If you are a regular reader here, you know that I love using photos to capture memories of my vacation. But there are some things that you may not be able to document with photos – either because a photo won’t tell the real story or because you missed it. Using a DIY travel journal can be a great way to personalize your vacation stories.
There are a lot of different ways that you can approach creating your DIY travel journals. You may consider creating one small book for each trip, or you may decide to have one larger book for all of your travels.
You should also decide what type of journal you want. Do you want a post trip scrapbook, with stickers, stamps, and scrapbook paper? In that case, you should probably consider doing a traditional scrapbook rather than a journal.
You may also prefer to have a more polished journal with sketches and nice handwriting. Another option is a journal filled with quick notes and phrases. I like to use a combination of these two, but you should decide if you are going to be journaling along the way, or rewriting everything neatly in the journal after your trip.
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DIY Travel Journal
Find the Perfect Notebook
You’ll need to decide what type of journal you want before purchasing your notebook. If you are going to be doing traditional writing in the book, without gluing in materials or sketching, you’ll probably want a lined book. I do a little bit of both, so I like notebooks with dots rather than lines.
Here are some great ideas for notebooks:
Moleskine (these books come in lined, dotted, and blank paper. They are extremely popular as bullet journals, so you can pretty easily find them).
May Designs (these are available with different patterns and are thin enough to use one per trip)
Traditional travel journal – there are lots of options on Amazon
I like to use paint pens on my Moleskine notebooks to personalize them to my style. I’m not an artist, but I do like the personal touch.
Get Your Materials Ready
Besides your notebook, there are some additional things you may want to purchase. If you are going to glue in mementos, you’ll probably want a glue runner. Colorful pens are also a fun option to give your journal a little bit of personality.
Start Your Notebook Before You Go
If you want, you can start to write in your journal before you go. I usually like to sketch out my general itinerary, information about our hotel and flights, and any other notes I have before I go.
If you prefer a more polished book, make sure you spend some time on this. I like this section to be more casual, so I just jot things down.
Collect Items On Your Trip
This is the fun part of your journal. I love collecting things like postcards, pamphlet, flyers, tags, and other things I can add into my DIY travel journal. I travel with my journal, so I just tuck these things into the book, and wait until I get home to add them in.
Jot Down Thoughts and Memories
As a travel blogger, I take pretty careful notes during my trips. But for a personal trip, I still would take notes at the end of each day just so I remember. Include anything important including meals you ate, things you saw, fun conversations and comments, and people you met.
DIY Travel Journaling After Your Trip
Once you get home, you can put all of the final touches on your DIY travel journal. Create pages for each day of your trip, and include the little clippings and mementos that you found along the way. You can cut them and glue them right into the pages.
Don’t stress about it being perfect. It’s only meant for you, so you should create something that helps you remember your trip fondly. You don’t have to show anyone, so feel free to be creative and go outside your comfort zone.
See our travel journal web story here.
Have you created a DIY travel journal?