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The 13 Best Travel Journals

From leather-bound to Moleskine, here are the best travel journals to keep track of your adventures.

trip planner journal

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks
  • Tips for Buying

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure / Alli Waataja

Whether you’re staying close to home or embarking on a bucket-list trip, it’s no secret that travel helps enrich our minds and provides us with a better understanding of the world around us — all while creating lifelong memories. To document your adventures and preserve these precious memories, consider snagging a travel journal. As you shop, keep in mind that the best travel journals come in a slew of different forms — including some with all-blank pages for long-form freewriting and others with a mix of dotted pages and prompts to spark some inspiration. All in all, it’s safe to say that there’s a travel journal out there for everyone. Ahead, we’ve rounded up our favorites, including a handful with bonus features like illustrations, maps, stickers, detachable packing lists, and storage pockets.

Best Overall

Papier joy travel journal.

The journal is divided into six sections to help travelers stay organized while planning their vacations and documenting their memories.

There’s no place to store a pen.

Divided into six distinct sections, the Papier Joy Travel Journal makes documenting your travels easy and fun. Use the wishlist and trip ideas sections to write down your top bucket list travel locales, while the journey planning and reflection sections provide plenty of space to document your escapades. Pass the time en route to your destination — be it by train, plane, or automobile — by filling out the travel games section of the notebook which includes fun activities like “I Spy,” airport bingo, word searches, and word scrambles. At the very back of the journal, you’ll find an illustrative world map to color in. You can, of course, use the journal to jot down packing must-haves, restaurant recommendations, and anything else to help you stay organized while on the go.  

The Details: 192 pages | 5.5 × 8.5 inches

Best Hardcover

Moleskine voyageur notebook.

This journal features fun and functional bonus features like stickers, detachable packing lists, and to-do lists.

There are limited color options.

Moleskine is renowned for its durable notebooks, and this travel-themed one is no exception. Featuring a clothbound hardcover, elastic closure, and an expandable inner back pocket, this 208-page travel notebook is unique in that it also comes complete with detachable packing lists, to-do lists, and, best of all, a sheet of themed stickers for decorating. The travel-planning section is excellent for — you guessed it — planning out your itinerary, while the budget pages come in especially helpful for jotting down and keeping track of expenses. And, since this is a travel journal, it should come as no surprise that there is also a dedicated section for writing down key memories to look back on. 

The Details: Lined, blank | 208 pages | 4.5 x 7 inches

Best Accessories

Clever fox travel journal.

It comes with fun themed stickers and offers specific sections for budgeting and trip reviews.

It’s made with faux leather, which is considered less durable than genuine leather.

Creative types will especially appreciate this Clever Fox Travel Journal, which comes with over 150 stickers to decorate away. Need some inspo? Check out the included user guide with examples to help you create your own one-of-a-kind travel journal. The calendar page can be used to mark down important trip dates, while the illustrative map page can be used to plan out your route. There are also research and budgeting pages, along with a trip review section where travelers can look back on their favorite activities. Additional highlights include a ribbon bookmark, a back pocket, and a pen loop.

The Details: Blank, lined, dotted | 120 pages | 5.8 x ‎8.4 inches

Best Sustainable

Rocketbook smart reusable notebook.

This innovative journal utilizes QR code technology to scan and safely store your entries in a digital app on your smartphone.

Those who prefer a more traditional journaling experience may not feel so connected to this smart journal.

Travelers looking for a more sustainable approach to journaling (read: one that doesn’t require excessive amounts of paper) should consider snagging the Rocketbook Core Reusable Smart Notebook. Simply scan the QR code printed on each page, and your smartphone will automatically snap a photo of your work before subsequently updating it to the corresponding app where your entry will live on forever. You don’t need to worry about accidentally losing the journal, and your memories, along with it!). To “write,” use the included reusable pen, add a drop of water, and wipe with the included microfiber cloth to reveal a blank page ready to fill once more.  

The Details: Dotted | 36 pages | 6 x 8.8 inches

Best Pocket Sized

Letterfolk trip passport journal.

This compact travel journal can be easily stashed away in your backpack or pocket while on the move.

With just 48 pages, this journal is not ideal for longform entries.

As the name suggests, the Letterfolk Trip Passport Journal is about the size of a passport, which means it can easily fit in your carry-on, tote bag, backpack, or everyday purse. Despite its small size, it contains a total of 20 entry logs for travelers to jot down key details of each trip. Each entry page is also accompanied by a blank page that can be used to record thoughts, photos, illustrations, and even keepsakes like ticket stubs and museum tickets. The back pages of the journal offer checklists, flight logs, bucket lists, and other fun activities. 

The Details: Lined, blank | 48 pages | 3.5 x 5.5 inches

Best Prompts

The traveler's playbook.

Uncommon Goods

The specific prompts will help inspire travelers to record small but memorable details of their vacations.

Conversely, the creative, hyper-focused pages and prompts may feel overwhelming to some.

Document each and every one of your adventures with this beautiful journal, which was created by an avid traveler. Inside, you’ll find a slew of illustrations and prompts to help get those creative juices flowing and inspire travelers to record seemingly small but unique details of their journeys that will live on for decades. There’s even a dedicated page for each country, a master tracker to help plan the ultimate itinerary, a travel bucket list, checklists, and pages where travelers can record the names and details of new friends made while globetrotting. Finally, for each country visited, color it in on the world map page. 

The Details: 256 pages | 5.8 x 8.3 inches

Best Leather

Smythson "travel and experiences" cross-grain leather notebook.

Bergdorf Goodman

This timeless travel notebook features a chic albeit durable cross-grain calf leather construction.

There are no specific prompts or unlined pages.

This portable, pocket-sized travel journal is both functional and fashionable thanks to its cross-grain leather construction, which is known for its excellent ability to withstand wear and tear. As such, you can expect it to stay intact for years on end while serving as your trusty travel companion. Plus, it can even be personalized with your initials for an extra-special touch. Choose from four fun color options: Nile Blue, Orange, Scarlet Red, and Bright Emerald. 

The Details: Lined | 64 pages | 3.5 x 5.5 inches

Mark and Graham Leather Bound World Travel Journal

Mark and Graham

This leather-bound travel journal includes colored maps of cities around the world.

It’s not refillable, meaning that you’ll need to purchase an entirely new journal when you run out.

World travelers may opt for a travel journal with multiple maps to 1) plan their upcoming trips, 2) map out future itineraries, and 3) know where they’re going when wandering through new-to-them locales. This one from Mark and Graham includes full-color maps of major cities, as well as world weather information and international dialing codes. The leather-bound book is a sleek and functional choice. For extra-luxe flair, consider adding foil-debossed monogramming for just $12.50. 

The Details: 320 pages | 6 x 4.5 inches

Best Customizable

No ordinary emporium personalised travel journal with map pages.

This fully customizable journal makes an excellent gift for friends or family, or a keepsake for yourself!

Since it ships from the United Kingdom, it can take several weeks to arrive.

Whether shopping for yourself or a lucky giftee, this travel journal can be fully personalized based on specific preferences and travels. Shoppers can customize the cover with a title, subtitle, name, date, and message. There’s also the option to select the number of pages, along with the page design. Choose between blank or lined pages, and between colored or gray maps. Lastly, the journal boasts a sleek matte finish and sturdy hardcover construction to ensure it’ll stand the test of time. 

The Details: Blank, lined | 50-150 pages | 5.9 x 8.2 inches

Best Refillable

Robrasim refillable travelers notebook.

Three different paper refills are available.

It’s a small notebook.

This versatile leather travel journal has not one, not two, but three different 64-page refill inserts — lined, blank, and kraft paper — based on personal preference. When one notepad is full, simply remove it and replace it with a new one. The included pouch is also great for storing receipts, ticket stubs, and other small travel mementos. And while this is technically classified as a travel journal, it can also be used for general note-taking, sketching, or daily planning. Take your pick of two colors: coffee and wine.

The Details: Lined, blank | 64 pages | 4 x 5.2 inches

Best with Stickers

Legend travel planner.

It has three sheets of stickers, plus dedicated pages for safety tips and checklists.

It only holds info for a maximum of five trips.

This fun travel journal-slash-itinerary planner has three sheets of themed stickers to decorate. With dedicated pages for emergency contacts, safety tips, pre-trip checklists, and even translation to commonly spoken languages, think of this journal as the ultimate travel companion. Globetrotters also have the opportunity to add photos and mementos while simultaneously jotting down notes, ideas, and expenses. The attached pen loop, three ribbon bookmarks, elastic closure, and pocket for loose notes and documents are all added bonuses. Travelers can take their pick of six fun color and pattern options, as well. 

The Details: Ruled, dotted | 5.8 x 8.3 inches

Best for Kids

Peter pauper kids’ travel journal.

A combination of maps, prompts, illustrations, and games make this the ultimate kid-friendly travel journal.

It's most suited for international travel.

Surprise and delight your child(ren) with this kids’ travel journal ahead of your next family trip. Suitable for those ages seven through 12, this journal is filled with prompts, photos, illustrations, maps, puzzles, and games to keep little ones entertained for hours on end. Kids can use the blank pages to paste photos and mementos, while the lined pages are great for jotting down memorable experiences, reflections, and drawings. The travel journal is also chock full of travel-centric quotes and fascinating world facts. The back pocket is great for stashing keepsakes.

The Details: Blank, lined | 96 pages | 6.2 x 8.2 inches

Journo Travel Journal & Trip Tracker

Apple App Store

This is a great option if you plan to transfer your digital travel memories to a glossy photo book.

Digital journaling may not be for everyone.

Travelers looking for a non-traditional journaling option should download Journo, a travel journal app and trip tracker that’s Android and Apple smartphones — along with tablets and Macs. Think of this app as a digital travel scrapbook complete with notes, photos, and — get this — audio clips. Travelers can choose to type or handwrite their entries, and the digital journal can be completely customized with specific text styles and colors. It can also be printed out into a gorgeous coffee table book. 

The Details: Customizable | Unlimited pages

Tips for Buying a Travel Journal

Consider your needs.

Are you going on a road trip? Backcountry hiking? On a month-long ship journey across the ocean? Consider where you’re going and for how long when picking a journal. If you’re going to be in some extreme weather, you might want to pick a journal that has some weather protection. Short on suitcase space? Or maybe you’re only bringing minimal gear? Consider a pocket-sized journal to maximize precious packing room.

Pick the right page format and style

Be sure to look at what types of pages come with your journal, and if it is refillable, what types of page refills are available. If you’re used to writing on lined paper, you’ll want to make sure your journal has that. But if you’re looking for some blank pages so you can sketch or add photos, make sure the journal includes them, too.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Simply start and just let the words flow onto the pages. Talk about what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, who you're traveling with, the itinerary, what you ate, etc. If you’re not quite sure how to journal, choose a journal with prompts that will help you get started.

A bullet journal is more for to-do lists, scheduling, organizing, and jotting down ideas. Usually, bullet journals include dotted pages instead of lined pages, but you could simply add in your own bullet points to a lined journal if you wish. Bullet journals are great for quick notes while on the go, or for organization in between long journaling sessions.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, T+L contributor Lauren Dana Ellman utilized a combination of research and personal expertise as a travel commerce writer to compile a list of the best travel journals on the market. She also combed through dozens — if not hundreds — of product reviews and ratings to narrow down the specific product picks mentioned above.

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14 Best Travel Journals for Travelers – Guide to Choosing the Perfect Travel Journal

Last updated: January 19, 2024 - Written by Jessica Norah 32 Comments

A travel journal can be a great way to record one’s memories and experiences while traveling. Laurence bought his first travel journal in 1999 to use on a trip to Namibia. I bought my first travel journal back in 2012 for a trip to France. We have both been keeping travel journals on most of our trips ever since.

Although I don’t do it often, I love re-reading my old travel journals. They bring back a lot of memories, and help me remember all the little things that happened that I may have forgotten, the good, the bad, and the hilarious.

I also find my old journals very useful in recording details, such as a guide’s name, the duration of a hike, or which restaurant we ate in during a trip which may not be something I can tell from a photo. This has helped us add details to travel blog posts, return to favorite spots, and give more specific travel advice to friends and family.

Over the years, we have used a lot of different journals for travel writing, from basic composition notebooks to custom handcrafted journals. We have used, gifted, and reviewed dozens of different types of journals.

This guide was written to help travelers find the best travel journal for them. Whether you are looking for a personal journal for an upcoming trip or looking for help in buying a travel journal as a gift, we’ll give you all the information you need to choose the best travel journal.

We’ll share what to look for when buying a travel journal, including things like size, page count, paper quality, closure types, and sustainability. Then we review a wide selection of different travel journals so that you can find one that suits your criteria, style, and budget.

best travel journals for travelers

Table of Contents:

14 Things to Consider When Buying a Travel Journal

Travel journals all have a lot in common, but there are also a number of differences. We’ll discuss the main factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a travel journal.

For many people, a journal for traveling is no different than a regular journal or diary. But there are things that may be more important to you for a journal that you take on a trip rather than one that stays next to your bed. These may include factors related to portability (size and weight) and durability (cover type, binding quality, closure type).

There is no perfect journal for travelers. My favorite travel journal is not necessarily the right one for you. Also the ideal journal may also depend on the type and length of your trip. A journal that is good for writing about short weekend trips may not work well on a month-long backpacking trip.

As you read this, I’d recommend making a list of the things that are most important to you in a journal. What size is right? What type of paper does it need to have? Do you want a guided or unguided journal? These notes can then help you narrow down the journals on our list and find the one that is perfect for you.

Journal Size

One of the more important factors to consider when buying a travel journal is its size or dimensions. The size of the journal that is best for you will depend on your needs.

For instance, someone who wants to be able to carry their journal in their back pocket or jacket is going to want a small journal. Those who plan to sketch or glue things onto pages (e.g., tickets, photos, flyers) of their journal may want to think about what size will be best suited to that.

I would recommend grabbing a book, journal, or piece of paper that you have handy at home and measuring them to get an idea of what size you prefer. You can fold or tear a piece of paper until you get the size that you think would be ideal, then you can search for journals with similar dimensions.

In most of the world, you likely see a lot of travel journals with sizing that says A5, A6, or B5 which are a standard size measured in millimeters. These are referring to the International Standard (ISO) paper sizes . For instance, A5 paper is 148 mm X 210 mm (5.8 inches X 8.3 inches).

However, if you are in North America or Central America, you are less likely to see journals advertised in ISO sizes. Countries such as the United States and Canada generally use North American paper sizes such as letter and legal paper sizes, which are measured in inches. You are much more likely to see journals that are designed to inch measurements, such as 5″ X 7″ or 7″ X 9″.

Generally if looking at measurements for journals, the first number will refer to the width and the second number refers to the height. So a 120mm X 170mm journal would be 120mm wide and 170mm high.

There is no “best” size for a travel journal, it just depends on your needs. I would just recommend not going any smaller than 3.5″ X 5″ or larger than A4 or letter-sized paper.

For some guidance from popular journal brands, Paperblanks has said its Mini (4″ X 5.5″) and Midi (5″ X 7″) sizes are the most popular. Moleskine has said that its brand’s “Pocket” (3.5″ X 5.5″) and “Large” (5″ X 8.25″) sizes are two of its most popular sizes. Leuchtturm1917 says its Classic A5 (5.75″ X 8″) and B5 (7″ X 10″) are two of its most popular sizes.

If you are looking for your first travel journal and have no idea what size to go for, I’d suggest either A5 (5.8 inches X 8.3 inches) or a “Mid-sized” one. So something that is approximately 5 inches X 7 inches (127 mm X 178 mm) to 6 inches X 8 inches (152 mm X 203 mm).

I have used a variety of journals of different sizes and tend to prefer more medium sized ones. We keep ours in our day bags or backpacks.

My current favorites are the Slim sized notebooks from Paperblanks which are 90 mm X 180 mm (3.54″ X 7″). Laurence typically uses the Midi sized ones which are 130 mm X 180 mm (5.1″ X 7″).

best travel journals for travelers journal sizes

Journal Weight

Weight is another factor to consider when choosing a travel journal. The weight is going to be affected by the cover type, the number of pages, and the overall size of the journal. Generally, journals with hard covers are heavier than those with soft covers.

Note that most journal brands do not note the weight of their journals online or on the labeling. But most journals are designed to be lightweight and portable, so this is probably mostly a factor to consider for those wanting a larger sized journal.

The weight of a journal is going to be more important for those who are backpackers or light packers. Those looking for a more lightweight journal, should consider a soft cover journal that is smaller in size. A refillable journal may also be a good option as you can control the amount of paper in it.

Most standard or mid-sized journals are fairly lightweight so this is not normally a big factor of consideration for us. Our travel journals generally range between 150 grams to 400 grams (6 oz to 14 oz), with most of my journals being around 8 ounces or 230 grams.

Number of Pages

The number of pages you will want is going to depend on how much you write, the length of your trip, and the size of the journal pages. It is also good to think about whether you want a travel journal for a single trip or if you want one that will last for several trips.

The number of pages will affect the thickness and the overall weight of your journal. So we would generally recommend trying to keep the page count under 250 pages.

It is important to note the difference between sheets and pages. A sheet of paper has 2 sides that you can write on. So if you see a journal specification that says it has 96 sheets, this means it would have 192 pages. Most journals will just advertise the number of pages you can write on, but you do occasionally see it noted in sheets.

I generally write 3-5 pages per day, so if going on a 2-week trip, I’d want to make sure to have at least 70 pages. If going for a month, 150 pages. For instance, a 176-page Paperblanks Slim journal lasts me about a full month of travel.

If you are not sure how many pages you want in a journal, most journals contain between 120 and 200 pages. So I think any journal with a page count in that general range is probably a good place to start.

If you are going on a particularly long trip, say over 3 months in length, you might want to consider starting with one journal and then getting new journals along the way as you fill them up. You might want to mail home your completed journals (recommend backing them up digitally first through) to avoid lugging them around the world.

man writing in travel journal best travel journals for travelers safari

Type of Paper

The type of paper is something most people will want to consider when buying a journal. The main question for me would be how do I plan to use the journal. For example, you will likely want a different type of paper if you would like to use your journal for both sketching and writing versus someone who solely wants to be able to write in it.

Here are some of the things you might consider regarding the type and composition of the paper in a journal:

  • Is the paper blank, lined, dotted/bulleted, or squared/graph paper?
  • For lined/dotted/squared paper, does the spacing between lines or dots matter to you?
  • Is it designed to be written on both sides of the pages (e.g., is both sides lined/dotted)?
  • Is it smooth or textured?
  • Is the paper acid-free? (acid-free paper ages better)
  • Is it designed primarily for writing or sketching?
  • What color is the paper?
  • Is it made from wood or cotton?
  • Is the paper made from a certified sustainable source (e.g., Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] certified)?
  • Is it suitable for certain types of writing instruments such as fountain pens, pencils, or charcoal?
  • Is the paper perforated?

Most journals are made of acid-free uncoated paper with a smooth texture that is designed to be used on both sides. Most paper used in made from wood pulp and is generally white, off-white, ivory, or cream in color.

Of all the above listed factors, the most important thing for most travelers is probably the type of page ruling in the journal (whether lined, dotted, blank, etc.). You probably already have a preference for the type of paper you write on. For example, I always choose journals with lined paper.

Note that a dotted, dot grid, and bullet journal are generally all referring to the same type of paper. Similarly, graph, grid, and squared paper are generally referring to the same type of paper.

Journal paper types best travel journals for travelers

The other thing you should consider is the type of writing instrument you plan to use. If using a regular ballpoint pen (the most common type), most journals should work just fine. Those with gel pens or fountain pens may want a slightly heavier than usual paper to avoid the ink going through the pages.

Those wanting to use pencils or draw with charcoal may prefer more textured paper. Those planning to use watercolor will need much thicker paper.

I would recommend avoiding notebooks with perforated paper unless you definitely plan to tear out pages. Perforated paper is much more likely to tear and come out of your journal.

I personally only use my journal for writing and strongly prefer lined paper. All of my travel journals have lined smooth acid-free paper that is designed to be written on both sides. But some people may prefer unlined paper or bullet journals; it really just depends on how you plan to use your journal.

Paper Quality

There are different things that you can look at in terms of evaluating paper quality such as the material, weight, thickness, finish, grain, etc. The majority of these things are not going to be that important to most people.

The paper used in travel journals is almost always made from wood pulp, but you might also see some premium journals or handmade journals using cotton or linen paper.

The main thing to look at when assessing page quality is the weight of the paper which is typically measured in grams per square meter and may be denoted as the gsm, g/m², or g/sq m. This is the most common indicator of paper quality that is provided to consumers.

Note that in North America you’ll likely come across the U.S. paper basis system where paperweight is measured in lbs (such as 70lb or 70#). But normally measurements are also given in the metric gsm as well. For example, 70lb paper is typically equal to about 100 gsm.

As you look at journals, you’ll notice a fairly wide range of paper weights from about 60 gsm to 140 gsm. I would recommend looking for a journal with paper between 70 gsm and 120 gsm.

Note that the size of the journal can affect the paperweight with thinner paper often used in smaller journals. For example, the smaller sized Paperblanks journals often have 85 gsm paper whereas the larger ones have 120 gsm paper.

For most people, the gsm of the paper isn’t going to matter very much. But if you plan to use a fountain pen, marker, etc. then the paperweight and type is going to be much more important. For example with a fountain pen, heavier weight papers are generally better able to resist feathering, ghosting, and bleeding.

We have had journals with a range of paperweights, from 70 gsm to 120 gsm, with most being around 85 gsm. On most of our journals, we have just written with various ballpoint pens and had no issues.

I also have a Platinum #3776 Century fountain pen and it seems to perform fine on most paper in this weight range but it can vary. The biggest factor seems to be how smooth the paper is, as the pen generally does better on smoother paper.

Fountain pens users may want to read reviews by fellow fountain pens users to judge performance of any particularl journal. However, the way that a fountain pen will perform on a specific journal will depend not only on the paper, but also on your specific ink, nib, and the pressure applied during writing.

writing with fountain pen best travel journals for fountain pen users

Bound Journal Versus Refillable Journal

Most travel journals are bound, but another option to consider is a refillable journal system. These are where you purchase a journal cover that normally comes with a closure, replaceable paper inserts, and rubber bands to affix the inserts. You can then purchase additional paper inserts as you need them.

The refillable paper inserts are typically affixed inside using an elastic or rubber band, a cord, or a ring binder. Most refillable journals are designed to hold a total of 3 compatible paper inserts.

As you would expect with refillable journals, the paper inserts are not going to be as durable as a bound book. These inserts are often bound using saddle stitching and/or staples. But if you are just using these for one trip and then storing them at home, this is probably not that important to you.

Although a refillable journal is typically more expensive than a bound journal, they tend to be less expensive over time versus buying a new bound journal for each trip. They can also be a more sustainable option if you keep using the same cover and just replace the paper inserts. They also allow you to have the same journal cover and writing experience for a long time.

Investing in a refillable journal is probably best for people who already know they enjoy journaling, know the size of journal they prefer, and know the type of journal they like. You don’t want to invest in a system you are not sure you are going to like.

Another benefit of refillable journals is that you easily personalize them and change the type of paper you are using. With many brands, you can also add things like folders, pouches, pen loops, decorative charms, etc.

A couple of popular brands making refillable journals are The Traveler’s Company (Midori) and Wanderings . Most brands use leather covers but you can also find faux leather covers out there as well. You just want the material to be durable enough to last through years of wear and tear from traveling.

If you decide on a refillable journal, things to consider are the quality/durability of the cover, extra features (e.g., pockets, ribbon, etc.), and the availability of correctly-sized paper options for your chosen journal. You’ll also want to check to see how the paper refills are inserted and check to see if it will lie completely flat when you write in it.

Midori Traveler's Notebook top travel journals for traveling best journal for travellers

Journal Binding

If you are planning to buy a bound journal, you will want to consider how the journal is bound. The journal binding can affect the durability of your journal. It can also affect how it opens, such as whether you can open and lie it down completely flat or not.

There are a lot of different book binding methods and the options available may depend on the type of cover (soft versus hard cover) and the thickness of the journal. Common journal binding methods include Smyth sewn binding, case binding, glue binding, spiral binding, and saddle stitch binding.

For many people, the type of journal binding may not be very important as most people just want to make sure that their journal is strong enough to last the duration of their trip.

But if you are wanting something more durable, I recommend journals that have been bound using Smyth sewing. This is considered the best type of binding in terms of quality and durability. But these journals are also a little more expensive than ones that have been bound using other techniques.

Smyth sewn means that groups of folded pages have been stitched together with binder thread, and then multiple groups are joined together. This makes it more durable than those that have just been glued for instance and it is much less likely that pages will come out. It also allows for the book to be opened completely flat.

If you don’t like the Smyth sewn bound journals or are looking for something a bit less expensive, you might look at a good quality spiral-bound or coil-bound notebook. These are usually fairly inexpensive, lie flat, and the pages won’t fall out. However, spiral notebooks tend not to be designed as travel journals (often they are designed for school or work use, an exception being the Write it Down journals ) and often don’t have any type of closures, but you can create your own binding with a piece of elastic.

