, it’s also an excellent shared keepsake.

Travel Journaling: What should a travel journal include?

When it comes to the question of ‘what should a travel journal include?’, I use the word ‘should’ lightly. Your travel journal is uniquely yours. It doesn’t  have  to include anything you don’t want it to.

Lady wearing jeans is travel journaling outside of a coffee shop

However, there are many things that you might want to include in your travel journal, so the following list should provide some inspiration.

Pick and choose the ideas you like and  experiment  to see what works for you. What works for you will be different than what works for other travel journalers.

1. Brainstorming

You don’t need to wait until your departure date to begin travel journaling. It can also be used to plan your trip. Before anything else, you might want to dedicate a page (or a few) to brainstorming.

Do you want a budget or a luxury trip? Do you want to see the beaches, mountains, jungle, lakes, rivers, or deserts? Which countries match your non-negotiables? Who might you invite, or who can you connect with out there? This sort of brainstorming can streamline the planning process and help you to get the most out of your trip.

2. Trip research

After brainstorming comes the more nitty-gritty trip research. Your travel notebook is ideal for this too. It’s easy to open up a dozen or more tabs on your laptop or mobile device, so you can use the physical notebook to jot down key destinations and activities that have captured your attention. This will help you to narrow down your itinerary once and for all.

3. A trip plan

Shrine inside a cave

You can take this a step further and write a complete plan for your trip. If you don’t want your notebook to get too messy, you can simply add your finalised itinerary. This will be very helpful when you’re actually travelling, because you can store all of your booking information and your travel timeline in one place.

This is what I do, and it keeps my mind clear and my travel plan organised. I also include back-up ideas for activities and alternative transport options should anything go awry.

4. A travel diary

When you start to gather first-hand travel experiences, you can begin to record a diary of the events. You might want to write in prose, which is the best way to let your thoughts flow freely onto the page.

Blogger Escape Artist Katie smiles over the waterfront in Lucerne, Switzerland.

An alternative option is to take bullet points, which help you to get down information quickly before you forget it. You might also want to alternate between the two, writing in bullet points when you’re short on time and writing in prose when you feel particularly inspired.

5. Other travel memorabilia

Your travel journal doesn’t just have to be a written diary. You can collect – and glue down – other travel memorabilia such as ticket stubs, receipts or dried flowers.

Just remember to pack a small glue stick or double-sided tape and scissors (in your checked bag, not your carry-on bag).

Some travel memorabilia that you might want to stick into your travel diary include:

  • Ticket stubs.
  • Foreign bank notes.
  • Newspaper clippings.
  • Dried flowers.
  • Food wrappers.
  • Luggage tag labels.

6. Sketches

If you’re particularly artistic, sketching the scenery, wildlife, or people you see on your journey is a great way to bring your diary to life. If you’re not artistically inclined, a small caricature might be more accessible and just as fun.

Others might prefer to paint in watercolour; there are a number of  watercolour travel journals  available.

Travel journaling: How do you write a travel journal entry?

When you start recording your first travel journal entry, my first piece of advice is simply to start writing.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to make sense to anyone but you. If you work better with an outline, the following prompts should get you started.

1. Write down the date.

The most important thing to do, and perhaps the only rule of travel journaling, is that you should start by writing down the date of your entry. If you can, include the day of the week too, as this can often give extra context – for example, if it’s the weekend, it might explain why the crowds in your destination were so lively or the public transport delayed.

I recommend using the format: Thursday, 21st July, 2022. You want to be able to look back on the date of the entry and see how much time has passed since it took place.

2. Write down your location.

Busy street in Parque Central lined with classic cars

The second most important thing to write down is your location. It’s a good idea to be as specific as possible. Include the town, the village or even the hotel or hostel you’re staying at.

This makes it easier to re-imagine the scenario when you’re reading your diary back. It also makes the entry more accurate and places the event somewhere tangible.

3. Decide whether you’re going to write in prose or use bullet points.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to get your memories down on paper when they are still fresh. If you’re pressed on time, you might want to take bullet points rather than write in prose. If more than a couple of days have passed, you’ll start losing some of the sharper details.

4. Start writing chronologically.

It might be tempting to jump right into the drama that happened in your evening. However, writing your travel diary chronologically is the easiest way to keep it understandable.

The version of events can get confusing if the narrator is constantly skipping from 7pm to 10am, then to 3pm and back to 10am again.

Blonde woman swimming in a natural swimming hole with a waterfall

Begin by writing about your morning. What time did you wake up? What did you eat for breakfast? Who did you talk to? Where did you go from there? It’s also easier to recall memories this way and follow a clear train of thought.

5. Be specific.

As a rule of thumb, the more specific your writing is, the better. This is because the smaller details such as street names or direct quotes are some of the first things that will fade from your memory.

If you really want to bring the memory back to life, focus on the details:  location, names, times, dates, quotes, and specific thoughts.

A man multi-tasks with three pans over a fire at the Da Nang night market.

The following prompts might come in handy:

  • What did you eat? Where did you dine? How did it taste? What was the texture of the food?
  • Who did you speak to? What were their names?
  • Did you discover anything new today? Are there any facts you can recall? Did your destination meet your expectations?
  • What was your favourite part of the day?
  • What was your least favourite part of the day?
  • Did you have any realisations throughout the day? What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you feel mentally? Were you energised, homesick, nervous, excited, or content?
  • How did you feel physically? Were you in full health, hungry, full, sore, sleepy, or hormonal?

6. Be truthful.

Not every day is all roses and butterflies. At the same time, not every day is packed with drama and turbulence. It can be tempting to over-exaggerate your version of events, for a number of reasons.

You might want to make your trip sound more positive, add drama to your diary, or impress your real (or imagined) readers.

Remember, journaling isn’t just about creating a story. It’s about gaining self-awareness, improving your understanding of the world and working through the feelings that arise as a result of your travels. You can’t do that if you’re trying to paint your journey in a specific light the entire time.

Travel insurance is essential for any trip abroad. If you’re in an accident or experience an emergency, you need adequate cover. I recommend  Staysure  for single or multiple trips per year and SafetyWing for digital nomads.

Travel journaling tips

1. decide whether you want to use a dated diary or a general notebook..

There are pros and cons to purchasing a dated diary over a general notebook. The problem with a notebook is that it’s just a notebook.

A general notebook:

+ There are no restrictions on how long your entries are.

+ It’s more space-efficient for those travelling long-term, as you don’t have to start a new entry at the top of a page.

+ More freedom to doodle.

– Less incentive to make an entry.

– It can get scruffy quickly.

Purchasing a dated diary can make you feel more motivated to write your entries on a regular basis. They often include prompts, which can help you to get started. Many tailored travel journals also have additional pages dedicated for jotting down thoughts and notes, whereas a general notebook can quickly get messy.

Travel journal laid out on a coffee shop table with a mug and glass of milk

A dated diary:

+ Looks more aesthetic.

+ Acts as a reminder not to miss a day.

+ Looks like a traditional diary.

+ May motivate you to write more often.

+ Often includes helpful prompts to spark your creativity.

– Can waste line space.

– May limit the space you have to write about each day.

At the same time, a general notebook might be the best option for long-term travellers who are short on space, because you don’t need to start a new entry at the top of a page. Starting a new entry mid-page saves precious line space. Unless your dated diary has blank spaces where you can insert the exact date, you’re also limited on the amount of space you have to write about each day.

2. Put aside 15 minutes every day to journal.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that travel can get hectic. As a result, it’s easy to get out of the routine of travel journaling every day. Since you want your memories to be as fresh as possible when you’re writing an entry, one of the best ways of keeping on track is by putting aside a specific time slot every day to journal.

Two bikers riding down a road surrounded by jungle

You might decide to journal for 15 minutes each morning while you wait for breakfast to be served or for the 15 minutes before you go to bed.

If you have a daily commute – to the beach, to your temporary job, or to your friend’s hotel, for example – take your journal with you and utilise the spare time.

3. Journal while you’re in transit.

If you’re constantly travelling, it’s probably not going to be long until you have a lengthy train, bus or flight ahead of you. As long as the road (or airspace) isn’t too bumpy and you’re not prone to motion sickness, I’ve found that this is the perfect time to get some travel journaling done.

Yellow taxis and bicycle taxis parked in bays on the road

Having a good chunk of time to dedicate to writing is excellent. Plus, if you do get preoccupied on your travels and go off track with your journaling, the plane ride or boat ride back home is a good stretch of time to pick up where you left off and get down everything you can remember in chronological order.

4. Try to write within at least two days of the events.

The sooner you write about a memory, the better chance you have at remembering the niche details. The ideal situation would be to write about your day at the end of the day before you sleep, but that’s not always realistic.

Instead, try to set yourself a goal of writing about a day or an event 48 hours after it happens. If you still fall off track, write about your travels within a week of the date they happened.

5. Don’t feel the pressure to be perfect.

The pressure to get something perfect is often the first obstacle in getting started. Life is messy – and so is writing a travel journal. It’s not going to be perfect the first try. Besides, what is perfect anyway?

A horned deer grazes on grass in the Periyar National Park.

Your travel journal is for you. It doesn’t matter how many spelling or grammar mistakes there are, as long as it’s legible. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the motivation to write.

Bullet points or a few short paragraphs are better than a blank page. Otherwise, you won’t have anything to look back on at all.

6. Get creative with it.

Harnessing your creativity goes hand-in-hand with letting go of the need for perfection. You could draw caricatures of the interesting people you meet on the road. You could sketch a bird you spotted this morning. You could even make a chart or a diagram of your spendings so far.

Here are some ideas:

  • Dedicate a few pages to creating caricatures of people you meet along the road.
  • Create a ‘quotes’ section and jot down the most meaningful things people have said to you.
  • Make a chart or a diagram of your spendings.
  • Put together a recipes section where you write down your favourite meals and their key ingredients (don’t be shy about asking).
  • A ‘rant’ section dedicated to unedited writing.
  • Glue ticket stubs to the relevant pages.
  • Make a collage out of ticket stubs, photographs and other memorabilia.

7. Keep your travel journal safe.

While a journal might not look that attractive to potential thieves, it’s probably invaluable to you. Therefore, it’s very important to take measures to stop it from getting stolen, lost or damaged.

Prevent water damage

Whether it causes smudged ink or crinkled pages, water damage can have a catastrophic effect on your journal. It’s also one of the most common ways that travel journals get damaged, as they’re prone to rainwater and liquid leakages in your luggage.

Some travel journals have waterproof covers, which add some extra protection, but this isn’t a foolproof solution.

Long wooden coir houseboat on Alleppey backwaters lined with palm trees.

Storing your travel journal in a waterproof pouch or pocket is the most effective way to prevent water damage.

A plastic bag is effective too. However, it’s more prone to getting punctured by sharp objects and it’s less durable (and less eco-friendly) than a permanent waterproof pouch.

The following waterproof bags and pouches will protect your travel journal:

  • Syncwire Waterproof Pouch Bag
  • Eono Waterproof Waist Bag
  • Waterproof Dry Bag Set

Keep it in a safe or a locked locker

If you’re not planning on travel journaling while you’re on the go, it’s probably best to leave it locked securely in your accommodation. Many hotels provide safes; it will usually be listed on the list of features on booking websites such as  Booking.com  or  Hostelworld.com .

Some hostels and homestays may provide a locker instead. For this, you will often need to bring your own padlock. I’d recommend bringing a set of  TSA-approved combination padlocks .

Carry an anti-theft backpack

It’s unlikely your travel journal will get swiped from your backpack. Thieves are far more likely to target a mobile phone.

Still, you should carry your valuables (journal included) in an anti-theft backpack. They come with features such as secret pockets, durable zippers, and designs that make it hard for thieves to gain access.

Anti-theft backpacks:

  • Della Gao Anti-Theft Laptop
  • TcIFE Ladies Backpack
  • Oscaurt Theft Proof Travel Backpack
  • Waterfly Anti-Theft Backpack

8. Don’t forget a pen (and back-ups).

A pen is one of the easiest things to forget on your trip. While they should be easy to get a hold of, there are some locations where you might find it tricker (Cuba, the middle of the jungle, or a small town, for example).

I’d recommend using a clickable pen, because this is less prone to leaking ink than a regular ballpoint. Bring spares if you can, because the ink might run out mid-journey or just when inspiration strikes.

Travel journaling examples

As someone who preaches about travel journaling, I’ve decided to share a few entries from my own travel diary so that you can get an idea for the sheer variety of what you can write about and how you can record the details.

Entry 1: Havana, Cuba (Saturday 22nd January, 2022)

A street in Havana with people purchasing from a fruit stall

Anisah and I arrived in Cuba late, around 7pm. It was already dark outside and thunder-storming – lightning, heavy rain that soaked through my papers.

The airport was very basic and very stringent with Covid (masks, stalls and many checks) but we cleared security swiftly and had only our backpacks as a carry-on.

Outside, there were taxi drivers holding names, and, surprisingly, they weren’t at all pushy. Our hostel was supposed to arrange a driver to take us directly there, but upon ringing twice (and spending a daunting £3 per minute on the calls), it appeared the driver was stuck in his house due to the storm.

We ended up in a yellow, licensed cab (which cost 25 euros – but down to 20 when the lady hosting us paid on our behalf).

I felt a little unnerved in the taxi, probably because I was exhausted, and because without maps, the driver relied on memory and locals in Havana for directions – and there weren’t many outside due to the torrential rain.

Entry 2: Ubud, Bali (Thursday 20th June, 2019)

Woke at 1am for the Mount Batur sunrise trek.

  • Mount Agun nearby “coughed” up lava three weeks ago, according to our guide.
  • 1,700-metre climb – our time was 1h35 but it felt way longer.
  • Very steep, gravelly, and one of the toughest climbs I’ve done in my life. At one point, I told Jess, “Go on without me”.
  • I ate a boiled egg and a banana at the top. I was still starving.
  • Monkeys and dogs were fighting on the mountaintop.
  • Monkeys almost stole my bag. They successfully stole a purse from another lady.
  • We lost Pablo (Goncalo’s cousin) at the top of the mountain. The guide (jeans and sandals) was going to leave him behind, but we refused.

Entry 3: Havana, Cuba (Monday 31st January, 2022)

A man driving a bicycle taxi through Havana

Our host gave us the cheque. We were short by 700 pesos. We went to hunt down an ATM. The ATM declined my card, as did the second ATM… and then the third ATM.

