As a digital nomad who so far has visited over 35 countries in the last 10 years I can tell, keeping a travel journal is a must!
Helping to plan, track and then record your journeys, activities, experiences and memories, your travel journal becomes both your guide book and keepsake.
But what kind of travel journey is best for your trips?
That’s what we’ll be exploring in this post.
Best Travel Journals TL;DR;
Bonus – Best for All Travelers!
Travel Journal Features to Consider;
1. What’s it for? (Memory, blog notes, places to revisit)
When choosing a travel journal the first thing to think about is what’s it actually for?
I write travel blog posts, so for me, it’s a tool to help me highlight the best experiences, the best places to visit and make notes about the best points of interest to include in my posts.
It also serves as a bit of an activity planner, and a reference guide should I return to somewhere I’ve been before and want to remember the best hotel, restaurant etc.
So what will you use your journal for? If it’s more of a pre-trip planner, you’ll want to make sure it includes packing lists and pages for dates, times, trip reference numbers etc.
If it’s for drawing or writing poetry about the places you visit perhaps you’ll want plain pages with nothing on them to fill them with your creativity.
Perhaps you want somewhere to load or stick photos, or simply want a beautiful notebook to journal your days.
2. Vacation or Long Term Travel
Secondly, are you a long term traveler or digital nomad like me? If so, the type of journal you’ll need will likely be very different than if you’re heading off on a 2 week vacation from work.
As a long term traveler you’ll want more sections to split the countries, the journal will need to be digital or at least light enough to fit in a backpack and it will need to last a long time as you traverse across the globe.
If it’s a keepsake of a wonderful holiday, it can be bigger – to fit inside a suitcase, lean more towards a photographic memory book, or a journal of your activities and best experiences.
3. Format (Digital, Printable or book)
Once you know what your travel journal is for and the kind of size, type you want, it’s time to decide the format of your journal.
As a digital nomad, if you have an ipad, a digital journal is ideal. You can use goodnotes or notability and keep track of as many countries, trips and experiences you like without ever running out of space!
Perhaps you’re someone who enjoys putting pen to paper and if this is the case a printable or physical travel journal is a better choice for you.
If you go down the physical journal route, you’ll need to consider the size and weight of your travel journal. You don’t want a journal that’s too big and heavy and yet, it needs to be big enough to be useful.
Be sure to look at the weight when looking at listings on Etsy or Amazon and in particular note what the cover is made of. A hardback book will always be more bulky than a paperback for example.
5. Guided or Freestyle
Lastly, do you want a guided travel journal with pre-scripted pages including packing lists, trip itineraries, journal highlight pages etc. Would you rather a simple lined notebook for you to fill with your thoughts and memories, or is a plain art style scrapbook more to your liking.
There are travel journals for every type of traveler, so be sure to try out a few and pick the style that works for you!
Here are 10 recommended travel journals to get you started.
Best Travel Journals
1. Wanderlust Travel Journal
Number 1 on the list of best travel journals is the fantastic printable and digital Wanderlust Travel Planner sold by my 16 year old daughter’s shop, ‘Anything But Dull’, on Etsy.
I’m recommending it not only because my daughter created it, but also if you are looking for something digital that you can load onto your iPad and take with you wherever you go, without having to carry around a physical book, this is a great option for you.
- Your Travel Bucket List – add all the places you’d love to visit in your life
- Where I’ve been – keep a record of all the places you’ve been
- Trips planned this year – make a note of all the places you hope to visit in the coming year
- Destination planner – Start researching and listing all the things to do in the various places you’d like to visit
- Detailed itineraries and activities lists – as you book your trips, use these pages to note your detailed trip plans
- Packing lists – make a note of all the essentials and things you need to take for each trip
- Daily journals – lined A4 pages allowing you to to journal all of your experiences
- Memory pages – add highlights, pictures, quotes, notes, anything that made your travel experience outstanding
The Wanderlust travel journal is everything you need to plan your trips, track your journeys and experiences, and keep your memories forever.