The type of bound journals I generally avoid are those bound using only glue, staples, or basic stitching. These tend not to be that durable and you may have an issue with the pages coming out, especially for the ones where pages are just glued to the spine. But if you are going on a short trip or just need something to jot notes in, these will work just fine.

notebook binding options top travel journals for traveling best journal for travellers

Journal Closure

Another thing to consider is whether you want a journal with a closure or not, and if so, what type of closure you prefer. I would strongly recommend having some kind of way to close your travel journal. This will help protect the pages and binding of your journal from getting bent, torn, or soiled. If you plan to shove your journal into your backpack or purse on your trip, we’d definitely recommend one with a closure.

Probably the most common type of closure for a journal is an elastic band that stretches lengthwise over the journal to keep it closed when not in use. Other types of closures include magnetic wrap, magnetic strap, snap, metal clasp, leather strap, hook, button wrap, and ribbon tie closures. The more creative ones, such as ribbon ties and button wraps, are more typical on handmade journals.

The type of closure may or may not be important to you. I always buy a travel journal with a closure; however, I don’t have a strong preference for a specific type of closure. I have used travel journals with a variety of closures, including magnetic strap, metal clasp, elastic band, and magnetic wrap. All of these worked fine. My favorites are probably the magnetic strap and metal clasp ones.

The only issue that I have found with elastic band closures, which are very common, is that they can with use over time lose their stretch and/or wear little grooves into the edges of the cover. These are minor issues but something to consider if planning to use the same journal for a longer period.

Note that many guided travel journals don’t come with a closure for some reason. So if you are looking for a guided journal and you want a closure, be sure to check the description carefully.

If you have a notebook or journal you like, but it doesn’t have any type of closure you could consider adding one. For example, some companies like Midori Traveler’s Company and Wanderings sell replacement closure straps for their journals that might work for your journal. Or if you have some DIY skills, you could consider adding an elastic band, ribbon, or magnetic closure of your own. For example, this is a DIY video of someone adding an elastic closure to a hardcover Wire-O bound journal.

best travel journals for travelers journal closure types

When choosing a travel journal, another feature you might consider is the type of cover. The main two options are a softcover or hardcover journal.

A softcover journal is generally lighter, more flexible. and slimmer, whereas hardcover journals are generally sturdier, heavier, and thicker. Hardcover journals generally allow for more pages for those looking for journals with a lot of pages.

Most popular journal brands such as Moleskine, Paperblanks, and Leuchtturm offer both softcover and hardcover journals. For example, Moleskine offers a selection of both softcover and hardcover journals. Most of their hard covers are made of polypropylene, while the soft covers are made of polyurethane.

Covers can be made of a variety of materials including binder’s board (chipboard), plastic, cardboard, kraft paper, leather, and cork.

Leather journals (or vegan alternatives) are a popular choice for refillable journals as they tend to be both durable and age well.

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Unguided Versus Guided Journals

A guided journal is a journal that includes prompts, questions, or exercises of some kind to inspire and encourage one’s writing. An unguided journal is just full of blank pages for people to free write as they wish.

Most people use just a regular journal or notebook as a travel journal. But you can also get journals that are designed exclusively to be used as a travel journal and include things like travel-related writing prompts, questions, quotes, and trip planning exercises.

If this is your first journal experience, you might enjoy things like writing prompts and lists that can help guide your writing and help you get into the habit of daily writing. They can also help make sure that you remember to write about all the different aspects of your trip.

Some of the really focused travel journals may come with a lot of specific travel-related features like memento pouches, waterproof covers, maps, packing lists, planning checklists, etc. So they can also be used for planning activities before your trip.

Some examples of guided travel journals include the Everywhere You Go Journal , the Promptly Minimalist Journal , the Duncan & Stone Journal, the Clever Fox Planner & Journal , the Write it Down journals , and the One Line Voyage Travel Planner & Journal .

Most journals designed for kids and teens are also guided and generally include a lot of exercises and activities in them as well.

I personally just use regular unguided journals as my travel journals as these allow me as much space as possible to just write. So if you are someone who writes a lot and likes to write about whatever topic comes to mind, you’ll probably want to avoid these types of journals. But if you are someone who is new to journaling, these can be a great first journal.

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Travel journals are sold at a wide variety of price points, from a few dollars to over $50. You’ll pay more for premium refillable journal systems, handmade journals (particularly those with leather covers), and personalized journals. Guided journals also tend to be more expensive than unguided.

Price will depend primarily on the type and quality of the materials used, the binding method, the size of the journal, where it is manufactured, and any included personalization

You don’t need to pay a lot for a travel journal. Most of the journals we have used over the years have fallen in the $10 to $20 range, although inflation has been driving up prices. The last journal I bought cost me about $16.

But I’ve also used a simple composition notebook that cost a few dollars on one trip. If you have a small budget, don’t worry too much about finding a fancy journal, just find something that is the right size and has the kind of paper you want. The most important thing is that you have something that you can and will write in during your travels.

For instance, if you have a small budget you can get a school notebook or memo pad for a few dollars. Field Notes is a great USA-based brand focused on selling packs of pocket-sized notebooks at good prices. You can easily find basic journals for under $10 at a local store or online such as the Amazon Basics Journal .

Paying more for a journal sometimes results in better quality, but sometimes not as more well-known brands can charge more than less popular brands for similar quality. So we definitely recommend paying attention to the details if you are looking for something a bit nicer.


There are a lot of factors you might consider when it comes to evaluating a brand’s sustainability. These might include the materials used to produce the journal, where its products are manufactured, where its products are shipped, the company’s ethos, the staff working conditions at the company, whether the journal is reusable or recyclable, the journal’s durability, etc.

You’ll have to do your own research on a specific brand, some brands are very transparent whereas others provide very little public information regarding their sustainability practices. Some brands that specifically market themselves as being more sustainable are Dingbats , Karst (a B Corp), Rocketbook (reusable), and Field Notes .

One factor will depend on where you are based. If you are based in the USA for instance, a journal made of American materials and manufactured in the USA, such as those by Field Notes , is likely going to be more sustainable than one that is produced in Europe or Asia. See the next section on country of origin for some tips on finding brands produced in your own country.

Refillable journals would also likely be more sustainable over time than a bound journal as you can keep using the same cover for many years. You just need to replace the paper refills rather than the whole journal. You would just want to make sure the cover is well-made and durable so it will last for a long time.

For those looking for vegan travel journals, many journals are not vegan due to either the glue or dye used or the use of leather as part of the cover or binding. Even many companies that sell faux leather journals are not fully vegan (due to glues, inks, or dyes).

However, there are still several vegan-friendly journal options out there. Dingbats and Scribbles That Matter , for example, are two brands that only produce vegan-friendly journals. So if you are vegan or buying a journal as a gift for a vegan, I’d check out those two brands first.

woman writing in travel journal during safari best travel journals for traveling

Country of Origin

Travel journals are made in countries around the world with many being produced in China since it is cheap to manufacture products there. If you are concerned about quality control, sustainability, working conditions, or carbon footprint, you may want to pay attention to where products are made and from where they are shipped. Some companies even provide details of their whole supply chain.

If you have a hard time finding where a product is made on a journal description or company website, it is typically made in China. Some companies will use phrases like “British design” or “Italian heritage” but this typically just means their products are designed in Europe but are actually produced in China.

For example, while a lot of companies are based in North America or Europe (e.g., Moleskine, Paperblanks, Leuchtturm1917), most manufacture their journals in China and/or Taiwan. This also goes for smaller more “indie” brands like BaronFig, Scribbles That Matter, Archer & Olive, and Beechmore Books, which all produce their journals in China.

It can be difficult to find a journal produced in one’s own country or region, but here are some journal brands listed by where they produce their products (to the best of my knowledge) to help get you started:

  • United States : Field Notes , Write it Down , Appointed , Leather and Earth Co ., Roaring Spring , and Word. journals are made in the USA.
  • United Kingdom : Bespoke Bindery , Pink Pig , The Stamford Notebook Co ., Billy Tannery , and Citrus Book Bindery make their journals in the UK.
  • Canada :  MacLellan Books and Ecojot produce their journals in Canada.
  • Germany : Nuuna and X17   both manufacture their journals in Germany.
  • France/Morocco : Rhodia journals are made in France (although it appears their Webnotebooks are currently being made in Morocco but still use the French Clairefontaine paper)
  • Italy : Epica , Ciak , and Belcraft produce their journals in Italy.
  • Australia : Notely makes their notebooks in Australia.
  • Turkey : Dingbats journals is based in Lebanon but journals are currently made in Turkey
  • Japan : Midori MD journals, and those of their subsidiary The Traveler’s Company.  are made in Japan (leather covers made in Thailand).
  • Nepa l: The Kathmandu Valley Co makes its journals in Nepal.
  • Any Country : Try Etsy to find homemade journals and notebooks produced in your own country or region. You can filter by shop location and then research where it is made.

The above is by no means a comprehensive list of journal brands, and if you have a brand of journals you’d like to recommend that is manufactured in your own country, feel free to leave us a comment.

best travel journals for travelers map journal

Other Travel Journal Features

There are a lot of other features you might see on different travel journals. Some are just general journal features and some are specifically tailored to travel journals.

Some common features that you may see are attached ribbon markers, interior pockets or folders, rounded corners, pen loops, foldouts, writing prompts, stickers, waterproof covers, memento pouches, travel or packing lists, etc.

  • Ribbon bookmarks
  • Interior pockets or folders
  • Rounded corners
  • Numbered Pages
  • Daily writing prompts
  • Waterproof covers
  • Travel info / maps
  • Travel packing lists

One nice design feature can be rounded corners, as these are designed to protect the cover and pages from wear and tear compared to sharp corners. Rounded corners are common in travel journals; most journals produced by popular brands Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917 have rounded corners.

Some of the really focused travel journals come with a lot of specific travel-related features like maps, memento pouches, waterproof covers, travel specific writing prompts, packing lists, etc.

For me, the only feature of the above that I always look for is an attached bookmark ribbon to keep my place in the journal during a trip. Other features can be nice but are not must-haves for me.

best traveling journals for travelers couple of travellers writing in journals

14 Best Travel Journals 

Below is our list of 14 different travel journals and notebooks. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, styles, price points, and countries of origin. All can be purchased online.

We are fairly certain that most people will be able to find the perfect travel journal for them on this list!

These 14 travel journals are listed in no particular order.

1. Moleskine Classic Journal

Moleskine is one of the best-known journal brands, particularly for travel journals. Most Moleskine journals feature rounded corners, a ribbon bookmark, an expandable inner pocket, and an elastic band closure. The journals are Smyth-sewn and bound to be able to lie flat.

The journals are available in both hardcover and softcover versions, with a choice of blank, lined, squared, or dotted paper, and in a number of colors. They come in a wide range of sizes from XS (2.5 inches X 4.25 inches) to XXL (8.5 inches X 11 inches). Most Moleskine journals come with ivory-colored 70 gsm acid-free paper.

trip planner journal

Don’t worry, no moles were harmed in making these journals! Most of Moleskin’s hard covers are made of polypropylene, while the soft covers are made of polyurethane. They also offer more expensive leather-covered and silk-covered versions of the Classic Journal.

The regular Moleskine Classic Journals have 192 pages, but the expanded versions have 400 pages. So be sure to double check if you are concerned about weight or number of pages.

In addition to their original Classic collection, Moleskine also offers a wide range of other journal options, including journal collections designed for those who want to sketch, draw, and/or watercolor. They have also released a number of limited editions and collaborative notebooks.

Moleskine journals are designed in Italy and most are manufactured in either China or Taiwan.

A lot of people think it is a heritage brand with a long history, but it was actually introduced in 1997 by the Italian company Modo & Modo. The name was inspired by the type of journals that English travel writer Bruce Chatwin used which he called “carnets moleskine” in his book The Songlines .

Chatwin specifically used small notebooks bound with black shiny oilcloth covers which were wrapped in an elastic band. He also notes that he used squared paper. According to Moleskine founder Francesco Franceschi, many famous writers and artists used these “moleskine” type little notebooks, including Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso. These notebooks were produced in France and purchased in paper stores in Paris.

While the modern versions are certainly not the same thing, the version that was inspired by these 19th and 20th century journals of Chatwin and others is the Moleskine Classic notebook line. The closest to Chatwin’s journal would probably be the black softcover pocket-sized Moleskine journal with squared pages.

Due to their popularity, Moleskine journals receive both a lot of praise and criticism. Probably one of the biggest criticisms is that they use a fairly low paperweight (70 gsm) compared to their main rival Leuchtturm1917 (80 gsm to 100 gsm on their classic journal). This means a bit less quality, but it does mean a more lightweight journal and they are able to sell them at a lower price than Leuchtturm1917.

My personal opinion is that they are good journals and perfectly fine for most people to use as a travel journal. They are decent quality, lightweight, readily available (both online and in stores), and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and styles.

One of the great things about Moleskine is they are widely available in many bookstores and stationery stores, at least in Europe and North America. This means you may be able to easily go check them out in person and although color choices and sizes are usually limited in stores, the most popular ones are usually kept in stock.

If you are considering a Moleskine travel journal, but are not sure which to try, I would recommend starting with one of their regular Classic Notebook ones . You can then choose between a softcover or hardcover and the type of paper you prefer. If unsure of which size to get, Moleskine has said that it brand’s “Pocket” (3.5″ X 5.5″ | 9 cm X 14 cm) and “Large” (5″ X 8.25″ | 13 cm X 21 cm) sizes are two of its most popular sizes.

I’ve personally used both a large Classic soft cover (Large size, lined paper, 192 pages) and a medium Classic hardcover (Medium, lined paper, 208 pages) journal in two recent trips, which both happened to be to Italy. Both worked well as journals, but my clear favorite was the medium lined hardcover journal—I liked both the hardcover and the slightly smaller size.

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2. Leuchtturm1917 Classic Journal

Leuchtturm1917 is another popular journal brand; it is based in Germany. The brand first released its journals in 2005, although the company’s history loosely dates back to 1917 when it began printing coin and stamp books under the brand KaBe.

Leuchtturm1917 journals are Smyth sewn and feature rounded corners, an expandable inner pocket, and an elastic band closure. A few features that the brand is known for are its numbered pages (most journals come with page numbers, some feature dates), 2 attached book markers, table of contents page, stickers for labeling and archiving, and having some perforated sheets at the back of each notebook that are easy to remove if needed.

trip planner journal

The buff-colored paper in the Classic journals ranges between 80 gsm and 100 gsm, depending on the size of the journal. The heavier paper is used in the larger sized journals. Available paper choices are blank, lined, squared, or dotted.

The Leuchtturm1917 Classic journals come in several sizes from Pocket (A6, 9 cm X 15 cm | 3.5″ X 6″) to Master (A4+, 22.5 cm X 31.5 cm | 8.8 inches X 12 inches). Its most popular sized notebook is its Medium A5 (5.75″ X 8″).

Both hardcover and softcover journals are available, but the availability depends on the journal size. Some sizes are only available with one type of cover. Their main hardcover journal covers are made of acrylic paper and their soft covers are made from polyurethane.

Note that the page count in Leuchtturm1917 journals depends on both the journal size and whether they have a hard cover or soft cover. For example, the Classic A5 journal in the soft cover format has 123 pages and the hard cover format has 251 pages.

They come in a rainbow of colors with a wider array of color choices than many other brands. I believe the Classic journals are available in 24 colors in total, but not in every size or color type. You’ll need to shop online to find the full color range.

In addition to their classic notebooks, they also have a range of bullet journals, change journals, sketch journals, and limited editions. Their “Official Bullet Journals” have been popular in recent years with the bullet journal (BuJo) community.

Leuchtturm1917 journals are designed in Germany, and made in Taiwan and China.

The brand launched its journals in 2005 to compete with brands like Moleskine. So many of the features between the two brands are similar. Differences include the extra bookmark, heavier paperweight, page numbering, archival stickers, and more color options. The heavier paperweight is often a feature preferred by fountain pen users. But Moleskine notebooks are generally a little more lightweight than Leuchtturm1917 (and sometimes less expensive); they are also easier to find in certain parts of the world.

If you are considering a Leuchtturm1917 and not sure which to try, I’d probably recommend starting with the Classic A5 journal. It is available with either a hard cover or soft cover, with 4 paper choices, and lots of color options.

One thing I don’t love about the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks is that the number of pages and size options vary by cover types. So a softcover and hardcover journal of the same size will probably have a different number of pages. So just be sure you check the page count if you are considering various options.

I think Leuchtturm1917 journals are nice journals and are likely to work well for most people wanting a travel journal. If you are trying to decide between a Moleskine and one of these, the paper is a bit nicer than that in the Moleskine Classic journals and they offer a few more features, but the differences are not likely to make a huge difference to most people.

3. Paperblanks Journals

Paperblanks is another popular brand of journals and notebooks. The company was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1992. In 2022, it became part of the Hachette UK publishing group.

Paperblanks journals are all Smyth-sewn and use acid-free ivory paper. The paper weight used varies from 85 gsm to 120 gsm, depending on the journal size and type. The majority of journals contain a bookmark ribbon (some contain two) and an inside memento pouch. Most of the journals contain either lined or unlined (blank) paper, but they do have a few options for dot grid or gridded (squared) paper.

Paperblanks is unique in that there is no “classic journal” in their collection, and they don’t really make any plain-looking journals. They are much more focused on the journal’s cover designs and many are an homage to old manuscripts, artists, or writers. They also offer a variety of journal styles, sizes, and closure types.

trip planner journal

So I think with Paperblanks, the first thing to decide is what size you like, and then whether you prefer a softcover or hardcover journal. That will then narrow down your choices so you can see the available designs.

The sizes of Paperblanks journal range from Micro (7 cm X 9 cm | 2.75″ x 3.625″) to Grande (21 cm x 30 cm | 8.25″ x 11.75″), so most people should be able to find a size that suits them. If you are looking for a “standard travel journal” size, I’d recommend their Midi sized journals .

The page count varies depending on the size and design, but most Paperblanks journals contain between 144 pages and 208 pages.

Paperblanks journals are designed in Canada and made in China.

Personally, I love their hardcover Slim sized journals and Laurence prefers either the Mini or the Midi. The Slim size format, which I really like, has led to me buying a lot of these journals over the years as this size of journal is not common. I also enjoy their old manuscript designs over the more plain designs of most journals.

If you are having trouble finding Paperblanks journals available in person or online in your area, we’d also recommend checking out similar journal designs by Peter Pauper Press . These journals are easier to find in North America whereas Paperblanks are easier to find in Europe.

4. Rhodia Webnotebooks

Rhodia is a French brand that has been selling paper products since 1934. The company was acquired in 1997 by Clairefontaine which has been making paper at its own mill since 1858 and stationery products since 1890.

While not as well known as some of the other brands on this list, Rhodia is a brand that is often recommended to fountain pen users and those wanting a journal with high-quality smooth paper. Their most well-known product is the Rhodia Webnotebooks, also affectionately known by users as “Webbies”.

The Rhodia Webnotebooks are Smyth-sewn and feature 90 gsm ivory acid-free Clairefontaine paper, rounded corners, an inner pocket, a ribbon marker, and an elastic band closure. Each has 192 pages (96 sheets), and is available with a choice of blank, lined, or dot grid paper.

trip planner journal

The classic Rhodia Webbies are hardcover notebooks with a faux leather black and orange cover. However, they now offer hardcover Webnotebooks with a variety of cover color choices as part of their Rhodiarama range.

The Webbies come in two main sizes: Pocket size (A6) which is 9.5 cm X 14 cm (3.5 inches X 5 inches) and the larger size (A5) which is 14.5 cm X 21 cm (5.5 inches X 8.25 inches).

In addition to the Rhodia Webnotebooks, Rhodia makes a variety of other types of journals, writing pads, and notebooks. These include softcover journals, wire-bound notebooks, pocket memo pads, calligraphy pads, etc. The brand Clairefontaine is well known in France for its quality school notebooks.

Rhodia journals are designed and made in France using Clairefontaine paper. Many of the Rhodia products are made in the Alsace region. However, some of their journals, including the last Webnotebook I bought, are now made in Morocco but still use the French paper.

Rhodia journals can be more difficult to find in stores outside of Europe, so I would recommend looking online.

These are nice quality notebooks with smooth paper, and the Webbies are often recommended to those wanting to write with a fountain pen. Those who enjoy smaller journals will likely want to try one of the pocket A6 size Webbies and those wanting a more typical travel journal size will likely want to try one of the A5 size Webnotebooks .

5. Amazon Basics Classic Journal

If you like the classic simple design of a Moleskine journal but not the price, consider a Amazon Basics Classic Journal. It has many of the same features as the Moleskine journal but comes at a significantly lower price, usually priced under $10.

The Amazon Basic journal has a hard cover with off-white, acid-free paper and rounded corners. It is bound to lie flat and it has 80 gsm paper and 240 pages (120 sheets).

Simple design but does include a black elastic band closure, an attached bookmark ribbon, and an expandable paper pocket in back. Available with lined/ruled, blank (classic), and grid paper options.

trip planner journal

It comes in one main size of 5 inches X 8.25 inches (close to an A5 size) and comes in several different colors. Amazon journals are made in China.

So compared to my Moleskine classic hardcover with ruled paper, the Amazon Basics journal has many of the same features such as rounded corners, elastic closure, back pocket, and ribbon bookmark. It has the same number of pages as the Moleskine Classic Large hardcover journal. The Amazon one has darker lines and says it has 80 gsm paper (versus 70 gsm in Moleskine). So there are many reasons to recommend the Amazon one.

Now the price difference does mean that the quality isn’t quite the same. The Moleskine cover does feel nicer and “softer”, seems to be better constructed, and the Moleskine includes a “In Case of Loss” page in the front. So if you value the feel and construction, the Moleskine is definitely nicer and feels and looks more premium. You also get a lot more choices in the size, color, and cover in a Moleskine.

However, if you like the style, size, and color options of the Amazon Basic journals, then there is little question that it is a good value buy in comparison to the Moleskine. I am currently using an Amazon journal for daily notes and keep it in my backpack or purse, and it has been a good journal so far.

The Amazon Basics Classic Journal is a great budget buy if you are looking for a simple hardcover journal. It can be purchased online directly from Amazon.

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6. Field Notes Journals

Field Notes is an American brand that specializes in pocket-sized notebooks and memo pads. If you are looking for a pocket-friendly journal or looking for a journal made in the USA, this is a brand to consider.

Field Notes started in 2007 and was inspired by the simple 20th century agricultural field notebooks used by farmers across rural America. Field Notes staple product is a pocket-sized memo book with a kraft brown cover.

The Original Kraft memo book measures 3-1/2″ wide by 5-1/2″ tall (89 mm X 140 mm), uses 90 gsm acid-free bright white paper, is bound by a rugged saddle stitching and three staples, has rounded corners, and has a kraft brown cover. They are available with blank, lined, or squared paper. Each memo book contains 48 pages and are typically sold in packs of 3.

These pocket-sized memo books are probably better suited to those who prefer to jot down notes rather than to write out long daily journal entries. Although these little memo pads can still be great for short trips even for those who tend to write a lot. For those looking for a more traditionally sized travel journal, you can check out some of the other options from Field Notes.

trip planner journal

Field Notes are known for their limited edition covers and designs that change regularly. They also now offer a much wider variety of memo book and notebooks with a variety of covers, sizes, and styles. These include larger sized formats, wire flip notebooks, waterproof editions, perforated notebooks, and notebooks designed for left-handed writers.

If you are looking for a more durable or larger journal that is more like a typical travel journal, I’d check out their Field Notes Pitch Black Note Books which have sturdier black covers. These are offered in the regular pocket size in 3-packs with each containing 48 pages. They are also offered in a larger size at 4.75 inches X 7.5 inches (121 mm X 191 mm) and sold in packs of 2, each containing 64 pages.

Adventure travelers may also be interested in their durable and waterproof Expedition Edition notebooks. These feature a waterproof and durable hi-vis cover and synthetic waterproof paper.

All Field Notes brand products are printed and manufactured in the USA. The company provides some of the most detailed information I’ve seen for a company about its materials, printing, and manufacturing process.

If you are looking for simple, lightweight, smaller notebooks, these are a great option to consider. They are also very budget-friendly as you can get a 3-pack for under $15. If you are a fan of Field Notes regular kraft memo notebooks, you can get a journal cover case to help protect them when traveling.

I’d also recommend Field Notes if you are looking for a brand that prints and manufactures all its journals in the USA. These are mainly sold online and can be hard to find outside of North America.

7. Midori Traveler’s Company Traveler’s Notebooks

Midori started making paper and stationery products in Japan back in 1950. In 2006, they released their Traveler’s Notebook, a refillable travel journal, and it became very popular. In 2015, they changed the brand name of these travel notebooks from Midori to Traveler’s Company.

The Traveler’s Notebook is essentially a reusable leather cover with replaceable rubber band connectors, elastic and metal clasp, and paper notebooks. Each journal also comes with a cotton storage bag. The Traveler’s Notebook is designed to last for a very long time and all the elements are repairable or replaceable.

trip planner journal

Each Traveler’s Notebook comes with one paper journal insert. The inserts are saddle stitched and each contains 64 pages. Paper inserts are available in a variety of paper types including blank, lined, squared/grid, watercolor, kraft, sketch, calendar, and thin paper. It depends on the insert but the paperweight of the paper inserts is normally 80 gsm.