We started to panic, so we went to the Kempinski Hotel in Plaza Mayor to use their WiFi to contact my bank. It quickly emerged that the WiFi had completely cut out city-wide. At this point, we really started to panic. We had to leave for the airport in one hour.

We’d used up all of our options, so I told Anisah we’d have to ask someone for money. She was very dubious. We were walking down my favourite street when I spotted an older man and a younger woman, both blonde, looking lost and carrying cameras and bags.

I took off my mask and asked ‘Ingles?’. Nope, they spoke Spanish. In broken Spanish/English, I started to explain ‘plane’ (hand motion), ‘Londres’ (London), ‘desperate’, ‘taxi to airport’, and ‘short by 700’.

They replied, ‘No, a taxi should be 20’. They thought I meant euros! I said, ‘No, no. 700 pesos’. He nodded, ‘Oh, good price!’. To my disbelief, he pulled out a fat wallet filled with US dollars and pesos, and handed me a 500 and a 200. I nearly cried, but settled for tapping the lady’s arms and doing a prayer hand motion. People are truly good at heart.

Travel journaling: How do you make a memorable trip?

There are two halves to creating a travel journal. The first half is the part where you  explore, observe and investigate .

The second half is the part where you  write or create .

If one half of the formula is missing, you won’t have a travel journal at all.

Similarly, a travel notebook that documents seven days spent beside a swimming pool, tanning and reading a book, is unlikely to be as riveting as a travel journal that documents a journey into Dubrovnik’s old town, a bus ride through central  Vietnam , wild swimming through waterfalls in  Cuba  or a cruise over the backwaters in  Kerala , for example.

  • Guide to the Parque Guanayara Waterfalls in Cuba
  • Things to do at Alleppey and its backwaters

1. Research your trip.

A great motto, and one I live by, is ‘plan to travel without a plan’. If you want to make your trip memorable, it’s just as important not to over-plan as it is to dive in headfirst without a scooby of what you are doing.

Jeep driving on a rural highway

Research enough so that you have a huge backlist of itinerary and destination ideas. Make a list of local accommodations that you like the sound of. Book essential, long-distance travel only.

You don’t know what will happen on the trip: delays, unexpected new acquaintances, weather events, romances, and so on.

Sometimes, the most interesting stories form from following your heart or your intuition, so if you’ve planned every single detail, you’ll end up boxed in.

Here are some ideas for your research:

  • Research blogs to get practical advice from those who have visited a destination or attraction previously.
  • Confirm the main modes of transport, currencies, and WiFi accessibility in your chosen destination. Practical details matter.
  • Create a list of destinations and activities you’d like to engage in.
  • Highlight your non-negotiable activities, desirable itineraries, and nice-to-have experiences. That way, you know which activities are the most important to you.
  • Try to avoid tourist traps and opt for more authentic, local or offbeat travel experiences. These are often the most interesting experiences to write about.

2. Book your flights.

After your research is complete, the first thing you need to do is to book your flights.  Skyscanner  should be your go-to tool to search for flights. It scans the internet for the cheapest deals, routes and even the most eco-friendly transport options.  Google Flights  is another useful tool, which you can use to confirm that you’ve found the best deal.

3. Book interesting accommodation.

The accommodation you book has a direct impact on your travel journal entries. It can create drama, it can spice things up a little, or it can act as a relaxing backdrop.

Unique accommodation might liven up your entries: search for things like treehouses, camping tents, shepherd’s huts, and themed resorts.

Skyrises and houses merge along the Da Nang skyline.

The following sites are my go-to websites for booking accommodation that will jazz up my travel journal entries:

Booking.com : Booking.com has a wide selection of accommodation, including eclectic stays. I also find that it generally has the best price, compared to other booking websites advertising the same hotel or accommodation.

Hostelworld : Staying in a hostel is one of the best ways to introduce new, wise and quirky characters into your diary. As most hostels have communal spaces, it’s very easy to delve into a deep conversation with a stranger, which is often one of the most interesting parts of travel journeys.

The act of staying in a dorm room or shared accommodation is eventful in itself; you don’t know what sorts of stories you might get out of one night spent in a dorm room. Was there a fight for a particular bed? A sleep talker? Late-night card games and conversations?

Homestay :  Homestay specialises in accommodation where you stay in the home of a local. This is a brilliant option for those who are writing a travel diary, because it enables you to connect with the community, learn about local customs and have a more authentic travel experience.

4. Engage in more offbeat travel experiences.

Generally speaking, you won’t get as much of a story out of a tourist trap as you will out of a more unusual or hands-on travel experience. After six years of travelling, this is the biggest lesson I have learnt, and exactly why my blog specialises in offbeat travel experiences.

Farmers digging up tapioca

So, how do you find offbeat travel experiences for your travel journal?

  • Ask at your hotel or hostel for local-led activities. Questions such as ‘where do you eat?’ or ‘where do you go to party?’ are also great ways to find local spots over tourist traps.
  • Search for unique travel experiences on  GetYourGuide . They list local-led travel experiences, which are a great way to meet fellow interesting travellers and get an insight into the offbeat sides of a destination.
  • Use tour organisations that label themselves as ‘local-led’, ‘experiential’, ‘offbeat’ and ‘immersive’. These are tailored towards giving travellers unique, hands-on experiences, and not taking you on the usual tourist trails.

Travel journaling: How do you write a travel journal that is worth reading?

Not everyone wants to share their travel journal. However, if you do want to write your travel diary for an audience – whether that’s family, friends, an online following or a potential future publisher – it’s going to need to be worth reading.

1. Make your first draft in a physical travel journal.

Writing in chronological order and as soon as possible after the events happen, make your first draft in a physical travel journal.

Remember, that you’re going to edit your travel journal when you’re back home, so the most important thing isn’t writing perfectly. It’s about being consistent with your writing schedule and getting the details down on paper.

2. Be as specific as possible.

Specificity is even more important if you’re going to share your travel journal in one form or another.

Use exact times, exact dates, full names, ages, and detailed physical descriptions. This will bring your story to life, especially for those who weren’t there to watch it unfold in person.

3. Feature specific characters.

Just as a novel would be incomplete without a series of in-depth and interesting characters, your travel diary should also feature characters.

It doesn’t matter if they’re fleeting and disappear after an entry or two. The important thing is that your reader can envision and relate to your character.

Collection of locals in Havana wearing casual clothes

That might mean describing them physically, disclosing their name (or pseudonym) and age, as well as describing their little quirks and mannerisms.

You should try to quote them directly when possible, and explore their mindset and their backstory.

4. Write up your travel journal.

When you arrive back home, write up your travel journal into a digital format, correcting spelling and grammar mistakes as you go. This will create a second copy of your journal, just in case anything happens to the physical copy.

5. Edit your travel journal.

If you’re going to be sharing your travel journal, the most important part is the editing process. Your journal may only need a light edit, which corrects any spelling or grammar mistakes and makes it more legible.

However, it may need a deeper edit if you’re truly going to post it online or send it to a publisher. The execution, plot, and characters will be more important in this case.

Traveling journaling: Types of travel journals

There are several types of travel notebooks, and they all have their specific advantages and disadvantages.

A small travel notebook next to a mobile phone, bag and postcard

There are also some clear criteria you should be looking for out of a high-quality travel notebook:

Number of pages:  The number of pages you’ll need will depend upon the length of your trip. If you’re travelling long-term, it’s better to have a notebook with a large number of pages rather than several, smaller notebooks which will take up more space overall.

Paperback or hardback:  While a hardback notebook is more durable, a paperback journal is more lightweight. If you’re limited by space or weight limits, opt for a paperback. Size:  Notebooks come in a variety of sizes, such as A4, A5, or A6. In general, an A5 notebook is ideal for a travel diary because it’s compact enough to carry in your packed or day luggage, but not so small that you’ll run out of space quickly.

Line size:  Unless you have large handwriting, a journal with fairly narrow line sizes is ideal, because you can fit more writing onto one page, and therefore into one notebook. You could also choose a notebook without lines at all, which gives you more freedom over the size of your handwriting, but can end up with messy, undulating lines.

Paper thickness:  Thinner paper is usually ideal, unless you are planning on painting, colouring-in or using heavy ink. Still, bear in mind that ink can bleed through the paper if it’s too thin, ruining other pages in your diary.

Binding:  The binding of your notebook is important too. Ideally, you want a notebook that can spread out flat while you write and one where you don’t need to hold the edges of the pages down. A spiral-bound notebook is ideal over a smaller, tightly-bound notebook, in this case.

Traveling journaling: A6 travel diaries

Best for: weekend trips.

  • Sovereign-Gear Antique Brown Refillable Travellers Notebook : This A6 notebook has a leather case and a refillable design, which includes three packs of paper (one unlined, one lined and one made from kraft paper). Even better, it has a PVC water-resistant zipper pocket for your valuables.
  • Avocado and Spice Hardback A6 Notebook : With a hardback cover and 200 pages, this A6 notebook is an aesthetic travel diary that comes with its own protective velvet bag. It comes with the option of dotted, lined or blank pages, and has a built-in pen holder and a bookmark.
  • Antony Olivier Leather Journal : With unlined paper and vintage brown leather, the Antony Olivier Leather Journal is a premium A6 notebook. There are 200 pages, all unlined.
  • Newestor Pocket Notebook : The Newestor Pocket Notebook is small enough that you can tuck it into your back pocket. It’s probably not ideal for those who are going to be writing in long prose, but those who are planning on documenting their travels with bullet points or short paragraphs will have 144 pages at their disposal.

Travel journaling: A5 travel dairies

Best for: longer trips.

  • EMSHOI A5 Notebook : With the option of lined, dotted or squared pages, the spiral-bound EMSHOI notebook has 640 A5-sized pages. It also has a water-resistant PVC cover.
  • Antony Olivier Leather A5 Notebook : This is an A5-sized version of the high-quality, leather Antony Olivier notebook. It includes unlined 200 pages and a journal enamel pen.
  • Silvine A5 Executive Soft Feel Notebook : The Silvine 15 Executive Notebook has 160 pages with a sewn case, inside pocket and ivory paper.

Travel journaling: Watercolour travel journals

Best for: artists.

  • Seawhite A5 Travel Journal : This notebook has 60 pages and a back pocket. It’s also completely vegan.
  • Hahnemuhle Watercolour Book A5 : This sturdy hardback book has 30 sheets of natural white fine-grain paper, ideal for panoramic paintings.
  • Tumuarta Watercolour Journal : Designed as a travel watercolour notebook, this journal has 48 pages, made of 25% cotton. The pages can tolerate light washes and they’re micro-perforated, so you can tear out a page if you need to.

A travel journal is a great place to jot down travel affirmations if you experience anxiety or nerves before or during a trip or to write down packing lists and other plans. See where I’ve been to start planning your next trip.

Katie Treharne

Escape Artist Katie owner riding a yellow quad bike over former lava fields on Mount Mayon in the Philippines.

I’m Katie, the owner of Escape Artist Katie. I have been travel writing since 2018, including writing for luxury travel magazines and publications such as Wanderlust.

As well as being a digital nomad who works and lives abroad permanently, I’m a big advocate for  offbeat travel  and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

I hope you found my article useful – find out more  about  me here or keep up with my travels on  Instagram .

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Home » Gear » Best Travel Journals

The BEST Travel Journals of 2024! | Leather, Bullet Journals, Refillable Notebooks + More!

Looking for something special in which you jot down memories of your travel adventures? Then our list of the  best travel journals  out there is definitely going to help you out.

In our world of smartphones and social media, anything remotely physical – like writing down stuff on a page – feels super old fashioned. But just because you could type it or tap out your thoughts on a touch screen, it’s still good to connect with physical objects.

The main thing about having a travel journal is how one-of-a-kind it feels. Having memories of your year-long backpacking journey around the world actually physically written in a book would be amazing to read back in years to come; likewise, having somewhere to note down ideas whilst you’re on the go and use for inspiration later feels more organised than some character-less notes on your phone.

So whatever you are looking for – be it a smart journal that you can use for short city breaks, something cute to encourage your children to write about their travels, or a classic travel journal that’ll last you practically forever – our handy list has you covered.

travel journal t

Quick Answer: These are the Best Travel Journals of 2024

Best travel journals of 2024, #1 – best travel journal for bullet journaling, #2 – best travel journal for scrapbooking, #3 – best travel journal for painting, #4 – best travel journal with pockets, #5 – best midori-style travelers notebook, #6 – top choice for beautiful leather travel journal, #7 – best moleskine travel journal, #8 – best vacation diary, #9 – best travel diary for kids, more best travel journals of 2024, buyer guide – how to choose the best travel journal for you, faq about the best travel journals, final thoughts on the best travel journal, #1 leuchtturm1917 a5 notebook – great travel journal for bullet journaling, #2 siixu colorful blank notebook – best travel journal for scrapbooking, #3 conda hardcover spiral sketchpad – best travel journal for painting, #4 refillable leather journal traveller’s notebook  – best travel journal with pockets, #5 traveler’s notebook by traveler’s company  – best midori-style travelers notebook, #6 travel passion journal by moleskine – best moleskine travel journal, #7 travel journal by promptly journals – best vacation diary, #8 fofun leather travel journal  – top choice for beautiful leather travel journal, #9 kids’ travel journal  – best travel diary for kids.

Leather Journal by FOFUN

Leather Journal by FOFUN

  • > 100% Full-Grain Leather
  • > Hand-made and durable

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

  • > Great travel journal
  • > Pages are gridded

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

  • > Stitch-bound notebook
  • > Pastel-coloured

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

  • > Hard cover
  • > Spiral-bound

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller's Notebook

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller’s Notebook

  • > With all sorts of compartments
  • > Opening accordion-style

Traveler's Notebook by Traveler's Company

Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company

  • > Minimal design exterior

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

  • > Journal specifically for travel
  • > 400 pages

Travel Journal by Promptly Journals

Travel Journal by Promptly Journals

  • > Four pretty high-end colours
  • > Comes with a map

Mudpuppy Kids' Travel Journal

Mudpuppy Kids’ Travel Journal

  • > Wire-bound book

travel journal t

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Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

The Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook is a classic – and if you ask us, very cool – notebook that we think is ideal for bullet journaling.

With enough space to put all your organization and creativity into the 249 (numbered) pages, this great travel journal for bullet journaling is compact enough to fit into day packs and filled-to-the-brim backpacks alike; the pages are standard A5 size (obviously), but the notebook itself measures in at 5.57″ x 8.25″. It’s secured with elastic.

This classic, mid-century modern notebook comes in 17 punch colours for even the most discerning traveller. From muted navy blue and olive green to bright raspberry and popping yellow, you will definitely be able to find one for your personality.

Inside, the book itself has three blank tables of contents, which means you can organise your outpourings, scribblings and note-taking by creating your very own index – which is definitely what makes it the best travel journal for bullet journaling. The pages are also gridded: perfect for bullet points, even better for geometric doodlings.

Price: $19, Amazon

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

The Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook is a colorful canvas with lots of space for you to unleash your own creativity.

The 192 pages in this stitch-bound notebook come with pastel-coloured, watercolour-style backgrounds for vibrancy, which are the perfect base for pasting, sticking and doodling all of your travel memories.

Other than the watercolor pattern, the pages in this 5.3″ x 7.2″ are blank and sizable enough to fit all your used tickets, memories and doodles onto the pages, but compact enough for carrying around the world. It’s easily our top pick for the best travel journal for scrapbooking.

The notebook comes in two designs: one with added quotes on the pages for charming character, the other with simple washes of colour on each page. Another plus is how budget friendly this travel journal is!

Price: $11.59, Amazon

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

Coming in a classic spiral-bound sketchbook style, this journal from Conda is ideal for anybody looking to get crafty with their paints whilst they’re gallivanting around the world.

It’s a traditional hardcover sketchbook, with 120 blank pages of 90gsm paper – thick enough that it’ll take acrylics, oils and watercolors without bleeding through. The pages are also perforated, meaning you can tear ’em out and offer people your drawings and paintings as gifts, or to send back home.

This is a pretty sturdy book, so it should be able to withstand your travels, being shoved into a daypack, and general day-to-day wear and tear. The hard cover is also waterproof, which will help to protect your precious pieces of art. For the sturdiness alone, we’re saying this is the best travel journal for painting.

Though it may not come in different colours, it does come in different sizes, starting at 8.5″ x 11″ and with larger available for you to really get your Picasso on.

Price: $9.29, Amazon

Refillable Traveller’s Notebook by September Leather

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller's Notebook

The ultimate in travel journaling, this stylish notebook is a chic buy for you, or as a gift! It’s genuine leather, which is cool, but it’s all the stuff you get in addition to the journal itself that makes this easily one of our favourite travel journals out there.

You get a lot of bang for your buck when you opt for this notebook: a binder clip, a pen and penholder that attaches neatly to the book, lined, plain and grid inserts, a kraft folder and zipper pouch.

In addition to the storage space, this journal is refillable, so you can swap out the pages when you’ve run through them without having to buy a whole new book. You know we love to lessen our travel footprint however we can, so we’re really into that!

Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company

Traveler's Notebook by Traveler's Company

The best Midori-style travelers notebook out there simply has to be the aptly-named Traveler’s Notebook, created by the aptly-named Traveler’s Company (also a Japanese outfit).

This aesthetically minimal, mahogany leather notebook is handmade in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. It comes as a package of goodies: a spare elastic band and a fine fabric bag to keep it safe from scuffing – if that’s your thing.

This is a pricer notebook, but, it’s refillable, so there’s no end to the travels you can take it on. Our favourite thing about the Traveler’s Notebook is how the leather ages and changes with daily use and general travel wear, becoming a real companion on your travels around the world. We love it.

Price: $49, Amazon

Leather Journal by FOFUN

So you’re looking for a beautiful leather travel journal? Well, stop right here, because this is the one for you. Complete with wrap closing (also leather), it’s chic enough to not look like some scrappy backpacker’s scribbling pad, but rugged enough to last some pretty rough journeys in a long-term travel backpack.

Coming from the folks at FOFUN, who make a whole range of leather journals and notebooks, this one features 288 pages of top quality 100GSM lined kraft paper, all covered in full grain leather cowhide. It’s A6 size, which is 5″ by 7″.

The cool thing about this top leather travel journal is how leather ages over time, gaining personalised character as it gets scuffed and worn with use. We love that sort of thing.

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

When you think “notebooks,” you think “Moleskine,” so this stunning 5″ x 8.5″ journal made especially for travellers had to make our list.

Perfect for everything from weekend getaways to longer backpacking voyages, the inside of the book comes packed with an 8 (!) year calendar, a travel planning timeline, a wishlist, check-lists, lists of must-see travel destinations, and even space for that all-important travel budget .

Don’t worry, though: at 400 pages, there’s lots of free space for all of your travel memories – Moleskine estimates you can fit 6 long trips or 20 short ones into this notebook. Oh, and did we mention it comes with stickers?

Moleskine has created this journal specifically for travellers, so you can turn it into an archive of your trip once you’re back home – it even comes with a keepsake box for storage.

Price: $29.95

Travel Journal by Promptly Journals

This elegant journal by Promptly clocks in at 88 pages, so you can fill it up in a single trip – and fill your bookshelf up with a whole series of your trips! You’ll want to display it, too – the fabric covers of this journal definitely make it the most attractive vacation diary going.

Inside the journal, there are handy thought-starters(true to the company name) to help you more easily note your favourite restaurants, hotels, sights and more. There is also space for you to keep your mementoes like train tickets, museum stubs, and photos, and a roomy back pocket for everything else.

Measuring at 9.2″ x 6.1″, the covering fabric of this top vacation diary also comes in four pretty high-end colours: grey tweed, solid grey, deep blue and dusty rose.

As a bonus, this Promptly journal also comes with a map, to help you plan your journeys, star wishlist destinations, or otherwise decorate or use as you see fit. Neat!

Price: $20, Amazon

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Kids’ Travel Journal

Mudpuppy Kids' Travel Journal

Wouldn’t you love to look back on your childhood travels as a grown-up? Give that gift to the kiddos in your life with this travel diary for kids by Mudpuppy.

This cool company is all about moving kids away from digital devices and into tactile creativity. This time around, they’ve created this travel journal designed specifically with kids in mind.

It’s sturdy (very important when it comes to children), and colourful (also important), spanning 128 pages so that your kids have plenty of room to channel their inner explorer. Inside the wire-bound book, there are various sections, illustrations and prompts to help children document their travels, whilst still including enough space for creativity.

One of our favourite parts are the prompts, in fact: the best and worst parts of a trip would be hilarious to read later on, as would “memorable quotes from mom and dad.”

Price: $9.99, Amazon

Soft Cover Notebook by Sloane Stationery

oneirom spiral notebook

This offering from British brand Sloane Stationery is a very sleek and stylish notebook, perfect for the stylish travellers among us.

A softcover journal with gold-embossed pages and a vibrant orange crocodile cover, it’s definitely is one of the most high-end-looking travel journals we’ve seen – especially for $15!

Even though the exterior of the book is flashy, the pages are blank so you can get on with doodling, making diary entries, taking notes, or whatever! Size-wise, it’s 5.9″ x 8.3″, the perfect size for both a backpack and chic handbag.

Just think how stylish you’re going to look sat on a terrace cafe, coffee in hand, with this journal on the table, writing about your adventures in foreign lands. Add to cart!

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal by Emma Clarke

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal by Emma Clarke

The internet makes it easy to succumb to the pressure of being rushed from spot to spot, Instagramming the heck out of your trip – this can really take you out of the moment.

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal by writer Emma Clarke, aims to put you back in the moment and helps you get the most out of your experiences while you’re experiencing them.

Clarke (fun fact: she’s also the voice of the Bakerloo and Central Lines of the London Underground) says: “No one has ever seen this place in the same way you’re seeing it right now, right here, in this moment.” Amen!

The book is a mixture of prompts to keep you grounded and mindful, as well as blanks to fill in and, of course, pages for you to fill with notes, all of it spread over 190 pages. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to charity. Talk about a feel-good purchase!

Rite In The Rain Notebook

Rite In The Rain Notebook

You go through a lot when you’re travelling. Downpours, heat, snow, skiing, hiking, swimming – there are all sorts of weather conditions and situations that you can get yourself into. Not to mention open water bottles knocking around in your backpack – an easy way to ruin months of journalling!

This bad boy from Rite In The Rain (which has been going since 1916) is the answer to all sorts of adverse conditions you might encounter. Plus, at 6″ x 8″, it can slot right into even small day packs.

The tough but flexible outer shell of this notebook is waterproof, and notebook’s 64 pages  will repel water, grease, sweat, mud, and all manner of other grossness. It will even go through the laundry without turning into mush!

Just use a pencil (water-based inks aren’t waterproof) and your notes will stay intact through it all. And unlike other synthetic papers, the Rite In The Rain Notebook can be recycled!

Price: $6.55, Amazon

Rifle Paper Co. Memoir Notebook

Rifle Paper Co Memoir Notebook

This floral notebook from the distinctly feminine Rifle Paper Co. is  the perfect choice for lovers of design, color and kitsch.

Printed on linen-based paper, the 8.5″ by 6.25″ Memoir Notebook comes in five beautifully illustrated covers – Juliet Rose, Tapestry, Sun Print, Terracotta and Jardin de Paris – you can choose which of the bold colours to suit you. The 130 inside pages feature beautiful illustrations as well.

Price: $15, Amazon

Marco Polo My Way Travel Journal

Marco Polo My Way Travel Journal

This notebook from Marco Polo is actually part of a whole series of travel products in their My Way line – but this journal has to be our favorite of the lot.

Marco Polo have made taking notes of your journeys easy by including fun emoji stickers, a pocket for mementoes, and fill-in-the-blank guides and travel tips. By the time you’ve filled this book, you’ll have created your very own IRL infographic of your trip. Cool!

At 160 pages and 4.8″ x 7.2″, this notebook is smaller and lighter than some notebooks – and, super affordable!

Price: $3.44, Amazon

I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded

I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded

Making waves in all sections of the journaling world, I Was Here designs journals for the curious, prompting travellers to take in the big picture and all the small and meaningful details of their trip.

Inside, the book has all sorts of spaces for notes, spaces for local tips, addresses, and wacky pages where you’re encouraged to do things like start a collection of random convenience store-bought items from the countries you visit.

In a word, I Was Here is fun! It may not be the most practical travel journal out there, but it is a cute way to collect memories and remind even jaded travellers that stopping to smell the roses (or stare at the bugs) shouldn’t be something you leave behind on the road.

Price: $10.86, Amazon

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Now, you  could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

So there you have it: those are our favorite travel journals for every kind of writer – but by no means the end of your options! Whether you’re buying for yourself or considering purchasing a travel journal as a gift, there’s lots to consider in the world of stationery.

From colourful covers and page prompts, to durability and simply whether or not pages are lined or blank, there are actually a surprising amount of factors that go into the decision making process.

Closure on journals is important, especially when they might be knocking around a suitcase or a backpack for longer stretches of time. If you don’t want your pages to get crumpled, and especially if you’re someone who likes to store mementos between the pages of your journal, a solid closure is a must.

Moleskine, for example, have that classic elastic band closre that keeps things safe and sound, whereas others come with a stylish leather or fabric bound tie that not only adds to the design detail but also means you’ll be able to slot things in between the pages.

The cover of a journal is pretty important. But first of all, what the cover of a travel journal is actually made out of will make a big difference as to what notebook you actually opt for.

Vegans will probably not want to go for a leather bound notebook, and may want to go for something like a fabric covered hardback book or more durable waterproof notebook instead.

If you’re open to leather, you’ll find it to be a durable option, and it will weather over the weeks, months and years to look worn and rustic.

You should also consider soft vs. hardcover – softcover is lighter, and easier to fit into a tightly-packed suitcase, but hardcover will give you a writing surface wherever you go. For something simple (and undoubtedly budget friendly), a card covered notebook or journal may be the best option for you.

What type of paper is used for the pages of a travel journal will also play a part in your decision making. It’s easy to think that paper is paper and that’s that, but in fact, there are many different types of paper for many different uses.

A thicker gsm of paper, for example, is something that’s more likely to be used in a sketchbook (90 gsm or higher), and is good if you don’t want permanent pens to bleed through, if you plan on painting, or sticking things in.

Then again, if you want something that’s a little more stylish and classic than bleached, white paper, then maybe more classy, cream-coloured pages will be what you want in your travel journal.

It’s also possible, as the Rite In The Rain brand shows, to have waterproof, weatherproof paper, in case you plan on writing in adverse weather conditions.

Essentially it comes down to what you will be doing on those pages: painting, sketching, doodling, making notes, or whatever. Consider the effect of your planned use will have on different sorts of paper and then make your choice.

4. What’s on the page?

Though in the past, travel journals were pretty simple affairs (either a spiral bound journalists’ notebook, a Midori-style travel journal or something similar), things are a little bit different now.

Even just a few years ago, pages only came either blank, ruled or squared. Nowadays, pages in travel journals sometimes come pre-decorated. This may be cool for some people, but for others it may feel like any pre-existing writing or illustration on the page takes away from your own memories.

Prompts in some books can be fun: they encourage you to make lists of things you otherwise wouldn’t have considered, like your favourite foods, favourite hotels, and even random convenience store items you find in the countries you visit. Other times, text on the page acts as a prompt to get you thinking, maybe even getting you to write something more in-depth than you were planning to.

All in all, the choice is whether you want a completely blank page to start with – which can be daunting for a lot of people – or if you want to be gently nudged into creating an awesome travel journal for yourself. Either way, though different, is totally legit.

It’s very simple and very basic, but this is going to be a pretty huge (no pun intended) deal when it comes to deciding exactly what travel journal you are going to purchase for yourself.

If you’re heading off on a year-long backpacking trip around the world and you feel like you’ve got your one bag travel down to a T, then you’re going to want something compact and light.

However, if you want to really get into creating a scrapbook-style travel journal full of memories, sketches and tickets, then you are going to want a big enough book to fit all of that in.

If your plan is to use your travel journal for things like city breaks and two week-long vacations – in which instance you may be using a suitcase – then you may not worry too much about the size, with room in a large suitcase for a larger travel journal, naturally.

Another thing to consider is what you’re going to look like if you feel like writing your travel journal in public. It may not be practical to be lugging around an A4 sized travel journal, or to get it out if you want to make note of the tiny cafe you’re in, or trying to write on a cramped seat on a train or bus. Compact in these cases may be a lot better!

6. Length of your trip

Next to size, when thinking about what sort of travel journal is going to be right for you, a lot of people often circle back to this factor: just how long is the trip?

