Journaling helps travelers remember the trip, process experiences, and even make smart decisions on the road. Whether you’re going on a solo spiritual pilgrimage to India or a group trek up Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, you need a good travel journal. Journaling while traveling will transform you during your journey – and for years to come! A travel journal one of the best “bon voyage” gifts for solo excursions, family holidays, or group treks.
This blog post is organized into five different types of travelers and travel journals: Women Traveling Solo, Specific Destinations, Couples, Families and Kids, and Luxury Travelers. Why? Because each type of traveler has different needs and reasons for journaling! Each category has two different types of travel journals, and a few thoughts on each one. It depends if you’re a solo female traveler in Nepal, a newly-married couple on a honeymoon in Hawaii, or family celebrating a 50th birthday by camping in the Canadian Rockies.
I’ve taken a travel journal on every trip I’ve been on — from Austria to Zanzibar — but I don’t always take time to write. Usually it’s when I feel lonely and homesick while traveling that I write in my journal. I always feel better after expressing my thoughts and feelings. That’s why I believe travel journals are crucial, especially for solo treks and spiritual pilgrimages. What holds me back from journaling while traveling even though I know how healthy it is? Usually it’s the type of travel journal that trips me up.
These days it’s even more important for me to write in my journal while traveling because I’m a travel blogger. My livelihood depends on blogging about my experiences — especially when they can help you transform your own travel experiences. On my last trip (Nepal, Dubai and Hong Kong) I realized that the type of journal you take can change everything. So, I researched the best travel journals for women travelers, whether they’re traveling solo or in a group.
10 Types of Travel Journals for Solo and Group Trips
Whether you journal weekly, daily or even hourly, you need a travel journal that you feel most comfortable writing in. For example I’ve heard many writers say they can only write in Moleskine notebooks because of the luxurious feel of the cover and paper. I’m the exact opposite! I dislike writing in Moleskine notebooks — especially as a travel journal — because they’re so luxurious. And expensive. What if I get it dirty, lose it, or drop it in an outdoor privy?
My own travel journals are light, sturdy, and cheap because I’m usually backpacking. I’m also about five feet tall and 110 pounds, so I can’t carry much weight! That said, a sturdy travel journal that can take a hit or two is a must.
This article is divided into five categories. I included travel journals for:
- Women Traveling Solo
- Specific Destinations
- Families and Kids
- Luxury Travelers
I also shared a few thoughts on why I like the specific travel journal listed, as well as reasons I myself wouldn’t use it for journaling on the road. Remember that my reasons for not choosing a particular type of journal are my own personal preferences and lifestyle. You are a unique traveler with your own tastes and preferences! For instance, I wouldn’t use a Family Travel Journal or Destination Travel Journal — but that may be the exact type of journal you want while you’re traveling! Whatever floats your boat.
Trust yourself. Pick the travel journal that suits you.
1. Travel Journals for Women Traveling Solo
At the end of this blog post I’ll share my favorite travel journal, by Piccadilly. It took me literally years to find it. The first time I used it was on my recent solo trip to Nepal, Dubai and Hong Kong; I practically slept with it under my pillow! It’s about halfway filled, which means I get to take it on my next trip.
Compact Travel Journal, Dusty Rose
Promptly Journal created a Compact Travel Journal, Elegant Minimalist Design. It’s wrapped in linen, compact, and even has journaling prompts to track your travels and inspired your writing. This will help you write even if you feel stuck for ideas, or you need ways to describe an experience. The travel journal includes space for keepsakes and photos.
I like the hard cover; it makes it easier to write on trains, planes, boats, and even buses! If you’re looking for a travel journal with a hard cover that won’t get ripped or damaged easily, make sure it’s a lightweight cover. The last thing you want is a heavy travel journal (physically heavy, that is. It’ll probably get emotionally and spiritually heavy!). You want to be as lightweight as possible – which is why it took me a long time to find the right travel journal.
“Wander Always” Travel Planner and Vacation Journal for Women
The “Wander Always” Travel Planner and Vacation Journal for Women is more than a journal to write in. It’s a vacation planner to help you organize your trip. You can plan your budget, research places to visit, find things to do, write your packing list, make a “to do” list before you go, decide on your accommodations and write down the transportation details. Wow.
The benefit of a travel journal that includes trip planning details is that you can do a “before and after” comparison. I thought of doing that with my trip to Nepal and India, but I didn’t. I regret not being more detailed about my travel plans because they fell apart two weeks into my trip! A travel journal with specific advance planning advice is an excellent way to record your whole journey.
How did my trip fall apart, you ask? Read What to Do When They Refuse to Let You Board the Flight.
