Do you take a travel journal when you visit places?
I wrote a post for Campfire Chic years ago about how I prep travel journals. I still do a lot of the same, but I have definitely refined my technique.
First I tried a Moleskine. Too small, too inflexible with what I wanted to do. Too boring.
Then I tried a rebound vintage book. I love the way this looked, but as you can tell from the photos, the binding was a bit unforgiving. My issues with this type of journal was the binding was fixed, so everything I added that made the journal thicker just made it stay open more and more. PLUS since the binding was fixed, I wasn’t able to rearrange the pages at all. When you’re on the road and adding in ticket stubs or wanting to journal a story about the 3rd day before you get to the 1st day, this is a problem.
Then I tried using book rings to bind a bunch of pages together. This worked SO MUCH better! I loved that I was able to rearrange pages – if I needed another white piece to journal on or if I needed an envelope to stick receipts in I could just move them to where I needed. I also love that even though I added a BUNCH of stuff (maps, ticket stubs, etc) the book still lies flat.
I just finished putting together my Colorado travel journal for our trip this summer and while I’m still using book rings I made a few changes ….
I still have a BUNCH of unpacked boxes in my office, but I managed to easily find a stack of already coordinated, already cut, already hole-punched paper left over from my Scotland travel journal a couple years ago. Since this travel journal is for Colorado (outdoorsy, greens and blues) I think the same color scheme will work perfectly.
It’s all 8.5×6.5″ … basically an 8.5×11″ inch piece of paper cut in half. Because I’m lazy.
For my minibook cover: I just dug into my stash. I used mailing envelopes that I get every couple of weeks from Costco with my Project Life prints. In order to get a nice clean big enough piece, I actually used the front of 2 different envelopes.
I trimmed down the book covers, dug again into my stash to pull out these BIG 3″ book rings.
I won’t NEED rings that big until the end of the vacation … and, really, the beauty of this binding is that IF for some reason I need smaller book rings I can just switch them out.
Let’s call this the rough draft …
Next step …. pulling out white printer paper and graph paper, cut it in half and punch holes.
I realized after Scotland that I needed more white-write-on-able paper than any other color/style/size.
I have set aside the day after our trip for writing all day in case I need it. I may fill up all this paper. But even if I don’t, since I’m using the book rings I can just pull out the extra and save it for our next travel journal.
Since I know I will likely be moving around the pages of this travel journal, I just stuck the white/graph paper at the front of the travel journal. It will all end up somewhere else anyway.
Next: To decorate the cover. Just pulled out (from my existing stash. Sensing a theme?) a sheet of scrapbook paper, trimmed it down and Mod Podged it on to the front cover. I decided that kraft/cardboard color would look good on the back cover undecorated.
The flip side of that scrapbook paper is this solid green – I trimmed down a piece to hold the TITLE of the travel journal.
And then I messed it up – as you can see below. I thought I would run out of room so I started with letters on either edge. Turns out I ended up with an inch+ gap in the middle of the word so I had to start over….
Started ‘Colorado’ in the MIDDLE of the green stripe, adding the date to an extra little color pop of blue.
This is what I’m taking:
Travel journal, extra 6×9 envelopes that I will use to divide each day (as with Scotland), Instax camera + film, pens, pencil, adhesive, scissors, hole punch and a handful of (mostly Elise) stamps and stamp pads.
This is more than I would take if I were going to, say, 4 European cities or similar. But, we’re road tripping and staying with my brother so I have a bit more flexibility and room.
I still want to find my little baby travel stapler too.
A small difference from previous travel journals:
USUALLY, I like to include our travel itinerary info at the very front of the travel journal. Flight times and info, hotel contact info, etc. But this time we have no definite plans, so I will start with just an intro few paragraphs about WHERE and WHY and HOW … and then we’ll see how much I include of the full day of driving.
I love it so far ….. I’ll love it even more when it’s full.
I’ll probably get Andrew to journal a bit too. … He’s great about taking photos AND writing a bit of journaling for anything he does without me.
I would definitely recommend taking a look at my finished Scotland travel journal … this will likely look very very similar!
Probably fewer maps and brochure since we won’t be visiting NEARLY as many museums, cathedrals, etc.
Do you take a travel journal when you visit places? What are your best travel journal tips?