The paper inserts can be replaced and changed out, and you can use a variety of different inserts at once if you wish. Depending on the insert, you can fit up to 5, but most people report using 2-3 inserts at once.

The Midori Traveler’s Notebook comes in two sizes: Regular and Passport. The Regular size is 120mm X 220mm (4.7 inches X 8.7 inches) and they also have a smaller Passport size which is 98mm X 134mm (3.9 inches X 5.3 inches). The leather covers come in a several different colors.

The company also sells a number of accessories you can add to personalize your Traveler’s Notebook. These include pen loops, kraft envelopes, zipper pockets, cases, stickers, charms, etc.

The products are designed and made in Japan. The MD paper is made in Japan. The leather covers are made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I personally got a Traveler’s Notebook for the first time only last year to try it out since I had heard so much about it. I have the regular sized one in the dark brown (tea color) . It came with a dust cover, band, and a blank paper insert. I have since purchased several lined paper inserts, a craft folder, a zippered case, and a band refill set.

Overall, I really love my Traveler’s Notebook. I like the feel of the leather cover, the paper is good quality, and I like being able to personalize what I put into the journal. The downsides have been that the Regular size is a bit larger than the journal I typically choose (and the Passport smaller) and I wish they had more size options. It has also been hard to find and buy some of the accessories (they are often sold out).

There have been a lot of copycat products of the Midori Travel Company’s Traveler’s Notebooks. So if you want this specific product, be careful to check product descriptions and photos carefully to ensure it is actually from this Japanese company.

Note that Midori has gone through a lot of company name changes and now has multiple brand names which can be confusing. But The Traveler’s Company, Midori, and MD Paper are part of the same overall company which is now called Designphil.

8. Wanderings Refillable Journals

Now, the success of Midori’s Traveler’s Journal (discussed above) has spawned a number of similar products, often competing at a lower price than the Japanese brand. Wanderings is one such company which is based in the USA and has been around since at least 2016. The company mainly sells its products online via Amazon.

The Wanderings travel journals have a full-grain leather cover that comes with replaceable rubber bands to hold inserts and an elastic and leather closure band. The covers are made of Crazy Horse cow leather and come in a few different color options. Each comes with the company’s compass rose logo on the front.

trip planner journal

Some of the covers also have pockets that can be used to hold money, paper, credit cards, passport, etc.

Each notebook cover is designed to hold up to 3 refillable inserts. The replaceable paper inserts contain 100 gsm paper and are available with lined, blank, dotted, scrapbooking, calendar, or squared (graph) paper. The inserts are easily added and removed and secured using elastic bands.

The total number of pages varies based on journal size, but each journal is designed to hold between 180 to 240 pages (90 to 120 sheets) in total.

The Midori Traveler’s Company inserts and Wanderings refillable paper inserts are interchangeable and can be used in either brand’s journals of the same size.

The journals are available in several sizes: Pocket/Passport (4″ X 5.1″ / 9cm X 12.5cm), A6 (4″ X 5.7″ / 10.5cm X 15cm), Regular (4.5″ X 8.5″ / 11cm X 22cm), A5 (6″ X 8.5″ / 15cm X 22cm), and Grande (7.5″ X 11″ / 19cm X 28cm).

There are also the Wanderings 6-ring binder journals that come in various sizes and are very similar to the folio ones above except the paper inserts are kept in place inside by a set of 6 metal binder rings instead of elastic bands. The binders come with 120gsm paper inserts, internal pockets, and a pen loop.

Most of the Wanderings products are made in China. Although the owner notes that some of the products are also made in India.

if you are looking for a refillable leather journal, the design of the Wanderings travel journals is very similar to the Traveler’s Journals from The Traveler’s Company. Some people prefer one to the other in terms of design and quality. Some advantages of the Wanderings version is that they are less expensive, easier to purchase outside of Japan, and are available in more sizes.

For those looking for a similar refillable journal that is not made of leather, check out the refillable faux leather journals called Atlas Journals made by Tribute Products.

9. Guided Travel Journals with Prompts

If you are new to journaling and/or traveling, you may prefer a travel journal that gives you some writing prompts, asks questions, and gives suggestions for writing topics. These guided travel journals can also make nice gifts for someone who is new to traveling.

Travel themed prompts often ask about what you’ve seen, the weather, your transportation methods, people you met, food you tried, new words you’ve learned, best/worst experiences, etc. Many of these journals also leave room for drawing, sketching, pasting mementos, and adding photos.

trip planner journal

Some journals also contain a planning section that can be used for pre-trip planning such as packing lists, maps, budget sheets, safety tips, etc. These can be used to help you plan out your itinerary, accommodation, budget, transportation, etc. Just note that planners tend to have fewer pages for actual journaling.

There are a lot of travel journals with prompts, and when searching you’ll often see them listed as guided travel journals or travel journals with daily prompts.

Here is a list of popular travel journals with prompts to get you started:

  • Everywhere You Go Journal (112 pages)
  • Waypoint Goods Pocket Travel Journal (58 pages, designed for up to 14 days of travel)
  • Promptly Minimalist Journal (88 pages, designed for up to a month of travel)
  • Duncan & Stone Journal (100 pages, up to 15 trips/destinations)
  • A Guided Journal (77 pages, up to 10 trips/destinations)
  • Letterfolk Passport Sized Trip Journal (48 pages, up to 20 days of travel)
  • Clever Fox Planner & Journal (129 pages, planner/journal, up to 5 trips/destinations)
  • One Line Voyage Travel Planner & Journal (72 pages, planner/journal, up to 4 trips)
  • Honeymoon Planner & Journal for Couples (112 pages)

When choosing a guided travel journal, you’ll want to consider all the factors we listed for a normal journal, including size, paper quality, number of pages, type of closure, etc.

Travel journals with prompts are a great gateway into journaling. They give you plenty of ideas and ways to record your trip and your memories so you’ll have them for years to come. They can also be a good introduction to find out if you are the kind of person who enjoys keeping a travel journal or not.

10. Promptly Guided Journals

Promptly travel journals are hardcover guided journals that are designed to be used before, during, and after your trip. Their journals have a minimalist design and their slogan is that their travel journals are great from “boarding to exploring”.

Their main journals have a hardcover covered in either a lightly textured faux leather (leatherette) or a linen cover. They are debossed on the cover and spine. The journals are designed for a single trip and contain 86 total pages.

These include a world map, 4 general travel planning pages with questions, 8 pages for a trip itinerary for up to 31 days, 5 memorable moments, several pages to denote trip highlights with prompts, 2 pages for transportation, 5 accommodation reviews, 6 food experiences, 2 pages for travel companions, mementos sections, 2 pages cultural observations, 2 pages for trip takeaways, and then 10 lined pages at the end that you can use for free journaling/extra notes/address book etc.

trip planner journal

The Promptly hardcover journals are 6″ X 9″ (15cm X 23cm). They do include a ribbon marker, but do not include a closure or any pockets.

Note that Promptly also have smaller 4-pack paper softcover journal packs available that are designed for shorter 14 day trips. As well as a  children’s journal version 4-pack designed for kids age 5-12 which be a nice addition if you want to get journals for your kids too. So just be sure you know which variation you are buying.

The company is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and the journals are made in China.

These journal are only going to work well for someone wanting to use it for a single trip (up to 31 days), and I would not recommend for someone wanting to use it for multiple trips. Since there are a number of pages where you can paste photos (or other flat mementos like tickets), then it is probably ideal for someone who wants to add photos to the book after the trip.

I personally have bought one of the faux leather ones, and these journals feel and look nice. They make it easy to follow along from trip planning to completion, and are thin and easy to pack. I think this is a great travel journal gift option for someone going on a trip of 2-4 weeks.

Price : Check the latest prices here

11. Dingbats Vegan Journals

Dingbats* was started in 2016, although it is part of a larger family-run paper trading company that has been operating in Lebanon since 1800. Dingbats sells vegan-friendly journals and is notable for its focus on sustainability and eco-friendly products.

Most of the Dingbats journals feature acid-free, coated 100gsm cream paper, a ribbon bookmark, an attached pen loop, an expandable back pocket, an elastic closure, and a vegan leather (polyurethane) cover. They are hardcover and Smyth-sewn, and most versions contain 192 pages (96 sheets).

Dingbats journals are available with your choice of lined, dotted, blank, or squared paper. Some journals contain perforated pages.

The Dingbats journals are available in a variety of colors, and each Dingbats journal features an embossed animal or natural element on the front, such as an elephant, whale, cactus, wolf, Great Barrier Reef, or deer.

trip planner journal

Dingbats journals are designed in Lebanon and produced in Turkey. They are 100% vegan. They also say that most of their products are fully recyclable in most countries.

Most of the Dingbats journals range in size from approximately A6 (9.5cm X 14.5 cm / 3.7″ X 5.7″) to A4 (21.5cm X 30cm / 8.5″ X 11.8″). Most open like a book, but they also have a smaller reported-style flip-style notebook as well. There is also a Pro Collection of Dingbats journals which are larger in size (B5), use higher quality paper (160gsm), and nicer textiles.

The Dingbats journals are really nice and will especially appeal to wildlife lovers and vegans. Dingbats journals can be difficult to find in stores in many countries but they can be purchased online.

In terms of choosing a size for a travel journal, their A6 sized journals are good if you are looking for a pocket-sized travel journal and the medium A5 sized journals are perfect if looking for a more standard-sized travel journal. If you are wanting something bigger, like a school composition notebook size, then you might be interested in their B5 Pro Collection journals .

12. Leather and Earth Co. Handmade Journals

If you are looking for something more handmade and crafty looking, I highly recommend going onto Etsy and seeing what you can find there. There are a number of talented artisans making various kinds of journals and notebooks.

Leather and Earth Co. is one such small business run by a mom of 4 kids named Laura in Nebraska, USA. She has also recruited a couple of other local moms to help her as well. Together they hand-make, sew, and personalize leather journals.

Leather and Earth Co personalized travel journal best journals for travelers

The paper used is a thick 90lb (185 gsm) mixed media paper available in blank, lined, music writing, or recipe formats. There is also an option for a thicker watercolor paper.  All the journals are designed to hold up to 140 pages of regular paper or 60 pages of watercolor paper.

They offer both bound and refillable journals. The hand sewn bound journals are hand stitched together with a linen thread. The refillable journals include 3 elastic straps where you can add and remove up to 3 paper inserts.

All journals can be personalized with text on the front cover. For example, you can have initials, your name, a date, or trip destination embossed on your journal. You can also design a custom title page if you wish.

The journals are available in several sizes: 4″ X 6″ (10 cm X 15 cm), 5″ X 7″ (12.5 cm X 17.5 cm), 6″ X 9″ (15 cm X 23 cm), or 9″ X 12″ (23 cm X 30.5 cm).

These journals, including the leather and paper used in them, are made in the USA. Note that these journals currently only ship to addresses in the United States.

If you are looking for more handmade journals from around the world, check out the options on Etsy , where you can search for those made in your own region. For example, Bespoke Bindery is a great option if you live in the UK. Most handmade journals can be personalized just for you.

13. Travel Journals for Children & Teens

If you are traveling with children, then getting them their own travel journal can help them record their own memories. Travel journals and activity books can also keep kids entertained when there is downtime on your trip.

Each of these travel journals are designed for children of a certain age range and reading level. Depending on the age level, they may have colorful illustrations, travel-related activities and games, writing prompts, areas for drawing or coloring, stickers, quotes, fun facts, maps, memento pockets, etc.

trip planner journal

There are a number of travel journals for children out there and you can find a lot of them online on Amazon. Here are some good options to consider:

  • Lonely Planet Kids Journal (ages 6-8)
  • Peter Pauper Kids’ Journal (ages 6-11)
  • Awesome Activity Journal (ages 6-10)
  • Promptly Kids’ Activity Books & Journals (ages 5-12, typically sold in packs of 4)
  • Happy Fox USA Road Trip Activities & Journal (ages 7-10)
  • Lonely Planet Older Kids Journal (ages 9-12)
  • Teen Journal (age 10-14)
  • Clever Fox Planner & Journal (teen to adult)
  • Refillable Vegan Leather Journal with Map (teen to adult)
  • A Guided Journal (teen to adult)

Each travel journal is generally designed for children of a certain age range. So you’ll want to take your child’s age, reading level, writing ability, and general interests into consideration when choosing a journal.

Some journals are also tailored to a particular region (e.g. USA or Europe) or a specific type of travel (e.g., road trip), so it is good to read the full description and user reviews.

14. Page-A-Day Journal

This next journal is made by Peter Pauper Press which is an American company based in New York, which has been selling books and other paper goods since 1928. Today, the company sells a number of journals, books, puzzles, etc.

The Page-A-Day Journal is intended to give you enough space to write and take note of memorable places and events on your travels, but is still brief enough that writing in it doesn’t take up too much time. As the journal name suggests, it is intended that you write one page per day.

trip planner journal

This journal is Smyth-sewn and features smooth acid-free 120 gsm paper, rounded corners, an attached ribbon bookmark, a back memento pocket, and an elastic band closure. The brown faux leather cover is embossed with “Page-A-Day Travel Journal” and has a globe design. The endpapers have a cloud design.

Each page provides space for you to put the date, location, and weather as well as a number of blank lines to write down whatever you want. The paper is lined (gray dotted lines).

The journal is 5″ X 7″ (82 cm X 114 cm) and contains 176 pages in total. So the journal will last you about 170 days of travel if you write one page per day. But you can also use multiple pages per day if you wish as you can just put the same date. For most people, this journal will last for multiple trips.

The Page-A-Day journal is designed in the USA and printed in China.

If you are on the fence between a guided journal and an unguided journal, this may be a perfect solution. This journal gives you a small bit of structure and a page per day to write whatever you want.

** You can also see many of the travel journals we recommend above in a single page on Amazon here with current prices for a handy reference. Just note that not every journal on the list is available via Amazon. **

journals for traveling best travel journals for travelers

So that is our list of the best travel journals for travelers! Which is your favorite?

Planning to purchase a travel journal in the near future, but not now? Pin this article to Pinterest to read later:

A review of the best travel journals and how to choose the best travel journal for you. We’ll share what to consider when buying a travel journal, including things like size, page count, paper quality, closure types, and sustainability. Then we review a wide selection of different journals for travelers so that you can find the travel journal that suits your criteria, style and budget. #traveljournal #journal #traveldiary #travelgift #traveling #travel #journaling #traveltips #notebook #writing

What do you think about travel journals? Have you kept a travel journal or diary while traveling? Is your favorite travel journal brand on the list? Tell us below!

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There are 32 comments on this post.

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Logan Gross Post author

May 28, 2024 at 7:42 am

This is such a great & thorough article! You guys put so much effort into these it’s honestly inspiring to see. I had to do some research on travel journals and this wa SUPER helpful.

I sincerely appreciate all the work you’ve put into this!

Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author

May 30, 2024 at 10:17 am

Thanks for your kind comments, and glad to hear our travel journal reviews and research were helpful to you in your own search. If you have any questions about journals, just ask!

Best, Jessica

Olivia Post author

September 26, 2023 at 3:43 pm

Hi there! Could you tell me what the little blue and gold journal is in your photos? It is beautiful and would love to buy one like that for myself! Thanx

September 26, 2023 at 5:00 pm

I think the journal you are referring to is the Paperblanks Azure Journal, it is specifically a lined journal in the Slim size with a metal clasp closure. I love this journal and used it for years but have been unable to find any in the Slim size for a couple of years on their website or on Amazon. But you can get the Azure journal design in the Mini and Midi sizes, and you can see those here .

If you prefer something the same size as the one I had, the most similar one that is a newer design is the Paperblanks Blue Rhine journal as part of their River Cascade collection. You can see the Slim version here and it is available in a few sizes. I took it on a recent trip around Europe and really liked it.

Hope that helps! Jessica

ADAM HINES Post author

September 12, 2023 at 5:49 pm

Hi Jessica, My gf and I are preparing to leave for a trip to Mexico in a couple of weeks. Your review has helped me figure out what I want in a travel journal, but I am struggling a bit on the prices. Want one line (me), one grid (her), black, simple design, some kind of closure, bookmark, archival quality pages, “normal size”.

We need two journals and I think the Leuchtturm and Moleskin both fit the criteria and those look nice. But the prices are a bit high for us and I am wondering what you think would maybe be a good cheaper option for those? Have you tested the Amazon Basics or Paperage ones as those look to fit what I am looking for as well and are both under $10 right now. Thank you!

September 13, 2023 at 6:46 pm

First, so glad you know what you want in a travel journal and that our article was helpful in that. I think knowing that info can help make sure you choose a journal you are actually going to take and use on your trip. And certainly you don’t need to pay much for a journal (anything with paper will work!), I would definitely recommend sticking to your budget. Basically I would say just find something that meets your needs and that you will use and will want to keep.

Now, I can’t comment on the Paperage brand journals as I haven’t personally tried them (I suspect they are very similar to the Amazon Basics ones since they are comparable in price), but I can comment on the Amazon Basics journal versus a Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917 journal. Specifically I would say that the Amazon Basics journal is closer to a Moleskine than a Leuchtturm1917 journal as its more simple and doesn’t have any of the extra features that you see in a Leuctturm1917 journal.

The Amazon Basic journal (this is specifically the one I am reviewing and one I have in hand) seems to currently come in mainly one size (5 inches X 8.25 inches, close to an A5 size). I have it in black so you can definitely get that color. It has a hardcover with off-white, acid-free paper and rounded corners. Designed to lay flat. I think most are 240 pages (120 sheets). Says made with 80 gsm paper. Simple design but does include a black elastic band closure, an attached bookmark ribbon (gray in mine), and an expandable paper pocket in back. I have the ruled or lined version but it does also come with grid or blank paper so will work for your gf as well in terms of paper types. Made in China. I think I paid about $9 for mine.

So compared to my Moleksine I have in my hand for comparison (hardcover black classic ruled paper), the Amazon Basics journal is a bit thicker and has more pages (my Moleskine has 208 pages and the Amazon 240). The Amazon one has almost all the same basic features with the closure, rounded corners, back pocket, ribbon bookmark. Some of the differences are that the Moleskine’s cover feels nicer and “softer”, seems a bit better constructed, and there is a front title page with “In Case of Loss” info. The color of the paper and line ruling width is about the same although lines are darker and easier to see in the Amazon Basics. The Amazon Basics says 80 gsm paper while most Moleskine journals use 70 gsm. Both are made in Asia.

So yes, my opinion would be that if you like the color, style, and size of the Amazon Basics (since there is not much choice or variety), then there is little question you are getting a good value with the Amazon Basics versus the Moleskine. In a few areas, the Amazon could be a better choice depending on what you want most. Now if you valued the touch, feel, and construction, then obviously the Moleskine does look a bit nicer (and certainly feels nicer, I can tell its a more premium journal just by picking it up). But in terms of value for price, I think the Amazon Basics journal is a great choice to consider for what you are wanting and seems to tick all the boxes.

Hope that helps, and wishing you and your girlfriend a wonderful trip to Mexico!! Jessica

Anika Post author

June 14, 2023 at 11:54 am

hello, do you know where I can buy field notes in the uk or eu or have suggestions for similar simple little notebooks like this? need some for big upcoming trip. thanks for advice!!!

June 15, 2023 at 2:02 am

Happy to try to help. So the Field Notes if you purchase directly from their website they do offer international shipping options but it can take a long time and be more expensive but that is an option. But you can find them on Amazon in some parts of Europe, so on Amazon UK, for example, they have a couple of the Field Notes notebooks available. You can see those options on Amazon UK here .

If shopping on Amazon or similar, there are a lot of copycat products so if you want something by Field Notes brand, make sure it says “Field Notes” on the cover and in the description.

But if you can’t find the Field Notes product you want and are looking for similar sorts of pocket-sized or memo notebooks, some you might consider are the Moleskine Cahiers , Silvine Originals Pocket notebooks (UK made, ones with thread better than ones with staples), and Portage pocket notebooks . VENTED also has pocket sized notebooks, but they have cotton or recycled leather covers so may not be the best fit if wanting a kraft paper sort of cover.

There are other brands as well and you’ll see more if you search Field Notes notebooks in Amazon. If shopping in person you’ll have less selection but if you drop into a Waterstones (if in the UK) or similar large bookstore or stationary store, you can usually find one or two options of that type of pocket notebook or memo pad.

Hope that helps and wishing you a wonderful trip!

June 16, 2023 at 10:22 am

much gratitude and thanks Jessica, such a detailed answer. I can’t wait to check these pocket journal options out and get travelling again!

June 16, 2023 at 10:32 am

You’re very welcome Anika, and I hope you find a travel journal that works best for you.

Wishing you many future happy travels! Jessica

Lorna Post author

June 2, 2023 at 5:16 am

I am a longtime Moleskine user here but am thinking about possibly trying another journal and found your great and thorough article. Thoughts on one to choose that is similar but maybe a bit of an upgrade? Hard cover and either ruled/lined or squared paper.

Also, I always thought that Moleskine journals were made in Italy. Is that not true??

June 2, 2023 at 9:52 am

So I would say Leuchtturm1917 (see description above in article) is probably the most similar journal brand and they have hardcover notebooks and most of the sizes are similar. They have a few more features than Moleskine, offer more colors, and I think they have slightly nicer paper and covers. And they offer journals with both the ruled/line or squared/checked paper. So you could try one of them out and compare them with the ones you already have and see which brand you prefer. Prices are similar but depends where you buy it and in what country.

The Rhodia Webnotebooks (see description above) is another one to consider. But I didn’t love the quality of the last one I ordered (they started making them in Morocco) and it arrived with a dent and wasn’t as good as past ones.

So Moleskine journals are designed by a company started in 1997 and is based in Milan, Italy. The journals are designed in Italy but they are not made in Italy. According to their website they are manufactured in the “Far East” which is oddly vague. But they tend to mainly be manufactured in China or Taiwan (same as Leuchtturm1917 and many other journal brands). Although the last Moleskine I bought (while in Italy actually) says it was designed in Italy and manufactured in Turkey. I think during COVID-19 a lot of companies moved manufacturing to countries like Turkey to keep up with demand as China basically shut down for so long. But the journals are popular in Italy as we have seen several Moleskine stores while traveling in Italy.

Ciak is an Italian brand and is made in Italy so another one you could consider if wanted one made in Italy but these are a bit different in style than a Moleskine and offer fewer options in terms of sizes, paper types, and cover types.

Anyone hope that helps!

Deb Post author

June 1, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Wooooow! I just got pumped up reading about the benefits of keeping a travel journal but wasn’t really sure which journals were worth the time and money. This post was crazy helpful, thank you!!

June 2, 2023 at 5:03 am

So yes, travel journaling can certainly be helpful. We find by far the biggest benefit is being able to look back on what we did, where we went, and our thoughts/feelings along the way from past trips. It is also a nice excuse to relax with a coffee or drink and take a break when traveling 😉

Glad that you found our travel journal reviews helpful in finding a travel journal that works best for you! If you have any questions, just ask!

Hari Sitaula Post author

May 16, 2023 at 11:12 pm

Very helpful, been looking for a good travel diary! We appreciate you sharing this.

May 18, 2023 at 9:37 am

Glad you found our travel journal reviews helpful and I hope you find a perfect travel diary for you and your travels!

Martha Wells Post author

April 16, 2023 at 5:15 am

Oh, thanks so very much for this very thoughtful and detailed reply to my very specific questions. I have ordered this kids’ travel journal for my grandson (it sounds perfect!) and will be getting a different travel related coloring book for the granddaughter as she is only 4 and prob too young to make much out of the PPP one.

Thanks again for taking the time to write such a detailed reply to my questions about this journal!!!!! Martha

April 16, 2023 at 6:10 am

You’re very welcome Martha, hope your grandkids love the travel journal and coloring book!

April 14, 2023 at 7:13 am

Hello! Do you think the Kids Journal by PPP that you list would be Ok or a 9 (almost 10) year old? Does it close? How many pages of the actual journal writing part does it have? sorry if you don’t know this, just trying to buy a gift for grandkids and having lots of questions, thanks

April 15, 2023 at 4:09 am

I think you are asking about the Kids’ Travel Journal by Peter Pauper Press, this one here ?

So if that is the correct journal, we have bought that one before (as a gift) and had the chance to review it. So I do personally think it would be a good fit for a 9 or 10 year old. I think that is probably an ideal age as they should be able to read it and do the activities on their own.

It has a printed hard cover and it does close. It has a red elastic closure to keep it closed when not in use.

The book has a total of 96 pages. It contains pre-planning pages, packing lists, contact info pages, maps, games, puzzles, post-trip thoughts, fun travel-related facts, etc. In terms of pure journaling pages for writing, there are 15 pages dedicated to a daily journal so ideal for say a 2 week trip. But it also has other pages that ask questions that you can fill in about your trip related to who you met, where you stayed, type of transport, what you ate, etc. as well as some pages for free writing, drawing or pasting things. There is also a memento pouch.

If you are thinking about buying this for more than one grandchild, given the more personal and individual nature of the book and the journal, probably best to give one per child rather than having them share unless they are the type of kids who like to write and do these types of activities together.

A couple of things to note is that it has no ribbon bookmark so including a thin bookmark with the Kids’ Travel Journal might be nice if it is a gift. It is also more geared to American travelers (uses American English and terms) and for those traveling somewhere in either North America or Europe (as many of the facts are about these places), although it could, of course, be used by anyone really.

