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The 14 Best Travel Journals of 2023

We love the Voyager Refillable Notebook's timeless elegance.

travel food notebook

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Whether you’re climbing some of the world’s tallest peaks , trying the top Michelin restaurants in a specific city, taking a road trip across the United States, or adventuring off the grid in remote locales, a travel journal is always a great item to use to record your journey. Travel journals come in many different forms, some of them basic with lined pages and nothing else, others complete with lined and dotted pages, maps, stickers, and more. Whatever type of traveler you are, there’s a travel journal out there for you.

We’ve chosen our favorite travel journals based on style and specifications, but our number one recommendation is the Voyager Refillable Notebook because of its versatility for writing, drawing, sketching, and more. It comes with lined, dotted, and blank pages, plus pockets for extras. Read on for all of the best varieties below, including those for kids, inclement weather, and more.

Best Overall

Peter pauper press voyager refillable notebook.

You can use it for traveling, daily note-taking, or even drawing. Plus, it’s refillable.

This is a small journal.

Versatility is the name of the game with this timeless refillable notebook from Voyager, and the reason we’ve picked it as Best Overall. It’s not only great for journaling but also sketching, drawing, note-taking, and list-making. Whether you want to let the world’s most impactful artists inspire your sketches or pen a poem on the banks of your favorite lake, this journal is great to have on hand. The cover is made from faux leather, and on the inside, you’ll find three separate 60-page inserts: lined pages, dotted/grid pages, and blank pages. There’s a clear storage pocket inside the front cover and another clear zippered storage pouch inside the back cover. Interior stretch bands with an elastic closure keep the notebook together, and it’s compatible with most modular notebook refills. Multiple colors are available, including classic black and a muted light blue.

Price at time of publish: $13

The Details: Lined, dotted, blank | 180 pages | 4.75 x 7.75 inches

Best Hardcover

Leuchtturm1917 medium a5 dotted hardcover notebook.

Labels and numbered pages keep organization top of mind.

There’s no place to store a pen.

If you're a rugged kind of traveler, safekeeping your memories with a hardcover may be the wisest choice. Made from a durable material to keep your pages protected, this Leuchtturm journal is a great choice to keep in a backpack, purse, carry-on bag, or even in your hiking daypack. The pages are made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper , and stickers are included for labeling. There’s a blank table of contents to help keep you organized, and eight detachable sheets make for easy note-taking. There are 251 numbered and dotted pages for your journaling. It's made to open flat, which helps with reading the contents and writing. Two page markers are included, and it’s available in a whole rainbow of colors, including four shades of green like sage, bright lime, and an army-inspired shade.

Price at time of publish: $23

The Details: Dotted | 260 pages  | 5.75 x 8.25 inches

Best Accessories

Clever fox travel journal.

Stickers plus added sections for budgeting and trip reviews? Yes, please.

All of the added sections mean less space for actual journaling.

If you’re into decorating your journal with stickers or even adding on stickers to help you stay organized, you'll love this journal from Clever Fox. It comes with more than 150 stickers plus a user guide full of examples to inspire you to create a one-of-a-kind journal that’s fun to look back on. It also includes a ribbon bookmark, back pocket, and a pen loop. The travel planner pages are great to help you plan your itinerary, and there’s a trip review section that allows you to reflect on your adventures. Added perks include the travel tips section, a glossary, a travel budget section, and an expense tracker spreadsheet.

The Details: Blank, lined, dotted | 120 pages | ‎8.43 x 5.79 x 0.67 inches

Most Sustainable

Rocketbook smart reusable notebook.

This smart journal uses QR codes to safely store your entries in an app.

Some users might be too attached to physical keepsakes to make this eco-friendly move.

Keep this notebook safe and you'll never have to buy another one again. Simply scan the QR code printed on each page of the Rocketbook and your phone will automatically take a picture of your work and upload it to the corresponding app for infinite posterity. Just use the reusable pen that comes with the journal, add a drop of water, wipe with the included microfiber cloth and you'll have a blank page ready to fill with travel memories again. It's perfect if you love the experience of feeling pen on paper but don't want to lug around or waste a ton of pages. Plus, according to T+L commerce editor Lydia Price, using this "magic" notebook is just a ton of fun — as is choosing between the variety of cover options it comes in. There's also a host of different sizes available.

Price at time of publish: $20

The Details: Dotted | 36 pages | 6 x 8 inches

Best Pocket-sized

Letterfolk trip passport journal.

There are lots of different versions to choose from that fit different trip themes.

There are only 48 pages, so this isn’t really the type of journal for long entries.

