Bullet journals are very popular for great reasons. The bullet journal method of planning and journaling is a great way to combine various pieces of paper and books to keep yourself organized. Instead of having an annual calendar, a weekly calendar, a task list, a journal, sticky notes, and to-do lists, you can put everything in just one single book that is easy to bring with you.
Depending on the type of bullet journal book you have, you can easily carry it around with you and have access to it (and all the information included in it) wherever you go. So you can update things on the fly and make sure that everything is up to date whenever things change.
Bullet journals are also great to use as a travel journal for your next vacation. You can create bullet journal packing lists, itineraries, bucket lists, and more within just one book.
Here are our tips for using your bullet journal for travel – including how to create bullet journal packing lists and itineraries as well as how you can journal your travels.
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Using a Bullet Journal for Travel: Bullet Journal Packing Lists and More
Overview of Bullet Journaling
There are countless videos, websites, and blog posts focused on how to best create a bullet journal. If you are a beginner, you may want to start at the official bullet journal website where you can watch a video and get an overview of how the method works.
It takes a little while to understand the bullet journaling method, but once you understand it, it is very easy to follow. You can also adapt the method in any way you’d like to make it your own.
Here are some bullet journaling basics:
Starting your bullet journal is easy. Once you’ve purchased the appropriate supplies (see below), consider how you want to use your journal. Most people use the front of the book as a calendar/to-do list.
The beginning of your journal should be the index, where you’ll add the list of pages included in the journal. You’ll keep including pages in the index as you add them to the book. This is where you’ll be able to find everything that you’ve included in the bullet journal.
Next, you’ll want to draw out pages for the months of the year. In general, you can put about three months per page, but you can always take more space if you feel you need it. Include a section for each month of the year, and include events, dates, and special events.
Next, you can create a more detailed page for each month, including the dates of the month on one page and a task list on the opposite side. This section should include to-dos and important deadlines/dates.
The key with a bullet journal is using all of the information contained in the journal to create your goals and tasks for each day. If you spend some time putting it together and then sometime each day updating it, you’ll be able to use the bullet journal to be very effective each day. But it’s so important to understand that this is your book and you need to create the pages that work best for you.
You’ll have tons of pages within one book, so you can create the layouts and pages that you need to manage your life and schedule. If you create calendar and tasks pages at the beginning of the book, you can use later pages for journaling, projects, bullet journal travel pages, and more. In general, you should expect to create one bullet journal per year, creating a new one each January.
Another common concern with bullet journals can be about how they look. Do an internet search for bullet journal photos and you’ll find gorgeous layouts with drawings, beautiful handwriting, and gallery-quality images. This can make you feel that your bullet journal spreads aren’t nice enough, and may want you to stop creating one.
However, don’t let that stop you. Your bullet journal just needs to work for you, and as long as you can read it and understand it, it’s perfect for you. Your style may evolve as you do more in your book, and you may find different ways to use it.
Bullet Journal Supplies
Before you start your first bullet journal, you’ll want to make sure you get the best bullet journal supplies to create your idea book. First, you’ll want to find a bullet journal in the style that you want. There are lots of different options available online, but find one that works for you.
You’ll want to consider the size of the book (make sure it’s portable enough but also be sure that there are lots of pages). You’ll also need to think about the layout of the pages. Some people prefer blank pages where you can add your own lines, while others (like me) prefer dotted pages or lined pages.
If you are seeing the book in person, you’ll want to make sure the pages are of high-quality paper, so that the ink from your pens doesn’t bleed through the next page. You can also find bullet journals in a variety of colors so that you can choose one that reflects your personality.
I like this journal from Amazon, which has dotted pages and is available in a bunch of different colors. You’ll find lots of other options on Amazon as well, including some with blank or lined pages.
You’ll also want to get some great sets of pens for your journal. If you are worried about messing up your layout, you may consider Pilot Frixion Pens, which can be erased. I also really like Stabilo Fineliner pens, and have a collection of them in a variety of colors (although these cannot be erased).