Anyway, hope that helps answer all your questions about this travel journal and will help you decide if it is a good gift for your grandchildren or not.

ROHIT PATLE Post author

March 23, 2023 at 9:22 am

Traveling is not just about reaching a destination, it’s about the journey and the experiences along the way. It opens your eyes to new cultures, people, and ways of life.

March 24, 2023 at 11:32 am

That is definitely true, and keeping a travel journal can be a great way to remember all those experiences along your travels!

conner Post author

March 9, 2023 at 4:46 am

wow, so many of these journals sounds great. could your recommend a travel diary option made in italy available online in US – looking for a gift for the gf for a month long college trip to Italy. I think she prefers lined paper and something sort of mid-sized (so no pocket or huge ones). option to put her initials in it would be great but not absolute. thanks for any help!

March 9, 2023 at 5:46 am

Happy to try to help!

So the Italian brand that is probably best known & available in the USA is Moleskine. They are really popular as travel journals. However, Moleskine journals are designed in Italy but made elsewhere (I think mostly in China, Taiwan, & Turkey).

If you want a journal made in Italy, the most available brand in the USA would probably be Ciak. I have one of them and it has really great paper quality (most have 110 gsm paper) and they have a variety of different types and colors of covers. So you can check their website for options, not sure if they deliver to the US or not, but you can also buy many of their products online via Amazon here or online stationery shops. Hard, but not impossible, to find in person depending on where you live. They offer plenty of lined journal options in a variety of sizes. I don’t think the company offers the option to add initials or personalize individual journals but you may be able to have someone locally add personalization.

Also, a note about buying the Ciak journals via third parties, they are often listed as leather bound, but I think the company primarily uses faux leather (so expect faux leather). If looking for actual leather bound journals, I’d check out Belcraft or Epica which have a lot of leather options.

Two other Italian brands you might want to check out are Epica and Belcraft , which both produce their journals in Italy. I believe both companies offer the ability to personalize a journal, including adding initials via embossing, engraving, and/or branding.

Hope that helps. I am sure your girlfriend will enjoy whatever journal you get her!

Aimee Fionda Post author

March 8, 2023 at 4:14 am

This is such a knowledgeable, in depth article about travel journals and we thank you so much for mentioning us! We love to think of our hand bound leather travellers journals journeying with their owners across the globe! We are always happy to create a bespoke journal too, as we make everything from scratch!

Thanks again and happy travels! The Stamford Notebook Company

March 9, 2023 at 4:49 am

Thanks for taking the time to comment, and glad you liked our article on travel journals. You’re very welcome for the metnion.

For those reading this, The Stamford Notebook Company is a great place to check out for all those looking for UK made journals or notebooks!

Seana Turner Post author

February 26, 2023 at 4:33 am

In spite of everything being digitized these days, I do love all things paper! I prefer the dotted pages because they give me just enough guide to keep my journals looking orderly without having too many lines making them look like homework.

I do like the ones that have a strap to keep them closed. Not that journals falling open is really an issue, but I just like the feel of pulling that elastic over the book. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

On a side note, I’m just so happy that we are talking about traveling again. All of the flights I’ve been on recently have been packed, and I find this encouraging. Go travel! I imagine you will have to revisit many places now and give us updated, post COVID information!!

February 26, 2023 at 6:56 am

Yes, so good to be talking about and more importantly traveling again. We are currently in Rwanda and plan to be doing a lot of traveling in 2023! And yes, COVID has sadly changed or closed a lot of places so updates are certainly needed.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on journals – everyone has such different preferenes. I am a lined girl myself but I know a lot of people prefer dotted pages. I guess they probably do remind a lot of people of their school notebooks 😉 But without lines, I have a hard time writing in a straight line – Laurence is even worse.

For me, since I mostly use my journal while traveling, they have to be able to be shoved in and out of my day bag and backpack so being able to securely close it an important feature for me. When I’ve had notebooks without a closure, they were more likely to get bent and the pages damaged if I didn’t put them in the “right way”.

Wishing you a year full of fun travels!! Jessica

Colleen Post author

February 25, 2023 at 11:37 pm

I have been using Moleskine journals for many years now…I think the Large size ones with lines. I use black ones for travelling and then I have colored ones that I use for my everyday/work notes. This article gave me some other brands that I am definitely going to consider the next time I need a journal like the Rhodia and Dingbats. My daughter is a vegan so I think I may surprise her with a Dingbats one as that elephant is so precious!!!

February 26, 2023 at 1:16 am

Hi Colleen,

Thanks for taking the time to share the brand of travel journal you use.

Yes, Moleskine is a very popular option for a travel journal. I like that you can always seem to find them as it is easy to find them in most bookstore and stationery shops (at least in the US and UK) whereas other brands can be more difficult to buy in person. Yes, you may definitely like the Rhodia Webbies and Leuchtturm1917 Classic notebooks as they are very similar but have slightly heavier paper – you may or may not notice the difference though if you are already happy with Moleskine. I think it makes the most difference to those using fountain pens etc.

Dingbats is a great choice for anyone looking for a vegan-friendly journal and the animal designs are really cute!

ALAN JOHN COOK Post author

February 25, 2023 at 12:13 pm

This article is completely unnecessary. I’m so pleased I didn’t waste my time reading more than the first few paragraphs. As a vastly experienced traveller and professional writer you don’t need all this stuff about bindings and paper quality and decoration. All you need – if you don’t have a laptop computer or similar – is a spiral bound notebook and a few cheap pens. I say spiral bound as they lay flat and can be folded back on themselves which is handy (although not essential). You can buy them almost anywhere and they are cheap. Also easy if you need to rip out a page to use for something like a shopping list or to give someone your contact details. It’s not the look of the journal that counts for anything – it’s what you write in it that’s important.

February 26, 2023 at 1:10 am

Thanks for sharing your opinions on journals. As I noted in the article, any journal or notebook can work fine as long as it is something you can and will write on during your trip. For someone who is on a tight budget or using it as you are (tearing pages out for shopping lists etc.) then a composition book or spiral school notebook or something will work fine. I have used one before and they work, although I found it less than ideal in many ways compared to other options which are designed to be actual journals.

We’ve tested dozens of notebooks and journals and definitely think that there are much more ideal options for those looking for something nicer and better suited for travel. Most people aren’t using their journal to tear out pages but are wanting to keep it to look back at later.

Many people want a journal that is a bit more durable & lasting, and do care about the paper quality, binding, cover, having a closure, etc as they want it to last and to store it to read again later. Many do care about what their journal feels and looks like and some care about how and where it is made. Also some travlers also use them for sketching or scrapbooking in which the page type, quality, and size are more important, along with those like myself who have a fountain pen (it will bleed through the paper on most cheap notebooks).

Our guide is designed to help those who are new to journals or who want to upgrade their current travel journal to find the perfect notebook for them or to give as a gift. Whether it is an inexpensive spiral bound notebook or a fancy leather custom journal. There are lots of options out there and we are just sharing information and our thoughts about this so people can make an informed decision.

We are happy you have found the journal type that works for you!

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20 Best Travel Journals to Document Your Trips

Some include prompts and templates to help get you started.

travel journals

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Last-minute planning of a trip can consist of chaotic lists in your phone's notes app while the chronicling of said trip may look like sporadic photos in your camera roll. But what if there was a collective place you could plan in advance and jot down funny moments along the way? A travel journal can culminate the ups (and downs) of your vacation with guided prompts and templates.

Our experts at Good Housekeeping Institute extended our expertise in the best photo book makers and best wedding planning books to research the best travel journals, a category we have not yet formally tested. We rounded up the best travel journals of 2023, whether you want a self-designed bullet journal or a notebook with fun maps and stickers. At the end of our list, you can find advice on how to start your travel journal as well as read more about why you can trust Good Housekeeping. And if you have a frequent traveler in your life besides yourself, check out our guide to the best travel gift ideas (although a journal is a great idea too!).

The Art of the National Parks: Park-Lover's Journal

The Art of the National Parks: Park-Lover's Journal

Perfect for the outdoors enthusiast in your life, this journal celebrates each of the 63 parks. It's 175 pages long and comes with prompts that'll help them chronicle their journey. It doesn't hurt that this journal has gorgeous illustrations of each park by real artists.

Papier Off Piste

Off Piste

Whether this is your first or fifth travel journal, or a gift for the college student in your life who's about to go abroad, Papier's notebooks will check all of the boxes. One GH editor has the Off Piste journal and loves the cover, a simple design that includes a meaningful quote, and appreciates the helpful templates you'll find inside the notebook. You'll be able to document up to six trips with templates for your budget, packing list, transportation, accommodation, itinerary and a journaling space for freestyle writing. There are also pages dedicated to a travel wishlist as well an illustrative map you can color in as you mark off countries you've visited.

Peter Pauper Press Page-A-Day

Journals can ring in at a variety of prices, but you can find a great travel journal for under $10 that will still give you enough space to write about your wanderings around the world. This leather-bound journal dedicates one page to each day of your trip, with spaces to add in the date, location and weather conditions (we especially like the delicate drawings for types of participation which you can circle with your pencil or pen). Dotted lines on the page will keep your entries neat and organized and an included ribbon bookmark will keep track of where you left off last. Even though this journal is pretty basic in design and on the smaller side, we think it's a great option for someone who doesn't want to spend too much on their first travel journal.

Clever Fox Vacation Planner

Vacation Planner

Amazon's Choice with a 4.6-star rating across over 900 customer reviews, this travel journal comes with more than just a notebook. You'll also get 150+ fun stickers to embellish your entries, plus the journal also has a pocket to hold the pages of stickers and an elastic band for your pen. But what makes this journal really stand out is its extensive range of templates geared towards helping you plan your trip. For five trips, you'll get pages for research and budget, a packing checklist, transportation and accommodation details and an expense tracker, plus a map and more journaling pages. If you like to plan out every detail, this is the perfect travel journal for your needs. We wish you could fit more than five trips in the journal, but for the price, it's a great value.

Peter Pauper Press Kids Travel Journal

Perfect for the adventure-inclined kiddo, this 96-page travel journal lets young travelers record everything from general entries about a trip to a packing list. Kids can even paste in photos, tickets and more and store the rest in the journal's back pocket. The journal is also full of games, maps, helpful phrases in other languages, metric information, quotes and fun facts. Not only is this kid-friendly journal a creative means to document their early adventures, but its accessories encourage international learning.

Leatherology Medium Spiral Snap Journal

Medium Spiral Snap Journal

Available in four hues including black onyx (pictured), brown, azure and lilac, this journal is made from gorgeous dyed leather with light gold hardware. You can choose from a spiral or bound format, but note that the spiral option has 130 perforated pages while the bound journal has 265 ruled sheets (or 128 pages). Regardless of which style you choose, you'll will get the benefit of a snap closure and a built-in pen loop, although the writing utensil is not included. We appreciate the versatility of this journal given the blank pages that let you doodle and write freely over the course of your next trip.

Mark and Graham Leather Bound World Travel Journal

Leather Bound World Travel Journal

This beautiful leather bound journal not only has pages for writing about your trips, but it also includes full-color maps of major cities plus world weather information, international dialing codes and more. A perfect gift for the international traveler, you can also add a foil debossed monogram to the cover if you want to add a personal flare to the notebook. We wish that the journal was available in more than one color, but the rust orange is a versatile enough choice that will stick out in a dark suitcase or bag.

Duncan & Stone Paper Co. World Trip Adventure Book

World Trip Adventure Book

An almost-perfect five-star rating on Amazon and the titular Amazon's Choice badge is enough to make you add this travel journal to your cart. The layflat design makes it easy to open and write on, and you'll have enough pages to reflect on 15 trips plus a back pocket for extra photos and blank pages for notes and random musings. What we love most about this journal are the helpful prompts that guide newbies through the process of journaling, with questions like "Where did you stay?." and "Something I learned from this destination/culture..." From basic to more thought-provoking questions, you'll have a boost of inspiration to help you document your journey.

Day One Day One

Day One

While the majority of picks on this list are physical journals, you can also document your trips through an app if you prefer a digital format or have minimal space in your luggage . Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director at the GH Institute Rachel Rothman , says Day One is a solid choice with ample positive reviews from consumers. You can download the app for free on your iPhone, Android, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. You'll get one journal for one device with the ability to add a photo per entry, plus templates, export capabilities and tags. If you want unlimited journals, devices and photos plus the option to add videos, audio recordings and more, opt for Day One Premium which rings in at $2.92 per month.

Extreme Assistants Classic Notebook

Classic Notebook

If you travel a lot, or tend to squish as much as you possibly can into your carry-on (we have all been there), you'll want a durable journal that can withstand being tossed around and bumping against other items in your bag. A faux leather hardcover and thick paper ensure your journal will stay intact as you travel to and fro. The manufacturer adds that the cover is designed to be easy to clean, which is helpful if you are journaling on the airplane or train and accidentally spill your drink. We also appreciate that you can add a photo or logo to the cover for an element of personalization, especially since the notebook is more basic in style.

Deanna Didzun The Traveler's Playbook: A World Travel Journal

The Traveler's Playbook: A World Travel Journal

Journaling of any kind can be intimidating as you don't always know where to start — even a notebook with guiding prompts can lead to partial writer's block. If this sounds like you, then opting for a book that has more structure and a variety of templates is the way to go. This popular travel journal has a 4.3-star rating on Uncommon Goods is designed by explorer Deanna Didzun who created illustrations and lists to help jog your memory of your most recent journey. You can give overall star ratings for each destination and write down food and drink highlights if you so please.

Smythson Travels and Experiences Panama Notebook

Travels and Experiences Panama Notebook

There are journals and then there are journals — and this beautiful handcrafted leather journal falls into the latter category. Bound in crossgrain lambskin and available in a light blue or scarlet red, you'll have 128 pages of lined Featherweight paper to fill. This notebook is all about quality and is designed to last, but with that comes a higher price tag. It would be a great gift for the writer in your life who loves to travel, but given its simple layout and lack of templates other travel journals can have, it may not be splurge-worthy for every traveler.

DesignWorks Ink Suede Travel Journal

Suede Travel Journal

If you or a friend is traveling to Santorini, Mexico and/or Sydney in the near future, you may want to opt for this travel journal inspired by each of those stunning cities. You can add personal information in the first page of the notebook and the 240 pages are lined with spaces to include the subject and date. Although the journal does not include prompts or templates, we love the eye-catching gold design and appreciate the ribbon bookmark to keep track of your last entry.

Moleskine Traveller's Journal

Traveller's Journal

Moleskine, the established brand that has been around for over two decades, is synonymous with traditional, high quality notebooks — and this travel-specific journal is no different. There are three sections for a travel wish list, short trips and long trips plus two sheets of stickers and a ribbon bookmark. The journal has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon across over 3,200 consumer ratings. One five-star review calls this notebook "the traveler's best friend," and notes how helpful it can be to keep track of places, restaurants and sites so you don't forget.

JB Leather Personalized Travel Notebook

Personalized Travel Notebook

For a personalized touch, this pick lets you choose from over 1,000 charm and stamp combinations including astrological charms, meaningful quotes and more . There are also three different vegan leather hues to choose from: cinnamon, cedar and sandy brown. The notebook has 18 plastic card slots, a zippered pocket for storage and a total of 152 lined pages. You can also refill the notebook as you cross places off your travel wish list. A best-seller on Etsy with a perfect five-star rating, this customizable notebook is popular among customers. Multiple reviews comment on the fast delivery, and its high-quality, beautiful appearance.

Transient Books Custom Travel Journal for Kids

Custom Travel Journal for Kids

With this journal, you can customize the cover color, font and cover map, as well as choose between 100- and 200-page books with lined, unlined and prompts variations. We love the various ways you can personalize this kid-friendly journal, making little ones that more excited to explore new places. The five-star seller has over 3,000 customer reviews on Etsy. And the travel journal doesn't just have to be a gift for the kids: Adult customers also said they enjoyed using the notebook for camping trips and vacations around the globe.

Compendium Everywhere You Go

Everywhere You Go

We have included travel journals on this list that have prompts but none like the unexpected ones in this notebook that will get your creative wheels turning. The questions may catch you off guard, but prompt thoughtful reflection: they range from "If this place had a perfume, it would smell like..." to, "If this place had a soundtrack, these songs would be on it." The notebook is Amazon's Choice and has a 4.5-star rating, with multiple customers calling it the perfect gift for the traveler in your life, whether you need a gift for a teen or a present for a thirtieth birthday .

PAPERAGE Dotted Journal Notebook

Dotted Journal Notebook

Keeping a bullet journal is a popular trend that can easily translate to an aesthetic yet meaningful travel journal. This popular bullet notebook has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon with over 18 color options to chose from including mustard yellow (pictured), burgundy, lavender, royal blue and more. The 5.7-by-8-inch dotted pages lend themselves to open-ended creativity. While it can be hard to start designing and writing a journal from scratch, you have the benefit of customizing how much space you want for each list or entry.

Polarsteps Travel Tracker

Travel Tracker

Physical journals are not everyone's cup of tea, which is where an app like Polarsteps comes into play. Available for iOS and Android devices, Polarsteps lets travelers track their journeys. You can utilize over 300 helpful guides created by travel editors, as well as use the itinerary planner to dream up your perfect vacation and check the transport planner when unsure of what mode of transportation to use from one destination to another. Once you begin your trip, plot each site you visit and slowly form a personalized map that you can embellish with photos and videos. From there, share your map with friends and family or turn it into a travel book to look back on for years to come.

Glad & Young Studio The Traveler's Journal

The Traveler's Journal

If you have a bookshelf with rows of novels, photo albums and notebooks, you may want an aesthetic-looking travel journal that fits your style. This leather notebook has 60 pages to document your travels, and is available in a neutral shade (pictured) as well as two marbled patterns that are unique to each purchase. We personally love the brightly colored assorted pattern that has swirls of lavender, yellow, fuchsia and blue. The lined pages are great for daily entries and you can also note the day and weather. Note that to clean, you'll want to wipe away and spills or messes with a soft cloth.

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Elizabeth Berry (she/her) is the Updates Editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she optimizes lifestyle content across verticals. Prior to this role, she was an Editorial Assistant for Woman’s Day where she covered everything from gift guides to recipes. She also has experience fact checking commerce articles and holds a B.A. in English and Italian Studies from Connecticut College.

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Home » Gear » Best Travel Journals

The BEST Travel Journals of 2024! | Leather, Bullet Journals, Refillable Notebooks + More!

Looking for something special in which you jot down memories of your travel adventures? Then our list of the  best travel journals  out there is definitely going to help you out.

In our world of smartphones and social media, anything remotely physical – like writing down stuff on a page – feels super old fashioned. But just because you could type it or tap out your thoughts on a touch screen, it’s still good to connect with physical objects.

The main thing about having a travel journal is how one-of-a-kind it feels. Having memories of your year-long backpacking journey around the world actually physically written in a book would be amazing to read back in years to come; likewise, having somewhere to note down ideas whilst you’re on the go and use for inspiration later feels more organised than some character-less notes on your phone.

So whatever you are looking for – be it a smart journal that you can use for short city breaks, something cute to encourage your children to write about their travels, or a classic travel journal that’ll last you practically forever – our handy list has you covered.

trip planner journal

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Quick Answer: These are the Best Travel Journals of 2024

Best travel journals of 2024, #1 – best travel journal for bullet journaling, #2 – best travel journal for scrapbooking, #3 – best travel journal for painting, #4 – best travel journal with pockets, #5 – best midori-style travelers notebook, #6 – top choice for beautiful leather travel journal, #7 – best moleskine travel journal, #8 – best vacation diary, #9 – best travel diary for kids, more best travel journals of 2024, buyer guide – how to choose the best travel journal for you, faq about the best travel journals, final thoughts on the best travel journal, #1 leuchtturm1917 a5 notebook – great travel journal for bullet journaling, #2 siixu colorful blank notebook – best travel journal for scrapbooking, #3 conda hardcover spiral sketchpad – best travel journal for painting, #4 refillable leather journal traveller’s notebook  – best travel journal with pockets, #5 traveler’s notebook by traveler’s company  – best midori-style travelers notebook, #6 travel passion journal by moleskine – best moleskine travel journal, #7 travel journal by promptly journals – best vacation diary, #8 fofun leather travel journal  – top choice for beautiful leather travel journal, #9 kids’ travel journal  – best travel diary for kids.

Leather Journal by FOFUN

Leather Journal by FOFUN

  • Price > $28.95
  • > 100% Full-Grain Leather
  • > Hand-made and durable

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

  • Price > $24.40
  • > Great travel journal
  • > Pages are gridded

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

  • Price > $14.59
  • > Stitch-bound notebook
  • > Pastel-coloured

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

  • Price > $12.99
  • > Hard cover
  • > Spiral-bound

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller's Notebook

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller’s Notebook

  • Price > $36.99
  • > With all sorts of compartments
  • > Opening accordion-style

Traveler's Notebook by Traveler's Company

Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company

  • Price > $47.99
  • > Minimal design exterior

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

  • Price > $27.88
  • > Journal specifically for travel
  • > 400 pages

Travel Journal by Promptly Journals

Travel Journal by Promptly Journals

  • Price > $32.99
  • > Four pretty high-end colours
  • > Comes with a map

Mudpuppy Kids' Travel Journal

Mudpuppy Kids’ Travel Journal

  • Price > $11.99
  • > Wire-bound book

trip planner journal

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Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

The Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook is a classic – and if you ask us, very cool – notebook that we think is ideal for bullet journaling.

With enough space to put all your organization and creativity into the 249 (numbered) pages, this great travel journal for bullet journaling is compact enough to fit into day packs and filled-to-the-brim backpacks alike; the pages are standard A5 size (obviously), but the notebook itself measures in at 5.57″ x 8.25″. It’s secured with elastic.

This classic, mid-century modern notebook comes in 17 punch colours for even the most discerning traveller. From muted navy blue and olive green to bright raspberry and popping yellow, you will definitely be able to find one for your personality.

Inside, the book itself has three blank tables of contents, which means you can organise your outpourings, scribblings and note-taking by creating your very own index – which is definitely what makes it the best travel journal for bullet journaling. The pages are also gridded: perfect for bullet points, even better for geometric doodlings.

Price: $19, Amazon

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

The Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook is a colorful canvas with lots of space for you to unleash your own creativity.

The 192 pages in this stitch-bound notebook come with pastel-coloured, watercolour-style backgrounds for vibrancy, which are the perfect base for pasting, sticking and doodling all of your travel memories.

Other than the watercolor pattern, the pages in this 5.3″ x 7.2″ are blank and sizable enough to fit all your used tickets, memories and doodles onto the pages, but compact enough for carrying around the world. It’s easily our top pick for the best travel journal for scrapbooking.

The notebook comes in two designs: one with added quotes on the pages for charming character, the other with simple washes of colour on each page. Another plus is how budget friendly this travel journal is!

Price: $11.59, Amazon

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

Coming in a classic spiral-bound sketchbook style, this journal from Conda is ideal for anybody looking to get crafty with their paints whilst they’re gallivanting around the world.

It’s a traditional hardcover sketchbook, with 120 blank pages of 90gsm paper – thick enough that it’ll take acrylics, oils and watercolors without bleeding through. The pages are also perforated, meaning you can tear ’em out and offer people your drawings and paintings as gifts, or to send back home.

This is a pretty sturdy book, so it should be able to withstand your travels, being shoved into a daypack, and general day-to-day wear and tear. The hard cover is also waterproof, which will help to protect your precious pieces of art. For the sturdiness alone, we’re saying this is the best travel journal for painting.

Though it may not come in different colours, it does come in different sizes, starting at 8.5″ x 11″ and with larger available for you to really get your Picasso on.

Price: $9.29, Amazon

Refillable Traveller’s Notebook by September Leather

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller's Notebook

The ultimate in travel journaling, this stylish notebook is a chic buy for you, or as a gift! It’s genuine leather, which is cool, but it’s all the stuff you get in addition to the journal itself that makes this easily one of our favourite travel journals out there.

You get a lot of bang for your buck when you opt for this notebook: a binder clip, a pen and penholder that attaches neatly to the book, lined, plain and grid inserts, a kraft folder and zipper pouch.

In addition to the storage space, this journal is refillable, so you can swap out the pages when you’ve run through them without having to buy a whole new book. You know we love to lessen our travel footprint however we can, so we’re really into that!

Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company

Traveler's Notebook by Traveler's Company

The best Midori-style travelers notebook out there simply has to be the aptly-named Traveler’s Notebook, created by the aptly-named Traveler’s Company (also a Japanese outfit).

This aesthetically minimal, mahogany leather notebook is handmade in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. It comes as a package of goodies: a spare elastic band and a fine fabric bag to keep it safe from scuffing – if that’s your thing.

This is a pricer notebook, but, it’s refillable, so there’s no end to the travels you can take it on. Our favourite thing about the Traveler’s Notebook is how the leather ages and changes with daily use and general travel wear, becoming a real companion on your travels around the world. We love it.

Price: $49, Amazon

Leather Journal by FOFUN

So you’re looking for a beautiful leather travel journal? Well, stop right here, because this is the one for you. Complete with wrap closing (also leather), it’s chic enough to not look like some scrappy backpacker’s scribbling pad, but rugged enough to last some pretty rough journeys in a long-term travel backpack.