The thing is, some travel journals are more geared up towards one single trip: a month in Thailand, two weeks exploring Italy, a six week long road trip through the USA. That sort of thing, in which case, you won’t be needing (or wanting) a zillion pages.

Other travel journals are for numerous trips, such as the lengthy options offered by Moleskine and Midori-style notebooks (the latter of which have no structure, and for which you can buy paper-only refills for the leather cover), mean that you can dip in and out, adding different details to your various adventures, referring back to past travels: a weekend in Berlin here, an epic hike in Nepal there.

Essentially, the fewer the pages, the more likely the travel journal in question will be good for a single, perhaps lengthy trip. For the serial travellers and backpackers out there, something longer and more permanent may be the travel journal for you.

7. Organization

No longer simple collections of pages between two hard (or soft) covers, the best travel journals of today sometimes boast a whole load of interior organization to help keep you and your trip on the right track.

From simply adding an interior pocket, where you can keep a few important tickets and pictures safe, to going all out and adding plenty of envelopes and places to slip in all manner of small, special physical memories from your travels, it can vary quite a bit.

But organization isn’t just about pockets. There are other things to think about, too. Some travel journals come complete with calendars, spaces for to-do lists, maps, itineraries and even packing tips. These kind of added extras mean that the journal turns into more of a planner all round scheduling.

Obviously. Money, money, money: it’s going to be a big factor in whether you choose to buy such and such a travel journal over another one. Let’s face it, you can’t buy what you can’t afford.

Even if you can afford it, $48 might just seem – to some people – like too much to ask for a travel journal. On the other hand, some people may not trust that a sub-$8 travel journal will be any good in terms of durability.

The fact of the matter is that cheap things can be surprisingly good, and expensive things can be surprisingly bad. When it comes to budget, it’s best to choose something mid-range that has good reviews and that meets the needs of what you’re looking for in a travel diary: don’t skimp out just because it’s $5 more than you wanted it to be. If it sounds like you, then treat yourself.

Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

Why should I get a travel journal?

Journaling during travels, whether that’s just for a couple of days or for weeks, is a great way to remember travel stories, clear your head and add some routine and structure to your day. It’s always great to look back on it once you finished your travels.

Which is the best leather travel journal?

These are our favorite leather journals: – Refillable Traveller’s Notebook by September Leather – Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company – Leather Journal by FOFUN

Do waterproof journals exist?

Yes they do! And the Rite In The Rain Notebook is one of the best. Each page is water repellent while the cover is fully waterproof.

What is the most minimalistic notebook?

We love the Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company for it’s simplicity, yet stylish design. It’s a leather notebook that is handmade in Chiang Mai.

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Kerosene lamp lighting up a journal with a pen and a note pad at nighttime.

There you have it, budding Jack Kerouacs: the very best travel journals out there right now! With our list, you’re all set to venture out into the wide world, then pop in your headphones and record all your thoughts, feelings and observations like the explorer you are.

For the best, all-round travel journal out there, the Leather Journal by FOFUN is a great choice. This is a stylish, timeless sort of journal that’s going to be a good choice for anybody.

Then again, if you’re thinking of something a little less traditional, I Was Here – with its kooky prompts and quirky way of working – may be more what you’re looking for.

And if there’s something we’re missing the travel journal world, let us know in the comments!

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Clair Cathryn

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Oh my gosh, I’m a sucker for a pretty journal! Can I document my travels in 3 or 4 of these?! ? Thanks so much for the killer suggestions.

100% you can use a number of these as travel journals, Deb!

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Travel Journal: Ideas, Tips, and How To Write a Travel Diary

  • Travel Journal

Traveling has the potential to be wildly fulfilling. It exposes you to new cultures, different perspectives and unique experiences. The further you travel the more you are pushed out of your comfort zone. And the more you are pushed out of your comfort zone, the more you learn about yourself and the world around you.

One of the most popular types of journals is a travel journal. By having a travel diary, you can keep all these new experiences and knowledge in one place where you can reflect on them.

What is a travel journal?

Travel journals are a place where you can write about trips you have taken, what you learned during and the experiences you had. It is a collection of adventures, stories, memories and discovery.  It doesn’t matter where you're going or who you’re traveling with, an online trip journal can come anywhere. 

Why Write A Journal When Traveling?

There are many benefits of keeping a journal when traveling, but here are a few to start with:

Remember More

By writing down the things you want to do on your trip and the things you have done during it, you won’t forget the reasons you wanted to go and will remember more of your visit.

When traveling somewhere new, you will learn a lot about that place’s culture, customs and people. By having a place to write down your observations, you will absorb more of your surroundings.

Reflect More

A journal is a place to record new things you have discovered while exploring various places you visit. By having all these new findings in one place, you will be able to look back and reflect on what you have learned and apply it to other parts of your life.

How To Write Travel Journals: 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Journaling

You don’t need to be traveling to Timbuktu to write a travel diary. Your writing can start with a family vacation or a weekend getaway. All you need is a destination and your holiday journal can begin!

1. Use your journal to plan your trip

Your trip journal can begin before your trip has even started. Use your journal to start planning the things you want to do. It can be anything from a cool restaurant you want to eat at, a hike you want to go on or different sights you want to see. Write down whatever is on your trip check-list, so you don’t forget it.

Once you know what you want to do, do some research and figure out the best way to do it. If you want to go see a special monument, figure out the best way to get there and put it in your journal. If you want to do some cool activities, write down the contact information of the people, places or tours that facilitate them. Your journal is also a great place to keep the contact information of your accommodations and transportation.

2. Write about what you imagine it will be like

Sometimes when you travel, your destination is wildly different than what you expected. Maybe you expected the local food to be bad and it turned out to be delicious. Maybe you imagined the town to be smaller than it actually is. Maybe you thought you would be more comfortable with the language. Whatever it is, think about writing it down before you arrive. It will be interesting to compare these predictions to what you actually experienced.

3. Write during your trip

It is always easier to remember things when they are fresh in your brain, so try and write as much as you can while traveling; every day if you can. Your journal entries don’t have to be long, but let them highlight what you feel was most important or exciting. How did you feel during your visit to the local market? What did you smell, taste and hear? Did you learn something new from the person you spoke to at the bar? Were you surprised by the clothes people were wearing? What was the view from the top of the mountain like? Before you go to bed, try and recall what you did that day, what you thought and how you felt. This will serve as a great way to remember more from your trip, but will also help you reflect and grow from what you encountered.

4. Add pictures to your journal

Even though your journal is meant for writing, pictures are still worth a thousand words. Combining pictures with your first-hand accounts of what they represent, or what happened when they were taken, will make for an even more comprehensive narrative of your travels. Don’t worry about glueing or taping anything either. Penzu allows you to upload pictures straight into your online travel journal, so you can keep your pictures and words connected and organized.

5. Write about your trip after you leave

Since you write about your trip before you arrive, you should also write about it after you leave.

  • What was it like?
  • What did you learn?
  • What surprised you?
  • What disappointed you?

It is important to reflect on your travels, so you can retain new understandings and apply them to future adventures. This is also a great way to learn about yourself, other people you may have travelled with and how you can grow. Step back from all the things you did and try to see the big picture. It may surprise you.

10 Travel Journal Ideas To Inspire You

The blank pages of your travel journal may not be serving as great inspiration, but your new trip should! Here are 10 travel journal ideas to get those creative juices flowing, kick-start your writing and help you get the most out of your travels. We hope these journal prompts help!

1. Why are you going?

Not every trip needs an explanation and not every vacation needs a justification. People travel for all sorts of different reasons or for no reason at all, but if your travel has purpose, write about it. Even if you’re traveling for the sake of it, that is a reason worth talking about too.

2. Write about your expectations.

As we mentioned above, expectations can wildly differ from reality, especially when going somewhere you’ve never been or going with someone you have never travelled with before. Jot down what you think the trip will be like, or hope it will be like.

3. What are you going to do?

Write about the things you want to do, the sights you want to see, the music you want to dance to, the food you want to taste. Writing it all down will get you excited and help you not to forget.

4. Write about the people.

Did you meet anyone new? Did you make a new friend? Were the locals welcoming? Did you learn something new from a stranger? Did you learn something new from a friend? People can really make a trip. Whether you came with them, or met them there, write about how the people you encountered affected your experience.

5. Write about the food.

Just because you call it your travel diary, doesn’t mean it can’t double as a food diary . If there are any foods you loved, dishes you hated or recipes you can’t live without, write them down to remember them all. Maybe some new fare you tried will influence your tastes when you return home.

6. The ups and the downs.

What did you like most about the trip? What did you like the least?

7. Write about yourself.

Reflect on the new experiences you had, what made you uncomfortable and what enticed you. Did you learn anything new about yourself on the trip? Did being somewhere else expose something you hadn’t seen in yourself before? Traveling can help people grow. Think about your journey and if it helped you grow in any way.

8. Write a travel guide.

If you knew friends were going to the same place, what would you tell them to do? Write down your recommendations and the stuff that should not be missed.

9. What would you have changed?

Is there anything about the trip you would have changed? Is there anything else you wish you did? Anything you wish you didn’t do? Write about your travels and how you can improve them for the next time you go away.

10. Where do you want to go next?

We all have a wish-list of places we want to go. Write yours down and try to start checking them off.

Using Penzu for Your Travel Journal

Penzu’s journal software allows you to access your journal from any computer, smartphone or tablet. Penzu will be your travel journal app ; all you need is your mobile phone or tablet and can write in in it, with or without wifi. You never have to miss an entry or forget a moment, as Penzu can come with you around the world. No internet necessary.

Now that you know what to write in a travel diary and how to write one, all you need to decide is where to go. Pick a place get start your online journal today!

There's no time like the present - start your free online journal today!

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Get access to your diary wherever you are – download the free Penzu app for your all of your iOS and Android devices today!

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A five year journal can help you remember the people and events that matter to you.

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What Is a Travel Journal + How to Make One with Examples

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Traveling to new places and journaling about your exciting and enriching experiences is beyond rewarding. Whether you're exploring a bustling city, immersing yourself in nature's wonders, or embarking on a cultural adventure, capturing your travel experiences is a great way to preserve memories and reflect on your journey. One popular and creative way to document your travels is through a travel journal . In this article, we'll cover what a travel journal is, the benefits of keeping one, how to choose the best travel journal among different types, and provide you with tips and examples on how to make your own.

Ready to discover how to capture your travel experiences in different places, explore creative travel journal ideas and travel journal prompts, and more? Let the adventure begin!

What is a Travel Journal?

A travel journal is a personal diary that allows you to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during your travels. It serves as a visual and written account of your adventures, providing you with a tangible keepsake that you can cherish for years to come. Unlike a regular journal, a travel diary focuses specifically on your journeys, including details about the different places you visit, the people you meet, the food you try, and the sights you see.

Benefits of Keeping a Travel Journal

Keeping a travel journal offers numerous benefits beyond simply documenting your experiences. Here are some additional reasons why you should consider starting one:

1. Emotional and Mental Well-Being

Journaling has been shown to have positive effects on emotional and mental well-being . When you write about your travel experiences, you have the opportunity to process and reflect on your emotions, helping you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your reactions to different situations via your journal entries. It can be a therapeutic outlet for releasing stress, anxiety, or even excitement, allowing you to better manage your emotions throughout your journey.

2. Enhanced Memory Retention

Writing about your travels helps improve memory retention. By actively engaging with your experiences and recording them in detail, you reinforce the neural connections related to those memories. This makes it easier to recall specific moments, sights, sounds, and even the feelings associated with them in the future. Your travel diary becomes a valuable tool for preserving and retrieving cherished memories.

3. Cultural Exploration and Appreciation

A travel journal encourages you to be more observant and attentive to the details of the places you visit. It prompts you to delve deeper into the local culture, traditions, and customs. By documenting your interactions with locals, sampling regional cuisine, and exploring hidden gems, you develop a greater appreciation for the unique aspects of each destination. Your journal becomes a testament to the richness and diversity of the world around you.

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4. Personal Growth and Self-Reflection

Writing in a travel diary allows for introspection and personal growth. As you reflect on your experiences, you gain insights into your own values, beliefs, and perspectives. You may discover new passions or interests, challenge preconceived notions, or develop a greater sense of empathy and understanding for others. The process of self-reflection through journaling can lead to personal transformation and a deeper connection to the world.

5. Travel Planning and Preparation

Your travel journal can serve as a practical resource for future trips. By documenting your itineraries, accommodations, transportation details, and recommendations, you create a valuable reference guide that covers your experiences more fully. You can refer back to your journal to jog your memory or provide recommendations to fellow travelers. It becomes a repository of knowledge that can streamline the planning process for future adventures.

6. Connection with Loved Ones

Sharing your travel journal with friends, family, or future generations can be a meaningful way to connect and bond. Your journal becomes a storytelling tool, allowing others to experience your journey vicariously through your words, sketches, and photographs. It can spark conversations, ignite curiosity, and inspire others to embark on their own adventures.

7. Creative Expression

Engaging in the creative process of journaling stimulates your imagination and artistic abilities. Whether you're writing prose, sketching landscapes, creating collages, or experimenting with different art mediums, your travel diary becomes a canvas for self-expression. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore new artistic techniques, and develop your creative skills.

Keeping a travel journal goes beyond simply recording your experiences. It has profound benefits for your emotional well-being, memory retention, personal growth, and cultural appreciation. It serves as a tangible reminder of your adventures, a tool for planning future trips, a means of connecting with others, and a creative outlet for self-expression. So, grab a journal and embark on your journey of exploration and self-discovery through travel journaling.

Types of Travel Journals

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There are different journals for just about any goal or activity you can think of – from travel journals to fitness journals , from gratitude journals to garden journals , and more. Similarly, there are various types of travel diaries to suit different preferences and styles. We cover the best travel journals below so you can find one perfect for you.

1. Guided Travel Journals

Guided journals provide travel journal prompts and structured sections to help you capture specific aspects of your journey. Guided journals often include questions, blank pages to fill in, and guided activities to guide your journaling process. Using a guided journal or planner , can ensure you cover all the essentials, without missing any crucial details you’ll want to revisit later.

2. Traditional Handwritten Journals

These are classic journals or notebooks with blank pages where you can freely write, draw, or glue mementos. Traditional journals offer the most flexibility in terms of customization for creative journal entries.