At only 3.5  by 5.5 inches, this little journal fits easily in your pocket, backpack, fanny pack, or really anywhere with ease. Letterfolk makes these experience books for numerous occasions, including visiting national parks, states, countries, and even bucket-list trips . The journal has 48 pages, with 20 entry pages to record trip memories, plus eight bonus pages that include bucket lists, checklists, and other fun activities. Each entry page sits next to a blank page so you can draw the scene you’re writing about or attach a photo or memento. The entry logs also include prompts such as date, location, first impressions, sights, wildlife, and who you went with in order to help you remember all the details of your journey.

Price at time of publish: $10

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

Best Prompts

Promptly travel journal.

All of the questions and guided prompts help you remember the special details of your travels.

Each journal only covers one trip.

Sometimes you need a bit of prompting to get the creative juices flowing and to help you remember small details from your travels. Promptly journals are great for this, as they come with loads of prompts and questions to help you record your travels with as much detail as possible like “What did you love about the local culture?” and “What advice would you give others going here?” There are also specific sections such as memorable moments, transportation, food, mishaps, highlights, and travel companions. Plus, there’s room to add photos from your journey, too. Fill it out as you’re on the road, or complete the journal post-trip to take a walk down memory lane.

Price at time of publish: $30

The Details: Lined, blank | 88 pages | 5.5 x 8.25 inches

Best Leather

Wanderings a5 leather travelers notebook.

Naturally tanned leather gives this journal a vintage look that lasts for years.

The leather can crease over time in the middle due to bending and folding while journaling.

Made from naturally tanned leather, this travel journal has an old-school look and can be used for years to come thanks to refillable pages. Take it with you on a cross-country road trip, while climbing Kilimanjaro , or while visiting bucket-list destinations such as Machu Picchu . Wherever you go, this journal is a classic choice that ages beautifully through the years. The pages that come with the journal are blank, so you can write, draw, make lists, and more, and then you can buy refill pages that are lined if you wish. A strap keeps the journal closed while traveling.

Price at time of publish: $33

The Details: Blank | 240 pages | 8.5 x 6 inches

Mark and Graham Leather Bound World Travel Journal

Mark and Graham

Full-color, extensive maps are great while wandering new territories.

Refills aren’t available.

For those exploring far and wide, a journal with some great maps is necessary. This one from Mark and Graham comes with full-color maps of major cities, plus world weather information, international dialing codes, and more. It’s leather-bound, a durable choice that helps keep your pages protected, and foil debossed monogramming is available.

Price at time of publish: $70

The Details: 320 pages | 6 x 4.5 inches

Best Customizable

Andsotheymade personalized notebook.

The minimalist design coupled with custom words makes this a super special journal.

No symbols can be used in custom lettering.

This notebook is available with your chosen printed words on the cover and the spine in numerous colors (the emerald and lilac hues caught our eyes). On the cover, your words are encased within a hexagon shape for a minimalist look, and all words are done in capitalized letters. When ordering, simply send in what you’d like your notebook to say on the spine and cover, and you’ll receive a beautiful, custom notebook in the mail. The paper used is FSC-certified, the cover is soft and wipeable, and all materials are vegan. Use one for each adventure and line them up across a bookshelf or on a coffee table, and check the spines to remember just how far you’ve adventured around the world.

Price at time of publish: $21

The Details: Dotted, lined, or blank | 160 pages | 5 x 8 inches

Best Refillable

Robrasim refillable travelers notebook.

Three different paper refills are available.

It doesn’t lay flat when opened.

Three different refillable inserts are available for this notebook: lined, blank, and kraft paper, which is great for those wanting to journal, draw, sketch, and attach mementos. The cover is made from naturally tanned leather and includes an elastic and leather closure to keep the contents safe. The paper is acid-free, resists light and air damage, and is suitable for most pen types. One PVC cardholder pouch is attached for all of your cards, receipts, and other small items, and the small journal size means you can take it anywhere.

Price at time of publish: $15

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

Best Moleskine

Moleskine city notebook.

Added features like maps and tracing paper make this an enriching journal.

Maps here are extensive, leaving a bit less room for journaling.

If you’re exploring large cities such as Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, New York, or London, a sleek, classic Moleskine notebook is the way to go, and the City Notebooks are excellent. The notebooks come with a map of the city, a street index, and tracing paper so you can note different areas. Mark your favorite restaurants, attractions, or newfound discoveries throughout. There are personalized stickers to use as well, plus tabbed sections and blank pages for drawing, sketching, and list-making. The smaller size of this journal makes it great to stick in your backpack, pocket, or purse, and numerous cities are available.

Price at time of publish: $25

The Details: Lined | 220 pages | 3.5 x 5.5 inches

Best Weatherproof

Rite in the rain weatherproof side-spiral notebook.

The tough cover comes in nine colors.

You can’t use water-based ink pens with this journal.

If you’re going to be out in rainy, snowy, muddy, or any kind of wet conditions, consider going with a weatherproof journal like this one from Rite in the Rain. It comes with all-weather paper that repels water, mud, and grease and can even survive a spin through the washing machine. The cover is also tough, weatherproof, and flexible to keep your notes free from scratches and stains. The wire binding is impact-resistant unlike standard spiral notebooks, so don’t worry about the journal getting messed up in your hiking bag. It’s recommended to use a standard number two pencil or an all-weather pen with this notebook, but standard ballpoint pens will work when the paper is dry. (Water-based inks will bead off the paper, so steer clear of those.)

Price at time of publish: $14

The Details: Lined | 64 pages | 6x9 inches

Best for Kids

Peter pauper kids’ travel journal.

Maps, prompts, illustrations, and games make this the ultimate kid-friendly travel journal.

It's most suited for international travel.

Kids love remembering their early travel experiences, and this journal from Peter Pauper makes it to chronicle them, as it’s full of prompts, photos, illustrations, maps, puzzles, games, and more. There’s room to paste in photos and mementos, plus lined pages to write down daily wanderings, packing lists, and experiences. There’s also blank pages for drawing and sketching as well as helpful words and phrases in foreign languages and metric information for easy conversions. Kids will also love the included travel-related quotes from children’s books and interesting world facts listed throughout. A back pocket gives extra room for keepsakes, and an elastic band keeps the journal closed when not in use. It’s recommended for ages 7-12.

The Details: Lined, blank | 96 pages | 6.25 x 8.25 inches

Best Travel Journal App

Day one app.

The app is compatible with all iOS and Android devices, so you can journal wherever you go.

Digital journaling may not be for everyone.

If you're not a fan of shorthand writing, but still want to document all of your memories in a fun journal, consider going digital with this app. Not only is the Day One app compatible with all Android and Apple phones, but you can also get to your account using a tablet or Mac computer, so you can truly make sure you always have access to your notes. This may be a journal — technically — but the app helps you build a digital scrapbook with notes, photos, and even audio clips placed right onto your page. You can also type or handwrite depending on your preference. If you want to share your memories or eventually keep a physical journal, you can even print out the book to look back on again and again.

Price at time of publish: $3 per month for premium subscription

The Details: Customizable | Unlimited pages | Your screen size

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 Amanda Ogle used research and her personal expertise as a travel writer to craft the perfect list of journals for your next adventure. While researching travel journals, we spoke with T+L commerce editor Lydia Price .

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20 Best Travel Journals to Document Your Trips

Some include prompts and templates to help get you started.

Headshot of Elizabeth Berry

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Home » Gear » Best Travel Journals

The BEST Travel Journals of 2023! | 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.

Quick Answer: These are the Best Travel Journals of 2022

Best travel journals of 2022, #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 2022, 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 mudpuppy kids’ travel journal  – best travel diary for kids.

Leather Journal by FOFUN

Leather Journal by FOFUN

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

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook

  • > Great travel journal
  • > Pages are gridded

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

Siixu Colorful Blank Notebook

  • > Stitch-bound notebook
  • > Pastel-coloured

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

Conda Hardcover Spiral Sketchpad

  • > Hard cover
  • > Spiral-bound

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller's Notebook

Refillable Leather Journal Traveller’s Notebook

  • > With all sorts of compartments
  • > Opening accordion-style

Traveler's Notebook by Traveler's Company

Traveler’s Notebook by Traveler’s Company

  • > Minimal design exterior

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

Travel Passion Journal by Moleskine

  • > Journal specifically for travel
  • > 400 pages

Mudpuppy Kids' Travel Journal

Mudpuppy Kids’ Travel Journal

  • > Wire-bound book

travel food notebook

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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

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

travel food notebook

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Mudpuppy 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

Sloane Stationery "World Dom" Soft Cover 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

travel food notebook

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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.

travel food notebook

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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!

travel food notebook

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Clair Cathryn

Clair Cathryn

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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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TSA dishes on how to travel with food this Thanksgiving

The TSA shares examples of foods that be stored in a carry on.

(CNN) - If you are flying for Thanksgiving, the TSA wants you to know you can bring most holiday foods on board, but there are certain foods that need to be checked.

As a general rule, solid foods can fly with you.

Anything that can be poured, spread, sprayed or pumped should be checked, so make sure your special gravy, cranberry sauce and wine go under the plane.

The TSA shares what foods need to be put in a checked bag.

The agency even has a special list on its MyTSA app that will tell you how to travel with most foods.

If you do bring food on board, make sure to keep it easily accessible. Food items frequently require additional screening at checkpoints.