2. Travel Journals for Specific Destinations
A destination-specific journal for traveling will help you remember and even relive your journey when you look at the cover. I used to have one travel journal per trip, but am now seeing the value of taking a half-full journal from my last trip onto my next one (thank you, Piccadilly! Love your big-and-sturdy-but-light journals).
British Travel Journal Notebook
The British Travel Journal Notebook is Amazon’s Choice for “London gifts for women.” If you or someone you know is traveling to the United Kingdom, this journal might be the perfect travel gift for them. It’s refillable, which means a traveler can easily remove or replace paper with calendars, lined paper, or types of refills.
The British travel journal is vintage-looking, which totally fits with England! It’s made of high quality soft leather, with appealing scenes on the front cover. I haven’t held this travel journal myself but the readers say it’s comfortable in the hands and durable for travel.
The British Travel Journal Notebook has 650 reader reviews right now, which is more – and more positive – reviews than any other type of travel journal. This makes this travel journal the best gift idea on this list.
Italy Travel Diary and Guided Journal Log Book
The Italy Travel Journal and Planner Vacation Log Book has it all: Road Trip Planner, Checklist, Budget Planner, Expense Tracker, and Keepsake Diary.
A benefit of a travel journal that contains all these practical tools is that it keeps you organized. Personally, I want my travel journal – which is more than my trip plans and checklists – to be simple. I just want my journal to contain my travel experiences in writing, not all the other travel stuff.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone going to Italy, The Italy Travel Diary and Guided Journal Log Book is a probably a better choice. It contains 52 famous traveling quotes from historical people and a daily agenda time table planner. Most appealing to me, however, are the travel quotes! They’d be a great way to prompt ideas for journaling if you don’t know what to write about. Unfortunately the creators of this travel journal didn’t share any sample quotes, so we don’t know how long or interesting they are.
Unless you return to the same destination all the time, you’ll use this type of travel journal just once…unless, of course, you get creative with your journaling. You might take this destination travel journal to an Italian restaurant after you get home from your trip, for example. Maybe you could continue journaling about your experiences with Italy-related people, food, events, activities and places even after the trip is over. This would help you remember the amazing time you had traveling and journaling your way through Italy.
3. Travel Journals for Couples
My husband and I went to St Maarten on our honeymoon 15 years ago. We’ve taken a vacation almost every year after that: Italy, Israel, Austria, Costa Rica, Peru, Portugal, Vietnam, Hawaii, Croatia, and Jamaica. We never, however, kept a travel journal as a couple. After all these years of marriage, I think a couples travel journal would’ve been an amazing wedding gift!
The key to a touching couples travel journal is the word couples. Ideally, both partners should contribute to the travel journal in their own unique way. For example I’d write stories of our experiences traveling as a couple, meeting my dad in Jerusalem, celebrating my friend’s 50th birthday with her family in Jamaica. My husband is more likely to include photos of beautiful vistas and fun photos of us. Together, we’d create an awesome couples travel journal.
“Let The Adventure Begin” Travel Journal
The “Let The Adventure Begin” Travel Journal would be my first choice if I was searching for a travel-related gift for a couple. Newlywed or not, this memory book is a great way for couples to record their experiences and record their experiences traveling together.
The cover of this journal is emboldened with a vintage Motley Map design. It’s not just a travel notebook; it’s great for recording a couple’s memories of new experiences. New homes, new jobs, new pets, new babies and all of their first time adventures. The wedding is just the start. If you’re looking for gift ideas, this travel journal is both thoughtful and useful for anyone from world travelers to new parents.
The cool thing about the “Let the Adventure Begin” phrase on the cover is that it’s a metaphor for marriage, not just the trip, tour, or trek! If a couple remembers that life together is an adventure, they’ll be better equipped to weather any storm together. Looking at life – and any trip – as an adventure instead of something that’s supposed to be perfect or what we expect will lead to peace and joy.
The Adventures of Us: Our Keepsake Travel Journal
The Adventures of Us: Our Keepsake Travel Journal of Where We’ve Been, and Where We Want to Go is another great gift idea for newlyweds, or even established couples going on their first trip together.
This isn’t just a travel journal! It contains inspirational quotes, questions for couples to answer, a list of every country in the world, a travel quiz for couples and a travel log to record vacations, adventures and voyages.