Coming from the folks at FOFUN, who make a whole range of leather journals and notebooks, this one features 288 pages of top quality 100GSM lined kraft paper, all covered in full grain leather cowhide. It’s A6 size, which is 5″ by 7″.

The cool thing about this top leather travel journal is how leather ages over time, gaining personalised character as it gets scuffed and worn with use. We love that sort of thing.

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

When you think “notebooks,” you think “Moleskine,” so this stunning 5″ x 8.5″ journal made especially for travellers had to make our list.

Perfect for everything from weekend getaways to longer backpacking voyages, the inside of the book comes packed with an 8 (!) year calendar, a travel planning timeline, a wishlist, check-lists, lists of must-see travel destinations, and even space for that all-important travel budget .

Don’t worry, though: at 400 pages, there’s lots of free space for all of your travel memories – Moleskine estimates you can fit 6 long trips or 20 short ones into this notebook. Oh, and did we mention it comes with stickers?

Moleskine has created this journal specifically for travellers, so you can turn it into an archive of your trip once you’re back home – it even comes with a keepsake box for storage.

Price: $29.95

Travel Journal by Promptly Journals

This elegant journal by Promptly clocks in at 88 pages, so you can fill it up in a single trip – and fill your bookshelf up with a whole series of your trips! You’ll want to display it, too – the fabric covers of this journal definitely make it the most attractive vacation diary going.

Inside the journal, there are handy thought-starters(true to the company name) to help you more easily note your favourite restaurants, hotels, sights and more. There is also space for you to keep your mementoes like train tickets, museum stubs, and photos, and a roomy back pocket for everything else.

Measuring at 9.2″ x 6.1″, the covering fabric of this top vacation diary also comes in four pretty high-end colours: grey tweed, solid grey, deep blue and dusty rose.

As a bonus, this Promptly journal also comes with a map, to help you plan your journeys, star wishlist destinations, or otherwise decorate or use as you see fit. Neat!

Price: $20, Amazon

trip planner journal

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Kids’ Travel Journal

Mudpuppy Kids' Travel Journal

Wouldn’t you love to look back on your childhood travels as a grown-up? Give that gift to the kiddos in your life with this travel diary for kids by Mudpuppy.

This cool company is all about moving kids away from digital devices and into tactile creativity. This time around, they’ve created this travel journal designed specifically with kids in mind.

It’s sturdy (very important when it comes to children), and colourful (also important), spanning 128 pages so that your kids have plenty of room to channel their inner explorer. Inside the wire-bound book, there are various sections, illustrations and prompts to help children document their travels, whilst still including enough space for creativity.

One of our favourite parts are the prompts, in fact: the best and worst parts of a trip would be hilarious to read later on, as would “memorable quotes from mom and dad.”

Price: $9.99, Amazon

Soft Cover Notebook by Sloane Stationery

oneirom spiral notebook

This offering from British brand Sloane Stationery is a very sleek and stylish notebook, perfect for the stylish travellers among us.

A softcover journal with gold-embossed pages and a vibrant orange crocodile cover, it’s definitely is one of the most high-end-looking travel journals we’ve seen – especially for $15!

Even though the exterior of the book is flashy, the pages are blank so you can get on with doodling, making diary entries, taking notes, or whatever! Size-wise, it’s 5.9″ x 8.3″, the perfect size for both a backpack and chic handbag.

Just think how stylish you’re going to look sat on a terrace cafe, coffee in hand, with this journal on the table, writing about your adventures in foreign lands. Add to cart!

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal by Emma Clarke

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal by Emma Clarke

The internet makes it easy to succumb to the pressure of being rushed from spot to spot, Instagramming the heck out of your trip – this can really take you out of the moment.

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal by writer Emma Clarke, aims to put you back in the moment and helps you get the most out of your experiences while you’re experiencing them.

Clarke (fun fact: she’s also the voice of the Bakerloo and Central Lines of the London Underground) says: “No one has ever seen this place in the same way you’re seeing it right now, right here, in this moment.” Amen!

The book is a mixture of prompts to keep you grounded and mindful, as well as blanks to fill in and, of course, pages for you to fill with notes, all of it spread over 190 pages. Plus, a portion of the proceeds go to charity. Talk about a feel-good purchase!

Rite In The Rain Notebook

Rite In The Rain Notebook

You go through a lot when you’re travelling. Downpours, heat, snow, skiing, hiking, swimming – there are all sorts of weather conditions and situations that you can get yourself into. Not to mention open water bottles knocking around in your backpack – an easy way to ruin months of journalling!

This bad boy from Rite In The Rain (which has been going since 1916) is the answer to all sorts of adverse conditions you might encounter. Plus, at 6″ x 8″, it can slot right into even small day packs.

The tough but flexible outer shell of this notebook is waterproof, and notebook’s 64 pages  will repel water, grease, sweat, mud, and all manner of other grossness. It will even go through the laundry without turning into mush!

Just use a pencil (water-based inks aren’t waterproof) and your notes will stay intact through it all. And unlike other synthetic papers, the Rite In The Rain Notebook can be recycled!

Price: $6.55, Amazon

Rifle Paper Co. Memoir Notebook

Rifle Paper Co Memoir Notebook

This floral notebook from the distinctly feminine Rifle Paper Co. is  the perfect choice for lovers of design, color and kitsch.

Printed on linen-based paper, the 8.5″ by 6.25″ Memoir Notebook comes in five beautifully illustrated covers – Juliet Rose, Tapestry, Sun Print, Terracotta and Jardin de Paris – you can choose which of the bold colours to suit you. The 130 inside pages feature beautiful illustrations as well.

Price: $15, Amazon

Marco Polo My Way Travel Journal

Marco Polo My Way Travel Journal

This notebook from Marco Polo is actually part of a whole series of travel products in their My Way line – but this journal has to be our favorite of the lot.

Marco Polo have made taking notes of your journeys easy by including fun emoji stickers, a pocket for mementoes, and fill-in-the-blank guides and travel tips. By the time you’ve filled this book, you’ll have created your very own IRL infographic of your trip. Cool!

At 160 pages and 4.8″ x 7.2″, this notebook is smaller and lighter than some notebooks – and, super affordable!

Price: $3.44, Amazon

I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded

I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded

Making waves in all sections of the journaling world, I Was Here designs journals for the curious, prompting travellers to take in the big picture and all the small and meaningful details of their trip.

Inside, the book has all sorts of spaces for notes, spaces for local tips, addresses, and wacky pages where you’re encouraged to do things like start a collection of random convenience store-bought items from the countries you visit.

In a word, I Was Here is fun! It may not be the most practical travel journal out there, but it is a cute way to collect memories and remind even jaded travellers that stopping to smell the roses (or stare at the bugs) shouldn’t be something you leave behind on the road.

Price: $10.86, Amazon

trip planner journal

Now, you  could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

So there you have it: those are our favorite travel journals for every kind of writer – but by no means the end of your options! Whether you’re buying for yourself or considering purchasing a travel journal as a gift, there’s lots to consider in the world of stationery.

From colourful covers and page prompts, to durability and simply whether or not pages are lined or blank, there are actually a surprising amount of factors that go into the decision making process.

Closure on journals is important, especially when they might be knocking around a suitcase or a backpack for longer stretches of time. If you don’t want your pages to get crumpled, and especially if you’re someone who likes to store mementos between the pages of your journal, a solid closure is a must.

Moleskine, for example, have that classic elastic band closre that keeps things safe and sound, whereas others come with a stylish leather or fabric bound tie that not only adds to the design detail but also means you’ll be able to slot things in between the pages.

The cover of a journal is pretty important. But first of all, what the cover of a travel journal is actually made out of will make a big difference as to what notebook you actually opt for.

Vegans will probably not want to go for a leather bound notebook, and may want to go for something like a fabric covered hardback book or more durable waterproof notebook instead.

If you’re open to leather, you’ll find it to be a durable option, and it will weather over the weeks, months and years to look worn and rustic.

You should also consider soft vs. hardcover – softcover is lighter, and easier to fit into a tightly-packed suitcase, but hardcover will give you a writing surface wherever you go. For something simple (and undoubtedly budget friendly), a card covered notebook or journal may be the best option for you.

What type of paper is used for the pages of a travel journal will also play a part in your decision making. It’s easy to think that paper is paper and that’s that, but in fact, there are many different types of paper for many different uses.

A thicker gsm of paper, for example, is something that’s more likely to be used in a sketchbook (90 gsm or higher), and is good if you don’t want permanent pens to bleed through, if you plan on painting, or sticking things in.

Then again, if you want something that’s a little more stylish and classic than bleached, white paper, then maybe more classy, cream-coloured pages will be what you want in your travel journal.

It’s also possible, as the Rite In The Rain brand shows, to have waterproof, weatherproof paper, in case you plan on writing in adverse weather conditions.

Essentially it comes down to what you will be doing on those pages: painting, sketching, doodling, making notes, or whatever. Consider the effect of your planned use will have on different sorts of paper and then make your choice.

4. What’s on the page?

Though in the past, travel journals were pretty simple affairs (either a spiral bound journalists’ notebook, a Midori-style travel journal or something similar), things are a little bit different now.

Even just a few years ago, pages only came either blank, ruled or squared. Nowadays, pages in travel journals sometimes come pre-decorated. This may be cool for some people, but for others it may feel like any pre-existing writing or illustration on the page takes away from your own memories.

Prompts in some books can be fun: they encourage you to make lists of things you otherwise wouldn’t have considered, like your favourite foods, favourite hotels, and even random convenience store items you find in the countries you visit. Other times, text on the page acts as a prompt to get you thinking, maybe even getting you to write something more in-depth than you were planning to.

All in all, the choice is whether you want a completely blank page to start with – which can be daunting for a lot of people – or if you want to be gently nudged into creating an awesome travel journal for yourself. Either way, though different, is totally legit.

It’s very simple and very basic, but this is going to be a pretty huge (no pun intended) deal when it comes to deciding exactly what travel journal you are going to purchase for yourself.

If you’re heading off on a year-long backpacking trip around the world and you feel like you’ve got your one bag travel down to a T, then you’re going to want something compact and light.

However, if you want to really get into creating a scrapbook-style travel journal full of memories, sketches and tickets, then you are going to want a big enough book to fit all of that in.

If your plan is to use your travel journal for things like city breaks and two week-long vacations – in which instance you may be using a suitcase – then you may not worry too much about the size, with room in a large suitcase for a larger travel journal, naturally.

Another thing to consider is what you’re going to look like if you feel like writing your travel journal in public. It may not be practical to be lugging around an A4 sized travel journal, or to get it out if you want to make note of the tiny cafe you’re in, or trying to write on a cramped seat on a train or bus. Compact in these cases may be a lot better!

6. Length of your trip

Next to size, when thinking about what sort of travel journal is going to be right for you, a lot of people often circle back to this factor: just how long is the trip?

The thing is, some travel journals are more geared up towards one single trip: a month in Thailand, two weeks exploring Italy, a six week long road trip through the USA. That sort of thing, in which case, you won’t be needing (or wanting) a zillion pages.

Other travel journals are for numerous trips, such as the lengthy options offered by Moleskine and Midori-style notebooks (the latter of which have no structure, and for which you can buy paper-only refills for the leather cover), mean that you can dip in and out, adding different details to your various adventures, referring back to past travels: a weekend in Berlin here, an epic hike in Nepal there.

Essentially, the fewer the pages, the more likely the travel journal in question will be good for a single, perhaps lengthy trip. For the serial travellers and backpackers out there, something longer and more permanent may be the travel journal for you.

7. Organization

No longer simple collections of pages between two hard (or soft) covers, the best travel journals of today sometimes boast a whole load of interior organization to help keep you and your trip on the right track.

From simply adding an interior pocket, where you can keep a few important tickets and pictures safe, to going all out and adding plenty of envelopes and places to slip in all manner of small, special physical memories from your travels, it can vary quite a bit.

But organization isn’t just about pockets. There are other things to think about, too. Some travel journals come complete with calendars, spaces for to-do lists, maps, itineraries and even packing tips. These kind of added extras mean that the journal turns into more of a planner all round scheduling.

Obviously. Money, money, money: it’s going to be a big factor in whether you choose to buy such and such a travel journal over another one. Let’s face it, you can’t buy what you can’t afford.

Even if you can afford it, $48 might just seem – to some people – like too much to ask for a travel journal. On the other hand, some people may not trust that a sub-$8 travel journal will be any good in terms of durability.

The fact of the matter is that cheap things can be surprisingly good, and expensive things can be surprisingly bad. When it comes to budget, it’s best to choose something mid-range that has good reviews and that meets the needs of what you’re looking for in a travel diary: don’t skimp out just because it’s $5 more than you wanted it to be. If it sounds like you, then treat yourself.

Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

Why should I get a travel journal?

Journaling during travels, whether that’s just for a couple of days or for weeks, is a great way to remember travel stories, clear your head and add some routine and structure to your day. It’s always great to look back on it once you finished your travels.

Which is the best leather travel journal?

These are our favorite leather journals: – Refillable Traveller’s Notebook by September Leather – Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company – Leather Journal by FOFUN

Do waterproof journals exist?

Yes they do! And the Rite In The Rain Notebook is one of the best. Each page is water repellent while the cover is fully waterproof.

What is the most minimalistic notebook?

We love the Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company for it’s simplicity, yet stylish design. It’s a leather notebook that is handmade in Chiang Mai.

trip planner journal

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Kerosene lamp lighting up a journal with a pen and a note pad at nighttime.

There you have it, budding Jack Kerouacs: the very best travel journals out there right now! With our list, you’re all set to venture out into the wide world, then pop in your headphones and record all your thoughts, feelings and observations like the explorer you are.

For the best, all-round travel journal out there, the Leather Journal by FOFUN is a great choice. This is a stylish, timeless sort of journal that’s going to be a good choice for anybody.

Then again, if you’re thinking of something a little less traditional, I Was Here – with its kooky prompts and quirky way of working – may be more what you’re looking for.

And if there’s something we’re missing the travel journal world, let us know in the comments!

trip planner journal

Clair Cathryn

Best Travel Journals Pinterest Image

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photo of a person holding a smartphone with Holafly logo

Oh my gosh, I’m a sucker for a pretty journal! Can I document my travels in 3 or 4 of these?! ? Thanks so much for the killer suggestions.

100% you can use a number of these as travel journals, Deb!

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10 Best Travel Journal Apps to Organize Your Travel Memories

As a digital nomad or frequent traveler, you likely want to keep a log of your travel activities. But what and how you record is a very personal experience.

You may want to write extensively about your experiences and feelings and keep them private. If so, you are probably better off with a paper journal and a pen.

Or maybe, you want to log the most important moments, photos, and travel routes and share them with your family and friends. In that case, a digital travel journal makes more sense.

Perhaps you’re an Instagram Influencer or blogger and want to keep copious notes for future posts/reels.

No matter your reason, if you’re looking for a travel journal app to maintain a digital log, this list of the 10 best travel journal apps will help you find the one that suits your needs.

Let’s start!

Table of Contents

10 Best Travel Journal Apps

1. day one journal.

With a Twitter-like interface, the Day One Journal is about capturing the important moments of your trip. The app can collect data such as location, weather, and music, for your travel photos and videos.

You can use this app as a digital diary and write using your finger or Apple Pencil and quickly comb through the entries using photos, timeline, or calendar. It even accepts voice commands.

This travel journal app can record fine details such as temperature, moon phase, weather, address, etc.

A free version is available, but upgrading to the premium version gives unlimited journal entries, photo storage, cloud sync, audio recording, and 25% off on book printing (if at some point you’d love to create a printed book of your adventures).

Platforms Supported:

  • Apple Watch
  • Safari and Chrome browser extensions

Cost: $2.92 per month billed annually.

Perfect for: Anyone looking for an online version of a standard journal that can also include images, voice recordings and track your locations

2. Find Penguins

One of the top digital travel journals, Find Penguins uses GPS tracking and AI to automatically track your journeys.

It also updates temperature, weather, altitude, etc., giving you a quick snapshot of the conditions on a particular day.

All the data that the app gathers is then displayed in a fun way on an interactive map as a trail and posts.

Find Penguins refers to those posts as footprints that are essentially blog posts where you can attach photos, videos, and texts as diary entries.

If you want, you can order a printed photo journal complete with maps, photos, and footprints.

Cost : Free with in-app purchases. You can buy a monthly or yearly subscription for $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year respectively.

Perfect for: Anyone who needs the best travel journal app for automatic journey tracking.

3. Polarsteps

If you need a completely free travel journal app that not only helps you to plan and track your journeys but also doubles up as a digital travel diary, Polarsteps is one of the top travel diary apps you can find.

It comes complete with an editable itinerary planner and transport planner. It even plots and automatically tracks your path on a digital world map.

You are free to add thoughts, videos, and photos. If you want, you can leave tips for the traveling community, or retrace your steps by scrolling through your travel stats, photos, and places.

The app also supports printing a hardcover travel book with just a touch of a button. The best part? It works offline and allows you to manually add journal entries that can later sync when the internet is available.

Perfect for: Anyone looking for a free travel tracker app that can track the travel route and keep the family informed!

Momento is more than just a travel journal app. It can double up as a project/work journal, pregnancy journal, or private journal.

This app can organize and streamline your social network activities from 11 social platforms. You can add photos & videos, tag your fellow travelers and places you visit , and even record your pregnancy journey!

Momento can also give daily, monthly, or yearly visual summaries, and allow you to explore past timelines.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases for paid upgrades.

Perfect for: People who need a multi-purpose digital journal that works not only as an online travel journal but also as a private and/or work journal.

5. Journi Blog

Journi Blog is a unique photo journaling app that you can use to record your travel experiences as timelines and maps or even have them printed as a photo book to show off to your friends and family members.

Whether you have a travel blog where you write about your vacations and travels, or whether you are maintaining personal travel diaries or recording your kids’ photo album, Journi Blog helps to capture all the moments and stories.

With this travel diary app, you can create a public travel journal or create a private journal entry.

Cost : Free with in-app premium membership purchase options. Membership costs €9.99 for one month, €43.99 for 6 months, and €53.99 for one year.

Perfect for: Those who want a photo journaling app.

Penzu isn’t particularly designed to be a travel journal app. In fact, it is more of a reflective journal meant for note-keeping and milestone tracking. However, it can be used as a pregnancy journal, a food diary, and even a travel diary.

It will give you the feel of maintaining an online travel blog with the ability to add images, add photos, and write your travel stories. You can use custom tags to categorize your travel logs.

Penzu has an incredibly simple interface where you can record beautiful memories of your entire trip.

Cost : Free, Pro for $19.99 a year, and Pro+ for $49.99 a year.

Perfect for : Anyone who needs a private online journal or a digital diary with syncing ability across the web and multiple mobile devices.

7. Tripcast

Tripcast is one of the favorite travel journal apps for many users worldwide. The app is perfect to keep your friends and family members updated about your journey.

With Tripcast, you can create shared photo albums where your fellow travelers can upload and share photos they click and store them in a single place.

The app uses photo geotagging to create a map of the places you visit.

Cost: Free!

Perfect for: Those who are on a group vacation, or participating in volunteer projects.

8. Journey: Diary, Journal

Journey was listed as the Google Editors’ choice in the best travel apps category. Just like other travel diaries, Journey will help you to maintain a travel journal complete with texts, audio files, images, and videos.

You can also use this dedicated app to add location and weather details to all your journal entries.

If you want, you can download and keep your entries private on your computer. Alternatively, you can export them as PDF or DOCX files for easy sharing.

Journey is not just a simple travel journal app. It is a multi-purpose app that allows users to record anything they want such as a stress management journey, sleep journey, better habits development journey, and so on.

Cost : Journey is a free app, but there is an in-app membership purchase option for $3.99 a month or $29.99 a year.

Perfect for: Those who need a multi-purpose journal app that can also be used as a digital travel diary.

Diarium is another great app that allows maintaining a travel journal using a calendar interface.

You can quickly attach texts, audio files, and images, and even tag multiple entries in a single day.

There is an option of adding a sitemap with location info. Plus, the app will display a wide range of data including your fitness data, weather info, and calendar events.

You can easily export entries in HTML or DOCX formats. Journal entry is possible using a laptop, PC, mobile, or tablet.

Cost: Diarium is free, but offers in-app purchases. You can purchase a lifetime pro version for $5.99.

Perfect for : Those who want a travel journal app without committing to a monthly or yearly subscription.

10. Worldee Trip Planner & Journal

Worldee is a popular digital travel diary that not only allows you to organize and store your travel memories.

You can mark the countries visited on an interactive world map, add timelines, photos, and maps, and even share your trips.

You can share your stories with other travelers or you can keep everything private. The app will also help you to plan your next trip using the integrated trip planner.

With the trip planner, you can set your itinerary and travel map on the same screen and then share your trip details with your travel partners.

Cost: The app is completely free to use.

Perfect for: Those who want a completely free digital travel journal.

More Journal Apps to Consider

1. trotter it.

Trotter It is a digital travel journal app that allows you to create and share travel stories with travelers across the world. It also doubles up as a social networking app for travelers. The app is available only through Google Play Store and is completely free to use.

2. Jauntlet

A mix of a travel journal and a free travel blog, Jauntlet allows you to present your trips in a neat timeline. The app connects with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and imports photos from different profiles.

You can add the location to a post to add it to the map and write your story. Jauntlet is a web application that offers a platform-independent mobile site.

3. Esplorio

A beautiful and interactive travel journal app, Esplorio can record trips even without a data connection. You can choose what to share publicly and what to keep private.

It easily integrates with social platforms to retrieve previous journeys. The app is free but there is a pro plan available for $49.99 per year. It is available on iOS devices and through a web app.

4. Traverous

Traverous is an automated travel journal application that uses GPS data to track and record your trip. It also records media and location to create a personalized animated travel diary. The app is free to use but to unleash its full potential, you will need a premium account that costs $4.99 a month or $54.99 a year. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

How to Choose the Best Online Journal App

Choosing the best online journal app can be tricky. They’re all so good and you need to pick one that does everything you want it to.

Here are a few tips on choosing the best online journal app:

  • Ease of use : The app you select should be straightforward and easy to use. An overly complex app will only make your life difficult.
  • Mobile apps : Since you will mostly be traveling with your phone or ipad, the app must have versions for either iOS or Android or both. However, digital nomads traveling with laptops can always use web apps.
  • Social features : The app you select must be able to integrate with social platforms. If the app has a built-in community feature, it is even better, especially for group tours and backpackers.
  • History : The company developing the app must have a proven history of offering digital journaling services. You will not want to use it only to see that it is no longer under development.
  • Cost : The app you select must be cheap. Expensive subscription plans can put budgetary pressure.
  • Security: If you want your journal entries to be private you need to ensure the app has end to end encryption services.

Best Travel Journal Apps FAQs

Is there a free journaling app.

Yes, there are a few free travel journal apps available today. While some are dedicated digital travel diaries, others are all-purpose digital journals that can be used for keeping travel records.

Day One Journal has a free version, Polarsteps is completely free, Penzu has a free version and Tripcast is free. Try them out and see which one you like the best!

What’s the best app to track everywhere I’ve traveled?

Most of the digital travel diaries listed above can track every place you have traveled . Apps like Day One Journal and Find Penguins can not only track the places you visit but also add additional data like weather, temperature, altitude, address, and more.

Best Travel Journal Apps Summary

Digital travel diaries or journal apps are immensely beneficial (and fun) as they help to organize your travel experiences and keep your memories stored in a single place.

They will allow you to add written notes, images, videos, audio files, tags, etc., and help you to easily share your experiences with friends and family, or other users.

For digital nomads or influencers, some come with customizable layouts for enhanced personalization and some will even allow you to blog automatically and share moments of your trips with your readers.

Try a few out and select the one that is within your budget and meets your needs the best. Hopefully, this list of the best travel journal apps will assist you in finding an awesome journal for your travels! 🙂

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flatlay of a traditional travel journal ideas with a coffee and flowers

33 Terrific Travel Journal Ideas, Tips + Prompts!

Looking for the best travel journal ideas to help you remember your next trip–plus some prompts to help you think of what to write?

You’ve come to the right place!

As a lifelong lover of both journaling and travel, I have experimented with all kinds of travel journals over the years, ranging from the time-consuming to the simple, from the unique to the very basic.

I absolutely love the travel journaling system that I use now (more on that below), but depending on your habits and writing style, there is no limit to the number of ways to preserve your travel memories on the written page.

person writing in one of the best travel journals with photos and a cup of tea spread out next to them

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This guide to travel journal ideas and prompts covers everything from the physical kind of travel diary to use, to tips on journaling effectively, to travel journaling prompts to help you get your writing started.

Remember, though, that the #1 rule of travel journaling is that there are no rules!

Anything that helps you preserve the intense memories of your travel experiences counts.

That being said: here are some of the best travel journal ideas out there!

Table of Contents

Terrific Travel Journal Ideas

Travel journaling tips, inspiring travel journal prompts, planning a trip.

Kate Storm in a blue skirt standing in front of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. She's looking away from the camera.

While there are plenty of beautiful travel journals on the market, don’t feel like you need one to keep a memorable travel diary!

I’ve kept travel journals in everything from a $0.99 composition notebook to elaborate leather-bound notebooks to the Notes app in my phone, and I can confidently say that the best travel journals come from the heart–the physical place you put them is the least important function.

