A Minimalist Guide To Travel Journaling Supplies & Journaling On The Go
I’ve recently returned from a road trip where I took only a few items with me for travel journaling, so I hope this blog can help you with your next travel pack.
A bit of background information, I went on a two-month road trip with my mum in our car. We camped in a tent the entire way and needed to have room for all of our camping and cooking gear, this meant that I did not have much space for my stationery and needed to ensure that I was bringing only what I absolutely needed.
My minimal stationery essentials
I took the Archer and Olive A6 pocket-sized journal, it was the perfect companion for a two-month road trip. It was small enough to fit into my bum bag when I was walking around during the day, and also big enough to be able to journal for the entire road trip.
I took 11 pens with me on my road trip including 7 brush pens, 3 gel pens, and 1 pencil.
I predetermined the colors I wanted to have in my journal, and forced myself to minimize the number of pens I took with me.
Also included in my pencil case were a glue stick, a ruler, scissors, an eraser, 7 different washi tapes, and some scrapbooking paper.
I fit all of these items into a small pencil case, and here’s how:
- For my washi tape, I took a piece of cardboard and wrapped the washi tape around the cardboard, it reduced the size of the washi tape and flat packed it down.
- For my scrapbook paper, I tore some sheets of notepad paper in quarters and fit everything into a small envelope that happened to fit into my pencil case.
Setting time to journal
During my road trip, I set out specific moments to sit down and journal. I alternated between small doodles, and glueing in maps and photos.
In Australia, where I did my road trip, there are many visitor information centres in each city/town. I would collect pamphlets of places I had visited or was about to visit and use them in my journal. I prioritised taking national parks brochures, and booklets that had usable maps. Then after using them to navigate I would tear them out of the pamphlet and stick them into my journal. I kept everything including my stationery in one tote bag that could be stored on the back of my seat in the car.
Of course, I wasn’t able to journal every single day, so I had to use my photos and calendar to remember exactly what I did on specific days. This is where some spreads I had pre-planned for the trip came in handy. You can find those spreads in the next section.
There is nothing like journaling on the road rather than leaving everything to do upon your return home! However, if you are short on time, or your trip is short enough, I recommend checking out Amanda’s blog post on 10 tips to help you document your next trip in your travel journal, where she talks about how you can recap everything after your trip.
Getting creative in a pocket-sized journal
Before we left on our road trip, I pre-planned a few spreads in my journal. This included a calendar for the two months that I would be able to fill in with my pencil or pen while planning the road trip.
It also included a simple drawing of the map of North-East Australia so that I could map out our itinerary. These spreads saved me time on the road trip and helped me plan.
Given the size of my journal, I had to be strict with the size of the maps I could stick inside. So I folded maps and cut them to size to ensure they would be able to fit in my journal. This meant that my journal’s size dramatically expanded. I spent a fair bit of time roaming information centres for brochures that would have exactly the right-sized map or photos I needed to fit in my journal.
Many of my journal’s spreads expand outwards of the journal like mini dutch doors within more mini dutch doors. It means that when you flip through the journal the experience is akin to a big pop-up book you might read as a kid. I think that’s where all the fun is.
I hope that this article helps you with your next travel! See a full flip through of how my travel journal ended up looking like:
And pick up some free travel checklists for your travel journal here: