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.

Headshot of Elizabeth Berry

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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The 13 Best Travel Journals

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

personalised travel journals

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.

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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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Free printable travel journal template: One Question A Day Diary

The cover of a question a day journal

Are you going on a trip soon and do you want to keep track of all your fun memories? Great news! In today’s post, I’m going to show you how to make a simple DIY travel journal. It’s really easy, low-key, and fun! Plus, if you’re not feeling crafty, you can even download my free printable travel journal template that I made just for you.

Like many travelers, I used to forget the small, fun details of my trips. So, I started keeping track of memories with this one-question-a-day journal.

The idea is simple.

You just answer one fun question every day for a week. And the week after, you’ll answer the same one. It’s not like those big, heavy journals that are hard to carry. And you won’t have to write a lot, just one interesting question each day. This way, you can remember all the neat things that even photos can’t show, without any effort.

So stick with me, and I’ll show you how this easy idea can make your trips even more memorable. Let’s start making your very own travel journal!

In This Post:

Save this free printable travel journal template

Don’t forget to save this template on Pinterest so you’ll know where to find your downloads for your next trip!

Printabel travel diary prompt pages and covers

Why you should keep a travel journal

Alright, I know you are dying to get started with this DIY travel journal, but just before you grab your crafts and head off, allow me to share a few more reasons why journaling is a game-changer for your travels.  Trust me, after reading these reasons, “forgetting” to journal will be a thing of the past!

  • Document memories: Revisiting your adventures through a journal is super fun. Those quirky anecdotes and hidden gems you discovered? They will all be in your journal waiting to be re-lived.
  • Record thoughts and ideas that you might otherwise forget: Ever had a brilliant idea or a profound realization while traveling, only to forget it later? A travel journal ensures those thoughts are captured forever.
  • Reflect and learn: Journaling allows you to ponder over your experiences, offering insights and learnings that can be transformative.
  • Unleash creativity: It’s not just about writing; it’s about expressing your creativity. Doodle, paste ticket stubs, or write a poem – your journal, your rules!
  • Enhance your journey : A journal adds depth to your travels. It encourages mindfulness and helps you appreciate the journey on a deeper level.

Ready to make your travels more memorable and meaningful? Let’s get started and make your own travel journal!

A  set of sample pages for travel journals

A question-a-day: How does it work?

If you’re unfamiliar with the one-question-a-day format, let me give you a quick rundown, so you can make the most out of our free template.

Traditionally, these journals are used for an entire year, containing 365 unique questions – one for each day. The idea is to keep the journal for five years, answering the same question on the same date each year. This way, you end up with a fascinating record of how your thoughts and experiences evolve over time.

What I love about this format is the ease and simplicity. Answering just one question a day is a breeze, making it effortless to maintain a consistent journaling habit – often the biggest challenge for many travelers who want to keep a travel journal.

I adapted this concept for travel. Instead of spanning years, it covers your trip’s duration, with the same set of questions repeated each week. This approach is perfect for travelers who start journaling with enthusiasm but find the task daunting as their journey progresses. With just a short question to answer daily, it’s easy, fun, and incredibly rewarding.

So now that you understand the concept, let’s find out how to make your own travel journal.

I will share two options below; A DIY version and a free printable one . Neither one is better, just pick whichever one suits you best!

two examples of how to make your own jorunal

Option1: DIY travel journal

The first option I’ll share is a true DIY travel journal. You start with an empty paper or notebook and craft your own.

If you are looking for the free printable, scroll down to the free printable travel journal template section.

Materials needed

  • Paper (A4 that you fold in two to make a booklet or any type of notebook)
  • Crafting materials (if you want to make it look nice, but this is not necessary)

How to make your own travel journal

Step 1: find a notebook.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you just fold A4 paper in half and use a stapling machine to bind it. If you buy a simple notebook, or if you go all the way and buy a beautifully designed travel notebook.