3. Photographic Travel Journals

For those who prefer visual storytelling, a photographic travel journal focuses on capturing moments through photographs. You can include pictures alongside brief descriptions or captions to narrate your journey visually.

4. Scrapbook Travel Journals

Scrapbook-style journals combine photographs, tickets, postcards, and other memorabilia with handwritten notes and decorative elements. They provide a visually appealing way to preserve your travel memories.

5. Sketchbook Travel Journals

If you have artistic inclinations, a sketchbook journal allows you to sketch and paint scenes, landmarks, and people you encounter during your travels. It's a great way to capture the essence of a place through your own artwork.

6. Digital Travel Journals

In the digital age, many people opt for digital travel journals, using apps or online platforms to document their adventures. Digital journals offer the convenience of easy editing, multimedia integration, and the ability to share your journey with others online.

7. Travel Bullet Journals

A popular trend in journaling, travel bullet journals combine organization and creativity. Based on the bullet journaling system, these journals use symbols, icons, and trackers to help you plan and record your travels. You can create sections for itineraries, packing lists, daily logs, and more, all while adding artistic touches and personalization.

You can also use a monthly planner with ample note pages and customize it as a travel calendar journal.

Whether you prefer the structure of guided journals, the freedom of traditional handwritten journals, the visual impact of photographic or scrapbook journals, the artistic expression of sketchbook journals, the convenience of digital journals, or the organization of travel bullet journals, there's a type of travel journal that will resonate with you and enhance your travel experiences. Choose the one that suits your style and embark on a journey of creativity and self-expression.

How to Make a Travel Journal

Now that you have an idea of the different types of travel journals, let's explore how to make your own.

1. Selecting the Right Journal

Consider the type of journaling experience you desire. If you prefer writing and sketching, a traditional blank-page journal or sketchbook might be ideal. If you want structure and guidance, opt for a guided travel journal. If you're tech-savvy, explore digital journaling options.

2. Gathering Essential Supplies

Depending on the type of journal you choose, gather supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, glue, scissors, washi tape, stickers, and any other decorative elements you'd like to incorporate. If you're going digital, ensure you have a suitable device and any necessary apps or software.

3. Planning Your Journal

Before your trip, plan how you want to organize your journal. Consider creating sections for different aspects like itineraries, accommodation, food, and sightseeing. This will help you stay organized and make it easier to find information later.

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4. Documenting Your Journey

During your trip, actively engage in your journaling process with regular (yet not restrictive or rigid) journal entries. Write about your daily experiences, jot down interesting conversations, glue in ticket stubs or postcards, and take photographs to complement your entries. Let your creativity flow and capture the essence of each moment.

Travel Journal Page and Layout Examples

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The layout and organization of your travel journal pages play a crucial role in bringing your travel experiences, from all the different places you’ve visited, to life. By incorporating various elements and sections, you can create a visually appealing and informative journal that captures the essence of your journey. From practical pages for itineraries and packing lists to creative spreads for reflections and bucket lists, here are some ideas to help you design engaging and meaningful pages for your travel diary.

1. Packing List and Pre-Trip Planning Pages

Dedicate a page or spread to jot down your packing list and pre-trip preparations. Include essential items, travel tips, and any special considerations for the destination. You can even add checkboxes or symbols to mark off items as you pack, ensuring you don't forget anything important.

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You may also want to check out these helpful travel and packing tips .

2. A List of Local Words and Phrases

Learning a few basic words and phrases in the local language can greatly enhance your travel experience. Create a page dedicated to practicing and referring to these words and phrases. Include translations, pronunciation guides, and space to practice writing them. This page can be a helpful tool for connecting with locals and immersing yourself in the local culture.

3. Itinerary Pages

Design pages dedicated to your daily itineraries. Include the places you plan to visit, opening hours, transportation details, and any additional notes or reservations. You can add maps, photographs, or illustrations to make the page visually appealing and easy to navigate.

4. Accommodation and Restaurant Reviews

Reserve pages to review and rate the accommodations and restaurants you experience. Include details like the location, ambiance, service, and any standout dishes. You can even attach business cards, menus, or photographs to accompany your reviews. These pages will not only serve as a reference for future trips but also help fellow travelers discover hidden gems.

5. Post-Trip Reflection and Wrap-Up

Allocate space in your journal for post-trip reflections. Create pages to summarize your overall experience, highlight your favorite moments, and reflect on the lessons learned during your journey. Include photographs, sketches, or quotes that capture the essence of your adventure. These reflection pages will serve as a reminder of the growth and memories you gained from your travels.

6. Travel Bucket List

Create a dedicated page to list destinations, landmarks, or experiences you aspire to visit or accomplish in the future. You can divide the page into different categories like countries, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or adrenaline-fueled activities. This page will serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for your future travels.

7. Travel Budget, Savings Goals, and Tracking

If budgeting is important to you, design pages to track your travel expenses, savings goals, and tips for saving money during your travels. Create tables or graphs to visually represent your budget and savings progress. These pages will help you stay accountable and ensure you're making the most of your financial resources.

Your travel diary is a personal and creative space to capture the memories, emotions, and experiences of your journeys. Through carefully designed pages and layouts, you can transform your journal into a visual and written narrative of your adventures. Whether you choose to incorporate practical elements like itineraries and packing lists or focus on creative expressions like reflections and bucket lists, the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination guide you as you create pages that reflect your unique travel style and personality. With each turn of the page, your travel diary will become a treasure trove of cherished memories and a gateway to relive your journeys again and again.

Creative Travel Journaling Ideas and Prompts

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Stuck on what to write or include in your travel diary? Here are some creative travel journal ideas and travel journal prompts to get you started:

  • Write a letter to your future self reflecting on your travel experiences and what you hope to remember.
  • Describe the scents, sounds, and tastes that stand out in each place you visit.
  • Create a "People You Meet" page, where you can jot down brief descriptions or draw portraits of interesting individuals you encounter during your journey.
  • Write a short story or poem inspired by a specific location or experience.
  • Make a to-do list of activities or experiences you want to accomplish at each destination. Challenge yourself to complete as many as possible and check them off as you go.
  • Write a gratitude list, noting the things you're grateful for during your travels. It could be the stunning sunsets, the kindness of locals, or the serendipitous encounters.

A travel diary is a beautiful way to document and cherish your travel experiences. Whether you opt for a traditional handwritten journal, a photographic account, or a digital platform, the process of journaling will enhance your journey and provide a lasting memory of your adventures. Experiment with different styles, layouts, and prompts to make your travel journal uniquely yours. So, grab a journal and start capturing your travel memories today!

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31 Travel Journal Prompts + Creative Travel Journal Ideas

Looking for travel journal prompts and creative travel journal ideas ?

Then you’re in the right place! 

Especially right now as travel is limited and people are searching for ways to travel at home, such as through relaxing staycations , keeping a travel journal can be a great way to relive your favorite trip memories. 

Moreover, it can keep travel alive, allow you to explore the world from home, and help you stay curious. 

Keep reading for a list of fun journal writing prompts related to travel as well as tips for creating something tangible that truly helps you feel inspired. 

Table of Contents

Downloadable Travel Journal PDF

Before we dive into the post, though, I want to offer you the chance to grab my free printable travel journal . 

printable travel journal prompts

The trip journal includes 56 prompts in total. 

This inspiring printable and fillable journal is great for exercising your creativity while traveling from home as you remember your favorite trips. 

Grab it, and then feel free to message me on Instagram ( @jessieonajourney ) to let me know which travel journal writing prompts were your favorite and why.

I plan to update the journal in the future — and you’ll get any revisions I make — so your feedback is appreciated!

What Is A Travel Journal?

A travel journal is a place where you can document your trip memories, whether you’re spending 7 days in Cancun , going on a solo USA road trip , off completing the world’s best hiking trails , or something else.

These can be paper or digital, bound or looseleaf, thin or thick. And— when it comes to how to write in a travel journal — it can include just text or a variety of mediums.

The point is, it offers a way to record what happens to you on the road — though you’re welcome to take your entries and give them a fictional twist for fun! 

creative travel journal ideas

Choosing Your Travel Journal

I may be a little biased, but if you’re looking for the best travel journal with prompts, I recommend grabbing my free printable journal here . 

Because I made it fillable, you can also use it as a travel journal online!

Additionally, there are loads of inspiring options online if you’d prefer to purchase one. A quick note that the below journal links are affiliate links. 

On Amazon, I love this vegan leather option as well as this mindful travel journal .

Additionally, I’m a huge fan of the travel journals at Modcloth. Click here and search “journals” to view their latest collection.

Creative Travel Journal Ideas

Wondering how to be creative in your journal?

First of all, remember that a journal doesn’t just have to be writing. Use markers, paints, stickers, glitter, and even momentos from your travels to really bring the text to life. 

Of course, don’t forget about travel-themed accents, too, like stamps, tickets, postcards, and maps — you can even cut out sections of a map to showcase your favorite destinations. 

travel journal writing prompts

If you’re artistic, you might also consider bullet journaling and other techniques to make your journal more visual. 

In terms of keeping your travel writing fresh, having details to pull from can be a huge help.

When possible, try to experience a place with all five senses so you have more to draw from later. I personally like to take notes right after any experience I think I may write about later. 

Keep in mind, being fully present in this way is also just an overall healthy practice. 

If you’re having trouble remembering details, try to sit in silence and do a visualization. Personally, when I do this exercise I aim to not only see myself in a place, but to put myself back in the place so that I am seeing the scene through my own eyes. 

Feeling writer’s block?

Sometimes all that it takes is a change of scenery to get inspired again. Try going for a walk or trying a new cafe to see if that helps.

If not, put the journal away, give yourself some mental space, and pick it back up tomorrow. 

And if you’re proud of what you’ve written, feel free to post it on social media, share it in an email with friends or, of course, keep it to yourself. 

travel journal examples

How To Keep A Travel Journal: Quick Tips 

As an avid journaler myself, these are some of my personal tips for having fun, feeling creative, and staying inspired while writing.

As with travel tips and trip styles, everyone has their own process when it comes to journaling, and something that works for me may not work for you. Feel free to try out this advice, keep what works, and let go of what doesn’t.

Overall, the goal is that you get something beneficial out of these pages.

Tip #1: Journal when you feel most creative.

For instance, you might choose some mindful ways to start your day and have completing daily journal prompts be one of your morning rituals. 

However, if you find you feel more creative in the afternoon or evening, plan your writing for then.

Tip #2: Don’t edit as you write.

Allow your first draft to be all about getting your ideas and thoughts down onto the paper and getting into a creative flow state.

You can always tweak things later.

Tip #3: Remember the power of lists.

This is one of my favorite trip journal ideas!

Writing in lists can be helpful when you’re:

  • having trouble getting started
  • wondering what things to put in a travel journal
  • feeling like your sentences just aren’t flowing together

This way, you can at least get your ideas down and edit them together in a cohesive manner later on.

Tip #4: Write stories.

While this isn’t mandatory, those who are curious how to write a travel journal that’s worth reading should consider writing your thoughts as stories instead of in a stream-of-conscious fashion. 

To write a story, make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end. Actually, if you really want to do it right, you should also consider character, plot, setting, and tension.

For a lesson in storytelling, make sure to check out this video on how to improve your creative storytelling skills for more engaging writing:

Tip #5: Go beyond text.

Wondering what to put in a travel journal?

Realize there is no right or wrong answer to this question!

Keep it text-based, or add paintings, drawings, stickers, momentos from your trip, and more. 

Personally, I’ve started writing out my journal entries and then drawing them to add some additional creativity and really bring the pages to life. 

travel journal template

The Best Travel Journal Apps

Prefer a digital journal option over paper? 

There is an app for that! 

I’ve talked about my favorite travel safety apps before, but here are a few of my favorite apps for keeping a travel journal:

Travel Diaries .  This free app allows you to create both public and private journals. The layouts are customizable, and you can easily add text, photos, and even maps. 

One really neat feature of this app:

You can turn your travel diary into a physical creation to be shipped to your home!

Day One Journal . This is another great travel journal app that makes it simple to record your memories using photos, videos, drawings, and even audio recordings. 

The “On This Day” feature allows you to go back in time to revisit your favorite trip moments, while automatic backups ensure your content never gets lost. 

Unique app feature:

You can handwrite in your journal using your finger or Apple Pencil. 

This travel app has both free and paid premium versions. 

how to keep a travel journal

Polarsteps . Dubbed “the personal travel log in your pocket,” Polarsteps is an app that helps you plan your trips as well as record them along the way in a visually-appealing manner.

In fact, this app puts an emphasis on adding experiences to maps and using video to document, so you can really bring your trips back to life later on. 

A feature I love:

You can turn your travel memories into a stunning hardcover book to keep!

Unique Travel Journal Examples

Looking for some travel journal inspiration?

Here are some mood boards with journal examples to help get your creative juices flowing.

These are also helpful if you’re wanting to learn how to make a travel journal.

By the way:

Check out the bottom right photo in the top collage if you’re looking for travel journal layout ideas.

travel journal examples

Travel Writing Prompts – Quick Picker 

If you’re like me and often feel indecisive when choosing a prompt, I’ve got a fun little tool that can help:

The above video moves through the list of writing prompts quickly.

To use it as a quick picker, press play, turn your gaze down, and then stop the video at a random moment.

Then, voilà , you’ve got your travel writing prompt chosen for you! 

31 Travel Journal Prompts

Whether you’re physically traveling or at home dreaming of the road, use these travel prompts for your journal.

I love these prompts for when I’m feeling stuck and am searching for things to write in a travel journal:

1. Remember a time when you met people while traveling that felt like family. Describe your time with them in great detail.

2. Write a postcard to a friend from a place you’ve loved visiting.

3. Think about a problem that exists in travel. Now, invent a solution to the problem. Hey, could this journal help you come up with your next million-dollar idea?

4. If you could go on a trip with anyone, dead or alive, who would you go with? Where would you go and what would you do?

5. Share a time you were lost or that you lost something while traveling. 

6. How has travel changed or shaped you? Note: This is one of my favorite self-discovery journal prompts!

7. Start your travel story with the following: “It was a dark and stormy night…”

8. What is the first vacation memory that comes to mind? Come up with your memory in 10 seconds or less!

9. Think back to the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to. Now, describe it using all five senses.

10. Write about a multi-destination trip — from the perspective of your backpack.

11. What is a sticky situation you’ve gotten out of on the road? Hint: Allow this to also be a reminder of your strength!

