Get FREE ebook with all my Travel Planning Secrets unlocked

5 Beautiful Travel Journal Ideas To Create

Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.

Bookings are made, your bag is packed, and you are excited beyond words. You have your camera (or phone) at the ready to capture this trip of a lifetime. But what then? What are you going to do with those photos?

Like most of us, probably nothing. And in my experience photos only capture so much. Photos can't express your feelings, the atmosphere, your mood, how your food tasted or the sights and sounds you are hearing.

Travel changes you a lot. And it’s not the famous sights that do that, but the moments in time that only you experienced. A connection, a particular scent associated with a perfect moment, the warm sun on your skin on that extraordinary cruise, the breeze playing with your hair as you watch the most incredible sunset. These are the moments of travel you might like to capture. And photos are not going to do that for you. But journaling will.

But let’s face it, some of us like writing like me, and some don’t. Some people are artistic and creative and others not so much. And above all, we don’t want a journal to be a chore you feel you HAVE to do.

This article is about five ways you can record those precious moments from your trip. You can make these as personal or as generic as you like.

So let’s get creative!

Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel.

All artwork by artist Kathy Karas

1. Travel Journal

This one is your standard traditional Travel Journal. You can buy one already formatted from most stationary stores, but the ones I like to use are a regular notebook that I particularly love. If this is the sort of journal I want to keep while travelling, I take myself off to my local OfficeWorks and wander the aisles of notebooks and see what appeals to me.

Whenever I use a notebook (I always have one in my bag for ideas), I buy one I love. It could be the layout that appeals to me, but mostly it is the colour, the cover design and the size that makes my decision for me.

And then it’s just a matter of writing. To be honest, I find this method to be the most tedious. I would recommend this journal to anyone who loves to write. I love to write, but I also like texture and colour.

 

How to make it

You don’t need to make anything. All you need to do is decide which notebook, diary, or journal you would like.

I have used a variety – leather with handmade paper pages, a simple everyday notebook, and a traditional Travel Journal.

 

What you will need

  • Journal / Notebook  / Diary
  • Pen

 

Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination

2. Postcard Journal

A Postcard Journal is an excellent method for remembering all the places you have visited. It is an easy habit to adopt to buy a postcard in each place. And even if you fall behind with your journaling, the postcard alone will prompt you to remember the day you spent there and the memories it evokes.

This method can be as simple as listing everything you did at that place to write a very personal impression of the day.

This is an excellent way to journal. I wish I had thought about this when my kids were young and travelled, and I was making them sit down each day and write something at the end of each exhausting day. It would have been so much easier to hand over the postcard and ask them to write about it on the back. A few sentences and you're done!

 

How to make it

Buy your postcards and write your experiences on the back of each one. Make sure you write the date.

Once home, gather all your postcards and put them in date order.

Punch a hole in the top left-hand corner of each one and tie them together with a label identifying your trip.

 

Postcards

  • Pen
  • String or key ring
  • Label
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.

3. Watercolour Postcard Journal

Are you artistic? Creative? This is taking the Postcard Journal a step further and creating your own postcards to use. The idea is the same as the Postcard Journal, but the image you create will be more personalised.

I love this idea. You will be able to capture so many personalised moments by doing this. You don’t have to be an artist to make it, but you should be interested in drawing at least.

With the items we recommend, you won’t need to carry much with you to create this journal. In fact, it is a lovely thing to do when you are taking a break in your travels over a coffee or even a glass of wine to capture a moment that is in front of you. You can spend some down time capturing images from your photos, or you can even do it when you get home.

Remember these are not meant to be perfect artworks, but simply personal impressions of your travel experiences. This is a fun and creative way to capture those moments.

 

How to make it

Carry your watercolour postcards, pens and pencils and watercolour paints in a small Ziploc bag that fit in your handbag. That way you will have it with you whenever inspiration hits.

I bought my watercolour set in an art store in Arezzo, which I wrote about in A Day in Arezzo. Not only is it something I used on my trip, but it is a great souvenir of my travels.

As you create the postcards, write your impressions and experiences on the back and tie them together. Attach a label (see previous journal) and you have a beautiful, personal memento of your wonderful trip.

We recommend using a small watercolour set and a watercolour brush with a water reservoir. That way you don’t need to carry a water container with you. I still do take a bottle of water anyway and if I need a container, find a plastic cup to use.

Create your mini masterpiece and let dry. Either write on it straight away or store in a separate Ziploc bag and write on it later when you have a moment to yourself. A fantastic way to recount the day.

