We all want to hold on to our travel memories. Many of us travel with cameras ready to capture the best moments, but cameras can’t capture everything. Travel journals are the answer to making sure our feelings and emotions are remembered from our best and worst trips. With countless notebooks on the market, it’s important to figure out the best travel journal for you. And the answer to that depends. There are a variety of factors to consider. We’ll walk you through them and share the best options on the market so you can choose your next travel journal.
Quick Answer: Best Travel Journals
- Best Overall: MaleDen Refillable Spiral Travel Journal
- Best Refillable: Robrasim Refillable Vintage Leather Travel Journal
- Best Leather: Wanderings Leather Travelers Notebook
- Best Hardcover: Lemome Classic Travel Notebook
- Best Moleskin: Moleskine Hard Cover Travel Journal
- Best for Kids: The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids
- Best with Prompts: Promptly Journals Compact Travel Journal
What To Think About When Buying a Travel Journal
Here are the things you should consider before purchasing your next travel journal.
If you’re traveling with this journal then you need to make sure it’ll easily fit in your carry-on bag without adding too much weight. While you want to make sure it’s small enough to fit in your bag, it needs to be large enough so you can write or draw comfortably.
2. Page Format
Some journals only offer one type of page layout while other journals come with inserts that have several different types of page layouts. The most common are blank pages and lined pages, but you also may see kraft pages (thicker than most pages), pages with a dot grid, and even schedule/planner pages.
3. Type of Journal
Consider what you want to use this journal for. While people think of journals just as blank slates to express one’s creativity, some actually give prompts to inspire that creativity. Usually these journals will ask you questions ranging from what places are on your bucket list to who was the most interesting person you met on your gorilla trekking safari in Africa. Be sure you know whether you want a blank journal or a journal that asks you questions to help you better detail your adventures.
4. Cover Design
This has a lot to do with preference and a little to do with durability. Some journals are flexible while others have a hard cover. As long as it’s not enduring major stress on a regular basis, any journal should be fine in your suitcase.
When you search travel journals, most of the time you’ll see them described as genuine leather, vegan leather, Moleskin, or hard cover. Even if cover material isn’t a big deal to you, one thing you want to make sure of is that the journal opens completely flat to make it easier for you to write and draw in.
Do you want a journal that’s refillable or do you want to buy a new journal every time you finish one? This is something major to consider since both have their advantages. With a refillable journal you get to keep the same cover as you swap the pages out. On the other hand, some people enjoy the variety of buying a new journal every time they finish one.
Refillable journals generally come in two types. Some of them allow you to remove and add individual pages. Other journals have the pages binded together and you have to remove all the pages at once. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but be sure you consider what’s best for you.
6. Number of Pages
Usually the number of pages matters most to those who are getting non-refillable journals. Consider how much writing you’ll be doing and how often you want to have to replace the journal. Some think more pages are better, but the more pages the thicker and heavier the journal will be.
7. Paper Quality
Paper quality and thickness has to do with not wanting pen ink to leak through the other pages. This is especially important if you’re a fountain pen user or intend to use markers for drawings.
Best Travel Journal Reviews
Now that you have an idea of the type of journal you want, you can pick from this list of the best of the best.
MaleDen Refillable Spiral Travel Journal
For the creative adventurers, this is one of the best travel notebooks on the market. The 7.2” x 4.9” MaleDen Refillable Spiral Travel Journal has kraft paper with no lines allowing you to write and draw freely. It comes with 160 blank pages, but is refillable so you can add pages or take them out whenever you’d like. The durable cover is made of a high-quality PU leather and only weighs around nine ounces, so you can keep it in your travel bag without worrying about it getting damaged or adding too much weight. It has a compass pattern on the cover and includes two retro pendants to enhance the design. Whether you’re looking for a journal for writing or drawing, the MaleDen Refillable Spiral Travel Journal is a great option.
Robrasim Refillable Vintage Leather Travel Journal
The Robrasim Refillable Vintage Leather Travel Journal is one of the best journals for travel. It is made from genuine leather and each one is uniquely crafted. Users love it because of its versatility. It has three different inserts, each with 32 double-sided pages, so you have a choice of lined paper, blank paper, or kraft paper. It has a refillable design so you’re easily able to swap pages in and out. The journal also includes a PVC pouch / cardholder which allows you to store business cards, receipts, tickets, etc. The Robrasim Refillable Vintage Leather Travel Journal comes in three sizes (5.2” x 4”, 6.7” x 4”, and 8.5” x 4.5”), so there’s a perfect option for you no matter how large or small you want your journal to be.
Wanderings Leather Travelers Notebook
This leather travel journal was carefully crafted to make sure you have a durable journal for years to come. The Wanderings Leather Travelers Notebook includes 90 double-sided fountain-pen friendly pages. The journal comes in a variety of sizes and you can choose between lined or blank pages, there is also an option with pockets. It’s a refillable journal so you don’t have to worry about buying a new one every time you fill it up. In addition to blank and lined inserts, inserts are also available in graph paper, a dot grid, and planner format. Whether you need a daily planner, a journal for your drawings, or a place to write your travel memories, the Wanderings Leather Travelers Notebook has what you’re looking for.