If you enjoy lettering and doodling, you may want to get a nice set of brush pens for your bullet journal. These dual brush pens are great because there’s a fine tip at the opposite end. You can also consider getting some pretty washi tape, which can be an easy way to decorate your bullet journal.
While the index section of your bullet journal is meant to keep your pages organized, you may not find it to be the easiest to use because you’ll have to flip through the pages to find the one you are looking for. I prefer to have tab stickers on the individual sections of my journal. Just keep in mind that these tabs may bend and fold if you carry your journal around so if you are going to bring your journal everywhere, they may not be the best option.
For the easiest way to get started with bullet journaling, there are also kits available to purchase. This one from Amazon is a great option because it contains a journal, markers, stencils, and tabs – everything you need to get started! These are also a great idea for a gift for your favorite traveler.
Travel Bullet Journal Ideas
Do you love to travel? There are so many great ways that you can use your bullet journal as a travel journal. You can keep track of your itinerary, create packing lists, write down your budget, and dream about your budget list.
Bullet Journal Packing Lists
No matter how many times I travel, I always use a packing list when I’m getting ready for my trip. Packing lists are a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything, and that you get your shopping all day before your trip.
I typically create a master packing list for own family, which contains the things needed for our entire family – like sunscreen and toothpaste. Then, each member of our family has their own list. My kids pack their own bags, and I check everything before we leave.
For your bullet journal packing list, you can include both the master list as well as your individual family lists – or keep your family lists offline. If there’s anything you need to purchase, add it to your task list at the beginning of the journal.
Bullet Journal Travel To-Dos
Before you go on vacation, there will be some things that you’ll need to do. Whether it’s renewing your passport, holding your mail, buying new luggage, booking a kennel for your pet, or shopping for vacation supplies, there are likely to be some things to add to your travel to-do list. You can start a travel to-do list, and then add each thing to your task list to be completed as you get the chance.
Remember to start this list early, because there are some things that will take time to do. Booking a kennel for instance, should be done well in advance, especially if you are traveling during a school vacation. You’ll also want to check passport expiration dates with plenty of time to renew before your trip.
Make sure you also include things like making reservations for attractions and dinners, as well as booking transportation/car rentals if needed. You can continually add to your travel to-do list, but be sure to keep scheduling those tasks in your main planner so they get done.
Bullet Journal Itinerary
Another section of your travel bullet journal can be specifically for your vacation itinerary. As you plan your vacation days add them to your pages. I like to include my travel plans as well, so that everything is in one place.
Within these itinerary pages, you can also include confirmation numbers, addresses and pick-up times/places, dates, and information for various attractions, prices, and more. You can use these pages as a resource during your vacation, as well as a way to make sure you get everything done on your trip that you want to do.
Bullet Journal Travel Budget
Are you preparing your budget for a vacation? Your bullet journal is the perfect place to create and keep track of your vacation budget.
When creating your budget, here’s what you’ll want to consider:
- Airfare/train tickets/etc
- Car rental
- Transportation to and from your home airport
- Attraction passes
- Food budget
- Kennel fees for pets
- Products needed for vacation
If you are saving up for a trip, you can also keep track of your savings within your bullet journal. You can also keep track of spending while you are on your trip. Be sure to leave out any sensitive information, just in case you misplace your book.
As the name suggests, a bullet journal can also be used as a travel journal to document your vacation. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to create a page for each day of your trip while you are on a vacation. Or you can create a beautiful spread for each day once you return home from vacation.
If you choose to do your pages once you get home, you may want to jot down notes each day of your trip. You can also use your journal to keep clippings, ticket stubs, and other mementos of your family vacation.
Bullet Journal Bucket List
Not traveling in the near future? You can also use your travel journal to keep track of your travel bucket list. Create a page with places that you are hoping to visit in the near future, and then you’ve got a great start the next time you are deciding where to go on vacation.
I started my travel bucket list by considering places that I’d always wanted to visit. But over the years, I’ve added destinations that I’ve seen on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. You can add broader destinations, or even consider including specific hotels and attractions that you want to visit.
Have you used a bullet journal for travel or created a bullet journal packing list? What are your favorite tips and products?