Going on vacation this summer? Learn how to make your own travel journal scrapbook to document all the fun things you do and see along the way. It’s easy!
Ever since I was little, I have brought along a travel journal whenever I went on a trip. I usually spend a few minutes in the hotel room in the evening, writing about the events of the day. It’s so much fun to look back at those writings from when I was younger and remember the good times we had as a family.
Now that I am a mother, I have taken it a step further. Now I make a travel journal scrapbook after all our trips. It still includes all my thoughts and impressions of everything I saw, but it also includes photos and all sorts of mementos from our trip.
Make a travel journal using a small ring binder.
Although it is perfectly fine to use a journal with lined paper, these days I make a travel journal using a small binder. You can find nice mini binders in the scrapbooking section of craft stores. The ones I use are typically 6 inches by 8 inches in size. Project Life, We R Memory Keepers, and Simple Stories are a few of the brands that make the mini scrapbooking bindersthat are readily available in most craft stores.
I love the flexibility of making a travel journal scrapbook out of a 2 ring binder. A binder type of album is a great choice because you can move things around if you find something at a later time that you forgot to include. It also allows you to use a mix of regular pages and pocket protectors. Your pages don’t even have to be all the same size. Anything that you can use a hole punch on can be inserted into your travel journal – which is great for all those attraction brochures you will probably pick up on your trip. It all gives the travel journal an eclectic look that I absolutely love.
I usually bring along a kit of travel scrapbooking supplies when I go on a trip. Then I have everything I need to work on my journal in the evenings when I get some down time. I find the best time to put a travel journal together is when the thoughts and experiences are fresh in your mind. I just sit at a desk in the hotel room while the rest of my family watches tv.
Basic supplies needed to make your own travel journal:
- mini binder (I prefer the 6×8 scrapbook binders from Simple Stories.)
- hole punch ( a standard 3 hole punch will work, but you only want to use 2 of the holes for a 6×8 binder)
- archival pen
- 6×8 inch page protectors (I use both Project Life and Simple Stories protectors)
- Canon Selphy – if you want to print your photos right then and there to add to your travel journal.
While you are on your trip, you will want to save all your tickets, brochures, maps, and mementos. I like to put a gallon sized Ziplock bag in my suitcase to keep all the memorabilia together so I don’t lose anything.
Print photos for your travel journal on the road
I recently bought myself a Canon Selphy photo printer and absolutely love it. I can send photos wirelessly to the printer right from my iPhone and then print them immediately. It’s so convenient to be able to print pictures whenever I want!
The Canon Selphy printer is lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to pack for a trip. It will be great for printing photos on the road, so I can come home with my travel journal nearly completed.
Another option is an Instax Camera. It works like the Polaroid Cameras from the 70’s and 80’s. Instax photos are ejected from the camera and develop within a few minutes, right before your very eyes.
The Instax is a bit smaller and lighter than the Polaroids and the photos that come out are about the size of a credit card. The size makes them great for including in a travel journal. I had considered getting an Instax, but ultimately went with the Canon Selphy printer so I could have larger pictures if I wanted.
Ephemera from your trip that you will want to save to include in your travel journal
- post cards (a great way to get a professional photograph of the attractions you visit)
- brochures (pick up 2 so you can keep one whole and cut the other one up to use for embellishment)
- ticket stubs
- packaging or wrappers from special foods or souvenirs you bought on your trip
- drink coasters
- restaurant takeout menus
- paper napkins with restaurant logos
- stamped images from letterboxing
- National Park Service passport stamps (some state parks and lighthouses have them too)
- parking passes
- plane tickets and boarding passes
- subway passes
- business cards from shops and places you visit
- hotel keys (if they don’t make you turn them in)
- hotel stationary (great for adding journaling to your pages)
- paper currency and coins from foreign countries you visited
- matchbook covers
- luggage tags
- Smashed Pennies (make sure they are completely flat and use glue dots to hold them in place)
- odds and ends (like I saved the cupcake picks from our dessert at the Bavarian Inn on our Frankenmuth trip)
Find creative places to include journaling
You don’t have to only use lined paper for journaling your thoughts. In my Frankenmuth travel journal I used a lot of different things to add journaling. One of my favorite ways to add journaling is on the back of postcards. I punch holes in them, journal on the back, and add them right to the binder.
A piece or two of hotel stationary is also a great place to write your thoughts and it serves as a little memento of where you stayed on your trip. I have also journalled on the back of food wrappers and cardboard packaging from souvenirs we bought. For instance, I kept the box from some fudge we bought on our Frankenmuth trip. I cut the lid off the box and on the back side, I wrote about how yummy the fudge was. Then I punched a hole and added that right to my travel journal scrapbook.
Travel journal scrapbook ideas
Here are some more of my pages from the 2 mini trips we took earlier this year. I hope they inspire you to make your own travel journal scrapbook the next time you go on vacation.
In the picture above, you will see I have used a mix of page protectors, brochures, and regular pages made from heavy duty cardstock that were wall-papered. To the far left is a page protector filled with post cards I bought on our trip. Just in front of that is a brochure from the Christmas shop in Frankenmuth.
The page to the right features a picture I took and also some things cut from the Bronner’s brochure (which is why I always like to pick up 2 copies!) You will see that I also like to use a mix of different sizes of pages. Most of my pages are 5.75″ x 7.75 “. However, if I have a couple of extra pictures to stick in a section, or want to add some journaling, I will typically add a small card to my binder.
In this example, I used page protectors to add photos and postcards to my travel scrapbook. I punched holes in the brochure so I could add it right to the binder without using pocket pages.
I used my Project Life card dies to make quick work of cutting the background paper into mats for the photos. I thought the snowflake paper matched nicely with the Silent Night Memorial Chapel brochure.
I used PicMonkey to add text to one of my pictures before printing it. PicMonkey is a great way to add a small amount of journaling right to your pictures – great if you have a lot of blank space, like I did with sky in the picture.
On this page, I made use of some hidden journaling. I made a little card to include on the page that told about my son’s special birthday dinner. If you open it up, you will see what the meal included. Little cards and pockets are a great way to be able to include more journaling on a page without taking up a lot of room.
I also included the cute little German boy and girl picks that came with our ice cream. (I washed them well of course.) They are a little bit heavier than the rest of the memorabilia I included in the book, so I used glue dots to hold them down. You don’t have to limit yourself to including only paper products in your travel journals. If it’s small and lightweight, go for it!
Since my travel journals also serve as my letterboxing journals, I included the stamped images from all the letterboxes we found during our trip. So that is what Yogi Bear is doing on the top right of those pages 🙂 He’s a letterboxing stamp.
For more travel journal scrapbook ideas be sure to check out my travel journal Pinterest board.
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So tell me… Do you like to make your own travel journal scrapbook to help you remember that special trip? What are some of your favorite things to include?