One of my favorite ways to use my bullet journal is for travel. Between brainstorming, trip planning, packing list tracking, and documenting, there is no shortage of ways you can fill your journal pages with all things travel.
If you’re wondering whether or not travel journaling is worth the time and effort, I can assure you it is!
Whether you have an upcoming trip you’re getting ready for, or want to create a travel journal spread for a trip you’re on or just returned home from, I have plenty of creative travel bullet journal ideas to share!
Let me break down all the ways I use my journal for travel and all the benefits of doing so.
Why Make a Travel Journal?
I have been incredibly lucky to have been able to travel so much in my life. I even now get to travel full time in my self-converted old GMC Vandura with my pup Rooney. So I am no beginner when it comes to travel and journaling!
There have been many trips I have gone on that I didn’t document, however, and I always regret it.
I have found time and time again that I am so grateful when I take the extra time to document my travels every step of the way. You’ll be able to remember the little details for the rest of your life, and you’ll even one day be able to pass your travel journals onto your children or nieces and nephews, so they can look back on all the details you shared.
Although making a travel journal and documenting your adventures can take time— it has always been so worth it for me when I get to flip back through my travel journal pages and reminisce!
If you want to make a travel journal for your next trip, here is the breakdown of all the ways I use my journal to brainstorm, plan and document my travels in a travel bullet journal.
Creative Travel Journal Ideas for Your Next Trip
Brainstorming Your Travel Plans
There are several ways you can start brainstorming your upcoming travel plans and adventures in your journal.
This is the portion where you get to dream up exactly where you’d like to go and what you’d like to do.
There is no right or wrong way to do this, but I like to think of all the places I have been dying to go and dig through Instagram, Pinterest and Google to find more.
The main three ways I like to organize my spread for the brainstorming process are to:
Brain Dump Travel Plan Ideas
A brain dump is exactly what it sounds like— is a way to take all of the ideas floating around in your head and place them on paper.
Brain dumps to me are a lot like cleaning out a sock drawer. I personally can’t just organize one sock at a time when the whole thing is a mess. Instead, I have to dump the entire drawer on the ground to get a better view of what I am working with.
Doing a brain dump for your next big trip is similar. I just have to dump all the thoughts and ideas I have out onto a page and organize from there.
You might include different travel information that will help you plan your next vacation – like flight details and distances, activities, maps, and cost ideas – or keep it more general with travel quotes or which bucket list items you want to focus on for your next adventure.
Sometimes when I am brain-dumping I like to put on some mellow lofi music and just let my ideas flow out of my cluttered brain and onto a page. The important point here is to throw out lots of ideas, rather than get focused on finding the perfect idea.
Create a Vision Board or Travel Spread to Get Inspired
Once you have your brain dump completed and you’ve figured out exactly where you’d like to go, start making a vision board (also called a mood board) in your journal. I like to take a bit of time to make a beautiful spread in my at this point!
Vision boarding is such a great way to hone in on your plans if you still haven’t decided where you want to go within your destination, or what you’d like to do. Beautiful travel bullet journal spreads are also a great way of just getting you hyped for the planning process!
To make a vision board, first, start collecting images and quotes. I like to dig through magazines, Pinterest, old photos, online maps, Instagram, etc. Start printing out and cutting these images out. Once you have a nice handful of fun images that help set the mood, start assembling them in your bullet journal.
Vision boarding is a great way to set your intentions and get excited for what’s to come. Every vision board will be different and evoke different feelings. Most importantly, your vision board should get you excited about your vacation!
I am a list maker through and through.
Since I am a very visual learner, ideas sometimes don’t feel like they are real unless they’re written out. I will frequently forget important details and things I need if I don’t write them down.
Also, once I see something written down I am much more likely to remember it too. This is because I can close my eyes and picture it.
If you’re a visual person like me, start making lists just so you can see your ideas laid out better. When planning your travels write out lists such as:
- Things to bring
- People to invite
- Places to go
- Activities to do
- Stops to make along the way
- Write down a budget
- Calculate how much different things are going to cost
- Restaurants you have to try
Making these lists keeps me on track, and gives me plenty to reference later on when I actually start booking things and figuring out what’s in my budget.
If you want to have a super relaxing trip, instead of a to-do list, you could also try a not-to-do-list!
Once you feel like you have sufficiently brainstormed your adventures— you’re ready to start the planning process for your next vacation!
If your brainstorming process was thorough, your planning process should be fairly easy. One of my biggest tips is to think about how you specifically prefer to travel.
I like to plan my trips with a lot of flexibility while others like to plan things very thoroughly. Neither way is right or wrong! The important thing is that you are having fun and doing all the things you want to do.
