One the best gifts to give a frequent traveler or the person who has everything is a way to capture the memories when she travels. One unique solution – and a great gift idea – is a travel journal. They’re as unique as the reasons we travel, and this list of travel journals is sure to find one that fits the travelers on your list.
Anthony Bourdain once said “Travel changes you.” I totally agree, which a great part of why I enjoy doing it so much with my kids. Since I’ve became a travel writer, I’ve realized how much I don’t always remember when I come home and have kept an actual travel journal. I love the pictures and electronic memories collected along the way however I am a huge fan of pen and paper. I like the written memory.
Just like there are different types of travel, there are different types of travel journals. I actually have a few that I’ve picked up. Some are just my travel notebooks. They are utilitarian with just room for packing lists and look like leather journals. One is actually for bucket list planning with notes for what I want to do and budget. And then others are for recording special details and fun facts.
One of the best places to pick up a travel journal is on Amazon.com because they have so many different styles. There are super stylish ones for my sister like this or the Erin Condren one like this for my planner addict best friend. Here are a few of my favorites for the different travelers in my life.
Best Travel Journal for the Mindful Traveler
If mindfulness is a key part of why you travel, You Are Here is the travel journal for you. It’s a single use journal with more than 150 pages of prompts. The journal actually opens with a section on “How to Cultivate Mindfulness” and gives tips on meditation, breathing exercises, and plenty of prompts for how to travel mindfully.
It’s a great journal for someone going on an extended trip like a summer abroad in Paris, gap year or exchange program. I feel like it would be just as effective for someone who is spending time alone and really wants to immerse themselves in an experience.
The Travel Journal for the Planner Addict
Erin Condren planner lovers will love the Erin Condren Petite Travel Journal. It’s just as organized as her planners with space for reservation confirmations, budgets, packing lists and checklists for all the important things to do. For the complete Erin touch, it even includes a sheet of stickers just like a planner.
While it’s not the traditional leather travel journal, there is room for four different trips within the one book. Each trip has the checklists but also daily prompts to capture the weather, quote & favorite memories with some space for free writing. The enclosed back pocket serves as sticker storage or a location for storing ticket stubs. At the same size as the EC Petite Planner journal notebook line, it’s the perfect size to pop into a backpack or purse.
Best Travel Journal for the Travel Adventurer
The Moleskine Voyageur is the travel journal for the granddaughter of Amelia Earhart. It fits my sister’s personality perfectly. It has the vintage diary of a traditional journal with the ease of electronic templates. This journal has plenty of substantial, acid-free pages in three different formats. Travelers can tell their story over a choice of blank pages, lined pages and dotted pages. There are spaces for including pictures and a pocket in the back for ticket stubs.
What makes Voyageur the personalized travel journal for the digital age is the print on-demand template pages available on the Moleskine site. Templates include packing lists, foods to try and attractions to visit. Moleskine encourages travelers to share their community by using the hashtag #m_iamhere to show where their travel experience.
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Best Travel Journal for the Frequent Traveler
Moleskine Traveller’s Journal is for the frequent traveler. With its embossed leather cover and pen holder, it’s a no-nonsense travel planner for tracking all the important details. From airport codes to flight times between locations around the world and a travel glossary to translate common phrases into English, the Traveller’s has it all.
Traveller’s five sections set it apart from other journals. Section one is the Wish List to record favorite destinations. “Planning”, the second section, offers space to list budget and the 5Ws (who, what, where, when and why). The final sections, “Weekends”, “Short Trips” & “Long Trips”, offer a similar format to capture travel companions, checklist and space for recording memories. The sections only vary in the amount of space for each section. It’s the perfect size to record everything from road trips to trips to Europe.
Best Travel Journal for the Quirky Traveler
I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded is the travel journal for…well the quirky traveler. If hostels and carry-on only is your preferred style, this is for you.
It’s perfect size as a guided journal with space for planning before your trip as well as recording memories along the way. “Before You Go” lets you record packing lists, wish lists, addresses and recommendations for things to do. The “Journeys” section covers your journey. Finally, the “Notes” section has blank pages for recording observations.
Many of the prompts lend to creating a travel listography. (Listography is recording your experiences in a list for future reference and to act as an autobiography.) One fun thing is that if you’re curious minded, you’ll be encouraged to really look at your surroundings and interact with different people. The prompts include quirky things like asking people for a favorite recipe or what are common condiments found in your location. There are plenty spaces for travelers to create a record of the highlights from the trip.
Travel Journal for the Budding Travel Writer
My Travel Journal from Lonely Planet Kids is the trip journal for the budding travel writer. It’s for a single journey and has a combination of guided prompts as well as blank spaces for bucket lists, ticket stubs and the random musings of kids. The spacing is large enough for younger writers with lots of prompts for drawing as well.
It’s a great journal for a major trip with a significant time period and different stops along the way. It asks children to compare and go along a journey. If a family was traveling in Europe for the summer, this would be perfect.
Kid’s Best Travel Journal for the New Journal Writer
The Kids Travel Diary is for the younger traveler or reluctant writer. Each day, the prompts ask kids to record the date, weather, budget and destination. It also asks for their impressions of the best thing, food for the day and favorite memory.
With more than 50 two page spreads, Travel Diary will last for more than one trip. It also includes lots of fun games to play while traveling sprinkled throughout the book. It’s a great journal for a kid who wants a little space to share their impressions of a location but also needs a nudge on what to start saying.
Most Needed Accessories for Travel Journals
While the actual journal is one part of capturing the memories, these will make things even easier to capture. Check them out and you’ll be ready for your next trip.
Kodak Printomatic Camera is a favorite of mine. You can print 2” by 3” B&W and Color sticker images immediately with this dual camera/printer. It charges with a USB cord and film is even stored inside the camera so there’s nothing to forget at home.
Tombow Markers are a dual purpose for journaling. The fine tip is ready for writing and the brush tip sketches the perfect landscape.
TUL Gel Ink Pens are a favorite of planners for every type.