That being said, if you are looking for beautiful travel journal examples, I highly recommend these!

View from Santa Maddalena Church near Bolzano Italy, as seen during an amazing Italy road trip

One Line a Day Journal

This is my current favorite travel journaling system, and I’ve been using it for nearly 5 years now!

Here’s the format: each page in this diary has a date at the top (say, August 17), and 5 small sections to write 1-2 sentences below it.

For 5 years, keep a daily journal of a memorable moment, and at the end, you’ll be able to look back and, on a single page, see what you did on all your August 17ths.

While this isn’t specifically a travel journal, I absolutely adore using it as one: the tracking of time through both days and years simultaneously is incredible, and the short time commitment is perfect for my lifestyle that already includes lots of writing.

I do still try to keep a long-form travel journal once a week or so, too, but I love my One Line a Day Journal so much that I recently bought two more, just to ensure I have the next decade covered if they stop making them!

one line a day journal being held up in front of greenery, one of the best travel journal ideas

Page A Day Travel Journal

Looking for something formatted for you, but with more of a travel theme and more of a long-form approach?

The Page A Day Travel Journal is perfect for that!

In addition to space to write about your day, there are spaces to note your destination and event the weather.

woman sitting in a cafe with coffee writing in a travel diary

Classic Leather-Bound Journal

What reading-and-writing nerd among us hasn’t dreamed of owning a leather-bound journal to track their travels in?

I have always enjoyed this journal style and have owned a few in my life!

There are tons of similar ones on the market these days, given how popular they are, but I love the compass detail and great reviews on this one .

leather bound travel diary with a compass on the front

Postcards To Yourself

Looking for more unique travel journal ideas?

Consider sending postcards to yourself from the road!

In many destinations, you can mail yourself (or someone else) a postcard right from the souvenir shop where you purchase it–so bring a pen along, write some quick thoughts about your day, and drop it in the mail.

By the time you get home, you’ll have a collection of memories delivered right to your front door that you can save forever.

The Ultimate Packing List for Italy: postcards from Lucca

Travel Checklist Journal

If you’re the kind of traveler who wants to make sure they don’t forget a thing, the Travel Checklist Journal is the perfect choice!

With daily prompts covering everything from the restaurants you ate at that day to your most memorable moment of the day, it’s an in-depth log of your adventures.

I’ll be honest: I could never keep up with this much travel journaling on a daily basis.

But, some people absolutely can!

If you find yourself not sure what to put in some sections, though, don’t worry about it–better to skip a prompt than make your journal feel like work instead of fun.

beautiful travel journaling prompt space with tulips in a vase

Bullet Journal

A classic bullet journal like this makes a fantastic travel journal idea!

In addition to writing, consider including drawings, hand-drawn maps, charts, and more.

Standard Notebook

You don’t need anything fancy to keep a beautiful, memorable travel journal!

Anything from a simple composition notebook to the back of a receipt will do in a pinch, and I would never recommend putting off writing because you don’t have the “perfect” vessel to store your memories in.

If you’re looking for a fairly standard, lined notebook that is durable without including much formatting to get in the way of your creativity, though, I love these notebooks .

I’ve owned them in various colors and designs for years, going out of my way to replace my old ones with the same brand when they get full.

Photo of a Macbook Pro, a notebook with mountains on the cover, and a red pen. A copy of Moon New York City is laying on top of them--use this to find some of the best things to do in MIdtown NYC!

Buy one on the road!

While I definitely recommend keeping a travel journal from hour one (airports and train stations are great places to write!), there’s also something special about buying a diary on the road.

If you find a journal you love while you’re traveling, consider picking it up and journaling there from then on.

pile of travel journal ideas in a market

On Your Computer or Phone

I’ll admit, I’m very biased toward analog travel diary ideas–it’s just my style!

But if you prefer typing to writing, or you just don’t want the hassle of carrying a physical journal on the road, you can easily keep a detailed travel journal on your phone or laptop!

Evernote is a fantastic app for journaling on your phone, though a basic Notes app works fine too.

A Word document or Google Doc can work as well.

Alternatively, you can type and send emails to yourself and store them in a certain folder in your inbox!

jeremy storm working on a macbook on a train in italy, combining work and traveling

There is no wrong way to keep a travel journal–whatever works for you, is more than fine.

That being said, based on my personal experience of keeping travel journals over the years, here’s my best advice for preserving your memories!

inspirational spread travel journal prompts and postcards with notebook in the center

Try to write as often as possible.

Here’s the sad truth: you will forget much of your vacation.

Even if you remember the basics such as where you went, what you did, and who you were with, the passing years will steal the sensory details from your memory, jumble the order of events, and soften the edges of your stories, making it hard to recapture the emotions of your travel experience.

While some of that is the inevitable result of living a full, exciting life packed with beautiful memories, a travel journal can absolutely help preserve those experiences for you for decades to come.

The period of time that I was worst at keeping a travel journal– the first year of our full-time travels –is also the one where memories have faded the most.

It’s my #1 travel regret that I didn’t keep a detailed travel journal that year!

kate storm overlooking the bay of san juan del sur nicaragua

Imperfection is better than procrastination.

Don’t have time to write pages and pages?

Can’t find the right words to capture exactly how you felt seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time?

Don’t worry about it: a couple of sentences jotted down that afternoon while waiting for your coffee to arrive will capture your emotions far better than waiting weeks to find the right words.

flat lay of a travel diary with a map and coffee cup

Write what you can’t see.

Photographs and videos can do a lot to preserve visual and even auditory memory–but they can’t capture scents, or the feeling of the humidity lingering in the air, or how soft the dog you stopped to pet was, or the expression on the waiter’s face as you managed to order lunch in a language that you barely speak.

These kinds of recollections, paired with photos and videos, are invaluable for helping place you back in that moment of travel, even years after it has passed.

How to Ethically Visit Elephants in Thailand

You don’t have to be a “good” writer.

Forget the English essays of your youth: whether you consider yourself a skilled writer or not, you can absolutely keep the world’s most perfect travel journal for yourself.

Because travel journaling is nothing but a conversation with your memory, and you know exactly how to talk to yourself!

It doesn’t matter if you wouldn’t want to publish it as a memoir or that other people wouldn’t understand what you’re trying to say, because you’re the only audience!

Trust me, as a professional writer of sorts, the things that I write publicly–even in more personal blog posts like this –are not nearly as unguarded as the conversations I have with myself when preserving my own travel memories.

kate storm standing on top of a staircase of books at libreria acqua alta venice italy

Don’t edit yourself.

This goes somewhat with what I wrote about being a “good” writer, but it’s a solid tip for travel journaling even if you’re a very confident one.

Each of us sees the world in a completely unique way and will use entirely different experiences and criteria to jog our memories.

If none of the travel journal prompts in this blog post speak to you, ignore them.

Write about literally anything you like–anything that speaks to how you experienced your day.

The uniqueness of how we each see the world is never more obvious to me than when I compare the things that Jeremy writes in his travel journal to what I write in mine–many times, we each remember things that the other person didn’t even notice!

person writing travel journal examples in a notebook with laptop open

Save more than words.

Ticket stubs, brochures, boarding passes, postcards, even foreign currency–anything small and tactile that you can tuck into your travel journal is a fantastic addition.

If you print out any photos along the way or purchase any of the cheesy-but-fun souvenir photos for sale around the world, those can be great components of a travel diary, too.

Full maps are often too big to save in a traditional travel journal, but you can save them separately–or cut out your favorite section(s) and place them in your journal!

Kate Storm in a black coat standing on a brick footbridge in Brugesduring a trip to Belgium

Sadly, the ink on receipts tends to fade within a couple of years, but you can try storing a few memorable ones for a while as well.

Depending on your travel journaling style and how much you collect, you may want to tape these extra items to individual pages or keep them tucked into a separate pouch (cheap and fun cloth zip pouches can be found at souvenir markets across the world–maybe you can buy one along the way!).

For something more fun than basic tape, buy a few souvenir stickers along the way and use those to secure your mementos to the page!

Second Trip to Paris: Books on Banks of the Seine

Avoid spiral notebooks.

If you want a very inexpensive place to save your memories, opt for a composition notebook over a spiral one–trust me.

Between the spirals being pulled out of place from being moved around so much during your adventures to the fact that they’ll scratch up anything they’re stored near (like your laptop, for example), they’re just not worth the trouble.

I learned this lesson the hard way and will never use a spiral notebook (without a cover, that is) for anything while traveling again!

young woman writing travel writing prompts in the mountains

Always keep your travel journal in your carry-on.

I’ll admit, I’ve broken this rule before, but it’s terrifying checking your travel journal–especially when, like my current one, it contains years worth of irreplaceable memories.

Much better to keep careful watch over it in your carry-on/hand luggage!

Kate Storm wearing a brown coat and blue backpack, looking up at a departures board in an airport. Her purse holds some of her long haul flight essentials!

Wondering what exactly to write down in your travel diary?

These travel journal writing prompts will get you started!

Choose any of these travel journal topic examples from below and expand upon it in detail, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself jotting down details of memories that would otherwise be lost to time.

As always, the point of travel writing prompts like this isn’t to limit what you write–it’s to provide a jumping-off point.

If you find yourself veering off in a different direction after a few sentences, just roll with it!

woman writing a travel diary using travel journal prompts at a table with coffee and flowers

What did you do today that you’ve never done before?

Make a list of everything you bought today, from food items to metro tickets.

Describe the most memorable person you interacted with today.

What was your favorite thing you ate today?

Full Irish breakfast served in Dublin, one of the best things to try when looking for the best food in Ireland

What new thing did you learn today? How did you learn it?

Describe your morning routine in detail: what was different from home?

What was your most memorable form of transport today?

What animals did you see or interact with today?

ranger storm sitting in a square in savannah georgia

What was the weather like? How did it impact your day?

What were you wearing today? How did it impact your day?

Did you use any words in a language you don’t speak today? What were they?

What’s the big news where you are right now? Is it the same as at home?

Jeremy Storm climbing a pyramid at the Becan Ruins in Mexico, wearing a black t shirt and pulling on a rope for support

What’s the funniest thing that happened today?

What’s the most memorable thing that you physically touched today?

What did you eat for breakfast?

Look up, and describe everything that you see in detail.

kate storm standing in front of 3 blue domes on Santorini, Honeymoon in Santorini

If you took a tour: describe your tour guide, including their name!

What did you do today that you didn’t expect to do before your trip?

What’s an interesting story or legend from your destination?

Describe your route from where you’re staying to your first destination of the day.

One Day in Paris: Metro Sign

What’s your favorite word to say in the language of your destination?

What was your least favorite moment of the day?

What was the most surprising thing you saw today?

What interesting conversation did you overhear today?

cozy cafe with coffee and a leather chair in iceland, a great place to try out travel journal prompts and other travel journal ideas

None of these travel journal ideas or prompts speak to you?

Have something different in mind?

There’s no wrong way to keep a travel diary–whatever feels right when you’re on the road, that’s the best travel journal for you.

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About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

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Wander Her Way

52 Travel Journal Prompts That Will Inspire You

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52 Creative Travel Journal Prompts

Are wondering what to write in a travel journal? Here are 52 travel journal prompts to inspire you!

I used to keep SUPER detailed travel journals, which are great to look back on, but time-consuming to actually keep up with. Now I make shorter bullet-point lists at the end of every day when I’m traveling, and make notes on my phone throughout the day to capture my thoughts.

No matter how you decide to document your trip, you will be glad you did it! It’s so fun to be able to look back on your memories and re-live your memories.

You also never know who else will enjoy your travel journals one day… I loved reading my grandmother’s travel journals decades later and I’m so glad I have them!

So here are 52 travel journal ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Related:  15 Creative Travel Bullet Journal Ideas

Best Travel Journals

While you can use any notebook for travel journaling (or even use your phone!) there are a lot of cool dedicated travel journals/planners out there which I love!

Here are two great options for travel planners that also have a lot of space for journaling:

This Erin Condren travel planner is small and easily fits in your purse, but contains tons of pages for planning AND journaling! Document every aspect of your trip with this travel journal.

trip planner journal

This spiral-bound travel planner and journal is another great option for both keeping the details of your trip organized, and journaling all your travel memories as you go. 

trip planner journal

If you’re just looking for a blank notebook to use as a travel journal, you can’t go wrong with a classic Moleskine notebook which is what I personally use for my travels!

trip planner journal

And without further ado, here are the 52 travel journal prompts for you to use!

Pre-Trip Travel Journal Prompts

Before your trip and even on the way to your destination, writing about these travel journal prompts will allow you to document your anticipation for your adventure.

  • What are you most excited about?
  • Is there anything you are nervous or worried about?
  • Why did you choose this particular destination?
  • How much did you pack for this trip?
  • What is the first thing you’ll do when you arrive?
  • What’s on the itinerary for your trip?
  • Have you had any pre-trip disasters?
  • What are some interesting facts about your destination?
  • How are you feeling on the way there?

Journal Prompts While Traveling

Capture your feelings and experiences while traveling forever with these journal prompts to be answered during your trip. I recommend setting aside a small amount of time every morning or evening to write about your day while it’s still fresh on your mind! 

  • What were your first impressions of your destination?
  • How did you feel when you first arrived?
  • Was anything different from how you expected it to be?
  • Make a list of what you did today..
  • What has surprised you so far?
  • What were the highlights of today?
  • What about the lowlights of today?
  • Is there anything you’re missing from home?
  • What’s a conversation you overheard today?
  • How do you feel about where you’re staying?
  • What was the best thing you ate today?
  • Did anything go wrong today?
  • Make a list of the scents, sounds, and sights you experience.
  • What have you learned about your destination?
  • Did anything funny happen today?
  • What are you reading/listening to?
  • What emotions are you currently feeling?

Post-Trip Travel Journal Prompts

Reflect on your trip and share your memories with these post-travel journal ideas.

  • Would you visit this destination again?
  • What would you change if you could re-do your trip?
  • What are some lessons you learned from your trip?
  • Did you have any travel disasters?
  • What were the funniest moments from your trip?
  • What was the best meal you ate on your trip?
  • Did you bring home any souvenirs?
  • What were your favorite things about the destination?
  • What are some things you wish you had packed?
  • Did you feel let down by anything?
  • Make a list of the best and worst moments from your trip.
  • What is one thing you wish you had gotten to do but didn’t?
  • What is one thing you did but wish you hadn’t?
  • How do you feel about being home?

General Travel Journal Prompts

Even when you aren’t traveling, you can always write about past trips, or dream about future trips! Here are some general travel prompts to get your creativity flowing.

  • What’s on your travel bucket list?
  • What are your favorite travel memories?
  • Make a list of the best and worst trips you’ve ever taken.
  • Who are the most interesting people you’ve met while traveling?
  • What is one time you got lost while traveling?
  • If money was no concern, where would you go?
  • What is a time you went out of your comfort zone while traveling?
  • What are the funniest travel moments you’ve had?
  • What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
  • Are there any places you have no interest in traveling to?
  • What are the best meals you’ve ever had while traveling?
  • What are the best and worst places you’ve stayed while traveling?

Related: 37 January Bullet Journal Ideas to Inspire You

More Ways to Document Your Travels

These are the best travel journal prompts to inspire your creativity!

In addition to keeping a travel journal, you might also consider starting a travel blog to document your travels. (You can even make money from travel blogging!)

I have a whole series on starting a travel blog, which you can navigate through below:

  • How to Start a Travel Blog for Beginners
  • Travel Blog Names: How to Choose One + Ideas
  • How to Make Money with a Travel Blog
  • 6 Best WordPress Themes for Travel Blogs
  • 50 Travel Blog Post Ideas
  • Travel Blog Income Report Roundup

Hopefully you found these travel journal prompts helpful. Happy travels! 🙂

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Travel Journal Prompts

About Denise Cruz

Denise is a marketing executive who escaped corporate to travel the world… twice. A Brazilian native living in the U.S., she’s lived in 4 countries and visited 35+ others. After side-hustling her way to financial independence, she curates solo destination guides, slow travel tips, and travel blogging advice on Wander Her Way. When she’s not on the road, you can find her in Miami with her dog Finnegan.

Travel Journal: Ideas, Tips, and How To Write a Travel Diary

  • Travel Journal

Traveling has the potential to be wildly fulfilling. It exposes you to new cultures, different perspectives and unique experiences. The further you travel the more you are pushed out of your comfort zone. And the more you are pushed out of your comfort zone, the more you learn about yourself and the world around you.

One of the most popular types of journals is a travel journal. By having a travel diary, you can keep all these new experiences and knowledge in one place where you can reflect on them.

What is a travel journal?

Travel journals are a place where you can write about trips you have taken, what you learned during and the experiences you had. It is a collection of adventures, stories, memories and discovery.  It doesn’t matter where you're going or who you’re traveling with, an online trip journal can come anywhere. 

Why Write A Journal When Traveling?

There are many benefits of keeping a journal when traveling, but here are a few to start with:

Remember More

By writing down the things you want to do on your trip and the things you have done during it, you won’t forget the reasons you wanted to go and will remember more of your visit.

When traveling somewhere new, you will learn a lot about that place’s culture, customs and people. By having a place to write down your observations, you will absorb more of your surroundings.

Reflect More

A journal is a place to record new things you have discovered while exploring various places you visit. By having all these new findings in one place, you will be able to look back and reflect on what you have learned and apply it to other parts of your life.

How To Write Travel Journals: 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Journaling

You don’t need to be traveling to Timbuktu to write a travel diary. Your writing can start with a family vacation or a weekend getaway. All you need is a destination and your holiday journal can begin!

1. Use your journal to plan your trip

Your trip journal can begin before your trip has even started. Use your journal to start planning the things you want to do. It can be anything from a cool restaurant you want to eat at, a hike you want to go on or different sights you want to see. Write down whatever is on your trip check-list, so you don’t forget it.

Once you know what you want to do, do some research and figure out the best way to do it. If you want to go see a special monument, figure out the best way to get there and put it in your journal. If you want to do some cool activities, write down the contact information of the people, places or tours that facilitate them. Your journal is also a great place to keep the contact information of your accommodations and transportation.

2. Write about what you imagine it will be like

Sometimes when you travel, your destination is wildly different than what you expected. Maybe you expected the local food to be bad and it turned out to be delicious. Maybe you imagined the town to be smaller than it actually is. Maybe you thought you would be more comfortable with the language. Whatever it is, think about writing it down before you arrive. It will be interesting to compare these predictions to what you actually experienced.

3. Write during your trip

It is always easier to remember things when they are fresh in your brain, so try and write as much as you can while traveling; every day if you can. Your journal entries don’t have to be long, but let them highlight what you feel was most important or exciting. How did you feel during your visit to the local market? What did you smell, taste and hear? Did you learn something new from the person you spoke to at the bar? Were you surprised by the clothes people were wearing? What was the view from the top of the mountain like? Before you go to bed, try and recall what you did that day, what you thought and how you felt. This will serve as a great way to remember more from your trip, but will also help you reflect and grow from what you encountered.

4. Add pictures to your journal

Even though your journal is meant for writing, pictures are still worth a thousand words. Combining pictures with your first-hand accounts of what they represent, or what happened when they were taken, will make for an even more comprehensive narrative of your travels. Don’t worry about glueing or taping anything either. Penzu allows you to upload pictures straight into your online travel journal, so you can keep your pictures and words connected and organized.

5. Write about your trip after you leave

Since you write about your trip before you arrive, you should also write about it after you leave.

  • What was it like?
  • What did you learn?
  • What surprised you?
  • What disappointed you?

It is important to reflect on your travels, so you can retain new understandings and apply them to future adventures. This is also a great way to learn about yourself, other people you may have travelled with and how you can grow. Step back from all the things you did and try to see the big picture. It may surprise you.

10 Travel Journal Ideas To Inspire You

The blank pages of your travel journal may not be serving as great inspiration, but your new trip should! Here are 10 travel journal ideas to get those creative juices flowing, kick-start your writing and help you get the most out of your travels. We hope these journal prompts help!

1. Why are you going?

Not every trip needs an explanation and not every vacation needs a justification. People travel for all sorts of different reasons or for no reason at all, but if your travel has purpose, write about it. Even if you’re traveling for the sake of it, that is a reason worth talking about too.

2. Write about your expectations.

As we mentioned above, expectations can wildly differ from reality, especially when going somewhere you’ve never been or going with someone you have never travelled with before. Jot down what you think the trip will be like, or hope it will be like.

3. What are you going to do?

Write about the things you want to do, the sights you want to see, the music you want to dance to, the food you want to taste. Writing it all down will get you excited and help you not to forget.

4. Write about the people.

Did you meet anyone new? Did you make a new friend? Were the locals welcoming? Did you learn something new from a stranger? Did you learn something new from a friend? People can really make a trip. Whether you came with them, or met them there, write about how the people you encountered affected your experience.

5. Write about the food.

Just because you call it your travel diary, doesn’t mean it can’t double as a food diary . If there are any foods you loved, dishes you hated or recipes you can’t live without, write them down to remember them all. Maybe some new fare you tried will influence your tastes when you return home.

6. The ups and the downs.

What did you like most about the trip? What did you like the least?

7. Write about yourself.

Reflect on the new experiences you had, what made you uncomfortable and what enticed you. Did you learn anything new about yourself on the trip? Did being somewhere else expose something you hadn’t seen in yourself before? Traveling can help people grow. Think about your journey and if it helped you grow in any way.

8. Write a travel guide.

If you knew friends were going to the same place, what would you tell them to do? Write down your recommendations and the stuff that should not be missed.

9. What would you have changed?

Is there anything about the trip you would have changed? Is there anything else you wish you did? Anything you wish you didn’t do? Write about your travels and how you can improve them for the next time you go away.

10. Where do you want to go next?

We all have a wish-list of places we want to go. Write yours down and try to start checking them off.

Using Penzu for Your Travel Journal

Penzu’s journal software allows you to access your journal from any computer, smartphone or tablet. Penzu will be your travel journal app ; all you need is your mobile phone or tablet and can write in in it, with or without wifi. You never have to miss an entry or forget a moment, as Penzu can come with you around the world. No internet necessary.

Now that you know what to write in a travel diary and how to write one, all you need to decide is where to go. Pick a place get start your online journal today!

There's no time like the present - start your free online journal today!

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Loved by millions!

Get access to your diary wherever you are – download the free Penzu app for your all of your iOS and Android devices today!

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A Little Adrift Travel Blog

A Little Journal… These Digital Travel Diary Apps Are Worth Your Time

Last updated on January 4, 2024 by Shannon

As travel enthusiasts, we yearn to capture the essence of extraordinary travel moments and freeze them in time. We even want those mundane details preserved—what was the name of that hilarious taxi driver who shuttled you from the airport to your guesthouse?

If you’ve logged those details in a travel journal, you don’t have to remember—that’s where travel journaling apps come in, offering a digital travel scrapbook that easily documents even the craziest travel adventures.

trip planner journal

I’ve been traveling the world for 15 years, writing, photographing, and sharing my travel stories from the first day. That means I have pretty high expectations when it comes to using digital travel diaries meant to preserve the memories of your expeditions. Here’s what you need to know about the best online travel journal apps available.

Table of Contents

What are Digital Travel Diaries?

reflecting on Loch Ness about what to write in my travel journal app

While journaling about your travels via a paper notebook used to be called a travel log, the more modern equivalent is an online travel journaling app. That said, even diary app is just a new way to log the most important moments of your travels—and the mundane ones too.

Travel journals essential just document your experiences, capturing your memories as you travel the world. By logging your travel memories in real time via a journaling app, you ensure the smaller details are captured.

Was it a torrential downpour on the day you had booked an “any-weather” tour of the Norwegian fjords? Log that and then share how you felt at that very moment, otherwise the details fade with time.

That’s the real magic of keeping a travel log in any form, a beloved notebook, an app, or a blog. I’ve used all three over my 15+ years of travel. This travel blog was my primary travel log, but at times I’ve used these travel apps to capture moments more immediately.

thoughtful travel journal diary  apps

And no matter my online travel journal app of choice, I always, always have a small physical journal. Even if you diligently record all of the best moments of your trip in your digital travel diary app, you should also carry a small travel journal that acts as your travel log—you use it to jot down funny off-the-cuff moments, or even just mundane details.

Perhaps you press between the pages ticket stubs, a pretty flower from your world wanders, and other small memorabilia that can’t be captured in a journaling app. It becomes a place to log currency conversions you can surreptitiously glance at when haggling at a market, or jot down lists and travel plans.

I never travel without a pocket Field Notes waterproof notebook and this Moleskine travel journal —its these two things that have allowed me to share such rich details on this blog, my personal travel log that’s been running 15 years and counting.

How to Choose an Online Travel Journal App

trip planner journal

Travel journal apps are not one-size-fits-all. The best apps offer the exact range of features you need and at a price point you can afford—which can mean free! Many journaling apps offer a free version that may just meet your needs. Often its the more sophisticated features that require a paid upgrade.