I’m a big bullet journal fan, so I just make a collection and dedicate a few pages of my daily bullet journal to this Question-a-day journal. That way it’s integrated with all my other work and travel notes.

But feel free to do whatever fits you. All that matters is that you actually start and that you enjoy working on it. If you need a beautiful design to feel inspired, then by all means go for it. But the design should not be a reason to not get started.

The size of the notebook doesn’t matter either. I usually prefer an A5 format, because it’s small and easily fits in my backpack. But really, anything works. Lined, dotted, squared, or blank paper, all is fine.

A red ring binder notebook

Step 2: Make the pages

At the top of each page write one of the questions below, followed by a prompt for the right date. So weeks 1, 2, 3, etc (depending on how long you’ll be traveling)

  • What did you eat today?
  • Who or what made you smile today?
  • What did you do today?
  • Did you learn something new today? What was it?
  • What is the most beautiful thing you saw today?
  • Did you come across any challenges today? What was it? How did you overcome it?
  • What was your favorite moment of the past week?

A notebook with a page and a question and five weeks to answer it

Of course, there are many different variations of questions you could ask. I found these seven the most interesting ones. But check the section about other prompts below for more question ideas.

I usually don’t add the answer sections for each week yet (I only showed it in the example above to give you an idea), because I don’t know how much space I’ll be needing for my answers. But you could add those if you want to make sure everything fits on one page.

An example of a question a day journal

Step 3: Decorate your travel journal

Now, I’ll admit. I am not the most creative person out here.

I can’t draw and I have the handwriting of an 8-year-old. So when I get crafty with my journal without any template, stickers, stamps, or premade anything, it will look like a mess. And that’s why I go for simplicity,

But if you are nothing like me, this is where you can get crazy. Get out your markers, crayons, glitter, and whatnot to make this travel journal feel like you. You could even add more blank pages so you have more options for photos, doodles, and other fun keepsakes from your trip.

Step 4: Start answering the questions every day

Now that your journal is finished, all you need to do is answer one simple question a day. No endless essays, writer’s block, or not feeling inspired. You’ll know exactly what to write and it will only take a few seconds.

What I like even more, is that even if I forgot to journal one day. I can easily trace back and still answer that one question from yesterday.

Two pages in a journal with questions answered

Option 2: Free printable travel journal template

Alright, if you’re looking for a printable travel journal, then I’ve got you covered too. Find out how to make your own travel journal from my free printable PDF below!

  • Paper (white A4 that you fold in two to make a booklet)
  • Printer (that can print in a booklet, though most printers nowadays have this setting)
  • A free printable cover
  • Free printable questions

9 examples of printable travel journals

How to use the free printable travel journal pdf

Step 1: choose and download your cover.

For you to use this journal every day and make the most out of it, you need to be super enthusiastic about it. And one way to get you excited is to help you find a design that matches your personality. And that’s why I came up with five different covers so that you can pick one that matches your spirit best.

Choose your favorite down below, or head over to Canva and make your design, as long as you print it on the right side of the paper in landscape shape, it will work too.

A blue cover of a free printable travel journal

Step 2: Print the cover

Print it on an A4 paper and fold it in two. I deliberately put it on landscape and on the right side of the paper, so you can fold it in two and use it as the cover.

Instructions of printing a travel journla pdf and folding it in half

Step 3: Print the questions

Now that we have your cover, it’s time for the questions, which you can download here .

They are in A4 PDF format, but you can easily print them as a booklet by using the right printer settings, I explained below.

The complete set of free printabel question pages

Print instructions

  • Click print once you’ve downloaded and opened the PDF on your computer
  • Go to printer settings and select booklet
  • Print double-sided

With these settings, your printer will automatically put them in the right order, so that when you fold it in two, you will have a book from question 1-7, and extra notes in the back.

printer settings with arrows to print a booklet

The settings might look slightly different on your computer, but it works the same for every printer.

Feel free to add more blank paper so you’ll have more notes. Or simply print more of the last “notes” page.