Copyright 2023 CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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Keep it old school: travel journals & notebooks.

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With most people relying on smartphones and apps, or starting a blog or social media accounts, to document and share their travels, the joy of keeping a paper journal has been lost in the modern age. Many travelers don’t even think about packing a simple pocket notebook and pen.

I’d like to think that the art of keeping a paper journal in addition to the more electronic forms is beneficial. There’s bound to be some thoughts, observations, and notes worth writing out and keeping to yourself.

I always bring along a pocket-sized notebook when I travel. I like to keep a very loose daily entry where I jot down expenses, little observations, and doodles… all the things that will spark those memories up down the road.

And yes, I can do this all on my phone, but there’s something therapeutic and relaxing about writing , especially while in transit.

And there’s something even more therapeutic about having a physical notebook to flip through down the road.


Benefits of a Travel Journal or Notebook

  • You don’t have to censor yourself. Say what you feel . Get out any stress or emotions on paper. There shouldn’t be anyone else reading it.
  • It helps you remember the small things . The name of the person you met on a bus, or the room number in your favorite hotel. Writing versus typing helps with memory recall .
  • It’s a really great souvenir to bring home . Nothing like being able to flip through your old travel notes in a physical notebook form.
  • It’s great for passing the time while waiting for an upcoming trip and definitely while traveling on buses, planes and trains. It’s also a bit more inconspicuous than getting out the laptop or phone to take some notes.
  • It’s perfect when you need to minimize excess use of your phone. Save your battery by going old school.

Travel Journal/Notebook Ideas

Travel diary/journal.

travel journal diary

Photos speak a thousand words, but those photos also don’t tell the whole story. Your thoughts and feelings, the way the air felt, the sounds you can only explain as YOU hear them… these are the bits of the experience that drift away over time.

Keeping a long-form travel diary makes the ultimate keepsake of an adventure. I don’t always keep one, but I will say that the ones I do have are inspiring to look back on. It’s a place to get out your internal frustrations, a place to reflect, and a place to be creative.

Writing is therapeutic and relaxing, not to mention a great way to pass time on long plane and train journeys.

No batteries or recharging necessary, you are only limited by page space and ink levels. My suggestion is to write small and write frequently.

Money Journal

kyrgyzstan money journal

Use a simple pocket notebook to keep track of your expenses as you travel . It’s a great way to ensure you’re sticking to a travel budget.

Plus, you’d be surprised at what memories these little entries can spark in the future! A little note like “lunch in Singapore food court” can instantly transport you back to that setting- the sights, the sounds, and to the best chicken rice you’ve ever had.

To make it even more interesting, get a notebook with a built-in pocket to store receipts, or attach them to the notebook as you go. You can add doodles to your entries, or extra explanations for your expenditures. Next to your entry for purchasing a hat, you can add a note that it was unexpectedly freezing cold at night in your Guatemala hostel.

If you’re not one for keeping a proper journal/diary, this would be my go-to recommendation. It’s simple and helps with the logistics of travel- staying on top of your money !

Of course there are loads of apps that allow you to do something similar on your phone.

Two page spread on Magnetic Island.

Bring along some tape and a couple of colored pens, and a simple travel journal turns into a scrapbook. Ticket stubs, beer labels, receipts, photos, drawings, and so on transform a journal to a coffee table worthy souvenir.

  • Get some tips for starting a travel scrapbook .

I’ve always enjoyed the unlined Moleskine Cahier notebooks for this purpose. I can write tiny entries and add in other paraphernalia without lines getting in the way. The built-in back pocket stores my scrapbook items until they are used.

Plus, they pack up super small, which is always important to me!

Travel Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling has become quite popular in recent years as a way to combine both mindfulness and productivity into one. It’s not a long-form diary, but more a series of tick-lists and goals – perfect for travel planning and presenting achievements in a visual manner.

Bullet journals vary greatly, ranging from categorized lists to pages of hand-drawn pictures and doodles. For example, you can list all the destinations you wish to visit on your upcoming trip, or you can draw a world map and color in all the hot spots with different markers. The possibilities are endless.

  • Here are some ideas for travel bullet journal spreads .

Buy Travel Journals

Europe map travel journal on Etsy shop miss Araya

Europe Map Travel Journal

Travel Journal with Envelope pockets on Etsy shop Bespoke Bindery

Travel Journal with Envelope Pockets

OddsnBlobs travel journal from Etsy

Tropical Jungle Travel Journal

For the hefty, bound, and ornamental type of travel journals, check out any physical book store or search on Amazon . Some really special and bespoke travel journals can be found on Etsy .

