Feature - How to Keep a Travel Journal (plus 13+ ideas for yours)

This post may contain affiliate links. This means we receive a commission on the sale of certain items. This is at NO additional cost to you. Visit the policies page to learn more.

Are you ready to start a travel journal but have no idea where to start? Check out these creative travel journal ideas.

A travel journal should be fun! It should be fun when you’re making it and it should be fun to look back at it.

Your travel journal is about creating and maintaining memories. It’s not about volume – the amount of stuff in your travel journal isn’t the point. The value of what you put in there is the point.

Frequently Asked Questions about Travel Journals

Travel Journal FAQs

How do I get started?

You need something to journal in and something to journal about.

A travel journal is going to be dedicated to travel – but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you come home. Use your travel journal to plan your next trip (or your dream trip, or both).

Use it while your traveling and use it when you get back.

What tools do I need?

You’ll need a notebook, pen(s), and tape or glue.

All other supplies are optional. Some useful tools and supplies include:

  • watercolor pencils
  • washi tape
  • stickers
  • typography pens
  • polaroid camera
  • scissors
  • paper clips
  • bulldog clips
  • envelopes
  • stencils
  • pencil case

What if I can’t draw?

That’s fine! I can’t draw either.

You have a few options.

  • Sketch as best you can (so for me, not at all. Your mileage may vary).
  • Use postcards
  • Use images from brochures, pamphlets, and other tourist information
  • Use polaroids that you take yourself
  • Leave space for pictures & paste them in later (when you can have them printed)

What do I write about?

Write about positive experiences.

Write about the extreme, the strange, the awe-inspiring, the beautiful, etc.,

You can also write about the basics.

You don’t have to be writing diary-style, although you can include some of that.

Don’t include negative thoughts or experiences. These aren’t the things you’re going to want to remember when you look back later.

Use all your senses when writing things. How did it feel (emotionally and physically), sound, smell, and look.

Should I journal by date or event?

That’s something you have to decide for yourself. There’s no reason you have to choose just one – you can write some pages by event and some pages by date!

What objects can I include?

You can collect and include anything that you want. From the usual to the unusual. Here’s an incomplete list of things you can put in your travel journal.

  • postcards
  • tickets (train, plane, bus, entrance)
  • bag tags
  • wrappers (food, packaging)
  • receipts
  • newspapers
  • currency
  • travel brochures
  • branded items (notecards, business cards, napkins, coasters, etc)
  • stamps
  • and anything else you want!
A person writing in her Travel Journal (perhaps inspired by one of the 13+ page ideas)

Travel Journal: Ideas for Pages


Maps are a great thing to include in your travel journal. You can draw them yourself or use ones from tourist brochures.

You can make map pages before, during, or after your trip.

Food & Drinks

Dedicate some pages to the unique foods and drinks you can find on your travels.

You can plan food ideas in advance and leave space to check them off, and add opinions, pictures of whatever after.

Another option is to write about a particularly memorable meal.


Checklists are a great thing to do before a trip and then fill in as you travel.

You can have checklists for many things including packing, things to see, things to eat, etc.


Use pages to mark down your itineraries. This can be combined with a map, a checklist, or any way you’d like.

Itineraries can be planned in advance, written when you’re done, or added as you go!

Your Interest

You can devote pages (as many as you want) to the quirky thing you’re interested in.

I like coffee and strange streetlights. I have friends who like graffiti, mushrooms, lighthouses, business signs, fencing, tea, and so much more.

Envelope Pages

Make pages into envelopes that can be used to store things you don’t want to display but want to keep.

You can also use an envelope page to store things you’ll paste in later.

Found (Free) Souvenirs

There are a ton of free souvenirs you can find places to add to your travel journal.

Take pieces of cardboard, coat one side in glue, then cover it in sand at the beach.

Drink a lot of tea? Save the tags from your tea bags and paste them in somewhere.

These are just a couple of ideas. Use your imagination!


If you have a heavy-duty notebook (and some artistic skills), you can create your own postcards.

Alternatively, you can buy postcards and put them in your travel journal.

Diary Pages

This is a more traditional journal style. Write your thoughts and feelings each day about your travel experiences.


If you’re artistic, you can draw yourself in comics. I wish I had the skills to do this.

If you want to incorporate comics but can’t draw, you can preprint some comics and use them whenever you want.

Location Details

Devote a page (or several) to writing the details of your travel location. Things like population, climate, interesting facts.

Treat it like your own personal travel brochure.

The People You Meet

Capture the people you meet in your travel notebook (even if you add them on social media).

You can add pictures, sketches, contact information, business cards, where they’re from, how you met, or anything.

Another fun idea is to have them write a couple of sentences to you.


Currencies can be fascinating! Textures, colors, shapes, sizes, they can vary a lot between countries.

Travel Journal Ideas Video

It’s Time to Start a Travel Journal!

Pin This - Start a TRAVEL JOURNAL with 13+ Ideas

Your travel journal should be a reflection of you and your travels. Do what inspires and works for you.

There’s no right or wrong way to travel journal! So get started today.

Not sure where to go? Check out these epic 27 Places to Travel next.


Pin This - Travel the USA by TRAIN (13+ Inexpensive Trips)


Pin This - 27+ Bucket List Travel Destinations