Given that you’re probably snowed under travel planning, don’t waste your time downloading every travel diary app here. To pick the right app for your travels, consider these things before you download it:

When choosing an online travel diary app, there are several factors to consider that can help you find the one that best fits your needs. Here are some tips to help you make a decision:

  • Features : Review what the journaling app actually does—what are the key features these app developers believe are the hallmarks of their app? That will tell you a lot about functionality. Standard features of most digital travel diaries include: text entry, photo and video uploading, geotagging, and weather data. Decide which features are important to you and ensure that the app provides them. Maybe you want an awesome map interface because you’re hopscotching around the world for a year ? Or you’re studying abroad you might want an app with more functionality around text and photo entries.
  • Platform Compatibility : Check if the digital journaling app is available on your preferred platforms, such as iOS, Android, web-based, and desktop. If you’re bringing both a smartphone and laptop on your travels , you may wan a travel diary app that seamlessly switches between the two devices.
  • Syncing and Backup : Consider whether the app offers syncing and backup options—and if those are free or paid features. You want access your travel diary across multiple devices, and you want it securely backed up to the cloud.
  • Export and Sharing Options : If you plan to share your travel diary with others or would like to have a backup of your entries outside of the app, check if it offers export options, such as PDF or other file formats.
  • Company Story : If the travel journaling app you’re considering using hasn’t been around for at least two-to-five years, run in the other direction. Companies, especially app makers, fold quickly. The last thing you want is an email saying you have a matter of days to download your cherished memories before they’re all deleted.

Best Travel Journaling Apps

Day One is the best travel journal app

Day One tops most of these lists because it’s actually that good—and it’s been around since 2011, so you know your travel memories are safe with this online diary app. The company has invested in a high-quality product, and updates over the years have responded to user reviews and feedback—which is enthusiastic across the board.

Its clean interface and seamless integration with iOS (both iPhones and Macs) and Android make it a joy to use. You can effortlessly capture each destination through text and photos, while popping in location data too.

Best app features : The “On This Day” functionality is neat because it doesn’t pull in the best of anything, but rather that exact moment years ago when you were on an incredible adventure out there in the world—or maybe you had logged a tasty hot chocolate at a hipster spot near that landmark you were visiting.

Either way, you’ll be transported back there in an instant and that app feature is maybe one of the strongest motivators to journal about all the big (and small) things that happen as you travel.

Cost : The free version is enough to see if you like it, but if you’re using this as your main digital travel journal then the one photo per entry restriction on free plans isn’t going to cut it. Premium is affordable though, at just under $3 per month, which buys you unlimited photos, videos, audio, drawings, and more.

Journey online journaling app

If you go all in on Journey as your travel journal app, it will become your trusted companion. Rather than being a journaling app that’s great for travel, this travel-centric journaling app goes above and beyond with its extensive features.

Geotagging allows you to pinpoint the exact location of you experiences, while the inclusion of weather data and “mood” status adds depth to entries. You can import photos from your camera roll directly into journal entires, creating vivid visual narratives of your travels.

This robust app works on iOS devices and Android phones, Mac or Windows computers, and there’s even a web app! Basically, it’s an accessible and essential tool for any travel writer seeking to document their adventures with style and precision. Not only because of the features, but also because it allows multi-media exports in PDF or doc format.

It’s also a bit cheeky and has a handy guide to what Journey offers versus Day One or Daylio .

Best app features : Stand out for many will be the features that let you automatically sync and import social media content from Instagram and the like—what a time saver! And the full text editing screen is nice—you can bold, bullet, color, or link to anything you’d like right inside the text. Surprisingly, that’s not in every diary journaling app.

But one of the neater travel-focused elements are the three views for your journal—media (where you scroll by photos), map (which shows your entries pinpointed on a map of the world) and calendar (journals organized by date).

Cost : Unlike essentially all competitors, Journey offers a one time purchase license—currently $18. You can buy a membership for ~$4.20.

Daylio is a super slick online journal app

Daylio , billed as a “simple micro-diary app,” adds an interesting twist to a travel journaling routine. As a mood and activity tracker, it enables you to record daily experiences and emotions with ease—and without writing anything. It’s an interesting way to to reflect on how your travel adventures have impacted your overall well-being .

It’s not for the hardcore travel writer, but rather, Daylio captures the essence of the travel experiences in a uniquely personal way. It’s a good companion for those seeking to intertwine their emotional journey with their physical travels. And for those who want a more streamlined diary app with fewer features and just straight to the meat of what you want to do.

Best app features : This app is dead simple to use and can be updated in under a minute thanks to the tap interface. It’s certainly not going to be the only way you record you travels, but if you’re already planning to share extensively on a Facebook or Instagram page , then this ease of use may just ensure that you use it every day.

Cost : You could get pretty far with the free version, or upgrade for just $3 per month—only the premium version supports exporting to PDF.

4. Evernote

Evernote for travel journaling

Real talk: The digital travel journal of your dreams may be something you’re already using. When it comes to versatile note-taking, Evernote reigns supreme. Its functionality goes beyond simple journaling, allowing the creation of multimedia-rich entries.

I’ve organized my entire life via Evernote—travel pans, stories, etc—and its robust features make a compelling case for this being one of the best journaling apps out there, period. Not just in travel, but in general.

As one of the best digital diary apps, you can update it seamlessly across iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.

Best app features : Well, you could use Evernote to basically plan and execute your trip, in addition to using it as a digital journal. You can also stay ruthlessly organized.

Cost : The free version offers 60 MB monthly uploads, which is constraining for travelers looking for an online app where they could add photos and videos to Evernote itself—this would like be better if you’re embedding YouTube videos, for example, versus storing them in Evernote.

The Personal version offers a more reasonable 10 GB in monthly uploads, but costs $11/month for that perk. If you’re already paying for Evernote for other reasons then this could be an excellent online travel journal, otherwise some of the other ones are likely better priced for a traveler.

5. Travel Diaries

Travel Diaries app is not free but is very cheap

For those seeking a dedicated travel journaling app, Travel Diaries hits the mark. It’s really a truly solid option. As a travel writer, I’m captivated by its interactive features. You can easily create immersive travelogues, complete with photos, maps, and annotations.

It’s also a captivating way to showcase your journey to fellow travelers (and your family and friends back home, of course!). The ability to share your travel stories and explore others’ adventures on the platform adds a sense of community not available in the other digital travel journaling apps.

It’s available as software for web, iOS and Android, but will only work with an internet connection (either cell data or wifi)—which means this might not be the best journaling app for those going far off-the-beaten path .

Best app features : A broad range of fonts and styles allow you to design your travel diary according to your own taste, and your travel log can include itineraries, travel photos, and a traveling map. The layout as an actual travel journal is a fun and personal touch that makes it feel like your digital diary is just as capable of creativity as a blank page in front of you.

Cost : There is no free version of Travel Diaries—it’ll be a subscription for as long as you want access to your travel journal. The basic plan costs $1 a month and includes unlimited storage and is really all most travelers will need for a robust travel journal. If you want to export your stories to PDF, you’ll have to upgrade to $3 per month.

Diaro general journaling app that would work for travelers

Diaro App is a reliable companion for millions of people, not just globetrotters. This comprehensive diary app offers an array of features that elevate a travel journaling experience. Sometimes the best travel journal is, well, just a great online diary that you happen to use to document your travels.

The ability to add text, photos, tags, and organize entries into folders keeps this app well-organized—you can effortlessly find specific memories or delve into specific themes from your trips. It has a map of entry locations, which is especially important for those using this as a travel journal diary.

Diaro’s sleek interface and user-friendly design make the process of documenting adventures a true pleasure. Available on web, iOS or Android devices (with cross-device syncing via Dropbox) Diaro is a go-to app for travelers who want to capture the essence of their trip with elegance and efficiency.

Best app features : The multilingual UI (30+languages) may be a real boon for those for whom English is not their native language, but the shining standout features is just how easy it is to create a robust diary accounting for all of the key moments on your trip.

Cost : The free version has robust functionality. Upgrading to Diario Pro costs $10 per month and offers more customizability.

7. Polarsteps

Polarsteps online journal app

Polarsteps is a great travel journal app that offers automatic tracking of your journey, making it effortless to document and share your trips. With its GPS technology, the app traces your route in real-time, creating a visually appealing map of your adventure without requiring any manual input.

This feature sets Polarsteps apart from other travel journal apps, as it eliminates the need for constant updates and allows you to focus on enjoying your trip while the app takes care of recording your route—and uses minimal data and power to do so.

What truly makes Polarsteps unique is its ability to create a beautifully presented travel log that showcases your journey. This app is made for the travel photographers out there also wanting a digital travel log of their journey.

Along with the automatic tracking, the app allows you to add photos, captions, and personal insights to your entries. These elements are then combined to create a visually stunning travel journal that can be shared with friends, family, and fellow travelers. I think this is one of the prettier apps—the maps alone are just a step up from the others.

Best app features : The GPS tracking is easily the standout here. You’ll know the precise spot you took a photo, and can then include a quick note—an inside joke you shared with a friend while there, a tidbit about the day, and more. This kind of precise location data is invaluable in the months and years after you travel.

Cost : It’s free! Polarsteps offers you a printed travel journal of your trip, which is how it’s monetized.

8. Waffle Journal

Waffle Journal travel diary screenshot for iphone

Waffle Journal stands out from the rest as a a collaborative journaling app that allows you to document and share your travel experiences with others—probably those on your same trip. Its unique approach fosters collaboration, allowing friends, family, or fellow travelers to contribute to your journal. With the ability to add stories, photos, and memories, everyone can create a collective travel diary that captures the essence of your adventures.

The app goes beyond traditional journaling by integrating multimedia elements. You can include photos, videos, and audio recordings. It’s not a travel journal specifically, so you’re not going to have any of those map features the travel apps have integrated into the experience, but it could be a great option for those travel in a group, or a group of friends who just love to share their travel adventures with each other. Social sharing features make it easy to showcase your travel adventures on social media platforms or via email.

BONUS: RIP: Bonjournal

Bonjournal captured my attention many years ago for its visually stunning approach to travel journaling. As you penned your travel stories, this app transformed them into beautifully presented narratives—and it made you choose just one photo to represent your day. Which was really quite neat.

This travel journal app is no longer available! Even though other websites are still recommending it as a travel diary app, the gorgeous app that debuted more than a decade ago is no longer up and running. Instead, a new app with the same name launched in 2021—it’s not a viable alternative. This new Bon Journal diary app is glitchy and poorly rated—storing your cherished travel memories there is not a good idea.

Don’t forget a paper journal as well.

This Moleskin travel journal is well made and worth the space it will take up in your bag. There will be times you just want to put pen to paper—you’ll be glad you have an analog record of your travels too.

How to Safely Store Travel Photos and Videos

trip planner journal

These travel journaling apps are a terrific way to document your journey for personal memories, and to share with others. Although some long-term travelers create a travel blog to record their trips, using a travel diary instead is a great alternative.

You get amazing functionality and the ability to share your travel stories without the hassle of running a blog—which can get pricey and generally lacks the ability to share some stories privately with family, or keep other journal entries entirely private.

One thing all of these apps have are general constraints on how you upload, store, and present your travel photos and videos. Although some of these apps offer paid subscriptions with unlimited uploads, you’re likely safer if you store your actual travel photos elsewhere, too. Here’s a quick review of other places you can store travel photos, and the perks of using them in addition to, or instead of, a travel diary app.

  • Facebook pages : Rather than use your personal profile, consider setting up a Facebook page for your trip—then you can share unlimited stories, photos, and videos. And you’re creating and sharing in a place where it’s likely your family and friends are already hanging out.
  • Instagram : This is a great way to share photos, but videos and stories are a little more constrained on this platform. This might be a good option in addition to a digital travel diary.
  • SmugMug : If you need a place to both store and display all of your travel photos, SmugMug is a great option. I’ve had an annual plan for more than a decade and it offers unlimited storage for all of my photos from all over the world for $88 per year. And it’s totally customizable—you can create gorgeous albums on a custom domain name if you own one.
  • Google Drive : If you just need a backup solution without the need to share then Google Drive is a good option (I find Google Photos a chore to use). It’s just $2 a month for 100GB of cloud storage.

Ready for some travel inspiration? These are the best travel stories of travelers to follow now, inspiring books from historic travels, and short reads, too.

Essential Travel Planning Resources

❗ Yes, you need travel insurance . IMG Global is the travel insurance I’ve used for well over a decade of traveling solo, and with kids. Here’s why .

🧳 Smart packing can save your trip. Shop my favorite travel gear , including all of the packing essentials for world travel , gear to keep you safe on the road, my favorite travel books , and more.

🛏️ Find great accommodation . Booking.com is essentially the only hotel booking site that I use. It has a wide and affordable selection of traditional hotels, but also hostels and vacation rentals, too. Use these pro tips to find the best travel accommodation .

📍 Navigate more effectively. Rome2Rio is super handy to assess the full range of transport options between two cities—shows everything from flights to trains, buses, minibuses, and more. If you’re booking a rental car, I’ve always found the best deals on RentalCars.com .

✈️ Book affordable flights. Expedia is one of the first places I look for low-cost flights .

☕ Peruse all of my tips for round the world travel , or learn how to move and live abroad .

See Nic Wander

8 Best Travel Journals with Prompts 2024

Published: December 11, 2021

Updated: January 15, 2024

best travel journal with prompts

See Nic Wander contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Associates Program. I may earn a commission on purchases made through these links. Read my  disclaimer  to learn more.

Throughout most of my travels, I’ve kept a travel journal. Recording trip details and reflections throughout the day helps me remember my adventures more vividly and gives me a fun souvenir to look back on later. In this post, we’ll look at 8 of the best travel journals with prompts to guide your writing while on the road.

Researching this post was an exercise in self-control because I absolutely love journals of all shapes and sizes. Even when I was backpacking, I usually had at least three different journals and planners with me at all times.

If you’re a planner and notebook fan like me, get excited. It’s time to find you the perfect travel journal.

best travel journal with prompts

Comparison of the 8 Best Travel Journals with Prompts

Want to find the best travel journal with prompts for your trip? These options are a great place to start! We’ll take a look at each journal in detail below.

Choosing the Best Travel Journal for You

A travel journal with prompts is different from a regular notebook because it will guide you to observe and reflect on your surroundings. Some of the best travel journals have planner components as well so you can remember important information on your trip.

I use my travel journals to keep track of details that I’ll use later in destination blog posts. I track everything from restaurants to activities, and yes, there are usually excessively deep and dramatic travel musings sprinkled throughout.

If you want to start writing about your travels but don’t know what to say, a travel journal with prompts could help you get started.

So let’s dive in and explore some fun guided travel journal options!

Clever Fox Travel Planner 

trip planner journal

The Clever Fox Travel Planner is a high-quality travel journal with space for five different trips, free-form reflection, planning, and budgeting. With plenty of travel checklists and maps to track your journeys, this journal is a one-stop-shop for remembering your best adventures.

Each planner includes 150 fun stickers and pages with common communication symbols in case there is a language barrier. This cool travel journal comes in nine vibrant colors and has a faux leather hardcover, an elastic closure, and a pen holder. 

  • Dimensions: A5, 5.8″ x 8.3″
  • Trip Type: Space for 5 different trips
  • Cover Material: Hardcover , faux leather
  • Special Features: Stickers, pen holder, elastic closure, many colors
  • Price: Check Prices on Amazon

The Traveler’s Playbook

The Traveler's Playbook Travel journal laid open on a desk. You can see two countries inside with space for notes, images, and memories

The Traveler’s Playbook is an amazing journal for anyone who dreams of traveling the world. It has a page for every country which you can fill in with memories and fun experiences as you make your way around the globe. It includes travel journal prompts as well as space to add photos, making this a great scrapbook-journal hybrid.

In addition to a page for each country, the Traveler’s Playbook also includes a country checklist and a travel timeline where you can document your journeys. It’s got a hardcover in a cheerful green color, making this a great companion on the road.

The Traveler’s Playbook also makes an excellent gift for the adventure enthusiasts in your life.

  • Dimensions: 8.3 inches x 5.8 inches
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Trip Type: Multiple trips, one page per country
  • Cover Material: Hardcover
  • Special Features: Profile page for each country, travel bucket list, travel timeline, country checklist, color-in world map
  • Price: Check prices on their website

Promptly Travel Journal

trip planner journal

I love the look and design of these Promptly journals . The travel journal is designed to be used on one trip and it includes a world map and plenty of space for reflections.

It has sections for planning, trip itineraries, and daily summaries. There are also pages for recording memorable experiences, mishaps, highlights, accommodation reviews, and food reviews.

Finally, this journal also has photo sections and reflective writing prompts to fill out after your trip. This option is the best travel notebook for one long-term trip and I love the hard fabric cover and minimalist style too.

  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 in
  • Page count: 88 pages
  • Trip Type: One long trip
  • Special Features: In-depth note-taking and reflecting for one trip, photo sections, prompts for during and after your trip.

I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious-Minded

trip planner journal

I Was Here is a lighthearted, illustrated travel journal notebook that is compact and designed with fun in mind. The majority of the prompts focus on little activities you can do on your trip and write about.

It has some pages for practical information as well as blank journaling pages, so you can also use this book to record the smaller details of your trip. This one has a soft cover so it’s great if you want something small and lightweight to take with you while you explore. 

  • Dimensions 4.8 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Page count: 128 pages
  • Trip Type: One trip
  • Cover Material: Softcover
  • Special Features: Activity ideas, illustrations, could work well with kids as well as adults

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal

trip planner journal

You Are Here was created to help you be more mindful while traveling. It’s also a lighthearted option with suggestions for things to do in the places you visit. There are prompts on each page of this travel writing journal to inspire your doodles and notes.

There are also pages about mindfulness and meditation philosophy to help you get started. The soft paper cover keeps this book lightweight and easy to pack in a carry-on if you’re tight on space.  

  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Page count: 190 pages
  • Cover Material: Paper
  • Special Features: Doodle and journal space

Moleskine Passion Travel Journal

trip planner journal

The Moleskine Passion Travel Journal is part of the highly-rated Moleskine Passion series. It includes a wishlist area, places to record information before your trip, and pages for several short and long trips. 

This travel planner notebook also includes practical information like airports around the world and weather trends in major cities. This hardbound book is durable and has an elastic strap and sticker sheet.  

  • Dimensions: 5 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Page count: 240
  • Trip Type: Multiple short and long trips
  • Special Features: travel journal with pockets, 3 bookmarks, elastic closure, sticker sheet, checklists, planners, and writing space

Moleskine Voyager Traveler Journal

The Moleskine Voyager Notebook is another great option for travelers. This small travel journal has detachable packing lists, detachable to-do lists, budget pages, and daily planning pages where you can record your itinerary, the weather, your planned transportation, and other logistics. There are also blank pages for note-taking and reflection.

Like the Passion journal, the Voyager journal comes with a sticker sheet. It’s a bit smaller than other travel diaries (it’s about 4×7 inches and the Passion journal is about 5×8) so this is a good option if you want something more portable.

  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Page count: 208
  • Trip Type: multiple 
  • Cover Material: Clothbound hardcover
  • Special Features: Detachable to-do lists, packing lists, planning pages, journaling pages, and sticker sheet s

Swept Away by Wanderlust by Axel and Ash

best travel journal with prompts

Swept Away by Wanderlust is a clothbound traveler notebook that would make an excellent gift for the adventurer in your life. It’s beautifully designed and includes writing prompts, planning pages, and space to record your most memorable experiences.

They also offer a special vegan leather-bound travel journal for road trips  and a bucket list travel journal for planning future adventures.

  • Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Page count: 220 pages
  • Trip Type: One long trip 
  • Cover Material: Hardcover fabric
  • Special Features: Comes in Wanderlust , Bucket list , or Road Trip Journal version , stylish design, makes a great gift.

Fun Travel Journal Accessories

I don’t even want to tell you guys how long I spent looking at accessories for travel journals. Does anyone else just get filled with joy when they look at stickers?

Anyway, these are some of my favorite travel journal accessories to customize your new notebook! Use these pens, stickers, and markers to unleash all your creativity.

Pen Loop – If you don’t want to have to rummage through your bag to find a pen, grab one of these handy stick-on pen loops! 

trip planner journal

Sharpie Colorful Pens – If you plan to doodle in your travel journal, these sharpie pens are bright and smooth with an ultra-thin line.

trip planner journal

Highlighters – Zebra Midliner double-ended highlighters will get your new travel journal nice and color-coded in no time!

trip planner journal

Stickers – Is there such a thing as too many adorable travel stickers? I think not. 

trip planner journal

Final Thoughts: Best Travel Journal with Prompts

Using a traveler’s notebook is a great way to preserve your favorite travel memories long after you get home. What kinds of things do you like to track in your travel journal? Let me know below! 

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6 Free Travel Journal Apps to Create a Beautiful Trip Diary

Use these free travel journal apps to note your thoughts, add photos, map your locations, and share your travel diary with friends.

They say that the trick to remembering anything you learn, think, or feel, is to write it down. Travelling is all about learning, thinking, and feeling, and these free travel journal apps make it easy for you to maintain a trip diary, which you can embellish with photos and share with friends.

1. Find Penguins (Android, iOS): Auto Track Your Travels and Post Updates for Friends

Find Penguins is a smart app that automatically tracks your movements during your trip, while your phone is in your pocket. It also updates the weather, temperature, and altitude, providing a quick snapshot of what the conditions were like that day.

All the data that the app gathers is presented in cool statistics and interactive maps. It's fun to see how you traveled represented on a map as a trail and posts about the noteworthy events. Find Penguins also updates your profile along the way, noting how many countries you went to, how many trips, and so on.

Each post in Find Penguins is called a footprint, which can include text, images, videos, or a combination of these. The app is a bit like using social media, and you can control who sees your posts. If you discover something you want to do while browsing a friend's feed, you can add it to your "bucket list" and save it for later. If you're traveling with someone else, you can add them to your trip to get joint updates on your statistics.

Download: Find Penguins for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Travel Facets (Web, Android, iOS): Turn Your Camera Roll Into an Automatic Album

Travel Facets turns all the photos you take on a trip into an organized album of your travels. The app reads the geotagging location data in each picture you've taken with your phone, matches the date and time with weather records, and maps out the trail. You won't have to lift a finger throughout this process.

Once the album is ready, you can edit it to add captions or additional data. These are called waypoints, and you can even add non-image waypoints manually to note something worthwhile.

You can also skip the entire automatic album maker and make a trip manually. You get more control over each waypoint and how it represents your trip. You'll want to use this mode if you want a robust travel diary, adding your thoughts to create a memorable journal.

Share albums with other Travel Facets users or privately so that only those with the link can see your trip.

Download: Travel Facets for Android | iOS (Free)

3. TravelMap (Web): Simplest Way to Create a Map of Your Travel Blog

Sometimes, you don't want the complexities of an app, social news feeds, auto-tagging, and all that jazz. Instead, all you want is to create a map where you add places of interest to plot your trail, along with photos and journal entries. TravelMap is that simple, free solution.

The simplicity of this web app is its best part. Sign up, create your mini-site with a unique address, and start creating your map. The map is your homepage, where you add places by searching or clicking placemarkers. You can always reorder these too.

Then, add images to your map or write posts and link them to the placemarkers you've already mapped. The result for a viewer is a neatly ordered map showing your journey, with a sidebar that displays images or posts to reveal more about your adventures.

The free version of TravelMap should be enough for most people, as its restrictions are still pretty high (like a maximum of 100 images). However, the premium version removes all such limitations if you need it. You can also check out a cool demo of TravelMap to see its full possibilities.

4. Jauntlet (Web, Android, iOS): Journal That Looks Like a Travel Blog Timeline

The Jauntlet web and mobile app look a bit dated compared to others in this list, but the final output looks so good that it deserves a recommendation. It's a mix of a travel journal and a travel blog, presenting your trip in a neat timeline.

When you sign up, Jauntlet asks you to also connect your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. This lets the app import photos from your different profiles. When you make any new post of a city you've been to, add the location to plot it on a map, write a journal entry of what you saw and felt, and select photos to add to the entry.

The final result looks fantastic, as seen in the image above. It's a timeline of where you've been, showing a map on the left, the city and date at the top, and your thoughts and photos on the right. Viewers can also comment under the entry. The whole thing can be played as an automatic slideshow, taking readers through your entire journey.

Download: Jauntlet for Android | iOS (Free)

5. Travel Diaries (Web, Android,iOS): Create an Actual Diary and Optionally Print It

Travel Diaries is a free app to design what a travel journal of your trip will look like and optionally print it too. The app is a virtual open book where you can write beautifully formatted entries.

For each page, you can apply one out of 38 custom layouts, choosing how text and images will appear on the page. Based on the layout, select and upload images from your camera roll, and write text in the simple text editor.

Travel Diaries isn't the best app for on-the-fly travel journaling while you're on the trip. It's more a place to reflect on your journey and compose a good-looking travel diary that you would be proud to show to friends. If you like what you've created, you can pay to download a PDF of the journal or ask the app makers to print and ship the travel journal to you directly.

Download: Travel Diaries for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Traveldays (Web): Travelogue of Photos With Location, Time, and Captions

Traveldays is one of the best online photo album creators to show off your trips and vacations. It's shockingly easy to use, as it takes your photos and automatically turns them into a picture journey of your travels, almost like showing postcards or polaroids to friends.

Upload your pictures in the order you want, and Traveldays will seek their geotagging information to pin it to a Google Map. You can also write small captions on each image. Share the link with your friends, and you're done.