Buy Travel Scrapbooks

Retro travel scrapbook from Etsy

Retro Travel Scrapbook

Travel Suitcase Scrapbook on Etsy

Travel Suitcase Scrapbook

Strawcoco navigating travel scrapbook on Etsy

Navigating Travel Scrapbook

When we say travel scrapbook, we mean a scrapbook that you can actually fit into your luggage and take with you… not the gigantic, oversized ones that your mom has made from your baby photos!

For a good traveling scrapbook, really any type of notebook or journal will do the trick, as long as there’s room to grow (meaning the cover will still cover it when extra items are added).

Just be sure to pack some extra tape, washi tape , and colored pens to make it fun. A page of stickers can add pizzazz in a pinch. Oh, and a simple envelope attached inside will make a great place to store loose items and memories.

  • Search for a travel scrapbook: Amazon | Etsy

Buy Travel Notebooks

Moleskine Cahier Journals

Moleskine Cahier

Moleskine pocket planner

Moleskine Pocket Planner

Moleskine Classic

Moleskine Classic

For everything else, there’s no looking past the timeless Moleskine cahiers and pocket notebooks. I’ve used the unlined pads for travel journals, and I’ve used the pocket planners as a money notebook.

  • Grab a Moleskine notebook: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Do you carry a journal in your backpack, or do you think it is a waste of time and space?

P.S. Keeping a Watercolor Journal on the Road

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journals for travel

Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag . When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm planning adventures or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Travel resources, hpl learnables.

Handbag Packing Masterclass – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing class run by HPL founder, Brooke.

Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)

Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe.

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

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January 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

I haven’t gone on trips longer than a week yet, which means I haven’t found it necessary to bring my computer with me and do blog updates! However, I do bring a travel journal and I can’t see myself stopping that practice even when I DO have my computer. Why? Because my journal is where I glue stuff! Like tea bags or tickets or other random flat paper stuff. I’m totally a packrat, especially with useless paper stuff (I used to “collect” those silly tourist pamphlets on road trips when I was younger), and sticking it in my journal at least keeps it off my bedroom floor! It all goes in my journal! If I only had my computer, I wouldn’t be able to keep that stuff with me. (I guess I could take a picture of it? But that’s not the same.)

January 6, 2011 at 8:04 am

Journals are great, and I’m the same with paper bits — always trying to tape them in my journal!

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January 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

I carry around a small notebook in my bag at all times, it acts as shopping list, random street addresses/phone numbers but most of all pages to fill when the words start flooding out of my head at the most random times. I’m lost without my notebook, I’ve been known to write on the back of receipts or any piece of paper I can find if for some stupid reason i’ve left my notebook behind!

January 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I am the queen of notes/lists. Must have them at all times to survive! 🙂

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January 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Before leaving on my current trip, I actually spent my last night at my parents’ house in America handmaking two journals. It took me all night, but they’re pretty amazing ~ and it feels good to know that these journals are completely mine, from the words I write in them down to the handcut papers and handsewn signatures.

January 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Now that’s hardcore 🙂 Love that you made your own journals!

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January 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Nothing can beat holding a notebook or piece of ephemera that you once held when standing in some far flung corner of the world ~ It totally bridges the gap across time and space – something that a blog that only ever exists in a virtual world can never do 😉

January 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Agreed – if you can touch it, it always seems more real 🙂

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January 7, 2011 at 3:49 am

I always find if I take a journal with me, I am not too diligent about writing in it. But if I don’t, then there’s always things I want to write down, but can’t. I recently but a moleskin for my next trip, it’s nice and small so it’s easy to put in my purse.

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September 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm

On my first big trip abroad I journaled religiously and loved doing it! I would cut out bits of pamphlets or things I found and put them in. They look back at it throughout my journey. I loved that journal and know everything I did on that trip is it there. For Australia I planned it not journal and just write on my blog instead. I would just scribble some things down in a book to remember instead. I guess that is technically journaling but it doesn’t feel as nice as sitting down and just free writing everything that happened, what you really feel about it and more. I kind of censor my feeling on my website, which I’m sure most people do. I kind of want to just journal again!

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November 2, 2012 at 6:19 am

Since arriving in Korea, I’ve kept a journal almost everyday. It reminds me of how far I’ve come!

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March 30, 2013 at 12:47 am

I write in a journal on all my vacation trips. I take LOTS of pictures, so having a journal helps me remember the little details about places, or funny things that I captured in a picture. I make myself write each night when travelling, so the experience is fresh in my mind. Plus they are fun to read and reminisce!

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August 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

Totally love the idea of travel journalling and have been doing so since 2011 when I went to Japan. Must admit though, that it was a couple of colleagues who got me started when I watched them pen thoughts while travelling on the shinkansen in 2010.

