What’s in a Travel Journal?

I didn’t realize I’ve been documenting in this format for three years now (wow, talk about commitment). Ever since I got myself a Traveler’s Factory notebook in 2016, the way I journaled about my trips has drastically changed.

If you’ve known me from way back, you’d know I do travel illustration on my journals as well (I still do, but that is an entirely different entry). Over time I had started to dabble into this “collage journaling” style which sort of combines scrapbooking, writing, and collage work all in one. I found it to be the most resourceful way to not just keep memories intact in a journal, but also to make use of the ephemera I usually take home from my travels.

And since it’s been such an easy format to use, I thought I’d share my go-to materials for travel journaling for you to try.

Blank Journal: The size of this journal is something I’m particular with (4.25×8.25″). I frequently use my Traveler’s Factory refills, but I also have a stash of Sketchnotes with me (the paper is thicker and I like it better imho). My good friend CH of Everyday Explorers also recently released TN-sized journals with prompts depending on your preferences.

I like to rotate between blank and grid—but mostly blank for my travels.

Printer: I’ve been obsessed with instant prints since I first got my Instax 7s nine (!) years ago. Amazing how technology seems to innovate so much, no? Now I’m using an Instax SP-3 which has square (!) prints, perfect for capturing adventures on-the-go.

I usually bring this in my handcarry for trips (because I journal while in transit) since it’s pretty lightweight.

Washi Tape: If some travelers collect Starbucks mugs or magnets, I collect washi tape from my travels (mostly from Japan, really). These rolls are essential for decorating my spreads and over time I’ve learned to appreciate the designs I love the most—usually in muted colors and in minimalist patterns such as lines and grids.

(You can check out my stationery haul here featuring some washi tapes I got from Shopee in the Philippines!)

Also: PSA that I have washi tapes up on my shop for both local and international orders!

Ephemera: What’s a travel journal without ephemera? I find that (apart from stickers, of course—a MUST) putting these elements into your travel journal make it uniquely yours. From cutting out maps to sticking your train tickets on each spread, these things you’ve collected from your trip signify a memory that you only can keep and remember.

I also find that each trip has different collectibles—from postcards to receipts to calling cards, really. (So far, my top contenders for best cities to keep ephemera are Barcelona, Tokyo, Seoul, Berlin and New York lol).

Check out my “What’s in a Travel Journal?” video below for more.

How about you? What’s in your travel journal?

Recommended Posts