2. Personalized Travel Journal
This is a handmade, physical travel journal you can personalize with a choice of Gold, Silver or Black foil lettering.
Add your name, your trip nickname or give as a personalized gift.
- Destination Lists
- Holiday Itinerary
- Travel Checklist
- Travel Memories
3. Personalized Travel Scrapbook
If you’d like more space for creative notes, photos, drawings or stickers, then this could be the travel journal for you.
Personalize the cover with a selection of colors and choose your travel scrapbook size from 8” x 8” or 12” x 12” in brown, black or white.
- Personalised cover – to provide an extra special touch so you have the perfect keepsake you can treasure forever. We use strong adhesive vinyl which lasts many years and means your cover can be completely customised – you can have animal images, love hearts added, maps of different countries (subject to availability, please message me if you want to be sure).
- Spiral-bound 8″ x 8″ or 12″ x 12″ inches scrapbook – the spiral-bound layout means you can lay your book completely flat without fear of bending the spine. This means the book can last many years compared to a glue bound book. There is also plenty of room left on the ring binder so you can pack your scrapbook with bulky items if you’d like.
- 40 pages / 80 sides – which provides plenty of room to fill with images and memories. Don’t sweat about having to select which photos to include because in our 8×8″ album there is room for 80 6×4″ images and in our 12×12″ you can include around 160 photos.
- 180gsm paper of blank paper – so pages don’t tear easily and pen ink doesn’t bleed through between pages. This means you can use whatever pens and stationery you want without worrying that it might ruin the next page.
4. Travel Journal by Duncan & Stone
A premium travel notebook, this beautiful travel journal measures 7.75 x 9.25 inches with 100 pages, making it easy to carry around in your backpack or travel bag.
- Traveling Scrapbook with Prompts – Fill out basic details, favorite memories, & photos from each trip to remember the specifics that made the trip unforgettable
- Personalize your memory organizer by writing down your bucket list & special memories from 15 trips
- Adventure Journal Made to Last – A high-quality heirloom journal with a linen-bound hardcover diary and an embossed title made to last a lifetime
- Create a family keepsake journal to capture all your important travel memories
- Close flap pocket in the back for additional keepsakes
5. Page a Day Artisan Leather Travel Journal
A beautiful vegan leather travel notebook with handsome page-a-day journal design features travel and cloud motifs, decorative stitching, embossing, and soft, leather-like cover material.
- A page a day with just enough space to take note of memorable places you’ve visited and explored, but brief enough for you to have more time to experience those places, rather than spending time writing about them.
- Each page provides space for you to note the Date, Location, Weather, and jot down your own notes.
- Smooth-finish paper takes a variety of pens or pencils beautifully.
- Dotted lines subtly guide your writing.
- Paper is acid-free and of archival quality.
- A ribbon bookmark keeps your place.
- An elastic closure secures your writing.
- Tuck maps, tickets, and other flat travel mementos within the inside back cover pocket.
- Complementary cloud-pattern design endpapers.
- Sturdy bookbound-style binding.
- Rounded corners for reduced wear.
- Measures 5” wide x 7” high.
- Compact size fits easily into most bags and backpacks.
- 176 writing pages.
6. Everywhere You Go Compendium
This unique guided journal holds unexpected prompts to help inspire thoughtful reflections from any travel adventure. It includes breakout spreads with uplifting quotes to help frame your thoughts and experiences, along with space for packing lists, notes, addresses, and things you want to remember.
- Foil stamping on a softcover and a ribbon marker. Printed with soy and metallic inks.
- 5.75″W x 8.5″H, 112 pages
- Quick snapshot pages to record important memories
- Unique travel pages to list trip highlights
- Creative prompts and inspiring quotes
- An elegant gift to celebrate a travel adventure, retirement, bon voyage party, or big vacation
7. Leather Journal Notebook & Sketchbook for Women
A premium leather notebook, made of high quality soft leather, comfortable in your hands and suitable for pockets or bags. Durable for outdoor activities, travel and storage. Exquisite printing on the front cover makes it more retro and attractive.