I have friends who prefer to write down exactly the things they want to do on certain days and times, and create a thorough calendar or itinerary of events. This is a fantastic way to stay organized and ensure you don’t miss anything!
I prefer to only strictly plan big events, or things that may be expensive or only available at specific times and days. If it is something I can do anytime, I prefer not to create a rigid itinerary.
I also like to leave room for suggestions. While traveling I am frequently asking locals where to go and what the best things to do are..
This has led to some amazing experiences I never could have found on Google!
Other ways to use a travel bullet journal during the planning stages include:
- A savings tracker for keeping track of the money you’re setting aside for your upcoming vacation.
- Packing list of items you want to bring, as you think of them.
- A reference list of destination tips you pick up while planning, so all the information is organized in one spot and you don’t forget.
- Important details about certain activities, such as seasonality, whether it’s closed at certain times of the day or dates throughout the year, if you need to pre-book, etc.
- Summary list of specific itinerary details, such as flights, train reservations, hotels, etc. with dates and times.
- Lists of places you want to hit up on your travels, which match up with your vision board. For example, 10 best beaches for kids in Southern California, or Coffee shops you want to check out in Berlin.
Document Your Trip Through a Travel Log, Travel Doodles, & Beautiful Travel Bullet Journal Spreads
Now that you’ve brainstormed and planned the trip of your dreams, it’s time to hit the road!
My absolute favorite part of my travel bullet journal is the documentation process. There are so many ways you can document your travels so you never forget the good times you had. It’s seriously one of the best ways to fill up a blank notebook!
My favorite ways to document my travels are through:
Making a Travel Diary
A travel diary is one of those things that you won’t realize will be that important to you, until it is!
For instance, when I was in college I went on a two month backpacking trip to Europe with one of my girlfriends. We both brought little empty journals along with us so we could document our adventures.
Once a day we would sit down and write about all the things we did, people we met, and experiences we had. Sometimes it felt like I was writing about things that didn’t matter.
At the time I didn’t think I would find value in remembering that we almost missed a train, or ate soggy pasta out of the free bin at our hostel, or saw another botanical garden. These are all the little details from our itinerary that I would have just forgotten about completely though.
I have only read through this travel journal a couple times in the 8 years since our trip, but every time I see it I get to reminisce on one of the most life changing adventures I ever had the privilege of going on.
Being able to document your travels is such an underrated thing to do. Most of the time we take photos that sit in our phones. It is incredible that we can do that and share our travels though photos, but being able to write things out is a very special and thorough way of documenting.
Get in the habit of recollecting your travels and adventures in your journal daily, and future you will thank the current you endlessly!
Scrap Book and Picture Collage
If you like to collect little things— you’ll love creating scrapbook collages of your travels.
I like to travel with a little polaroid camera so I can take photos of my adventures and print them out on the spot. I like to travel with the Polaroid Mint. This camera is small enough to fit in my pocket or fanny pack, but still prints high quality photos.
I also love collecting train tickets, business cards, stickers, receipts and other fun paper memorabilia I can put in a scrapbook later. Tons of journals I have used provide a little pocket on the back inside cover of the journal. I will just place all of the things I collect in that pocket for later.
This is such a fun way of integrating your photos and the other little details of your trip in a gorgeous spread. When you get back home or to your hotel, you can reminisce as you carefully place everything on your page.
These little scrapbook pages are like the actualized version of a mood board. Hopefully everytime you look at it you’ll get a flood of all the good feelings you had on your adventures.
Travel Bullet Journal Supplies to Take with You
- Mini camera, such as a Polaroid Mint.
- A good everyday black pen, plus one or two for backup.
- Double sided tape for sticking ticket stubs, receipts, postcards, etc. into your travel journal spreads
- Some colorful markers or pens for travel doodles and highlighting.
- Stickers, if you have room for them and see yourself wanting to add them to a journal page in the moment.
Other Thoughts on Travel Journaling
Hopefully you see just how invaluable travel journaling can be. From brainstorming, to planning and especially documenting your next vacation or trip — having good journaling practices will ensure you keep your memories fresh for the rest of your life.
Travel journaling should be fun, and you shouldn’t feel pressured into perfection. Even just taking a few minutes a day to organize the things you’ve collected, or write down your adventures will suffice.
I also find that sometimes I get so caught up in my travels that I’ll fall behind a couple days. That is perfectly okay too! If you’re creating a travel diary and you find yourself falling behind, don’t fret.
The worst thing you can do is guilt trip yourself and force yourself to sit down and journal. There is no reason journaling should interfere with your travels, so be gentle with yourself. You’ll find the time later!
If you’d like to follow along on my travels you can check out my Youtube channel and Tik Tok.