Our family just got back from a relaxing trip to Michigan, and we packed a simple on-the-road travel journal kit to help us document our adventures. Some people like to wait until they get home to document their travels, but I find we forget all the fun we had if we wait until later! So, each night of our trip, we took a few minutes to write down our favorite memories of each day. Here’s the very basic travel journal kit I put together before we hit the road.
- Step book. Need directions for how to make your own? See this post! You can start the trip with it blank, or prep it ahead of time with a cover page for your destination and a day of your trip on each tab. Or, if you’re planning several day trips within your big trip, you can label each post with the name of a place you’ll be visiting. It’s up to you! One thing I definitely recommend, though, is to use binder rings to hold all the pages together at this point. You can always change them out for brads or binding posts later if you choose, but at this stage binder rings will give your book plenty of room to expand and make adding additional pages much easer.
- Kid-friendly scissors. You never know what paper artifacts you’ll want to save from your trip, but you just might need to cut them down to the perfect size. Think: maps, paper napkins, business cards, flyers…so many possibilities!
- Hole punch. You might want to glue mementos directly into the pages of your travel journal, but you can also cut them down to size and then hole punch them to add additional pages. We love this option for maps and paper napkins from restaurants we visit.
- An envelope. You never know what treasures you’ll find that don’t glue easily onto your book pages. THAT’S why you need an envelope. You can use it to temporarily corral all the items you’re collecting while you’re adventuring each day. You can also punch hole in the envelope and add it to your book. A regular #10 business envelope will fit nicely in your step book, but we had this pretty blue envelope from Paper Source hanging around, so I decided to use it instead.
- A black pen. I’m a Sharpie pen addict, so of course this was the natural choice here, but pick a pen you like. Actually, you don’t have to use a pen at all, but I like to trace over some of my pencil drawings to make them a little more permanent and smudge-proof before coloring them.
- Speaking of which, you’ll want something to color with. On our trip to Michigan, we spent hours and hours combing the beaches for Petosky stones. While we can’t glue those into our travel journal, we can combine a bit of nature journaling with our travel journal and draw pictures of some of our favorite rocks. We love Twistables, but you could choose anything you like color with….markers, colored pencils, crayons…whatever floats your boat!
- Glue stick. For those small paper artifacts you want to include, nothing beats a glue stick for on-the-go gluing.
- Pencil. I like to include a pencil for sketching and making notes before I permanently ink them in. You don’t have to include both a pencil and a pen in your travel journal kit, but I like to have the option.
That’s it! Throw everything in a gallon zipper-top bag, and you’re ready to hit the road.
P.S. You may have noticed that I didn’t include anything about photographs in my kit. We do print and include photographs once we get home, so I leave the photo corners and anything photo-related at home. If it helps, you can always reserve a space for a photograph by sketching a rectangle in your journal and making a note of what picture you want to include. When you’re on the road, simple is key!