If you’re keen on traveling but your partner isn’t, a journal like this might grease the wheels. It really is inspirational, and makes travel seem like a “couple connection” that couldn’t happen at home. It might be a good birthday or anniversary gift, from you to your sweetheart. With an airplane ticket or cruise itinerary tucked inside :-)
4. Travel Journals for Families and Kids
The best travel journals aren’t just filled with written memories of your experiences. Traveling involves all of your senses, and so should journaling about your travels! This means you can include little food or drink spills in your journal, or spritzes of perfume or room spray, or your six-year old daughter’s drawing of the Eiffel Tower or Taj Mahal.
A family travel journal is a beautiful way to remember a vacation – especially if the whole family is involved in journaling the journey or camping trip.
The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids
The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids: Awesome Activities for Your Adventures received the second highest number of travel journal reviews on Amazon (but still not even half as many as the British Travel Journal, which had 650 reviews! Hard to beat that). This isn’t just a travel journal – it’s also a great gift idea for families. It contains games and activities for kids, such as word finds, scavenger hunts, crossword puzzles. This will help banish boredom and avoid conflict.
Travel can be hard on children and parents because of the long waits, “are we there yet?” road trips, and confusing situations. A travel journal like this encourages kids to interact with each other and their own creativity. Guided travel writing prompts encourages the whole family to be more aware of the culture around them, with questions about what is seen, tasted, heard and felt.
“Let’s Go On An Adventure!” Family Camping Journal
The “Let’s Go On An Adventure!” Family Camping Journal is perfect for families whose idea of travel is more “on the ground” than those who jet off to London or Rome. Sleeping under the stars and cooking s’mores over an open fire in the gift of the great outdoors is the focus of this travel journal.
A camping journal is brilliant for families who want to remember recipes, tent arrangements, hikes, and camp equipment but don’t have one place for it all. Journaling isn’t just about recording travels and memories; a journal is a fantastic source of practical, specific-to-you tips and tools. If you’re a parent, give your kids the gift of both grand adventure and good organizational skills.
If your kids don’t want to go home after the trip is over, a travel journal can help them rediscover joy if they’re depressed after a vacation. Journaling is healthy; reading the travel journal after they get home will help them relive the ups and downs of the trip.
5. Travel Journals for Luxury Travelers
To be honest, luxurious travel journals don’t float my boat. Not only am I intimidated as a writer by expensive notebooks (Moleskine, I’m looking at you), I also want my travel journal to be cheap enough to lose or get wrecked without making me mad.
These travel journals are inspired by my fellow writers who like writing in beautiful journals, as well as Amazon’s Top Picks and reader reviews of writing notebooks.
Moleskine Voyageur Notebook
The Moleskine Voyageur Notebook isn’t just a journal for travel writing. The inner storage folders hold your maps (yes, some travelers still use paper maps!), trip plans and notes. An elastic closure band holds everything together. This may be the ideal traveler’s notebook as it assists with everything from planning to exploring: detachable packing lists, daily planning sections, budget pages, and lots of room for journaling and recording notes on your trip.
Here’s why this notebook is a little more expensive (but still less a good price at less than $20) than other travel journals: it has a clothbound Moleskine cover and thick, ivory paper pages. The paper is perfect for writing with fountain pens. Fountain pens are definitely a luxury travel item!
Vintage Travel Journal & Sketchbook
The Vintage Travel Journal and Sketchbook isn’t just for artists and travelers who like to sketch or even paint their surroundings. This is a beautiful refillable leather journal with blank unlined paper. The cover handmade leather – which makes it both luxurious and practical.
“Unwritten Journeys” are the words written at the bottom of this photo. Who says your travel journal has to contain any writing at all? This journal is your gift to yourself, a record and keepsake, a symbol of who you are, where you traveled, and even where you’re going.
My favorite travel journal is the Piccadilly Soft Leatherlook Celtic Knot Journal. It took me literally years to discover this travel journal. The first time I used it was on my recent solo trip to Nepal, Dubai and Hong Kong; it’s about halfway filled, which means I get to take it on my next trip.
The best type of travel journal for a woman on the road depends on her personality, lifestyle, destination, mode of transportation, type of baggage, and even her reason for writing. It may sound complicated but the truth is that the wrong type of travel journal will stop even the most dedicated writer from writing. Since writing is the healthiest and best way to record memories of your travels, it really is important to choose the right type of travel journal.
Your thoughts on these types of travel journals are welcome below! My categories were for Women Traveling Solo, Specific Destinations, Couples, Families and Kids, and Luxury Travelers. What type of traveler – and journal – did I miss?
If you aren’t sure what type of travel journal to get — or if you don’t even know how to start journaling — read 13 Tips and Prompts for Creative Journaling. And if you have any tips or tools for travel journals — or if you created your own method of journaling while traveling — please share with us. We love travel tips and tools that transform us :-)
Travel in faith, and be transformed.