12. What is a fear you’ve overcome while traveling? How?

13. Take your story from the previous prompt about overcoming a fear while traveling and rewrite it from the perspective of an onlooker.

14. What has been your craziest transportation experience?

15. Write a review of the best hotel you’ve ever stayed in.

daily journal prompts

16. Write a review of the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in using humor.

17. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who showed you an act of kindness on the road .

18. Write about the last trip you took — from the perspective of yourself in the year 2600.

19. Write about a hike you loved doing using all five senses.

20. “Travel makes me feel _____.” Why?

21. Write about a trip you took last year from the perspective of your favorite book or movie character.

22. What is the biggest lesson that travel has taught you? Share a story that brings this to life.

23. Pretend that you were given an extra day on a trip you loved. What would that day have looked like?

24. Choose a trip you haven’t written about yet. Now choose a different time period, and write about the trip as if it happened in that time period.

25. In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about travel?

26. Think back to an interesting conversation you’ve had while traveling and begin your story with that dialogue.

travel journal writing

27. Transport yourself to a beautiful beach you’ve visited. Suddenly, a message in a bottle washes up onto the shore. What does it say? How do you react?

28. Here is a road trip journal idea! Write about a road trip you went on, but have someone else from the trip be the narrator. Hint: If you traveled solo, have the car or an onlooker be the narrator.

29. Think of a time you went on a trip that took you out of your comfort zone. Write the end of the story, then the middle, then the beginning.

30. What is one piece of advice you’ve been told by a local while traveling? Have you applied it to your life? Why/why not?

31. If you were to write a travel memoir, what would the first chapter look like?

Bonus: Pair Your Journal Prompts With Self-Care

In my opinion, the best way to enjoy time spent journaling is by pairing it with other self-care activities.

In the video above, I share my top 10 favorite self-care tips and rituals for travelers — though they can also be enjoyed at home!

My recommendation:

Make a day of it! Use the journal prompts and the self-care rituals to create your own DIY retreat .

Want more travel-themed prompts?

Don’t forget to grab my free downloadable Inspired Storyteller Travel Journal — featuring inspiring quotes, writing tips, and 56 fun prompts to help you recount your favorite trip memories and write creatively. 

best travel journal with prompts

Do you have any travel journal prompts to add?

What are your favorite creative travel journal ideas, related posts:.

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These prompts are just the inspiration I needed to capture my thoughts about travel. Not only do they tap into my travel memories, but they feed my creative spirit. Who says you have to actually go anywhere to be well-traveled? 😉

I have trouble keeping a journal, but have always want too – these are such good prompts ill have to give it another try!

Wow, what an incredible article! I’m so grateful to have come across this treasure trove of travel journal prompts and ideas. The suggestions provided here are truly inspiring and have sparked my wanderlust even more. From capturing the sensory details to reflecting on personal growth, these prompts cover every aspect of a fulfilling travel journal. The beautiful descriptions and practical tips have motivated me to start documenting my adventures with a renewed passion. Thank you for sharing such a valuable resource that will undoubtedly enhance my future travel experiences. Keep up the fantastic work!

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How To Make A Travel Journal

Trinity Wilbourn

The habit began with a boyfriend. We’d been together for almost two years when I left my Virginia college campus to study abroad for a semester in London. He bought me a journal and wrote on the first page, “I want everything in the present tense. Record while things are happening so I can be there too. I’m smiling right now.” 

“I boarded my transatlantic flight with my favorite Sharpie, a pack of glue sticks and a pair of scissors, and began to write.”

I boarded my transatlantic flight with my favorite Sharpie, a pack of glue sticks and a pair of scissors, and began to write. I described the Virgin Atlantic goodie bag with its tiny toothpaste, the man next to me who kept nodding off in my direction, the movies I watched one after another because I was too excited to fall asleep. Then I pasted in my airline ticket stub…and after thinking about it, the coaster that came with my ginger ale because I’d never seen an airplane coaster before (plus my boyfriend, a graphic designer, would appreciate the logo). I ate my first fish and chips at a roadside stand the night after we landed, and since I’d never seen a price in pounds, I glued in the receipt. 

On my first phone call back home (before FaceTime existed), I read my journal out loud, describing a Fats Waller tribute: I put my fishnet-clad legs up on the seat in front of me, and jam to Ain’t Misbehavin. I love jazz. It makes me want to move. I get a brownie at intermission. Wear my new black dress. Try to find a place to go afterwards but end up walking home. And there, glued to the top left corner of the page, was the purple ticket stub to prove it.

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I bought more glue sticks and asked more questions: “Can I have a brochure?” “Is there a travel magazine in this hotel?” “Do you have a business card?”

I learned early on that, “Do you have a business card” translated to, “I have a complaint to file with your manager.” 

I’d watch the person work against their self-preservation instincts to produce a slip of paper that could spell out their doom. So I added seven words: “Do you have a business card I could glue into my travel journal ?” 

“Wanna go on a treasure hunt with me?” I might as well have asked.  

People’s eyes lit up. I could see the cogs and levers turning, until out popped all kinds of Willy Wonka oddities onto the conveyor belt of their creativity. I asked a bartender at The Blue Bar for a souvenir and he stopped making martinis to track down an engraved pencil, a postcard filled with suitcase-shaped stickers, and a packet of vintage luggage tags embossed with the hotel’s logo.

“Like an analog Instagram reel, memories solidified in ticket stubs, postcards from famous sites, city maps, cut-up museum brochures.”

More and more, the story of procurement made for as good of a story as the actual events. I learned my contributors’ names, told them where I’d come from, what I’d seen, asked for food recommendations, good dancing spots, the best theater. We connected in a human moment: The love of sharing good things.

Like an analog Instagram reel, memories solidified in ticket stubs, postcards from famous sites, city maps, cut-up museum brochures. It became a game, a way to demarcate my days, keeping them from blurring into a pastel wash of forgotten experiences — Mondrian over Monet. 

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In her book “Realism in Romantic Japan,” written in 1930, famed journalist Miriam Beard said, “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

This was why I went to London, to be more than a tourist stockpiling experiences for the optics. Humbled, I wanted to hold proof of life in my hands, let it mark me, shift my being at the most fundamental levels. I wanted to return to my “real life” changed.

What to include in your travel journal

Over the years, I’ve added layers to my intention. I make travel journals in case my four children might someday want to reproduce my trips. Like scattering bread crumbs on the trail, I imagine them drinking a vanilla latte in the same coffee shop where I sat overlooking the Salish Sea, finding the place by using a glue-sticked business card.

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The small things are the big things. Don’t just chronicle major events — describe the little whys . When I go back and read my journals from discovering Europe for the first time, I care less about the big-time sight-seeing and more about why I liked the color-coded dishware at that sushi place, or my habit of buying a Lion candy bar every time I rode the tube, or the time I almost ran into Paul Rudd in a West End back alley after he played across from Jessica Lange in “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” (Hi, Paul. You still look exactly the same!)

“Don’t just chronicle major events — describe the little whys .”

Make it a daily practice. Don’t wait until the end of the trip to journal. You will forget details, even entire days if the trip has been long enough. Like a practice of gratitude, end each day by reliving it (and you will actually experience gratitude). If you can’t get to it daily, make a list of dated bullet points in your phone and then let your memorabilia trigger your memories onto the page next time you get a chance.

Anytime it gives you fresh eyes, it’s travel. It’s not just the epic trips that qualify. When I took a group of high school students to Greece for ten days, I dedicated an entire journal to that trip. I also have a travel journal I’ve been writing in since 2022, and if I drive to Boulder, Colorado (45 minutes from my home) and eat at a new restaurant, I’ll glue in a business card and write a sentence or two about the meal. 

“Turns out, nobody grades your travel journal.”

You get to do what you want. Turns out, nobody grades your travel journal. You don’t have to spell things correctly or conform to the rules of grammar. Spend three pages describing Paperchase, the two-story stationery store around the corner from the Goodge Street tube station, while Anne Hathaway’s thatched roof cottage gets one measly sentence. Who cares? Pen an impassioned proposal to the gods of theater to bless you in the ways they did Fiona Shaw as evidenced by her performance in the play “Medea” (cue tear-stained blotches on the page), and then jump to the time you accidentally kissed that guy outside the pub bathroom and he tasted like mediocre shepherd’s pie. It’s FINE. If you still want ideas on how to journal, check this article out.

You find what you look for. The hunt for a physical souvenir (and not the kind you can procure with money) catalyzes curiosity in a different way. As one of my friends says, it gives you “eyes wide” — you notice details you wouldn’t otherwise pick up on. Life feels more like artistry. 

The act of making helps you process. The art studio feeling of spreading your accouterments across a coffee shop counter, the cutting and pasting, scribbles in the margins with the perfect inky pen, the occasional pressed leaf — all of it is a somatic way to integrate new sights and information.

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These days, for every person who can produce a business card, there are equal numbers who look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language and tell me to go find their website. There are also places (mostly restaurants) with no paper to offer. 

“Take a picture of our QR code,” they say. 

And I flash to a time when all I have in a journal are pages of QR codes. 

In an increasingly digital age, making meaning with my hands feels like a luxury, like a bridge built to a bygone era of less distraction, more immersion. There’s something about the freedom from words typed in neat rows across an immaculate screen, underscored by highly edited images. My travel journals are like life — messy, experimental, full of sticky-fingered scraps, a stream-of-consciousness romp across a well-worn page. 

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Have you ever kept a travel journal? Do you have special memories that you preserved in one? Share with us in the comments.

Trinity Wilbourn   is a Denver-based freelance writer, mind/body coach, and intuitive guide. As an educational consultant, she works at the intersection of Social Emotional Learning, Mindfulness, and the science of nervous system regulation. In her free time, she can be found hanging with her four kids, spooning her Bernedoodle, singing opera, and dancing in the kitchen. Learn more and explore her offerings at www.trinitywilbourn.com or follow her on  Instagram.


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Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow: The Best of Moscow!

I just got back from one week in Moscow. And, as you might have already guessed, it was a mind-boggling experience. It was not my first trip to the Russian capital. But I hardly ever got enough time to explore this sprawling city. Visiting places for business rarely leaves enough time for sightseeing. I think that if you’ve got one week in Russia, you can also consider splitting your time between its largest cities (i.e. Saint Petersburg ) to get the most out of your trip. Seven days will let you see the majority of the main sights and go beyond just scratching the surface. In this post, I’m going to share with you my idea of the perfect travel itinerary for one week in Moscow.

Moscow is perhaps both the business and cultural hub of Russia. There is a lot more to see here than just the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Centuries-old churches with onion-shaped domes dotted around the city are in stark contrast with newly completed impressive skyscrapers of Moscow City dominating the skyline. I spent a lot of time thinking about my Moscow itinerary before I left. And this city lived up to all of my expectations.

7-day Moscow itinerary

Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow

Day 1 – red square and the kremlin.

Metro Station: Okhotny Ryad on Red Line.

No trip to Moscow would be complete without seeing its main attraction. The Red Square is just a stone’s throw away from several metro stations. It is home to some of the most impressive architectural masterpieces in the city. The first thing you’ll probably notice after entering it and passing vendors selling weird fur hats is the fairytale-like looking Saint Basil’s Cathedral. It was built to commemorate one of the major victories of Ivan the Terrible. I once spent 20 minutes gazing at it, trying to find the perfect angle to snap it. It was easier said than done because of the hordes of locals and tourists.

As you continue strolling around Red Square, there’s no way you can miss Gum. It was widely known as the main department store during the Soviet Era. Now this large (yet historic) shopping mall is filled with expensive boutiques, pricey eateries, etc. During my trip to Moscow, I was on a tight budget. So I only took a retro-style stroll in Gum to get a rare glimpse of a place where Soviet leaders used to grocery shop and buy their stuff. In case you want some modern shopping experience, head to the Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center with stores like New Yorker, Zara, and Adidas.

things to do in Moscow in one week

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To continue this Moscow itinerary, next you may want to go inside the Kremlin walls. This is the center of Russian political power and the president’s official residence. If you’re planning to pay Kremlin a visit do your best to visit Ivan the Great Bell Tower as well. Go there as early as possible to avoid crowds and get an incredible bird’s-eye view. There are a couple of museums that are available during designated visiting hours. Make sure to book your ticket online and avoid lines.

Day 2 – Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Arbat Street

Metro Station: Kropotkinskaya on Red Line

As soon as you start creating a Moscow itinerary for your second day, you’ll discover that there are plenty of metro stations that are much closer to certain sites. Depending on your route, take a closer look at the metro map to pick the closest.

The white marble walls of Christ the Saviour Cathedral are awe-inspiring. As you approach this tallest Orthodox Christian church, you may notice the bronze sculptures, magnificent arches, and cupolas that were created to commemorate Russia’s victory against Napoleon.

travel itinerary for one week in Moscow

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Unfortunately, the current Cathedral is a replica, since original was blown to bits in 1931 by the Soviet government. The new cathedral basically follows the original design, but they have added some new elements such as marble high reliefs.

Home to some precious collection of artworks, in Tretyakov Gallery you can find more than 150,000 of works spanning centuries of artistic endeavor. Originally a privately owned gallery, it now has become one of the largest museums in Russia. The Gallery is often considered essential to visit. But I have encountered a lot of locals who have never been there.

Famous for its souvenirs, musicians, and theaters, Arbat street is among the few in Moscow that were turned into pedestrian zones. Arbat street is usually very busy with tourists and locals alike. My local friend once called it the oldest street in Moscow dating back to 1493. It is a kilometer long walking street filled with fancy gift shops, small cozy restaurants, lots of cute cafes, and street artists. It is closed to any vehicular traffic, so you can easily stroll it with kids.

Day 3 – Moscow River Boat Ride, Poklonnaya Hill Victory Park, the Moscow City

Metro Station: Kievskaya and Park Pobedy on Dark Blue Line / Vystavochnaya on Light Blue Line

Voyaging along the Moscow River is definitely one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the city and see the attractions from a bit different perspective. Depending on your Moscow itinerary, travel budget and the time of the year, there are various types of boats available. In the summer there is no shortage of boats, and you’ll be spoiled for choice.

exploring Moscow

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If you find yourself in Moscow during the winter months, I’d recommend going with Radisson boat cruise. These are often more expensive (yet comfy). They offer refreshments like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and, of course, alcoholic drinks. Prices may vary but mostly depend on your food and drink selection. Find their main pier near the opulent Ukraine hotel . The hotel is one of the “Seven Sisters”, so if you’re into the charm of Stalinist architecture don’t miss a chance to stay there.