 

What you will need

  • Watercolour Postcards
  • Small travel Watercolour Paint Set
  • Aquabrush – Watercolour Brush with water Reservoir
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Artline Pen
  • Bottle of water
  • Plastic Cup (optional)
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Watercolour Postcard Pad
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Winsor & Newton Watercolour Set

4. Scrapbook Journal

Scrapbooking was huge some years ago. I used to sell Scrapbooking Supplies, and it was extraordinary how big it became. Things have settled, but I still think it is a wonderful way to use your photos to capture a trip.

Scrapbooking is a decorated photo album which you can make as simple or as intricate as you like. You can include ticket stubs, menus, itineraries and any other travel paraphernalia you want, or you can make it as personal as you like by adding journaling elements, but for me, it was more about the visual element.

I also liked to buy scrapbooking papers and bits, and pieces from the places I visited so the pages I created for the photos felt unique to that particular location. It did prove a challenge bringing back papers in my suitcase not creased, but I was determined.

Scrapbooking your trip will probably be the most expensive option, but I think it is the best choice for those of you who are more creative. It is a fun process, and I loved scrapbooking our trips. My kids still love going back through the albums.

 

How to make it

There are many techniques you can use. The list is endless and for anyone wanting to begin to scrapbook I would suggest grabbing a magazine or a book to get started. The amount of things you can do is endless. But for this article, we are going to show you a simple scrapbooking album.

I found this article that I think will help you get started – How to make a Scrapbook

 

What you will need

  • Photos
  • Scrapbooking Album
  • Double sided tape
  • Embellishments
  • Acid-Free Scrapbooking Papers & Cardstock
  • Scissors
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.

5. The Everything Journal

I don’t know what to call this journal, but it is a mixture of most of the journals above. My friend Lorell has the best example I have seen, and she has kindly allowed me to share it with you.

Lorell is a keen traveller, and she tells the most interesting travel stories. And not that she will say so, she is a talented artist. I would love to see a Watercolour Postcard Journal created by Lorell!

I love this journal! It is full of personality. It has all the elements of the trip from tour schedules to weather and tickets. Plus Lorell has written in it, so it makes it uniquely hers. I love texture and visual interest, and this journal has it all.

You can create this type of journal on the road or when you get home. For the best results though I would do it as you go so that you can write your personal experiences as they happen and are fresh in your mind.

 

How to make it

This journal is simple to create.

Get your journal, collect the items you want to include and arrange them in a way that appeals to you across the pages.

Glue them in place. Draw, paint, sketch whatever appeals to you or feels relevant to that page. Write about your day. Include what you liked, feelings or emotions that were stirred, people you met and tours you took.

This is so personal I really can’t tell you what to write. It could be as simple as a list, or a whole story depending on your personality and style. But most importantly have fun with it. You are creating something that will contain your memories so make it authentic and personal.

 

What you will need

  • Blank Journal
  • Pen
  • Coloured Pencils or Watercolour Pencils (Inktense are amazing!)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Travel Paraphanalia
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel by allowing you to journal as well as getting creative. Paint, cut and paste, draw - the ideas are only limited by your imagination.

Creating Your Journal

So which one will you create? I tend to do a combination of a few, and I have created all at some stage or another.

Moving forward I will use either watercolour postcards or a journal that I can do small watercolour and ink washes in, stick in some postcards and do some journaling, to capture the most personal moments from my travel.

Keep in mind that travelling can be exhausting and you don’t want your journal to feel like a burden. So be honest with yourself and think about the method you will find easiest and most fun. If you start a journal and keep it going like a loathsome chore, it will show.

The journal you love creating will be the one you love to look at for years to come, and it will spark those same feelings you had in that special place. So make it worthwhile.

Cindy

WANT TO READ MORE?

Receive our regular Travel Digest full of articles, conversations & recommendations

Author

Corporate Portrait Cindy Reid

Cindy Reid is the founder of Travel Charm. Cindy has travelled extensively both personally and with her groups. She has now combined her love of art, food and travel and hosts Painting Trips to Europe and continues to explore and roam in Australia.

Hi there! I'm Cindy the founder of Travel Charm. I love to travel and combining my passion for food, art and business. I am so glad you joined us!

FOLLOW TRAVEL CHARM

BE A TRAVEL SUPERSTAR

Learn all our Travel Planning Secrets in this FREE Comprehensive ebook

with our regular Travel Digest, full of interesting articles, conversations and recommendations

Booking.com

We love Airbnb!

GET

$50

CREDIT

off your first stay