DIY travel journal tips

There are a few things that can help you to make the most out of this travel journal.

  • Make this journal your own: the more it feels like your own project, the more enthusiastic you will be to write every day
  • Set a specific time or moment when you will answer the question
  • Start each answer with your current location followed by “:” and the answer. As travelers we visit so many different places that sometimes just seeing the name of a city you were at helps you set the mood and remember the content when you’re reading your travel journal years from now

A DIY travel journal with questions

DIY travel journal variations

As you probably already noticed, there are about 1000 different ways in which you can style your travel journal.

I just shared five printable travel journal templates with you, as well as my super simple but effective handwritten method. But remember. This journal is about you. It should be a design that invites you to write every day and create a beautiful travel memoir for your future self.

So go wild and use which ever design you want.

Besides differences in designs, you can also add different questions that are important to you, or that you want to remember from your trip. I’ll share a few of my other questions below.

I use these when I make my monthly travel journal for longer trips (more about this monthly journal below).

  • Who did you meet today?
  • Did you travel with someone today? Who is it?
  • What was the weather like today?
  • When was the last time you did something kind for someone else?
  • What surprised you today?
  • When was the last time someone did something kind for you?
  • Did you fall for any tourist traps this week?
  • What was your favorite accommodation up until now?
  • Did you do something that scared you this week?

The printable travel journal prompts I shared with you today are for a five-week trip, but of course, you can also use them for a two-week vacation or any other duration.

If you’re traveling longer than 8 weeks, I would advise you to make a journal with a question for each day of the month. That way you’ll have more variation in the types of questions asked and the things you will remember from your trip.

Just check out my list of questions above for more inspiration. And if you want more help, or if you’re not feeling creative, Shoot me a message and I will send the full list of monthly questions as well as a free monthly printable that I use as well!

A sample mail yo get all questions

More DIY travel ideas

Did this project release your inner Martha Stewart?

Then you’re in good luck! We’ve got more super DIY travel projects for you to try.

  • The 45 best DIY travel projects
  • Homemade voucher book for your loved ones staying behind

Three homemade coupon ideas

Save these free templates

Did you save these free printable travel journal templates on Pinterest yet?

personalised travel journals

Final notes about this simple DIY journal

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, I hope that this free printable travel journal template will make your adventures more memorable.

So, grab your pen and start capturing those precious travel moments, one question at a time!

personalised travel journals

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Due to the personalized nature of these products, we don’t typically accept returns. However, if you're not 100% happy with your order, get in touch within 30 days of your order date and we'll sort it.

Pack your bags, paper people. Our travel journals have pages to plan and remember special trips big and small. Your journal is separated into six journeys, with space to scribble budgets, itineraries, packing lists and everything you’ll need to feel organized. As you travel, record your favorite memories with pages to journal, scrapbook and write highlights. There are even travel games to fill time on long journeys. Wherever you go is up to you. Explore our tips for keeping a travel journal.

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Cruising Altitude: Airlines don't just want your money. Now they want more of your data.

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The hottest new thing in air travel: data collection. 

I spent most of last week in Hamburg, Germany, at the Aircraft Cabin Interiors Expo . It’s an annual trade show that allows airlines, airplane manufacturers and the makers of all kinds of internal plane components like seats, entertainment screens, catering carts and even toilets to show off and shop for their wares.

I definitely saw some cool, quirky stuff like an in-cabin wheelchair securement , which would allow disabled travelers to fly in their own mobility devices and a concept for double-decker economy seats .

But almost every booth I visited – from airplane manufacturer Airbus to inflight entertainment provider Panasonic – was talking about data collection. Seemingly every exhibitor had an app they were either offering or developing. 

Coinciding with the trade show is the Crystal Cabin Awards , and this year’s winner in the passenger comfort category was the InteliSence system from Collins Aerospace. It’s a network of at-seat sensors that allows maintenance crews to quickly address problems on the plane, but it can also do things like track what you’re drinking and how full your glass is, according to Collins, meaning flight attendants on equipped planes could top you up more quickly without having to double-check what you were having in the first place.