Try a Physical Travel Diary

So which travel journal app should you go for? There's no one-size-fits-all app here. As a rule of thumb, Find Penguins, Travel Facets, and Jauntlet can better log your thoughts while on the trip. TravelMap, Travel Diaries, and Traveldays are better to create a travel diary after you're back from the trip.

But as much as we love these apps, there is a case to be made to use a physical travel diary instead. Not only do many travelers swear by the little diary they carry with them, but How Life Unfolds offers a detailed guide on how to use a travel journal while you're on a trip to make it more memorable than ever before.

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Road Trip Planner: Vacation Planner & Travel Journal / Diary for 4 Trips, with Checklists, Itinerary & more [ Softback * Large (8” x 10”) * American Roadtrip ] (Travel Gifts)

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Road Trip Planner: Vacation Planner & Travel Journal / Diary for 4 Trips, with Checklists, Itinerary & more [ Softback * Large (8” x 10”) * American Roadtrip ] (Travel Gifts) Paperback – Day to Day Calendar, February 10, 2016

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California Through My Lens

California Missions: How to Visit All 21 & Road Trip Along El Camino Real

The twenty-one California Missions, from the time when Spain controlled California, are some of the oldest pieces of history you can visit in the entire United States. A road trip to see all of them will take you over 600 miles from San Diego to Sonoma, and it will provide a plethora of adventure, history, and fun for the whole family. I did this entire drive in 7 days in 2016, and here is all of the information so you can do it yourself, or just read on to learn about a unique part of California’s past.

The 21 California Missions

Here are each of the 21 missions from south to north,  click on the image to learn more about each one .

San Diego De Alcala

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  • Location: San Diego
  • Founded Order: 1st

San Luis Rey De Francia

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  • Location: Oceanside
  • Founded Order: 18th

San Juan Capistrano

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  • Location: San Juan Capistrano
  • Founded Order: 7th

San Gabriel Arcangel

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  • Location: San Gabriel
  • Founded Order: 4th

San Fernando Rey De Espana

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  • Location: Mission Hills
  • Founded Order: 17th

San Buenaventura

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  • Location: Ventura
  • Founded Order: 9th

Mission Santa Barbara

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  • Location: Santa Barbara
  • Founded Order: 10th

Mission Santa Ines

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  • Location: Solvang
  • Founded Order: 19th

La Purisima Concepcion

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  • Location: Lompoc
  • Founded Order: 11th

San Luis Obispo De Tolosa

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  • Location: San Luis Obispo
  • Founded Order: 5th

San Miguel Arcangel

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  • Location: San Miguel
  • Founded Order: 16th

San Antonio De Padua

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  • Location: Jolon
  • Founded Order: 3rd

Nuestra Senora De La Soledad

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  • Location: Soledad
  • Founded Order: 13th

San Carlos Borromeo De Carmelo

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  • Location: Carmel
  • Founded Order: 2nd

San Juan Bautista

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  • Location: San Juan Bautista
  • Founded Order: 15th

Mission Santa Cruz

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  • Location: Santa Cruz
  • Founded Order: 12th

Santa Clara De Asis

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  • Location: Santa Clara
  • Founded Order: 8th

Mission San Jose

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  • Location: Fremont
  • Founded Order: 14th

San Francisco De Asis

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  • Location: San Francisco
  • Founded Order: 6th

San Rafael Arcangel

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  • Location: San Rafael
  • Founded Order: 20th

San Francisco Solano

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  • Location: Sonoma
  • Founded Order: 21st

California Missions Seven Day Road Trip Guide

Interested in visiting all of the California Missions yourself? I created the below itinerary for each day of my road trip. You can use them to plan your trip to visit each of the missions as I did.

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San Diego to Pasadena

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Pasadena to Ventura

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Ventura to San Luis Obispo

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San Luis Obispo to Carmel

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Carmel to Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz to San Francisco

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San Francisco to Sonoma

California Missions Videos

Interested in seeing the highlights from my time visiting all 21 missions or seeing my 10 favorite spots? Check out the videos below.

Mission Related Sites and Museums

Want to get more in-depth on your visit to the historic spots along El Camino Real? Here are a few of the places that are connected to the missions that you can still visit.

California Missions Museum

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Junipero Serra Museum

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Old Mission Dam

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San Antonio De Pala Asistencia

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Map of the California Missions

Zoom in and out to look at the map see where each mission is, then click the icon to go to the specific post.

FAQ – California Missions Trail

While I was driving along the El Camino Real, I got a lot of questions from people related to the missions, their history, and what they have in common. Here are some of the main questions. If you have one that was not answered, be sure to leave it in the comments.

What can I collect from all of the missions?

The closest I could find to something that every mission sold was small silver medallions that have the mission’s saint and a picture of the mission on them. They go for $1 – $3 depending on the mission and I got them from 17 of the 21. Two of the others were sold out, and two just didn’t have them at all. I couldn’t find anything else that almost every mission had to collect.

How much did it cost?

I paid for the whole trip myself, and I estimate it cost around $800 for gas, food, hotels and mission entrance fees for the trip. I was by myself, so the food cost would increase if you had other people with you of course.

Where can I find out when the missions are open?

I found the missions to be open more than I anticipated they would be, as I assumed it would be harder to plan then it was. That being said I would recommend Googling each before going so that you can see up to date information on their hours.

Are any of the missions hard to get to?

The only one that is somewhat difficult to get to is Mission San Antonio de Padua. Mission San Antonio de Padua is located 26 miles each way off Highway 101. While the drive to get there is not difficult, it can be hard to fit into a typical road trip just because of the time commitment needed to get there and back. The rest are all located close to the main highway.

I don’t like the mission history, so why should I go?

Even if you do not agree with what the missions did, they are still a very influential part of California’s history. The missions have beautiful architecture and are some of the oldest buildings in the state. I recommend you visit a few of them and I bet you will find something to enjoy.

What are some other good resources on the missions?

I would recommend picking up  this book  on the missions as I took it with me and read about the ones I would be visiting each day.  This website  also has a lot of great information as well.

History of the California Missions

California missions of Alta California (“New Spain”) tell a story of state and national evolution. Missions built in the 18th and 19th centuries still remind Californians and visitors of the European explorers who came by sea and land to conquer a new land. Under Spanish rule, the first California mission fort was established. Both armed forces and Franciscan shepherds came to colonize California outposts and to convert Native Americans to the Christian faith.

The first California missions were settled within about seven years prior to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The last missions were established several decades before gold was found in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill. Expansion of California missions ended in the early 1820s in Sonoma. Over more than five decades, at least twenty-one missions and four forts, called presidios, were built along California’s coast.

The first nine missions were established by Saint Padre Junípero Serra. The next nine were founded by his colleague, Padre Fermín Francisco Lasuén. The final three missions were established by others.

Earliest California Missions

The earliest California missions were built between 1769 and 1777:

The  first  California Mission San Diego de Alcalá, was named for a 15th century Spanish saint. The location was chosen to provide easy access by sea to Alta California from Spanish Mexico. During a severe drought, the Franciscans were forced to move the mission six miles from the coast. Then, in 1775, natives sacked and burned the settlement. Saint Padre Serra’s residence was the only structure to partially survive the attack. After military occupation in the 1840s – 1850s, President Abraham Lincoln released the mission to the Catholic Church once more in 1862. Today, San Diego rests at the top of a hill on the original mission site in San Diego Presidio just east of downtown. Mass and feast day schedules are found on the mission website.

The  second , Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo, was also founded by Padre Serra in 1770. He was considered a saintly man by all who knew him in life. The Catholic Church conferred sainthood in 2015. Leaders in Spanish Mexico chose the location of the mission with care and, for many years, it was considered the headquarters of the California missions. The mission built the first library of thirty books in 1778. As more American settlers came west, the mission was secularized in the 1830s. Until after the Civil War, the original mission was abandoned. Saint Padre Serra is buried in this beautiful place.

The  third  and  fourth  California missions were established in 1771. Mission San Antonio de Padua’s position was strategically chosen as a key central California location by Spanish Mexico. Named for the Catholic saint, Anthony of Padua, it was the first mission to use now-traditional red tile roof to protect inhabitants from water and fire. The settlers installed an aqueduct system. Franciscan fathers taught indigenous residents religious songs through an ingenious color system. One of the first known marriages in early California was celebrated here in 1773.

The  fourth  California mission, Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, was named for the archangel Gabriel. San Gabriel’s position was the crossroads of three vital land trails. The mission moved three miles inland within decades of the original settlement. More than 6,000 Native Americans were buried on mission grounds. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the mission was known for its vineyard and wines.

The  fifth , Mission San Luis Obispo [de Tolosa,] was established in 1772. During a food shortage, mission settlers hunted bears in the nearby “valley of the bears,” Los Osos. The mission vineyard was so productive that, by the 19th century, wine was exported to Russia and Great Britain. Because the Vatican declared that a church could only be as high as trees surrounding it. The mission’s walls are built as tall as local pine trees of the day (50 – 60 feet).

The  sixth  California mission was established in 1776 at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. Mission San Francisco de Asís, named for Catholic saint Francis of Assisi, saw the city of San Francisco grow around it. Original mission settlers had friendlier relations with local Native Americans: the beautiful mission ceiling was actually rendered by Indian artisans. Thousands of Native Americans are thought to be buried on the mission ground. Although mission priests wanted to move in search of a healthier climate, the mission remained in its original location.

The  seventh  California mission, Mission San Juan Capistrano, was named for Catholic saint John of Capistrano and provided access to southern California to Spanish Mexico. The chapel built by Saint Padre Serra is the oldest intact structure in California. The mission church’s original altar came from Barcelona. A statute of Saint Peregrine, patron of cancer victims, remains in the chapel. The mission successfully planted a vineyard and produced wine. Mission inhabitants used furnaces imported from Spain to convert ore to iron.

The  eighth  California mission was established the next year in 1777. Mission Santa Clara de Asís was named for St. Clare, the founder of the “Poor Clares” order of Catholic nuns. Today, the mission remains next to the oldest university in California, the University of Santa Clara. Floods and earthquakes besieged original inhabitants, and temporary relocations occurred from time to time. The Franciscans used cactus-based paint to make the chapel vibrant and colorful.

“Forgotten” California Missions

Mission La Purisíma Concepcíon and nearby Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer, both founded around 1780, were short-lived. Both were constructed in the Yuma territory and, according to California State Archives historians, both are practically “forgotten.” Mission La Purisíma Concepcíon’s historic park commemorates the mission today. The original mission building no longer exists but there are pieces of the walls that can be seen at the original site.

Richard Yates devoted years to establishing the location of the Mission San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer in the 1970s. In “The Journal of Arizona History,” (Vol. 13, No. 2, Summer 1972), Yates states he believes the mission was on the Colorado River at the California side, not far from the Laguna Dam.

California Missions of the 1780s

The Mission San Buenaventura (1782) and Mission Santa Barbara (1786), California missions  nine  and  ten , were established next. Mission San Buenaventura’s restored buildings, grounds, and artifacts draw thousands of visitors each year.

Mission Santa Barbara, known as the “Queen” of the missions, assumed the central headquarters role within the mission chain by the late 18th century. Today, Mission Santa Barbara draws history buffs and the faithful from around the world. Check the mission website for information about church services and tours.

California Missions of the 1790s

The 1790s saw the establishment of Mission Santa Cruz and Mission Nuestra Señora de La Soledad. Today, Mission Santa Cruz’s Parish Chapel (Parish of the Holy Cross of the Catholic Diocese of Monterey) is a popular wedding site. Mission Nuestra Señora de La Soledad is a popular tourist attraction today. Volunteers operate a gift shop and maintain the grounds.

Four missions–Mission San José, Mission San Juan Bautista, Mission San Miguel Arcángel, and Mission San Fernando Rey de España–were all established in 1797; and San Luis Rey de Francia followed in 1798:

  • Mission San Jose is a spiritual and cultural center now. To reserve a guided tour or to inquire about genealogy searches, contact the mission.
  • Mission San Juan Bautista is an active religious community today. Contact the mission about schedules but keep in mind that San Juan Bautista mission is also affiliated (but not directly part of) the California Parks System.
  • Mission San Miguel Arcángel is a historic landmark and religious community. A costly restoration project hopes to preserve the mission.
  • Mission San Fernando Rey de España celebrates mass and offers visitors with access to its archives by appointment.
  • Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was considered the “King” of California missions because of its large size. The first known pepper tree planted in California is found here. Mission San Luis Rey de Francis is a retreat center today.

California Missions of the 19th Century

The last three California missions were built within the first quarter of the 19th century. Mission Santa Inés (1804), Mission San Rafael Arcángel (1817), and Mission San Francisco Solano (1823) came next.

  • Mission Santa Inés was the last southern California mission. Named for the Catholic saint Agnes, its nearby neighboring town was founded by Danish settlers. The chapel was painted in bright colors. Like many California missions, Santa Inés had a vineyard and made wines.
  • Mission San Rafael Arcángel was named after Rafael the archangel. Residents of the mission treated thousands of natives during the smallpox outbreaks of the 1820s. Originally named as mission resource, or“Asistencia,” in 1817, San Rafael was named to full mission status in 1822. Hearst Foundations rebuilt the razed original buildings in 1949.
  • Mission San Francisco Solano, named after a Peruvian patron saint, was the final California mission. The “eye of heaven” positioned above the altar was said to represent God’s watching over the church. The location of the mission in Sonoma intersected many mission trails in northern Alta California. When California declared independence from Mexico in 1846, the new flag was hoisted over Mission San Francisco Solano.

California Missions Challenges

California’s weather was unpredictable to California mission settlers. Earthquakes and inclement weather created the need to constantly repair the chapels, churches, and residences. Drought, hunger, and fire occurred on the missions. Later missions included aqueducts to provide a steady supply of water. Filtration systems were in occasional use.

Relationships between natives and mission settlers were cordial in some areas and hostile in others. Thousands of indigenous Americans were buried on mission grounds.

Importance of the California Missions

The establishment of California’s missions provides a tangible representation of California’s history. Over time, cities sprang up around the missions and became today’s largest cities, including San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Santa Barbara.

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What’s your favorite mission? Do you have a different spot to recommend? Leave a comment below.

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Why the giant, inflatable IUD that set DC abuzz could visit your town this year

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A giant, inflatable IUD is going to travel across the country to help educate people about birth control this coming election season, after it made its first appearance in Washington, D.C., before the Senate voted against the Right to Contraception Act.

Americans for Contraception inserted the IUD, a form of birth control, last week to "educate, inform and empower the American public on what is under threat," Chris Fleming, a spokesperson for the group, told USA TODAY.

The 20-foot inflatable made its first appearance in front of D.C.'s Union Station. It garnered a lot of attention online when people began to post photos of it and jokes on social media.

Explainer: What is the 'Right to Contraception Act'? A look at how the bill failed and what was in it

"I hope Union Station took an ibuprofen before getting its giant IUD," posted one account to X, formerly known as Twitter.

"What if we kissed under the giant inflatable IUD?" posted another.

Why an IUD?

"It was an attention-grabbing way to educate the public, and it worked," said Fleming. He adds that the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

AFC inserted the IUD on Wednesday, the day the Right to Contraception Act was brought before the Senate.

"It's going to be making appearances across the country in important areas and states for the November election," said Fleming. "It's also gonna be in places where folks might not expect to see it, like in the South."

Jenny Marten, the health training manager at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC, said she saw the IUD.

"I think it is a great opportunity for us to bring attention to a very important topic," Marten told USA TODAY.

Fleming did not reveal where exactly the IUD would pop up but said that it would continue to travel throughout the election year.

What is an IUD?

An IUD, or Intrauterine Device, is a form of reversible birth control. It's a plastic device that's shaped like the letter T and the size of a quarter, according to Marten. Doctors can place it in a person's uterus, and it can temporarily prevent future pregnancies.

"It's one of the most effective forms of birth control available," said Marten.

It's also growing in popularity.

Between 2006 and 2010, only 8% of women relied on an IUD for birth control, but, between 2015 and 2019, the number jumped to 20%, stated Marten.

While it works well to prevent pregnancies, people with IUDs can get them removed whenever they want to. Those who decide to have a baby can get it removed and immediately start trying to conceive.

"Every patient is different, but typically a person can get pregnant once the IUD has been removed," said Marten

Different types of IUDs

There are five different brands of IUDs, according to Planned Parenthood's website :

  • Paragard - Copper, works for up to 12 years
  • Mirena - Hormonal, works for up to eight years
  • Liletta - Hormonal, works for up to eight years
  • Kyleena - Hormonal, works for up to five years
  • Skyla - Hormonal, works for up to three years

Some IUDs, which are fully plastic, prevent pregnancy by administering a hormone called progestin. Other IUDs, like Paragard, are nonhormonal and are wrapped in copper. Both work by changing the way sperm cells move in the uterus and prevent them from reaching an egg.

Emergency contraception

IUDs can also be used as a form of emergency contraception.

Similar to Plan B, they can be used to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 days after having unprotected sex, according to Marten.

However, despite common misconceptions, IUDs do not induce an abortion.

"Research has shown that IUDs are very effective and they're safe," she said. "Research has also shown that IUDs do not induce an abortion."

Right to Contraception Act

The Right to Contraception Act set out to protect a person's right to access birth control, and a medical provider's right to prescribe it.

However, Senate Republicans blocked the bill.

Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republican senators who voted against the bill, signed a letter that explained why they opposed the bill.

"There is no threat to access to contraception," states the letter. It adds that the bill infringes on parental rights.

The senators who signed the letter called it a "stunt legislation."

"Why do you need a law to address a problem that doesn't exist?" asked Rubio at a press conference that was posted on X.

However, Democrats disagree. President Joe Biden said GOP lawmakers have already attacked access to contraception by proposing to defund the Title X Family Planning Program , the only program that is only dedicated to family planning.

"Dangerous and extreme abortion bans are putting women's health and lives at risk, and disrupting access to critical health care services, including contraception, as health care providers are forced to close in states across the country," said Biden. "Attacks on contraception are an affront to women's dignity and their ability to make their own decisions about their lives."

Though the bill was rejected,. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., changed his vote to "nay," which will allow him to bring the legislation to the floor again in the future.

Contributing: Rachel Barber , USA TODAY

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Biden and Zelenskyy will sign a security deal, as G7 leaders agree to use Russian cash to help Kyiv

President Joe Biden leaves Air Force One as he arrives at Brindisi airport, southern Italy, to take part in a G7 summit, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The G7 Summit will take place at the Borgo Egnazia resort from June 13 through June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

President Joe Biden leaves Air Force One as he arrives at Brindisi airport, southern Italy, to take part in a G7 summit, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The G7 Summit will take place at the Borgo Egnazia resort from June 13 through June 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

President Joe Biden is escorted by Air Force Col. Angela Ochoa, Commander, 89th Airlift Wing, as he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Biden is headed to Italy for the G7 summit. Biden’s granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, walks right. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden is escorted by Air Force Col. Angela Ochoa, Commander, 89th Airlift Wing, as he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Biden is headed to Italy for the G7 summit. Biden’s granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, walks left. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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BRINDISI, Italy (AP) — President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will sign a bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine on Thursday when they meet on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in Italy.

Negotiators for the group have also reached an agreement on how to provide Ukraine with up to $50 billion backed by frozen Russian assets.

The international group of wealthy democracies has been discussing ways of using the more than $260 billion in frozen Russian assets, most of which are outside the country, to help Ukraine fight Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

European officials have resisted confiscating the assets, citing legal and financial stability concerns, but the plan would use the interest earned on the assets to help Ukraine’s war effort. An official with the French presidency confirmed the agreement Wednesday, saying most of the money would be flowing to Ukraine in the form of a loan from the U.S. government backed by the proceeds of the frozen Russian assets in the European Union. Two other people familiar with the matter confirmed the arrangement.

Final technical negotiations were underway ahead of the summit to finalize the legal terms of the deal.

FILE - First lady Jill Biden departs from federal court, June 7, 2024, in Wilmington, Del. First lady Jill Biden is kicking off her husband’s outreach to older voters, an effort blending rallies and phone banks with social events bingo nights and pickleball games. While President Joe Biden is in Italy attending the Group of Seven summit, the first lady will travel to four swing states to launch the Seniors for Biden-Harris effort. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

The announcement of the agreement comes as Biden landed in Italy with an urgency to get big things done. Thursday’s security arrangement was aimed to send a signal to Russia of American resolve in supporting Kyiv, the White House said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the security agreement would not commit U.S. troops directly to Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion — a red line drawn by Biden, who’s fearful of being pulled into direct conflict between the nuclear-armed powers.

“We want to demonstrate that the U.S. supports the people of Ukraine, that we stand with them and that we’ll continue to help address their security needs,” Sullivan said, adding “this agreement will show our resolve.”

Sullivan said aboard Air Force One that the goal of the financing plan was to have a loan that would “pull forward the windfall profits from the seized assets” of Russia, giving Ukraine a “substantial source of funding” to meet its immediate needs.

The national security adviser said he had a specific sum of money in mind, but declined to say if that figure was $50 billion. He stressed the urgency of getting Ukraine financial resources as soon as possible and that multiple countries would back the agreement.

“It’s to provide the necessary resources to Ukraine now for its economic energy and other needs, so that it’s capable of having the resilience necessary to withstand Russia’s continuing aggression,” Sullivan said.

This year’s meeting comes three years after Biden declared at his first such gathering that America was back as a global leader following the disruptions to Western alliances that occurred when Donald Trump was president. Now, there’s a chance this gathering could be the final summit for Biden and other G7 leaders, depending on the results of elections this year.

Biden and his counterparts from Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan will use the summit to discuss challenges related to artificial intelligence, migration, the Russian military’s resurgence and China’s economic might, among other topics. Pope Francis, Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are joining the gathering at the Borgo Egnazia resort in the Puglia region of southern Italy.

The summit, which opened Thursday, will play out after far-right parties across the continent racked up gains of surprising scale in just-concluded European Union elections . Those victories — coupled with upcoming elections in the United Kingdom , France and the United States — have rattled the global political establishment and added weightiness to this year’s summit.

“You hear this a lot when you talk to U.S. and European officials: If we can’t get this done now, whether it’s on China, whether it’s on the assets, we may not have another chance,” said Josh Lipsky, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center, an international affairs think tank. “We don’t know what the world will look like three months, six months, nine months from now.”

The G7 is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies that meets annually to discuss shared issues and concerns. This is Biden’s second trip outside the U.S. in as many weeks; the Democratic president was in France last week for a state visit in Paris and ceremonies in Normandy marking the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in World War II.

While last week’s visit had a celebratory feel, this one will be dominated by pressing global issues, including how to keep financial support flowing to Ukraine as it fights Russia’s invasion . Biden’s trip comes days after his son Hunter was convicted on federal gun charges , a blow sure to weigh heavily on the president’s mind.

AP AUDIO: Fresh off France trip, Biden heads back to Europe for G7 summit to talk Ukraine support, migration

AP correspondent Jennifer King reports Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be at Thursday’s G7 summit in Italy and meet with President Biden.

Despite pressing global challenges, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said there’s still a sense of relief among world leaders in 2024 that “America was back,” referencing Biden’s 2021 speech at the G7 in England.

“Biden’s message then was that democracies need to step up and show they can deliver for their people,” Kirby said. “That’s true now more than ever.”

Kirby said the U.S. was prepared to work with democratically elected officials in the EU no matter who they are, though some of those being elevated have expressed far less support for Ukraine than current leaders.

“We have every confidence that regardless of who fills the seats in the European Parliament, we’re going to continue to work closely with our EU partners on all the issues relative to our shared interests across the European continent,” Kirby said. “That includes supporting Ukraine.”

Biden and Zelenskyy, who met last week in Paris , are expected to hold a joint news conference while meeting at the G7 summit. Biden is also expected to meet with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni , the pope and other leaders.

Biden, who’s been adamant “we will not walk away” from Ukraine, last week publicly apologized to Zelenskyy for a monthslong delay by Congress in authorizing additional American military assistance. The delay allowed Russia to make gains on the battlefield .

Sullivan called the security agreement a “bridge” to when Ukraine is invited to join the NATO alliance — a long-term priority of Zelenskyy’s that the allies have said will first require an end to the Russia-Ukraine war and that Putin has steadfastly opposed .

Biden’s back-to-back trips to France and Italy amount to a rare doubleheader of diplomacy in the midst of the presidential election . The president, however, will skip a Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland this weekend to jet to Los Angeles for a campaign fundraiser with big names from Hollywood. Vice President Kamala Harris will represent the U.S. at the conference .

Despite the delays in military aid, the Biden administration on Tuesday announced it would send Ukraine another Patriot missile system to help fend off Russian strikes, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press.

Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. also announced fresh sanctions targeting Chinese companies that help Russia pursue its war in Ukraine, as well as Russia’s financial infrastructure. Sullivan said, “These actions will ratchet up the risk that foreign financial institutions take by dealing with Russia’s war economy.”

Biden is also expected to discuss economic concerns brought on by Chinese manufacturing overcapacity, how to use artificial intelligence in a way that maximizes benefits but still manages national security risks, and global migration.

The U.S. and other G7 nations are struggling to manage large influxes of migrants arriving for complicated reasons that include war, climate change and drought. Migration, and how nations cope with the growing numbers at their borders, has been a factor driving the far-right rise in some of Europe.

Superville reported from Bari, Italy. Miller and Madhani reported from Washington. Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Fatima Hussein and Josh Boak in Washington contributed.



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