Getting my first journal was quite the experience! Be it collecting commemorative stamps from the various JR train stations, entering my own thoughts & pictures, personalizing brochures and maps with my own experiences, the joys & tribulations (still cannot forget my missing the train by a mere minute when Piriton almost completely rendered me useless), all have been faithfully written into these journals have seen my collection rise to 4 as of June 2013. While they have dominantly featured Japan, Philippines has made its debut, and others probably will once I can convince myself to move past the Land of the Rising Sun (LOL).

Because it’s mostly my happy or reflective thoughts when I’m travelling, friends and colleagues have begun to borrow for reference. While it is somewhat embarrassing that others would be interested to read what I have to say, it’s also pretty flattering. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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November 30, 2017 at 3:08 am

Nice to read your comment. I got a Midori TJ for my first trip to Japan. I love it and use it almost daily now even though my travels are just around town. Cannot recommend the Midori highly enough. I am making my own inserts now too.

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February 13, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I always journal. I have a really cool (& heavy) journal that I use when I’m home. When I travel I buy the thin journals so not to take up space or weight. I’m a carry-on only gal & still learning some tips. But leaving my journal behind…NO WAY!!! I have been to Israel 4 times now. I now have the opputunity to share about my travels with some church friends, so you bet I’m going back through my journals to remember the things I have forgetten. Plus I’m a pen and paper freak. So its kinda fun to go to stores when traveling to see what pens & paper I can collect to use for my journaling. Plus there is nothing like purple ink to lift my spirits on a rainy day : )

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August 5, 2014 at 2:00 am

I used to journal every day but I stopped. Now that I’m going on my first trip overseas in years, I’m definitely taking a journal to document all the curious things I will run across.

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May 14, 2020 at 9:09 am

Brooke, I enjoyed reading all your ideas about travel journaling. I am always looking for new ideas. I have been journaling all my trips since 1975 and in 2004 started using those journals to make the 12×12 size scrapbooks of all my trips! In 2020, I have finally caught up! Over the years my journals have at times become a work in progress travel scrapbook, as you mention. My latest thing to try: before my trip, I use colored 3×5 index cards and embellish them with stickers and stamps to use for journaling on my trip. I take pens and glue stick so I can add small memorabilia as I travel. When I return, I use the cards for journaling in my scrapbook I make of the trip. This has allowed me to capture the trip as I go and has also cut down on the time it takes at home to make the scrapbook. While for those trips, I no longer have a separate journal to store and reference as I do for most trips, I still have access to fresh travel memories whenever I need them. I currently have between 75-100 scrapbooks and journals that I will use for “ armchair travel” when I can no longer do the physical traveling. And what a creative outlet this has been for me! Hoping to travel again soon after having to postpone my 2020 trip—keep those travel tips coming, Brooke!

May 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

Congrats on catching up on the scrapbooks! What a fun little idea on the index cards. We have so much “down time” when in transit while traveling, it makes sense to use it to craft those memories. Keep the travel spirit alive – you’ll be traveling again soon 🙂

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May 17, 2020 at 10:01 am

I’m not much of a journal person on a regular basis, but when travelling I have a journal, and write in it daily, as you say feelings, venting and little things that happened. One or two previous trips I started a journal and then didn’t finish….wish I had. Have to be disciplined about it. Spent 3.5 months in C.America last year and grateful for the little details. There were days when I didn’t write but did voice recordings of my daily journal and then wrote them in a few days later…the voice recording actually helped recount details as I was writing. (So the digital helps the analog 🙂)

May 19, 2020 at 8:58 am

I am so thankful for the travel journals I did keep. It’s amazing the moments I thought I had lost, but then found again in my notes. Love the idea of voice notes!

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The 10 Best Travel Journals

travel food notebook

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There’s nothing like hitting the road and embarking on a new adventure—until you realize you don’t have anywhere to record your experiences. A travel journal is a perfect way to document your days wandering the trail, trekking through a new country, or navigating a new city—and as old-school as it is, there’s nothing like putting pen to paper at the end of an eyes-wide-open day. Travel notebooks tend to be a little more sturdy than regular notebooks (they have to withstand plenty of transit, after all), and some also include prompts for adults and kids who might need that extra boost to start writing. There are many travel journal options out there, so we did the hard work of rounding up the best of the best.

Keep reading for the best travel journals to pick up today.

  • What to Look For

Why Trust TripSavvy

Best overall, peter pauper press voyager refillable notebook.

