Journals are a great way to capture memories from your travels, and a travel journal kit will help you personalise your pages. Starting a travel journal is like starting any other journal, the most important thing to remember is do it your way.
What is a travel journal kit?
A travel journal kit is a collection of items you can use to decorate your journal while you travel. It may be a smaller collection of what you use in your general journaling or include special items for your trip such as beach stickers if you’re going to the sea side.
Why create your own kit?
The two key reasons for creating your own travel kit are creating a personalised kit and saving money. You can choose the notebook you want to use, which might be your existing one, you can ensure the size is suitable for the length of your trip and your luggage allowance, you can theme it for your trip and include items you already own. And perhaps most importantly you don’t buy or carry things that you know you won’t use.
What is a good size for a travel journal kit?
There is no perfect size, only the perfect size for your trip. It could range from a small box (affiliate) to a large pencil case (affiliate). In fact, the size could change for each trip you go on. When creating your kit, here are some things to consider:
- how many supplies do you usually use in your journal
- how long are you away
- how much space do you have in your luggage
- how much time will you have to journal
- what space will you have to write and decorate – will you be able to spread out or will you be in a confined space
Adding photographs to your journal
Adding photos is a personal choice and will depend on how you want your pages to look. Yes, small portable printers (affiliate) exist, but it doesn’t mean you have to include one in your journalling kit. There are other ways to include images in your journal:
- leave spaces and print them when you get home
- print them in a shop while you’re away
- buy postcards with the views you want
- cut pictures out of flyers and travel brochures
- draw pictures.
If you have the space and the money, you may want to buy a portable photo printer. These are convenient, connecting to your phone via Bluetooth. The printer paper often has an adhesive back, so they are easy to stick straight on the page. However, from my experience with the Canon Zoe (Canon Ivy (affiliate) in some countries) the paper is not cheap, and the colour not great, with the prints appearing cool even after turning up the temperature as high as I can. Despite that, I do love adding the photos to my journal, although I don’t know if I’d have bought a printer myself if I wasn’t given one at Christmas.
14 items you may want to include in your travel journal kit
I don’t want to call these essential items to include, because for you some will be and some won’t be. Instead, this is a list of common items that you may want to consider including.
- Storage to keep all your items in, that is suitable for your luggage. It could be something like a Delphonics pouch or a small box
- Stickers that go with the theme of your journal or just make you happy
- Notebook – this could be your existing journal that you continue or a special one for travel. If it is a new one you may want to do some ink / pen tests on the paper before leaving
- Glue to add items you find on your tip, it could be in the form of a small glue stick or glue dots
- Papers to add interest to your page, such as patterned papers that match your theme
- Paint or coloured pencil to add colour to your pages
- Pens – take your favourites, the ones that make writing a joy
- Inks – if you have a fountain pen remember to take ink either in cartridges or refillable inkwell
- Pair of scissors with blades short enough to get through airport security if you’re flying. I like compact ones (affiliate) that can live in my journal kit all year round
- Washi tape to decorate the pages
- Pencil and eraser could be used for sketching or marking the page to help you decorate
- Permanent markers if you expect to use shiny papers that you want to write on
- Stamps and ink pad
- Photo printer (see section above)
My recent recent travel journal kit
This is the journal kit I took on a recent trip. It was a one – week skiing trip, with hand luggage only.
I took my existing notebook and my photo printer that I was given as a Christmas gift. I already had a few snowy stickers and bought some ski ones (they were really hard to find). I also bought mountain and snow themed washi tape, and took some samples wrapped around an old card. I had portable scissors and glue dots (although I lost them before I managed to use them). I took my usable ink refillable rollerball pen, and although I was confident I wouldn’t run out of ink I included a spare pen. All the small bits went into a small sealable pocket that easily packed into my bag. You can see how my pages turned out on TikTok.
Alternatives to creating a travel journal kit
Travel journalling is the same as other journalling, it is personal and you do it the way you want to do it. So if you don’t want to take things to decorate your page, don’t. Here are some other ideas:
- take your normal journal and don’t do anything different to normal
- decorate your pages before you go
- decorate your pages when you get back
- draw using your usual pen
- buy a journal (affiliate) with decorated pages
Affiliate links – these means if you buy something on the site after clicking on the link I will earn a percentage of what you buy. However, it will not cost you anything extra