All this tech talk gave me a kind of funny feeling.

Sure, I appreciate the convenience of checking in for flights on my phone, changing my seat assignment if a better location opens up without having to call the airline, or rebooking myself if my flight gets delayed or canceled. But do I really want a plane watching me drink my seltzer? Does anyone?

Do you want more tech on your flight?

During a media briefing, Panasonic executives said they’re working to make seatback screens that airlines can use to interact more directly with passengers.

“You are unique. You have a certain set of wants and desires,” Panasonic Avionics CEO Ken Sain said in an interview during the expo. “How else is an airline going to tailor that experience?” 

A slide from the Panasonic media briefing shows that passengers can spend more than 600 minutes per journey interacting with seatback screens, compared to 30 minutes or less on other devices before and after their flight.

It’s a lot of potential data that aviation executives say they can be capitalizing on to make every traveler’s flight more personal.

But digital privacy experts worry about what could actually happen with all that data.

“It’s the same argument that Facebook makes: ‘We want to personalize the ads so that they’re relevant for you.’ ” India McKinney, director of federal affairs at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told me. “As a privacy person, every time I hear that I kind of freak out.” 

McKinney said data collection is often just a way for companies doing it to make more money, and that it rarely results in tangible improvements for consumers.

“The concern with any company that is going to a more digital system like that is data collection and data sale. Hoovering up as much data as you can and making a little bit more money off your customers,” she said. “They’ll say they want to personalize the customer experience, but does that mean you’ll make sure you know that you have a flight of people who prefer to drink tea instead of coffee? Are you going to stock more tea? Are you going to change what you put on the plane based on the data you collect?” 

When Delta Air Lines started rolling out free Wi-Fi on many flights earlier this year, the only requirement to take advantage of the service was to enroll in its SkyMiles frequent flyer program. It’s another case of an airline promising a more personalized experience and relying on data collection to get there.

As Brett Snyder, author of the Cranky Flier blog, wrote at the time of the announcement, the upgrades are making Delta into a marketing machine.

“On the surface, this all sounds like a massive expense for Delta, and that is how the airline wants you to think about it. This is a generous offering from a premium airline, and you should spend your premium dollars to fly said airline. But this is not just about Delta throwing money out there magnanimously. This is about turning free wifi into a moneymaker through partnerships,” he wrote, adding that the requirement to open a SkyMiles account to get the perks for free “will really open up the revenue opportunities for Delta since it can tie your behavior throughout your journey to a single user.”

Last week's Cruising Altitude: What to know about inflight toxic fume incidents

McKinney said that’s in line with how other corporations use customer data, but it probably won’t ultimately mean much for travelers.

“What is this tradeoff that the airlines are talking about? Are you guaranteeing the overhead bin space above my seat? Are you making sure that your wifi works all the time? Are you making sure there’s enough food on the plane for the people who are going to want to buy food?” she said. “If you’re not doing those things, I don’t know what you’re offering me.”

And just what can you do to protect your data as airlines increasingly install and rely on tracking tech during your journey? 

“The best way to protect yourself is to not fly. The best way to protect yourself is to never go on Facebook. To never go on Instagram. To never go on social media,” McKinney said. 

You can also try to opt out, but let’s be honest: you won’t. Almost no one reads the terms and conditions for free wifi. You just want to get to your browsing faster. 

“Nobody wants to live like that. It shouldn’t be on the traveler, it shouldn’t be on the consumer, it shouldn’t be on the individual to protect themselves,” McKinney said.

Advocates are pushing for stronger data privacy laws as technology becomes ever-more central to our lives, but in the meantime, it falls to the individual to try to guard their own data in cyberspace. 

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]


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Out of the Centre

Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

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Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

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To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

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Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

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At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

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The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

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