Beautiful design

Storage pockets

Customizable page inserts

No zipper closure

The best travel journal is inconspicuous, minimal, full of empty pages, and refillable. The Voyager notebook from Peter Pauper Press checks all of the boxes. The flexible faux leather cover offers a surprising amount of protection for all your inner thoughts. This notebook comprises three separate inserts—one blank, one lined, and one dotted—so you can choose the option that best fits your needs. In terms of storage, there’s a clear pocket on the inside of the front cover, as well as a zippered pouch (also clear for easy referencing) on the inside of the back cover. An elastic closure band keeps everything together.

Price at time of publish: $13

Page Count: 180 | Page Format: Dotted, lined, and blank page inserts

Best Budget

Poketo colorblock travel journal.

Source: Poketo

Organizational sections

This travel journal is eye-catching in design, but it’s also slight in footprint and can be tossed just about anywhere. The Colorblock Travel Journal from Poketo is excellent if you want a separate space to document different trips: At this price point, purchasing one for every journey you embark on is easy. This journal is designed to have some open-ended space to write down observations, memories, and other notes, but it also focuses on organization. There are dedicated pages for penning your itinerary, packing list, shopping list, accommodation information, and expenses. It packs a lot of punch for a travel journal in the sub-$10 budget.

Price at time of publish: $9

Page Count: 72 | Page Format: Lined

Best Weather-Resistant

Rite in the rain weatherproof side-spiral notebook.


Large format

Rite in the Rain journals have long been a favorite of those frequently writing in lousy weather, backpackers and news reporters among them. We love its durability for a travel journal, whether you’re wandering the trail, holding on during monsoon season, or simply spending a week in Scotland. The 64 weatherproof pages stay intact in the rain, and each leaf will repel water, mud, and grease to hold memories that stay put even in the worst conditions—and the cover, made from a flexible Polydura shell, is also waterproof. We also love Rite in the Rain’s proprietary binding, which keeps its shape without bending or starting to unspiral in the bottom of a backpack. You can write on the notebook’s pages with various implements, too—as long as the ink isn’t water-based. We suggest a space pen or a regular No. 2 pencil for best results.

Page Count: 64 | Page Format: Lined

Best Leather

Moonster leather journal.

Quality leather design

Great writing surface

Not refillable

With more than a thousand reviews and a five-star rating on Amazon, Moonster’s leather notebook is as well-loved as it is elegant—and practical on the go. The water buffalo leather cover and binding are soft and supple, and the light wear-and-tear that travel inevitably involves will give it a wonderful vintage patina (if you’d rather keep it more on the pristine side, you can also rub out quite a few of the markings the journal will likely pick up). Each book has plenty of pages—120 sheets or 240 pages if you’re using both sides—and they won’t bleed through, thanks to the hearty paper. If you’d like a notebook with a little more spatial room, there’s an 8 x 6-inch model available—or, should you be gifting this to a lucky traveler, the notebooks also come with the option of being purchased in a gift set with a box and pen.

Price at time of publish: $20

Page Count: 120 | Page Format: Unlined

Best for Long Trips

You are here: a mindful travel journal.

Barnes and Noble

Guided writing prompts

Focus on mindfulness

Non-durable cover and design

Unique as they are, a weeks- or months-long trip can sometimes wear a traveler down: It’s the constant logistics-planning, looking-ahead, always-on-the-move nature of it that can cause more fatigue than relaxation. This notebook helps you break away from logistics mode and look at just how incredible the journey is in the moment. The pages, along with plenty of space for writing, offer different mindfulness techniques to “zoom out” and focus on your experiences, encouraging you to stop and smell the roses (after all, that’s part of the fun of travel). We love the variety of prompts, too—some exercises are silly, some are a bit more reflective, some involve drawing, and others include writing a few sentences.

Price at time of publish: $22

Page Count: 190 | Page Format: Lined

Best Refillable

Maleden refillable spiral travel journal.

Beautiful rustic design

Large logo engraving on the cover

This all-purpose notebook is an elegant and practical tool for any traveler to capture memories in. Travelers who swear by Maleden's notebooks often praise the quality of this book, particularly for the price. It features 100 percent leather that holds up functionally through the rigors of travel, and aesthetically, it ages beautifully along the way. Should you get through the included pages, it also comes with binder rings, so you can easily swap out pages and keep on writing.

Price at time of publish: $11

Page Count: 80 | Page Format: Unlined

Best for Travel Inspiration

Travel listography: exploring the world in lists.

Chronicle Books

Refreshing take on travel journaling

Guided prompts

Not super durable

The travel take on the well-beloved Listography series of journals; this handy tool is a great way to get inspired for future trips when you’re back at home with time to contemplate and daydream. It’s a quick and easy way to reflect on where you’ve been and what you’ve done while figuring out your next destination. There are more than 70 lists in this journal, from world cuisines to try to animals you’ve spotted in the wild.

