5 Beautiful Travel Journal Ideas To Create

You’ve booked your trip, 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. 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.

Memories fade.

Travel changes you a lot. 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 an amazing cruise, the breeze playing with your hair as you watch the most incredible sunset.

These are the moments of travel to capture. Photos are not going to do that. But journaling will.

Some of us like writing like me, and some don’t. Some people are artistic and creative, 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 shows five ways you can record those precious moments.

Let’s get creative!

1. Travel Journal

This one is your standard traditional Travel Journal.

You can buy one already formatted from most stationery stores, but the ones I like to use are a regular notebook.

Before a trip, I take myself off to my local OfficeWorks or stationery store and wander the notebook aisles 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’s the colour, the cover design and the size that makes my decision for me.

Then it’s just a matter of writing. I recommend this journal for anyone who loves to write.

How to make it

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

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

You will need:

  • Journal / Notebook  / Diary
  • Pen

A Travel Journal Variation

Travel Bullet Journal

Bullet Journaling is extremely popular.

A Bullet Journal is fantastic for keeping your life, business and anything else you can think of organised. You can keep a minimalist journal, the way it was designed by Ryder Carroll, or you can go crazy and get creative.

The Bullet Journal is perfect as a Travel Journal, allowing you to research, organise and plan your trip keeping all your information in one place. And of course, you can use it to journal about your trip while you are away, creating the perfect keepsake of your travels.

This journal can be similar to the Everything Journal at no. 5 but kept more organised if following the Bullet Journal Method.

I get most of the supplies listed below at OfficeWorks. Micron pens, notebooks and washi tape and paints can be found at good art supply stores.

You will need:

Bullet Journaling has made me more productive in business and organised in travel. #bullejournal #journal #business #traveljournal
You can get creative or keep simple
Travel Journals are a great addition to photos from your trip. They are a way to capture personal moments in travel. #journal #sketchbook #creativetravel #traveljournal #journal

2. Postcard Journal

A Postcard Journal is an excellent method for remembering all the places you visited. It is an easy habit to adopt to buy a postcard in each place. Even if you fall behind with your journaling, the postcard alone will prompt you to remember the day you spent in that location.

This method can be as simple as listing everything you did or write a 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. I made them sit down 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.

You will need:

  • Pen
  • String or keyring
  • 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.

3. Watercolour Postcard Journal

Are you artistic? Creative?

This takes the Postcard Journal a step further by creating your own postcards to use. The idea is the same as the Postcard Journal, but you create the image.

I love this idea. You can capture many personalised moments by doing this. You don’t have to be an artist, but it would help if you have an interest in drawing at least.

I recommend the items below. They are minimal and won’t take up much room in your luggage.

This is a lovely way to enjoy quieter times of travel, perhaps during a break over a coffee or even a glass of wine, capturing the moment or the scene in front of you. You can spend downtime capturing images from your photos, or do it when you get home.

These are not meant to be perfect artworks, simply personal impressions of your travel experiences. This is a fun and creative way to capture your travel memories.

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 the previous journal) and you have a beautiful, personal memento of your wonderful trip.

I 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. Or you can use a reusable plastic cup/container and carry a bottle of water.

Create your mini-masterpiece and let it 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.

You will need:

  • Watercolour Postcards
  • Small travel Watercolour Paint Set
  • Aqua Brush – Watercolour Brush with Water Reservoir
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Artline Pen
  • Bottle of water
  • Plastic reusable cup
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
Get creative on your travels and create a travel journal. They are a way to capture those precious travel moments. #journal #sketchbook #creativetravel #traveljournal #journal
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

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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 capture a trip.

Scrapbooking is a decorated photo album you can make as simple or as intricate as you like. Include ticket stubs, menus, itineraries and any other travel paraphernalia, or you make it more personal by adding journaling elements. I love the visual aspect of it.

I like to buy scrapbooking papers and bits, and pieces from the places I visit. That way the paper and pieces become souvenirs, memorable in itself.

It was a challenge bringing back papers in my suitcase not creased, but I was determined.

Scrapbooking your trip is possibly the most expensive option, but I think it is a good choice for those 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.

Below is a simple scrapbooking album I created from my Greece trip to Athens and Santorini. You can make your scrapbooking album as simple or as intricate as you like.

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

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. Everything Journal

I don’t know what to call this journal, but it is a mixture of the journals listed 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. Not that she will say so, but she is also a talented artist. I would love to see a Watercolour Postcard Journal created by Lorell!

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

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Creating Your Journal

So which journal 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.

Keep in mind that travelling can be exhausting and you don’t want your journal to feel like a burden.

Be honest with yourself and think about the method you will find easiest and fun.

A journal you enjoyed creating will be a beautiful memento of your travels and a joy to look at for years to come, evoking precious travel memories.

Worth the time to create I think. Don’t you?

Cindy x

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Cindy Reid

Cindy is the founder of Travel Charm and her exclusive Travel Club. She is passionate about travel and planning and loves nothing more than helping travellers plan their best trips and fulfil their travel dreams.

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