Create an Inspiring Travel Bullet Journal (even if you’re not arty)

I am a Bullet Journal convert. I use it for my everyday life to keep my business, and my personal life organised.

The bonus of the Bullet Journal is that I get be creative. If I want. Some months when I am too busy, it is easy to create a minimalist spread and still be organised and productive.

But when I do have time I can doodle, break out the watercolours, or markers and go crazy.

What I have found most beneficial is discovering layouts that work for me. The bullet journal gives me that flexibility.

And so, being a travel planner, I wanted to use a journal for travel as well. And just like my everyday bullet journal, it has taken some time to find what works for me.

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You don't have to be creative or arty to create a beautiful and functional Travel Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal

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Keeping a Travel Journal

I like the thought of journaling while I am travelling, but the reality is that I find it challenging to find the time. At night, when I would typically write an account of my day, I need to catch up on work commitments or update social media for Travel Charm.

I love the idea of creating a beautiful travel journal, something to look back on. So I have needed to adapt and find what works for me.

Instead of putting pressure on myself to keep a daily journal, I wanted to create a Travel Journal that I can use for each trip.

What I do want though, is a journal I can pick up when I have a trip organised that will include my generic packing list for my clothes, electronics, toiletries and whatever else is standard when I travel. Of course, it won’t have the exact clothes list, but it will have the one that I follow so I don’t overpack.

I like to pack carry-on luggage only, so I must have a good list to refer to.

I also included a To-Do List for me to check off as my trips approach.

I created a standard journal layout for each trip, including a page for my Itinerary, Destination Overview and Daily Journal sections where I can quickly write a sentence or words, to sum up, my day.

I usually finish the journal when I get home. How long that takes me is a different story (I promise my Italian journal will be up soon – it’s only six months in the making!)

I want my journal to be motivational with my top bucket list destinations in the front and quotes to inspire me. Like my regular journal, I will replicate these spreads whenever I start a new travel journal. Being relatively new to bullet journal creativity, I am still playing around to find my style.

A recent purchase was Typewriter Letter Stamps, and from the images, you will see that I need to practice. But I don’t mind a rustic look, and I am not a fan of perfect spreads, so I am happy with it.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Beautiful Travel Journal Ideas to Create

Want to Bullet Journal, but you’re not Arty?

At the beginning of my bullet journal journey, I felt enormous pressure to replicate the beautiful layouts I saw on YouTube and Pinterest. But it wasn’t realistic.

I like to draw and paint sometimes, but I didn’t want to have to do that each month. My priority for my bullet journal is to be productive, and I have finally found the spread layouts that allow me to achieve that.

I used to sell Scrapbooking, and Card Making Supplies at local markets years ago and still have a selection of stickers, card and paper stock and stamps.

Throw in some washi tape, and suddenly, I can create clean and simple designs quickly. I love the look even though I can get carried away at times drawing leaves, flowers and other bits and pieces.

But I can do that when I have more time.

My Travel Bullet Journal

For this Travel Bullet Journal, I have used black washi tape and a white gel pen. Then I have included highlights with a Tombow Marker. The look can be replicated using different colour plain washi tapes and gel pens, keeping things simple.

I am currently using this journal, Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal for my Travel Journal. I love the colour, but the pages are a little on the thin side, and there is a lot of ghosting when I use markers. I will keep on the lookout for a journal that has thicker pages so I can get more creative with paint and markers.

Again, I cannot create beautiful headings. I do what I can. It doesn’t matter; it’s your journal, play around.

You don't need to be arty to enjoy creating a Travel Bullet Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal

To create this spread, I found a black and white world map online, which I printed onto a sheet of vellum. I used double-sided tape in the corners and under the map where you couldn’t see it, to stick it to a page which I had already drawn a black border.

On the other side, I used black washi tape and a white gel pen to create the heading (a bit messy as my pen was running out and I need lots of practice)

I need to practice titles, but you can use stickers if you like. Don’t worry about perfect; think about functionality instead. With time and practice, your writing and headings will improve, and so will mine hopefully!

I used some metal embellishments I had left from my scrapbooking supplies and some extra washi tape I found in my kit.

I then added my space for my packing lists – a generic one and then added one for each season.

Again I used black washi tape and an Artline pen to create the boxes and used a Tombow marker to create a drop shadow. I also added a small travel sticker.

You don't have to be creative or arty to create a beautiful and functional Travel Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal

This is the additional page for the packing lists including Toiletries, Electronics, Medications and Miscellaneous. You can also see the To-Do List spread.

Create a beautiful travel journal without being arty. Find out how. #bulletjournal #journal #traveljournal

Because I blog and produce videos, I like to have a list of blog post ideas on hand to make sure I gather the content I need. Before I leave, I will create a list, but it’s also handy to have a place to add ideas to when you are on the road.

This is the example of my new typewriter keys and my need to practice using them. I also used a Tombow marker to draw a border. I liked the way it finished the page.

Create a beautiful travel journal without being arty. Find out how. #bulletjournal #journal #traveljournal

Each new trip I will create an Itinerary page. Next to it will be the title page for the destination. It’s a simple overview of my trip. I will have all my detailed plans outlined in my Travel Planners.

You don't have to be creative or arty to create a beautiful and functional Travel Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal
Here is the Destination Overview.

You don't have to be creative or arty to create a beautiful and functional Travel Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal

And last but not least a place to record my daily musings. Of course, I can be more creative and create collages from photos, stick in watercolour painting or sketches I do along the way or write more if I feel so inclined. But at least this way I will be prepared, and if I am short on time, the layouts are already done for me.

You don't have to be creative or arty to create a beautiful and functional Travel Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal

I know this is not picture perfect. I try, but it’s just not me. I want something that is uniquely mine, allows me to be productive and capture the essential details. Journalling is personal.

So, don’t be hard on yourself if yours doesn’t look like those on YouTube.

Enjoy the process.

Cindy x

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You don't need to be arty to enjoy creating a Travel Bullet Journal. #bulletjournal #traveljournal #journal


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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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