- Notebook Inserts – good quality craft paper, sturdy but smooth for most pens and pencils, such as fountain pen, ballpoint pen, with no bleed through.
- Comes with 6 card slots and a zipper pouch.
- Freestyle traveler notebook including 180 blank pages, perfect for writing, drawing, sketching, quick notes, sticking ticket stubs or other memorabilia.
- Refillable diary, super-easy to remove or replace and make as thin or as bulky as you want.
- Multifunctional vintage travel journal – works well for journaling, spiritual or gratitude journals, bullet journaling, art journaling, daily planner, adding notes, doodles, to do lists.
- Perfect for all travelers whether vacationing or a digital nomad.
- A lovely gift for yourself, your family or friends for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthday, etc.
8. Handcrafted Vintage Leather Journal for Life with Accessories
A High-quality full-grain 100% leather journal that looks, smells, and feels beautiful. Naturally tanned leather will age with character and develop its own unique patina. A lifelong keepsake for your travel thoughts and expressions.
- Refillable travel journal. Buy this leather notebook once and use it for a lifetime.
- Fountain Pen friendly paper for writing.
- Blank and un-lined.
- 90 double-sided sheets (180 total). Refills available online
- Contains 1 Standard Size travelers notebook with three BLANK inserts, Wanderings leather notebook conditioner, Kraft paper card holder and PVC pouch, a binder clip to help stay organized, with 2 elastics for replacements or to add additional inserts. Almost a $50 value if purchased separately.
- A stunning leather travel journal, carefully handcrafted for quality with a rustic, vintage look, soft and supple feel and the durability of leather journals.
- Also available on Amazon in size A6 (B083JYG6VR), A5 (B07JNPNKKJ), Pocket (B01N24BYQ7), and Large (B079K8GS6W).
- Money back guarantee – If for any reason you don’t love the Wanderings leather notebooks please let them know and they’’ll send you a refund – no questions asked
9. Travel Journal for Teens
- Pages for documenting trip itinerary and calendar overview of travels
- Six pages for each day of traveling, or for each stop on their itinerary: Three pages with writing prompts and three pages for additional journaling, sketching and attaching items such as photos, tickets, postcards, etc.
- Prompts for location, weather, mode of travel, favorite activities, people met, favorite foods, funny experiences, and much more!
- Packing checklist
- Ideal for teens and tweens!
- Compact 6″ x 9″ size is perfect for taking along on travels
- 120 prompted pages, providing space to document 19 days or 19 destinations on your trip
- Colorful, fun cover design
- Matte, soft cover paperback
10. Travel & Activities Journal for Kids
- Over 100 games, puzzles, mazes, mad libs, journal prompts, scavenger hunts, and other activities
- Reduce screen-time with interactive activities that both kids and families can enjoy on the road
- Take a road trip to get away from it all, while the kids are happy, occupied, and engaged
- Enjoy the journey as much as the destination, no phones, apps, computers, or screens required
- Create the Ultimate Playlist
- Photo Scavenger Hunt
- You’re a Poet
- Car Yoga
- Rainbow Cars
- Interview with a Passenger
- Learn to Write in Code
- Make a Grass Whistle
- Daily Journal Pages
- Rebus Puzzle
- Car Maze
- Travel Log Pages
- Match the Signs
- Logo Quest
- And much more!
Bonus – Travel Challenge Cards
Not a journal, but a great fun pack of challenges to take traveling or gift to a traveler.
Particularly great for a digital nomad who could challenge themselves to do all 50!
- 50 Travel Challenges
- 50 Inspirational Quotes
- High-Quality Cards
- Perfect Travel Pocket Size
- Works Worldwide
Best Travel Journals Summary
As a traveler, not keeping a track of your journeys, activities and events means hours of searching through your photos to remember where you’ve been!
Instead, start journaling now, note down all the important things that happened and enjoy hours of leafing through old entries remembering all your fun times.
As a digital nomad it’s an imperative planning & learning tool! With each experience you’ll discover something new which can help with future travels, so purchase or download your travel journal right now and start tracking your trips!