Aspiring travelers love that the book helps awaken their sense of adventure and gets them dreaming, while hardcore travelers love jotting their experiences down in it as a type of minimal-effort time capsule. Couples and travel buddies love this as a date-night activity or a way to get ideas for future adventures. On a practical note, we like that the pages lay flat so two can easily pore over them.

Price at time of publish: $17

Page Count: 160 | Page Format: Lined

Best for Kids

Peter pauper kids’ travel journal.

Back cover pocket for mementos

There's no better way to get kids writing than, well, to get them writing—and that's precisely what this clever travel journal, filled with colorful illustrations and playful prompts, does. It is a great tool to take along on summer vacations, especially when kids are out of school and may not get the daily writing practice they otherwise would have.

With this travel journal, kids can help plan the trip and take charge of their packing list—and once on the trip, they can do fun exercises, like rating each day, gluing in ticket stubs and photos, and sketching things they saw along the way. It's also great for keeping little ones entertained, thanks to the puzzles and games scattered throughout the book, foreign language phrases, and cool maps. The book cover's elastic band will stay closed when it's not in use, which helps ensure pages won't get too banged up.

Page Count: 96 | Page Format: Lined

Best for Women

Everywoman’s travel journal.

Travel tips included

Built-in pocket

We weren’t necessarily convinced there needed to be gendered travel journals until we saw this. The Everywoman’s Travel Journal has both lined and blank pages for writing and drawing, but it doesn’t stop there: There’s also great information tucked in about security, dress, and even naturally based fixes for some of the more common ailments adventurous travelers run into.

The book has all the travel advice you want in one place. There are tips about how to pack and shop, as well as insights on manners in different countries and ways to help numb the effects of jet lag. It features a great pocket inside that will hold everything from important documents to receipts and postcards. Although the orange color can be divisive, we love that we can easily spot it in our tote bag or purse while on the go.

Page Count: 160 | Page Format: Lined and blank

Best Moleskin

Moleskine city notebook.

Maps included

Great quality

Moleskin’s City Notebook series of journals is excellent for travelers who can’t bear to leave their everyday Moleskine at home but want to keep their travel reflections separate. With cities like London, Istanbul, Prague, Madrid, and San Francisco, there’s a version available for plenty of major travel destinations. Inside the notebook, you’ll find plenty of ways to organize your trip while you’re in the planning stages and on the ground.

The pages (76 of which are blank for journaling) include large-scale maps of the city along with a street index, a map of the city’s metro system, and 12 translucent, repositionable sticky page overlay sheets so you can keep track of your routes. We also like the archive that lets you organize where you’ve stayed, eaten, shopped, and visited, so you always have the information on hand when your conversation turns to “that one really good restaurant in Bloomsbury.”

Page Count: 220 | Page Format: Lined

What to Look for When Buying a Travel Journal

There are all kinds of travel journals out there, so it’s best to know what you want to use them for. More recently, travel journals featuring writing prompts have been popping up—everything from list-making journals to mindfulness journals for recording memories during your trip. Once you figure out if you want guided or unguided writing space, think about if you plan to use the journal repeatedly. If so, opt for a design that allows refillable page inserts.

Page Format

Generally, there are three page formats: lined, unlined, and dotted. Lined pages are great for traditional journaling. Unlined page formats are good if you find yourself doodling often. Dotted formats allow for a mix of both writing and drawing. 

You can find travel journals of all sizes, so it’s hard to define “standard.” Most travel journals are slightly smaller than the notebooks you’d take notes in for school. Consider how much room you have in the bag you’ll carry daily on your trip. Not a lot of space to sacrifice? Go for something light and slim. More concerned about having enough writing space? Go all out with a larger format design.

A travel journal is a dedicated notebook used to document a trip. They are meant to help you plan your trip and record your memories. Some have writing prompts, while others offer lots of blank space.

Anything and everything! Practical information like dates, addresses, and itineraries is an easy place to start. Depending on the format of your journal, you may have more room to draw pictures and be creative. Maps, postcards, bills, tickets, and tourist brochures can round out your journal. And last but not least, your written reflections and photos.

Travel journals give you a place to plan a trip before you leave and record it in the moment. Writing in your journal is a no-brainer if you have time to kill. Afterward, they become a great resource to reference places and things you enjoyed and a personalized souvenir scrapbook.

Erika Owen is an avid traveler and writer based in Brooklyn. She prefers to use the Colorblock Travel Journal from Poketo and purchases one for each upcoming trip, creating a library of travel memories.

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    Travel notebooks tend to be a little more sturdy than regular notebooks (they have to withstand plenty of transit, after all), and some also include prompts for adults and kids who might need that extra boost to start writing. There are many travel journal options out there, so we did the hard work of rounding up the best of the best.