The area near Poklonnaya Hill has the closest relation to the country’s recent past. The memorial complex was completed in the mid-1990s to commemorate the Victory and WW2 casualties. Also known as the Great Patriotic War Museum, activities here include indoor attractions while the grounds around host an open-air museum with old tanks and other vehicles used on the battlefield.

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The hallmark of the memorial complex and the first thing you see as you exit metro is the statue of Nike mounted to its column. This is a very impressive Obelisk with a statue of Saint George slaying the dragon at its base.

Maybe not as impressive as Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower , the skyscrapers of the Moscow City (otherwise known as Moscow International Business Center) are so drastically different from dull Soviet architecture. With 239 meters and 60 floors, the Empire Tower is the seventh highest building in the business district.

The observation deck occupies 56 floor from where you have some panoramic views of the city. I loved the view in the direction of Moscow State University and Luzhniki stadium as well to the other side with residential quarters. The entrance fee is pricey, but if you’re want to get a bird’s eye view, the skyscraper is one of the best places for doing just that.

Day 4 – VDNKh, Worker and Collective Farm Woman Monument, The Ostankino TV Tower

Metro Station: VDNKh on Orange Line

VDNKh is one of my favorite attractions in Moscow. The weird abbreviation actually stands for Russian vystavka dostizheniy narodnogo khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy). With more than 200 buildings and 30 pavilions on the grounds, VDNKh serves as an open-air museum. You can easily spend a full day here since the park occupies a very large area.

Moscow sights

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First, there are pavilions that used to showcase different cultures the USSR was made of. Additionally, there is a number of shopping pavilions, as well as Moskvarium (an Oceanarium) that features a variety of marine species. VDNKh is a popular venue for events and fairs. There is always something going on, so I’d recommend checking their website if you want to see some particular exhibition.

A stone’s throw away from VDNKh there is a very distinctive 25-meters high monument. Originally built in 1937 for the world fair in Paris, the hulking figures of men and women holding a hammer and a sickle represent the Soviet idea of united workers and farmers. It doesn’t take much time to see the monument, but visiting it gives some idea of the Soviet Union’s grandiose aspirations.

I have a thing for tall buildings. So to continue my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow I decided to climb the fourth highest TV tower in the world. This iconic 540m tower is a fixture of the skyline. You can see it virtually from everywhere in Moscow, and this is where you can get the best panoramic views (yep, even better than Empire skyscraper).

top things to do in Moscow

Parts of the floor are made of tempered glass, so it can be quite scary to exit the elevator. But trust me, as you start observing buildings and cars below, you won’t want to leave. There is only a limited number of tickets per day, so you may want to book online. Insider tip: the first tour is cheaper, you can save up to $10 if go there early.

Day 5 – A Tour To Moscow Manor Houses

Metro Station: Kolomenskoye, Tsaritsyno on Dark Green Line / Kuskovo on Purple Line

I love visiting the manor houses and palaces in Moscow. These opulent buildings were generally built to house Russian aristocratic families and monarchs. Houses tend to be rather grand affairs with impressive architecture. And, depending on the whims of the owners, some form of a landscaped garden.

During the early part of the 20th century though, many of Russia’s aristocratic families (including the family of the last emperor) ended up being killed or moving abroad . Their manor houses were nationalized. Some time later (after the fall of the USSR) these were open to the public. It means that today a great many of Moscow’s finest manor houses and palaces are open for touring.

one week Moscow itinerary

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There are 20 manor houses scattered throughout the city and more than 25 in the area around. But not all of them easily accessible and exploring them often takes a lot of time. I’d recommend focusing on three most popular estates in Moscow that are some 30-minute metro ride away from Kremlin.

Sandwiched between the Moscow River and the Andropov Avenue, Kolomenskoye is a UNESCO site that became a public park in the 1920’s. Once a former royal estate, now it is one of the most tranquil parks in the city with gorgeous views. The Ascension Church, The White Column, and the grounds are a truly grand place to visit.

You could easily spend a full day here, exploring a traditional Russian village (that is, in fact, a market), picnicking by the river, enjoying the Eastern Orthodox church architecture, hiking the grounds as well as and wandering the park and gardens with wildflower meadows, apple orchards, and birch and maple groves. The estate museum showcases Russian nature at its finest year-round.

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If my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow was a family tree, Tsaritsyno Park would probably be the crazy uncle that no-one talks about. It’s a large park in the south of the city of mind-boggling proportions, unbelievable in so many ways, and yet most travelers have never heard of it.

The palace was supposed to be a summer home for Empress Catherine the Great. But since the construction didn’t meet with her approval the palace was abandoned. Since the early 1990’s the palace, the pond, and the grounds have been undergoing renovations. The entire complex is now looking brighter and more elaborately decorated than at possibly any other time during its history. Like most parks in Moscow, you can visit Tsaritsyno free of charge, but there is a small fee if you want to visit the palace.

Moscow itinerary

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Last, but by no means least on my Moscow itinerary is Kuskovo Park . This is definitely an off-the-beaten-path place. While it is not easily accessible, you will be rewarded with a lack of crowds. This 18th-century summer country house of the Sheremetev family was one of the first summer country estates of the Russian nobility. And when you visit you’ll quickly realize why locals love this park.

Like many other estates, Kuskovo has just been renovated. So there are lovely French formal garden, a grotto, and the Dutch house to explore. Make sure to plan your itinerary well because the estate is some way from a metro station.

Day 6 – Explore the Golden Ring

Creating the Moscow itinerary may keep you busy for days with the seemingly endless amount of things to do. Visiting the so-called Golden Ring is like stepping back in time. Golden Ring is a “theme route” devised by promotion-minded journalist and writer Yuri Bychkov.

Having started in Moscow the route will take you through a number of historical cities. It now includes Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Sergiev Posad. All these awe-inspiring towns have their own smaller kremlins and feature dramatic churches with onion-shaped domes, tranquil residential areas, and other architectural landmarks.

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I only visited two out of eight cities included on the route. It is a no-brainer that Sergiev Posad is the nearest and the easiest city to see on a day trip from Moscow. That being said, you can explore its main attractions in just one day. Located some 70 km north-east of the Russian capital, this tiny and overlooked town is home to Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, UNESCO Site.

things to do in Moscow in seven days

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Sergiev Posad is often described as being at the heart of Russian spiritual life. So it is uncommon to see the crowds of Russian pilgrims showing a deep reverence for their religion. If you’re traveling independently and using public transport, you can reach Sergiev Posad by bus (departs from VDNKh) or by suburban commuter train from Yaroslavskaya Railway Station (Bahnhof). It takes about one and a half hours to reach the town.

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a great place to get a glimpse of filling and warming Russian lunch, specifically at the “ Gostevaya Izba ” restaurant. Try the duck breast, hearty potato and vegetables, and the awesome Napoleon cake.

Day 7 – Gorky Park, Izmailovo Kremlin, Patriarch’s Ponds

Metro Station: Park Kultury or Oktyabrskaya on Circle Line / Partizanskaya on Dark Blue Line / Pushkinskaya on Dark Green Line

Gorky Park is in the heart of Moscow. It offers many different types of outdoor activities, such as dancing, cycling, skateboarding, walking, jogging, and anything else you can do in a park. Named after Maxim Gorky, this sprawling and lovely park is where locals go on a picnic, relax and enjoy free yoga classes. It’s a popular place to bike around, and there is a Muzeon Art Park not far from here. A dynamic location with a younger vibe. There is also a pier, so you can take a cruise along the river too.

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The Kremlin in Izmailovo is by no means like the one you can find near the Red Square. Originally built for decorative purposes, it now features the Vernissage flea market and a number of frequent fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. Every weekend, there’s a giant flea market in Izmailovo, where dozens of stalls sell Soviet propaganda crap, Russian nesting dolls, vinyl records, jewelry and just about any object you can imagine. Go early in the morning if you want to beat the crowds.

All the Bulgakov’s fans should pay a visit to Patriarch’s Ponds (yup, that is plural). With a lovely small city park and the only one (!) pond in the middle, the location is where the opening scene of Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita was set. The novel is centered around a visit by Devil to the atheistic Soviet Union is considered by many critics to be one of the best novels of the 20th century. I spent great two hours strolling the nearby streets and having lunch in the hipster cafe.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To conclude, Moscow is a safe city to visit. I have never had a problem with getting around and most locals are really friendly once they know you’re a foreigner. Moscow has undergone some serious reconstruction over the last few years. So you can expect some places to be completely different. I hope my one week Moscow itinerary was helpful! If you have less time, say 4 days or 5 days, I would cut out day 6 and day 7. You could save the Golden Ring for a separate trip entirely as there’s lots to see!

What are your thoughts on this one week Moscow itinerary? Are you excited about your first time in the city? Let me know in the comments below!


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Ann Snook-Moreau

Moscow looks so beautiful and historic! Thanks for including public transit information for those of us who don’t like to rent cars.

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Yup, that is me 🙂 Rarely rent + stick to the metro = Full wallet!

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Mariella Blago

Looks like you had loads of fun! Well done. Also great value post for travel lovers.

Thanks, Mariella!

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I have always wanted to go to Russia, especially Moscow. These sights look absolutely beautiful to see and there is so much history there!

Agree! Moscow is a thousand-year-old city and there is definitely something for everyone.

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Tara Pittman

Those are amazing buildings. Looks like a place that would be amazing to visit.

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Adriana Lopez

Never been to Moscow or Russia but my family has. Many great spots and a lot of culture. Your itinerary sounds fantastic and covers a lot despite it is only a short period of time.

What was their favourite thing about Russia?

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Gladys Parker

I know very little about Moscow or Russia for the\at matter. I do know I would have to see the Red Square and all of its exquisite architectural masterpieces. Also the CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR. Thanks for shedding some light on visiting Moscow.

Thanks for swinging by! The Red Square is a great starting point, but there way too many places and things to discover aside from it!

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Ruthy @ Percolate Kitchen

You are making me so jealous!! I’ve always wanted to see Russia.

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Moscow is in my bucket list, I don’t know when I can visit there, your post is really useful. As a culture rich place we need to spend at least week.

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Looks like you had a great trip! Thanks for all the great info! I’ve never been in to Russia, but this post makes me wanna go now!

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Wow this is amazing! Moscow is on my bucket list – such an amazing place to visit I can imagine! I can’t wait to go there one day!

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The building on the second picture looks familiar. I keep seeing that on TV.

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Reesa Lewandowski

What beautiful moments! I always wish I had the personality to travel more like this!

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Perfect itinerary for spending a week in Moscow! So many places to visit and it looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to climb that tower. The views I am sure must have been amazing!

I was lucky enough to see the skyline of Moscow from this TV Tower and it is definitely mind-blowing.

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Chelsea Pearl

Moscow is definitely up there on my travel bucket list. So much history and iconic architecture!

Thumbs up! 🙂

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Blair Villanueva

OMG I dream to visit Moscow someday! Hope the visa processing would be okay (and become more affordable) so I could pursue my dream trip!

Yup, visa processing is the major downside! Agree! Time and the money consuming process…

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

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Avelo Airlines CEO Describes The Challenges Of Starting A New Carrier

It’s not easy to break into the U.S. airline industry, which is dominated by four big carriers and a sprinkling of other niche players, but that didn’t scare away Andrew Levy.

Neither did a pandemic that briefly caused air travel to plummet more than 90%.

In April 2021, while COVID-19 still raged and billions of dollars from taxpayers were propping up big airlines, Levy launched Avelo Airlines with flights between Burbank, California, and Las Vegas.

The airline saves money by flying older Boeing 737 jets that can be bought at relatively low prices. It operates out of less-crowded and less-costly secondary airports, and flies routes that are ignored by the big airlines.

Levy was involved in the launch of ValuJet, which became Allegiant Air, and he also did a stint as the chief financial officer of United Airlines before starting Avelo (it rhymes with yellow).

He spoke with The Associated Press about the challenges of starting a new airline, how the carrier is doing, and plans to sell shares to the public. The answers were edited for length and clarity.

Q: Why did you think you should start a new airline?

A: Shortly after I left Allegiant in 2014, I actually started thinking about doing this. The market had become very consolidated, and there was a lot of opportunity that was out there that wasn’t being served by the existing, incumbent carriers. You have these four behemoths that are massive, that are protected by the government it seems, because certainly they’re stronger than they have ever been, after the pandemic. My view was we had room for more.

Q: What have you learned?

A: While there are these four behemoths, the toughest challenge, quite honestly, might even be the regulatory regime. For smaller companies like ours, it imposes these really substantial burdens on us. I’ll give you an example. For the (Department of Justice) lawsuit (against) JetBlue and Spirit, we had to go spend a ton of money on our end to produce documents for something that we really didn’t care how it ended up. And they’re trying to get us to do the same thing for Alaska-Hawaiian, which again, we could care less if Alaska and Hawaiian merge.

Q: How do you get people to fly on a new airline?

A: Number one, you have an awareness issue. You want people to know that you exist. So that’s one challenge, which is more of a marketing challenge. The other challenge is of course getting people to trust you. Like, ‘Who are these people? Are they going to really get me there? What’s the airplane going to look like? Is it safe? Is it reliable? What happens if something goes wrong?’ All those questions that most consumers may have when they think about choosing an airline that perhaps they’re unfamiliar with. You just have to focus on doing a really great job. Obviously not every flight is on time, but as time goes on I think people recognize that, hey, you know what? These guys offer a lot of value. We offer great convenience.

Q: Where does the name, Avelo, come from?

A: There’s no great story there. I wish I could tell you it was. It was a play on two words: velocity, which is swift in Latin, and convenience.

Q: Avelo reported a profit for fourth quarter 2023 but gave no details. Was that on a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis? And how much was it?

A: We actually have cash that generates interest income nowadays. Those are GAAP numbers where we have audited financials from Ernst & Young. These are real numbers with no adjustments or anything else. I’m not going to give you the numbers because we are a private company and so we have no real need to provide that kind of information. I’ll tell you that we made money in the first quarter as well.

Q: You’ve talked about your cost advantage as a startup. Is that sustainable?