Lemome Classic Travel Notebook with Pocket + Page Dividers
While some journals are designed to be versatile for writers, drawers, and other creatives, the Lemome Classic Travel Notebook is mainly geared towards writers. The journal has a hard cover and includes an elastic pen loop. It has a lay-flat 180° design that makes writing and note-taking easy. It includes 90 double-sided lined pages with a wide-ruled format. When you’re not using it, there’s a band to keep it securely closed so nobody can peek at your memories. This journal measures 8.4” x 5.7” x 0.9” and only weighs 15 ounces. The design of the Lemome Classic Travel Notebook secures its spot as one of the best travel diary choices available.
Moleskine Hard Cover Travel Journal
This Moleskine travel journal is designed to make sure you don’t miss a thing when recording your memories. It allows you to write down your wish list of things you’d like to do in your destination plus you can add maps, tickets, photos, etc. The 400-page journal includes two ribbon bookmarks, a double expandable inner pocket, tabbed sections, and themed introductory pages. There’s even a place to write your contact information in case you misplace it. The notebook measures 8.25” x 5” and weighs 1.35 pounds. No matter what type of adventures you have planned, you should bring along the Moleskine Hard Cover Travel Journal.
Travel Listography: Exploring the World in Lists
With more than a million copies sold, this is the best notebook for travel memories. The Travel Listography: Exploring the World in Lists, acts as a time capsule so you can always remember your travels and the moments that were most special and memorable. The 160-page journal has more than 70 travel journal ideas that will inspire you for years to come. The journal lets you list the cities, states, and countries you’ve visited and want to visit all over the world. Fun topics range from world cuisines and prettiest drives, to memorable cultural differences and travel mishaps. Some of the topics allow you to list things you’ve done plus things you’d like to do in the future. To keep all of your travel memories in one place, consider the Travel Listography: Exploring the World in Lists.
The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids: Awesome Activities for Your Adventures
Definitely the best travel journal for kids, this will help them remember all the best moments from your family vacations. Geared toward children between six and nine, the Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids offers guided writing prompts that keep them writing before, during, and after a trip. Topics include everything from who they’re traveling with and the expected weather to what they learned along the way and who they met. Also included are a variety of games and activities like fill-in-the-blanks and scavenger hunts to keep them occupied during flights, road trips, and long waits. Whether it’s a weekend in NYC or a summer vacation in Paris, kids are easily able to relive the best family vacations when they have the Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids.
Promptly Journals Compact Travel Journal
If you want to keep each adventure in a separate journal, this is the best travelers journal to have. The 88-page journal allows you to keep a detailed record of each trip you take. It has five sections with spots for photos and includes a back pocket for additional momentos. The journal begins with a map so you can note where you’re going, with who, and why. Prompts include everything from your itinerary and memorable moments to hidden gems you discovered and details about your accommodation. It’s a great option for everything from a weekend trip to Seville to a month-long backpacking trip through Europe. When you get back home and people ask about the best food you had or your favorite tour, you won’t have to rack your brain, you can just check your journal. The Promptly Journals Compact Travel Journal is the perfect option to hold special and detailed memories from your trips.
Old World Travel Diary Notebook
The Old World Travel Diary Notebook lets you chart the course of your thoughts while you travel the world. The 8.25” x 6.25” notebook has 160 lightly-lined cream-colored pages enhanced with travel quotes and art. The beautiful cover is stylishly decorated with gold embellishments and includes a foldover panel with a magnet closure to keep your notes secure. It opens flat and is large enough for easy writing, but still small enough to fit in a small weekender bag for a short trip. For a practical journal with a gorgeous design, the Old World Travel Diary Notebook has your name written all over it.
SohoSpark Compass Travel Notebook
The SohoSpark Compass Travel Notebook is a padded, vegan leather journal with a classic cover design. The journal measures 8.75” x 6” and has 120 double-sided pages. The numbered pages have eight millimeter line spacing and are fountain pen safe. You might not know it by looking at it, but this journal is actually refillable. However, instead of removing and adding pages one by one, the binded set of 120 pages slides out of the cover and can be replaced by lined, blank, or dotted grid pages. The SohoSpark Compass Travel Notebook is a silky smooth, easy to carry journal that you’ll love having as a travel companion.
An amazing travel gift for yourself or others, you’ll love adding a journal to your packing list. It’ll help you pinpoint amazing moments and memories that you might otherwise forget years down the road. In a world where phones and cameras are sometimes the only things used to capture memories, you’ll thank yourself for slowing down and expressing your creativity and feelings through writing or drawing.
Board in the World says
Great list! This is something we do as a family every time we travel. We’ll often spend nights in our hotel working on our travel scrapbooks as a way to add to our trip experience. Everyone in our family of four has some kind of travel journal.