How to: Travel Journaling

You’re going on a trip, you’ve heard of these “travel journals” and seen endless photos of the same few on your Tumblr feed. But what do you even put in them, and how can you make yours as cool as the ones you’ve seen?

Why You Should Make a Travel Journal

  1. It is something you can always keep– weather you’re a nomad or a mother of 6- and look back on the details of your trip that Facebook won’t remind you of 1, 2, 3, 4 years from now.
  2. It is a resource for you/a friend who is traveling ot the destination described inside. I.e. Places to eat, to stay, where to shop, ect.
  3. It is a place to put all of those small things that you want to keep but will eventually lose (that SUPER cute coffee sleeve has to go somewhere)
  4. It’s blank pages will encourage your adventures
  5. One day when you have a sore throat and can’t talk, it can tell your stories for you!

    I love to use vinatage maps of the place as backgrounds/a place to mark where all I have been in the country!

What to Keep in Your Journal

  • Plane/Train tickets
  • Post cards
  • Business cards from good places
  • Tickets from a museum or event
  • I love to use free city maps as backgrounds, grab two everywhere you go!
  • Journal entries
    • You can pre-write prompts every few pages such as “A Beautiful Moment:”, “Thoughts & Date”, “Things that Made Me Smile”
  • Photos from the trip
  • Letters from family and friends
  • Packaging from your favorite foods and candies
  • Maps
    • You can recycle maps you pick up in the city as a background for your pages, or go to this cool website and print off real vintage maps of the places you are going!
  • Brochures (They can fold out!!!)
  • Brochures maximize your space, and make your journal like a pop-up book! (how cool is that?!)
  • Stickers that aren’t Nalgene worthy
  • Tea bag wrappers
  • coffee sleeves
  • drawings of surroundings
  • stamps
  • places to eat
  • left over currency
  • receipts in different languages
  • Itinerary
  • Calendars
  • Packing list
  • Practical facts about prices of tickets/advice you might forget
  • When and Where headings
    • I recommend finding the city’s tourism brochure
      Here I used the pouch from the espresso pod as a pocket to hold the Cafe’s flyer!

      and tearing out the city name from the front of that!

  • Magazine Clippings
  • Quotes
  • Use the pretty package that something (like a pastry or tea) came in as a pouch!
  • Flower Petals!
  • You can use mod-podge type material to put the petals down, or tape a plastic baggy to the page and put them in there!

    How to Do This


Get something that can endure your travels, like a Moleskine. Luckily most Moleskins come with a pocket!


I am living in France for two months and currently am just using a small roll of masking tape I brought with me. But if you are going for aesthetics, you can find really fancy and cute kinds with maps and things here on Washi’s website or on Amazon here.

Paper Clips-

I attached a map too big to fold out with paperclips!

For those things you can’t tape down, pre-attach some paper clips to the blank pages before leaving and use them when you need them!


In some cases, like when you have to peel the label off a bottle of wine in public, it takes some guts to make your travel journal good. Grabbing all of those business cards and brochures will become a great habit that your journal will love!


You’ve seen photos of mine, now let’s look at some that have inspired me (and aren’t the ones you ALWAYS see on your Tumblr feed):




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  1. You have some really good tips for journaling, have a massive pile of souvenirs like tickets and wrappers didn’t think of sticking them in and writing around them looks really pretty 🙂

    1. Yay!!!!! I’m so happy that it helped you!!! I’m still working on my journal, but I LOVE doing it after a long day of walking/seeing. It’s a great way to reflect!

  2. Oooh this is fantastic, i’m very much into journalling (ha, understatement of the year)of all kinds, so I hope you’ll post more photos of your journal soon!

  3. This post is awesome Brooke! and I have one of those journals I have been keeping 🙂 It feels good to look back on those beautiful memories!

    1. Thank you!!! I’ve been working very hard on keeping it updated as I learn more tips and advice/mine gets prettier! Haha and definitely. The one I’m doing right now is just over a month in and I already love to look back on it

    1. Thank you!! I am so glad that you loved this post, I had SO much fun making it, because travel journaling over a hot cup of tea after a long day/weekend of traveling is honestly one of my favorite things to do EVER!!!!!!

  4. Why have I never thought of Travel Journalling before? Thanks for this – might just have to get myself one! 🙂

  5. This is so inspiring! I have boxes of old tickets and maps from trips and I never thought of making a beautiful journal with them. I know what I’m doing next on the next rainy day 🙂

  6. I did a travel journal once, when I went to Vietnam and Cambodia with a friend. Each of us had a notebook to write and paste things, and we would also write comments on each others’ notebooks. It was fun! Although of course not at beautiful as your examples as we cannot really draw.
    Nowadays my trips are too short, a week at most, so I don’t do it anymore…

    1. I can’t draw either!! That’s why you’ll notice in my personal examples I always use business cards/magazine cut outs/brochures 😄 and I’ve considered doing a “fall 2016” and “spring 2017” in between my summer long travels- to capture all of those weekend trips and moments. Maybe this could work for you!!

  7. this is such a cool idea Brooke, thanks for sharing! PedroL

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