A: Most costs creep up over time for every airline because our labor costs are tied to pay scales, but it is very sustainable. It’s based on how we designed the business. We distribute our product directly to the customer so we don’t use third-party intermediaries. We go in to smaller, more convenient, less-expensive airports. Your taxi times are lower; you’re not burning gas. We spend money on things that matter, and that includes our people. Our pilot pay is very competitive. It’s not the same as United Airlines, but it’s extremely competitive. We operate older equipment also — midlife (Boeing) 737 NGs, and those are certainly less expensive than brand-new aircraft. They burn a little bit more gas, but not much, and we like that trade.

Q: Do you plan to sell stock to the public, and when?

There’s obviously two issues. The single biggest one is one we don’t control, which is when are the IPO markets going to be actually open and vibrant, and they’re not right now. Beyond that, we have to be ready as a company. We put two straight quarters of profits … so we expect every quarter this year to be profitable. We hope that we’ll have a company that people would want to own, and hopefully by year end or sometime next year. There’s no magic to being public for us. It’s just that historically that is typically the best way to access the capital markets for companies like ours. It is a very capital-intensive industry.

Q: What advice would you give to somebody else looking to start a business?

A: There’s nothing more rewarding than taking control of of your destiny. Just make sure you know what you think you know about whatever it is you’re going to start. I think you have to be wired a certain way to want to do something like this because it’s unbelievably difficult. I’ve been at this now for almost six years. When we get to a certain point, I’ll look back and feel really good about what we’ve done. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.

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Mike Tyson vs. Jake Paul fight rules are set. They just can't agree on who proposed them.

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No one took responsibility for the two-minute rounds and 14-ounce gloves that will be used for the Mike Tyson-Jake Paul fight when those modified rules were announced Monday.

Now Paul is pinning it on Tyson.

“Yep, all his rules,’’ Paul said on his weekly podcast published Thursday. “I agreed to all his rules.’’

Not true, according to Tyson's publicist, Joann Mignano, who said the rules proposed to Tyson for the heavyweight bout set for July 20 were two-minute rounds for a scheduled eight rounds.

"However, Mike is happy with the two-minute rounds because it gives Jake less of an opportunity to run around,'' Mignano told USA TODAY Sports. She did not say who proposed the rules to Tyson.

The boxing gloves originally set to be used were 16 ounces, according to Mignano, who said Tyson was happy to have them dropped to 14 ounces Mignano added that Tyson would have been happy to use 12-ounce or 10-ounce gloves and "it doesn’t make a difference to him.''

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which sanctioned the fight as a professional bout , referred questions to Holden Boxing, the promoter of the fight. Bryce Holden, the principal at Holden Boxing, did not respond to requests for comment USA TODAY Sports submitted by voicemail and text message.

The two-minute rounds instead of the traditional three-minute rounds are widely viewed as beneficial to Tyson. He will be 58 at the time of the fight, which likely will test Tyson’s stamina against the 27-year-old Paul.

The 14-ounce gloves rather than standard 10-ounce gloves are generally regarded as a benefit to Paul because the heavier gloves may soften Tyson’s powerful punches. But Paul disagrees.

“I think it’s equal, just because the 14-ounce gloves are better for blocking punches,’’ Paul said. “But if a punch lands, it isn’t supposed to hurt as much because there’s more padding in the glove.”

Clearing up pro bout distinction

When the rules were announced, the public relations teams for Tyson and Paul focused on the fight being sanctioned as a professional bout. Paul continued the theme on his podcast, saying, “It makes it real. It makes it super real. It makes it war.''

But Tela Mange, communications director for the TDLR, said a fight sanctioned as professional by the TDLR is not meant to be more intense than an exhibition.

“There are no rules regarding how hard contestants fight in an exhibition vs. in a pro bout,’’ Mange said by email.

The difference between a sanctioned pro fight and an exhibition is the exhibition does not have official scoring and does not count against the combatants’ record, according to Mange.

George Foreman, the former heavyweight champion, is among those who said they still consider the fight an exhibition because of the modified rules.

In the case of the Tyson-Paul fight, the rules being used for a sanctioned pro bout are highly unusual. Mange said two-minute rounds have been used for a couple of men’s bouts that were professional debuts but otherwise deferred questions around the rules to Holden Boxing.

Jake Paul says Mike Tyson is calling shots

Paul said it was Tyson’s camp that initiated talk of a sanctioned pro fight rather than an exhibition.

“I just want to make it clear that Mike Tyson was the one who wanted it to be a pro fight,’’ Paul said on his podcast. “Mike got into training camp and called up people on my team and were like 'let’s do a pro fight. Is Jake down?' Netflix was like, ‘Let’s make it a pro fight. We’re down.’ ”

Then, Paul said, he called his manager and business partner, Nakisa Bidarian, to make sure Tyson knew “there’s no holding back.’’ Even though Texas rules do not require combatants to hold back in exhibitions.

“Whatever happens, happens and this is war now,’’ Paul said of his conversation with Bidarian. “And if Mike’s OK with that, then I’m OK with that.’’

Paul suggested a sanctioned pro fight rather than an exhibition does have meaning for Tyson.

“I think he wants to put me in the dirt and to make a statement to all of boxing that he is and was … the baddest man on the planet and that he could still get in there at this age and put down the young buck.’’

Jake Paul putting on pounds

Paul confirmed reports that he weighs 230 pounds, 30 pounds more than he weighed in at for most of his previous fights.

He’d previously said he planned to bulk up before his heavyweight bout against Tyson, who weighed in at 220 pounds in 2020 for his exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr.

“I’m just getting to eat as much as possible and it turns out my body carries this weight super well,’’ Paul said. “And I’m only growing. I think I’ll get up to 240 and then cut down so I’m like way faster.’’

He said he thinks the weight will help when his training camp begins.

“If I’m training for this camp at 240 and then I cut down to 220, it’s basically like I had a 20-pound weight vest on for the whole entire camp,’’ he said. “So my muscles are going to be so much stronger and that speed will come through.’’

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The 15 Best Wrinkle-free Pants, Shorts, and Skirts to Pack for Your Next Trip, According to a Travel Writer

They work for any trip,

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Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington

No matter where you’re headed on your travels, there’s one thing that’s a surefire annoyance once you reach the destination: a suitcase full of wrinkled clothing. Seriously, no one wants to spend the precious moments of an itinerary breaking out the hotel ironing board to erase the creases in their shirts. That’s why, as an avid jet-setter and proud carry-on-only traveler , I’m incredibly particular and strategic about what pieces that I decide to pack — and that includes opting for wrinkle-free pants, skirts, and shorts (I mean, I already loathe ironing at home, so there’s no way I’m about to do it on a trip). 

Below, I’ve rounded up 15 of the best wrinkle-free travel bottoms that are great staples for any trip destination — including a classic Madewell denim piece , ultra-comfy Vuori pants (I'm a big fan of the brand ), and some of the best options at Amazon for sleek trousers , maxi skirts , and more. Each piece is not only functional, but also versatile so as to not waste precious luggage space. Trust me, if you pack any of these items, you’ll be sure to spend less time ironing and more time enjoying your vacay. 

Tronjori Women's High-waist Casual Wide-leg Palazzo Pants

There’s no denying that I’m a big fan of chic trousers for any occasion — but especially for travel. These wide-leg pants drape nicely, and work for a dressed up or dressed down scenario. They have over 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, with customers sharing that they’re lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear. Plus, countless reviews confirm that they’re wrinkle-resistant and great for travel .

Modegal Women's Satin High-waist Midi Skirt

I love including a silk skirt in any warm weather capsule wardrobe; it adds an elegant touch to your favorite outfits while being extremely versatile — and they take up virtually no space in your luggage. However, in my experience, a lot of options out there look like a crumpled paper bag by the time that they come out of my suitcase. This skirt, however, seems to be the answer to my never-ending quest. 

As one Amazon reviewer wrote : “This is a great product to have if you travel a lot. You can dress it up or dress it down, and it does not wrinkle.” Other reviewers confirm that it doesn’t wrinkle when you roll it up in your luggage, and it makes for a great travel companion. With 27 gorgeous colors to choose from, it's bound to suit your travel style.

Libin Women's Cargo Joggers

These joggers have a whopping 10,000-plus five-star reviews on Amazon, and for good reason. “I love these pants. They are so comfortable and lightweight. They wash well, are great for travel, and they never wrinkle,” one customer wrote , calling them a “great buy.” In fact, hundreds of reviews say that these joggers are ideal for long-haul flights and outdoor adventures , alike. The lightweight, UPF 50+ fabric will keep you cool and safe from the sun, and ensure that the pants take up little to no space in your luggage. 

Amazon Essentials Women's Mid-rise Shorts

Finding a pair of staple travel shorts can be a true challenge. But with nearly 4,000 five-star reviews to back them up, this mid-rise option from Amazon Essentials should do the trick. They feature a classic straight fit and a tailored look. They’re made with a breathable cotton fabric — and before you raise an eyebrow at the wrinkle-potential, check out this rave review from a pleased traveler: “They washed well, I rolled them up into my bag and when I got to the hotel, I didn't need to smooth any wrinkles out.“ 

Eddie Bauer Women's Departure Ankle Pants

I’m all for outdoor-ready pants that also function as cute travel bottoms. These Eddie Bauer ankle pants are made with a moisture-wicking, UPF 50+ material, and they’re a favorite amongst shoppers. One Amazon customer said : “These are great pants for travel. [They’re] wrinkle-free, thin, and you can dress them up or wear super casual.” Plus, they come in seven different earthy colors — what more could you ask for?

Madewell Women's The Rilee Denim Midi Skirt

I love packing at least one skirt in my carry-on, just to have a bit of outfit variety. Reminiscent of the classic ‘90s style, this long denim Madewell skirt is an absolute dream since it pairs great with a simple T-shirt or tank for a breezy day of sightseeing. Alternatively, you could elevate the look with a white button-up and heeled sandals. One reviewer wrote that the denim “isn’t too heavy, which will make it very comfortable transitioning into the summer” — this also means that it will pack nicely into a suitcase without taking up too much space. And, of course, since it’s denim, you don’t need to stress about wrinkles. 

Madewell Women's Harlow Wide-Leg Pants

These wide-leg trousers from Madewell are a T+L favorite. In a recent review , one Travel + Leisure writer said that she wore these pants from a plane ride straight to dinner, and they were super comfortable for the entire journey. “I was pleasantly surprised that the pants were barely wrinkled,” she wrote. “I practically rolled off the flight and straight to the restaurant. If it weren’t for the luggage in tow, I’m almost certain no one would have guessed that I came straight from LaGuardia.” The popular pants are also available as shorts , which are perfect for spring and summer travel. 

Everlane Women's The Dream Maxi Skirt

The name of this skirt says it all: the versatile design, stretchy yet substantial fabric, and just-right length make this piece an absolute must-have for your travel wardrobe. One reviewer summed it up beautifully, writing, “The length is very easy when traveling as there’s no worry about wrinkles or constantly pulling the skirt down. I wear mine with a tee and sandals now but, this fall might bring more options. I plan to purchase the black skirt as well, as the tan has been great.” 

Everlane Women's The Easy Pants

The Easy Pants from Everlane are a fantastic packing staple. They're made with a lightweight, breathable cotton twill fabric that's perfect for warmer climates. Plus, the elastic waistband and pockets galore make it highly functional during any trip. One reviewer wrote: “We just spent 10 days traveling with just carry-ons and these were the perfect pants to bring. They're super versatile and packed well; I will probably buy it in another color.” Although they're made with cotton, these pants stay wrinkle-free. 

Aritzia Women's Effortless Pants

These pants have become one of my go-to travel wears. As the name suggests, they're truly effortless to wear (and you feel effortlessly chic whenever you slip them on). They are a breeze to dress up or dress down — I like to pair mine with a T-shirt and sneakers, or a nice blouse and heels — making them a fabulous travel staple. Best of all, the drapey crepe material of these pants never seems to wrinkle. I’ve packed these pants for over 10 trips at this point, and they always emerge from my suitcase looking flawless. I currently own them in black, but I plan to add one of the 15 other colors to my collection very soon.

Vuori Women's Volley Skirt

Speaking of skirts, you can’t go wrong with this sleek option from Vuori if you’re in the market for something a little sportier. Complete with built-in shorts and moisture-wicking material, this skirt is great for any outdoor sport — but it’s also much more versatile than that. “It’s great for wearing casually, for travel, and yes for tennis/other activities as the advertisements suggest,” said one reviewer. The fabric of the skirt is peachy-soft to the touch, and you’ll never need to worry about wrinkles.

Vuori Women's Daily Wide-leg Pants

I’ve raved about the Vuori Daily Leggings time and time again — and now the brand makes a wide-leg version. These pants feature the same buttery soft, breathable fabric, but with a flared silhouette for extra pizzazz. This cut is perfect for plane travel, walking around a new city, or even working out on your trip. Not to mention, there won’t be a wrinkle in sight when you pull them out of your carry-on.

Lululemon Men's ABC Classic-Fit 5 Pocket Pants Warpstreme

Lululemon may be primarily known for their women’s leggings — but don’t sleep on the brand's men’s activewear selection, particularly when it comes to pants. I think this may be one of its best categories, though it’s still a bit of a hidden gem. Take the ABC Classic Fit Pants, for instance. They feature the brand’s signature four-way stretch and wrinkle-resistant fabric, which holds its shape and feels comfortable for many hours of wear. Plus, there are so many ways to personalize them to suit any preference — including five choices for length, three additional fabric options, and 11 different colors. And it probably goes without saying, but they look super sharp, whether you’re hopping on a plane or headed to dinner. 

Vuori Men’s Pebble Shorts

Featuring a recycled material made from plastic bottles, these lightweight shorts are a true standout. They’re quick-drying, which makes them perfect for outdoor activities, warm-weather sightseeing, or sprinting through an airport terminal when needed. While these shorts are suitable for active adventures, they’re also tailored and look put together enough for a more elevated outing. With nearly unanimous five-star ratings, customers love wearing these wrinkle-resistant shorts for travel and everyday life. 

Vuori Men’s Cascade Tech Chino Pants

Whether you’re headed to a golf game or hopping on a plane, these chinos are ready to perform. They’re made with the brand's performance stretch fabric, which is also water-resistant (a.k.a. great for any surprise weather) and ultra breathable. One satisfied customer specifically called out the fabric, noting that it “drapes well when wearing it, does not wrinkle, dries quickly.” They also added, “You can come off a long flight and not look like it.”

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