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How to start a travel journal

How to Start a Travel Journal!

How to start a travel journalHi WashiGang Crew! With the holiday season upon us and many of us planning trips away, it's the perfect time to start a travel journal! Keeping a travel journal is a beautiful way to store precious memories of your holidays, write, reflect and keep track of the places you've been.

Read our blog for info on how to start a travel journal, what supplies you'll need and prompts and tips for keeping a travel journal!

What is a Travel Journal?

A travel journal is a place to write about your travels, plan trips and travel schedules, keep travel memories and memorabilia such as post cards, photos, maps, wrappers, tickets and other items that remind you of your travels. You can also use it to keep your important travel documents and travel itinerary.
Travel Journal

Why Write a Travel Journal?

Keeping a travel journal is a great way to preserve your memories, reflect on your travel experience and learn more about yourself. Traveling can be hectic at times and bring up a lot of different emotions and feelings. Taking time to slow down and be present in the moment, by writing in your travel journal, can help you to re-center yourself, practice mindfulness and de-stress. Travel journaling is a way to remember the smaller details on your trip, such as the name of a favourite food that you ate, your feelings when you visited a certain place, or someone that you met on your travels. Writing in a travel journal will also help you to become more observant and present in your travels, as you take notice of things to include in your journal.
Travel Journal

How to Start a Travel Journal:

There are many ways to keep a travel journal! The best way to get started is to set your intentions for your travel journal and ask yourself what you would like to use it for. You may like to use it to help you plan your trip and include pre-trip research, bucket lists, maps and your travel itinerary. You can also use your travel journal like a diary and write a page a day with the date and location, to record your memories, feelings and places that you visited. A travel journal is also a great place to sketch what you see and collage your photos, tickets and found items from your trip. You can also use your travel journal as a space to unwind and reduce stress from a busy day of new sights, sounds, people, navigating and problem solving!

Once you have worked out what you will use it for, pack the necessary supplies. Include stickers & washi tapes that match the theme of your holiday, so that you can decorate your journal. Or if you like to sketch, you'll need to pack a pencil case and a range of art pens, water colours and pencils. If you would like to include photos and collage items, we definitely recommend packing a glue tape and perhaps a Polaroid camera or mini photo printer.

Organise your journal by date, location, or section into pre-trip planning, during trip diary entries and post trip reflections.

Travel Journal Supplies:

Travel JournalsA Travel Journal
You'll need a good quality, light weight journal.
We recommend a Mossery Dot Grid Notebook, Rhodia Rhodiarama Soft Cover Dot Grid Notebook, Peter Pauper Press Lined Journal or a Dingbats Dot Grid Notebook.
Travel Journal Essentials
Travel Journaling essentials:
Pencil Case
Kitta Washi Tape (portable washi tape)
Portable Scissors (keep them in your luggage not your hand luggage on the plane, to avoid having them confiscated at the airport.)
Glue tape for sticking photos, tickets, maps etc in your journal.
Pens: a set of Mildliner Pens & Sarasa Push Clip Gel Pens are the perfect travel combo.
Travel themed Stickers (or stickers to match the theme of your trip)

Or shop our Travel Themed Collection here!
Travel Sketch Journal supplies
Travel supplies for the creative type:
If you like to draw, a sketchbook can be a great travel companion and can help you to observe and get to know a place in more detail.
Mossery Mixed Media Sketchbook
Portable water colours
A Water brush pen (you can fill it up with water for a portable water colour experience)
Your favourite Pencils & Pens: a set of Tombow Dual Brush Pens or Irojiten Coloured pencils are a perfect combo for your sketchbook.
Travel bags for carry on
Our Blue Q Bags also make great carry-on bags and have plenty of room to fit your water bottle, a book, journal, pencil case, snacks, a jumper etc. Pair it with a coin purse for keeping your bus/train card, coins and cash.

Travel Journaling Tips & Prompts:

1. Write like a travel guide!
Review each place that you visit, add your top recommendations, favourite places to eat and shop, best hiking or swimming spots. Describe and rate your accommodation!
Travel Journal
(Via @bobodesignstudio on Instagram)

2. Keep track of your travel spending with a travel budget!

Keeping track of your travel budget will help you to work out how much you can spend each day on food, gifts and personal items. Keeping track of your daily expenses will let you know how much money you have left towards the end of the trip and if you have enough set aside for a special treat, a fancy dinner or a concert! It also stops you from getting into trouble and running out of money on your trip.

3. Sketch a location that you have enjoyed visiting.
A great way to spend time in a place is sketching and reflecting on the atmosphere around you. Sit in a cafe, or on a bench, or rock and sketch away. Sketch small details that you notice, a landscape, a meal, your accommodation or people going about their daily business. Make sure you add a caption with the date/time and location/what you see or a story that goes with the sketch.

4. Include found items & mementos in your journal!
We recommend packing a Glue Tape, as they are easy to carry and aren't too messy.

  • stickers
  • plane, metro, train and bus tickets
  • luggage tags
  • wine and beer labels
  • receipts, business cards
  • food labels, coasters, tea bag wrappers
  • cutouts from local newspapers
  • candy wrappers, sauce packets
  • foreign currency
  • perfume samples
  • tags from clothes and souvenirs
  • paper bags and wrappers, menus
  • tickets for museums, galleries, theatres and attractions
  • postcards
  • matchbooks
  • stamps
  • tourist maps
  • Polaroid photos
  • if traveling locally, you may like to include found flowers, leaves or earth rubbings.
Travel Journal
(Via @mysquiggles on Instagram)

5. Use your travel journal to store your important info.
Store your itinerary, accommodation info, flight/travel info, arrival/departure times, visa requirements, packing lists, vaccination details and important documents. You could also include basic language phrases, info about local wildlife, maps, or emergency numbers and locations etc. This can be a great backup if you do not have access to a phone or internet.

6. Create a bucket list.
Create a bucket list of things to do while on holiday! Have you ever come home and thought, I wish I was brave enough to try that new food, or I wish I knew about that hike? Through a little prior research, create a list of things you'd like to do on your holiday. While the freedom to be spontaneous and carefree on holidays is a wonderful thing, having a bucket list can mean that you don't miss out on achieving your travel goals and that you don't waste a day to trying to decide what to do!

7. Record the places you've been and places you want to go!
It's exciting to research and plan places that you'd like to visit! It's even more exciting to tick them off! You could do this with a graph, a map, a tracker or a check list. Use a Highlighter or Marker to colour in the places you've visited or check them off!

8. Explore your travel feelings
Traveling can raise a lot of feelings, it can be stressful at times, help us learn new things about ourselves, or open our eyes to new things! Describe the best and worst part of your day. How did today make you feel and what did you learn today? Explore your feelings and experiences each day, by digging a little deeper.
Travel Journal
(Via @shalindrome on Instagram)

9. Travel playlist and reading list.

Have you read or listened to something on your trip that captured the essence of your experience or made you feel all of the feels? Make a list of your travel playlist or reading list. The books and songs you read on holiday will bring back memories of your trip.

10. What are you grateful for today?
Practicing gratitude when traveling can help you to appreciate your experience and look for the good in challenging circumstances. It also may be an opportunity for you to realise what you are grateful for at home. Search Gratitude Journals here!Travel Journal
Browse our Travel Themed Stationery Collection for more travel journaling ideas here!

Do you have any trips planned coming up? Will you try a travel journal?
Let us know in the comments!

Previous article 10 Letter Writing Prompts to Try!


Jessica - December 12, 2022

This is such an informative and inspiring blog. I love the tip about making note of the songs you listened to on the trip. That can always take you back to the time and place when you play that song again!

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