17 best travel bullet journals
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Last Updated on October 14, 2021
If you have travelled before or dream of travelling any time soon, you know the struggle of planning your trip, booking transport, hotels, arrangements for food and whatnot.
You might also be aware of the mental frustration and agitation that comes with planning, especially if you are not using a proper planning system, and simply relying on your memory.
The truth is you can’t always rely on memory as we tend to forget things.
This is where planning and organization come in and there is nothing more effective than a travel journal for this purpose.
A travel notebook is your hand-held sanctuary for creating the travel plans of your dreams, the one that doesn’t hurt your wallet and is hassle-free.
But maybe you don’t know where to start?
In this article, we will explain to you the journaling method most used for travelling purposes and how you can use it to plan your next wanderlust adventure.
What is a bullet journal?
Those who underestimate the usefulness of a planning and organization system might think “bullet journal” is just a fancy name for a typical notebook
But those who are determined to take any action to enhance their productivity, have a systematic approach to life, and just let their creativity pour out on paper, a bullet journal is a lifestyle choice, a tool for getting your act together, keeping a record of your most memorable moments, and your best friend when travelling.
The bullet journal method was introduced to the world of mindfulness and productivity by Ryder Carroll, through his best-selling book, the Bullet Journal Method. It gives a detailed outline on how you can manage the stringiest of your day-to-day tasks and use it for keeping a travelling itinerary or creatively juxtaposing different aspects of your travel journey into a beautiful myriad of pictures and anecdotes.
Literally, the bullet journal is just a journal with clean and crisp pages that have bullets instead of lines for ease of writing and journaling, however, you can also just add those bullets yourself.
There is an entire community online, known as the bullet journal community, or the bujo community, that swears by the impact that bullet journals and journaling has had on their lives.
A lot of people turn to the bullet journal to effectively manage their time and reduce stress levels due to work or even personal life. Others, like you, who have a knack for recording every beautiful memory in a creative way, whether it’s attaching pictures, painting or simply writing a journal entry of how the trip went, what you ate, your thoughts etc., will definitely find the bullet journal an amazing travel companion.
But, what about those of you who know what a bullet journal is but have never heard of a specific travel bullet journal.
Well, you’re in for some treat to prepare you for your next wanderlust moment.
What is a travel journal?
A travel journal has the same purpose as that of a daily planning bullet journal, but specifically for planning.
It is essentially a journal where you can plan your trips, create an itinerary, write journal entries regarding your experience, add photographs and small mementoes from your trip to look back at later and reminisce the good times.
Some travellers prefer using journals only for far-away places like when visiting a new state, city or country. Others, want to record memories from even the short-day trip or road trip they take on a Saturday.
No matter what the duration or location of your trip, it is worth writing about in your travel journal, so you can look back at those entries and feel positive and good about the amazing time you spent exploring the world.
Why should you use a travel journal?
Most people think of vacation or travelling as their time off and not an opportunity to discover something new about themselves, the world or the people around them.
They are only trying to take their mind off mundane things to relax for a moment, which is perhaps the sole purpose of travelling, but just imagine if you could take a different approach to travel.
Travelling should be considered a process of self-growth and evolution. Don’t just take travelling as spending hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars, to go to a fancy spot, chill for some time and then come back to the same old stressful routine.
Travelling should be your chance to outgrow your current condition and learn more about yourself. Consider it as an opportunity to reflect on yourself, your past, your habits and think about your future, while you absorb yourself in new surroundings.
To make these experiences more impactful, a travel journal can be used to plan your trip, write down your thoughts and anticipation before the trip, keep a track of memorable incidences during the trip, and recording moments of reflection during, and when you are back.
Let’s take a look at these in detail.
Most people plan before travelling, but very few have adopted some sort of a system to make planning a trip less stressful, and useful, in case you intend to visit the same place again. This is where a travel journal comes in.
Travel journals can be your own help guide, you can write about where you will be staying, what places you will be visiting, budget for the trip etc.
Once your travel destination is final, start enlisting all the possible spots you can visit, where you will be staying, the finances, what to pack and any thoughts or reflections you have before travelling.
Planning can seem a daunting task for a lot of people. Travel journals will help you feel less scared and more prepared for your trip.
Instead of relying on last-minute decision-making, you can avoid that stress by planning your trip ahead of time, using a travel journal.
Before travelling, you might have some expectations about the place, the food, people there and your whole experience.
Don’t just keep those thoughts trapped in some corner of your brain.
Write them down in your travel journal, so that after the trip when you are done reflecting on it, you can take a look at what you anticipated from the trip.
You will be astonished to see the difference in your expectations from the trip and your actual experience, how mindful and evolving it was.
To get you started, you can answer questions like these:
- What do you think your experience will be like?
- Do you think people there would be different from you, and where you live?
- What do you think about this place’s culture?
- What do you expect to gain out of this trip?
- What do you plan on doing different for this trip, compared with others?
With this fun activity, you can make your travelling experience more anticipated and enjoyable. Rather than considering the time before travelling as a stressful experience, you can make it a period of self-reflection.
After every trip, you bring back home abundant memories and learning experiences. But, within a year or two, you would forget half of those and some of you might wish to have recorded those memories somewhere, and how you felt in those moments.
To save you from future regret, when you begin travelling, take note of all the pleasant moments that you encounter.
Write them down.
Write down your good and bad memories. What made you feel good about yourself and the trip, and which experience taught you something meaningful.
You would enjoy revisiting those memories later on.
Even better if you add paper mementoes like business cards from people you met, ticket stamps from places you visited, dried flowers and a bunch of other things that could serve as a sweet memory in your travel journal.
Top tip: If you want to print photos as you go to add to your travel journal, look at getting an HP sprocket which is a mini portable printer you can connect to your phone!
What to include in your travel bullet journal?
Now that we have discussed why you should keep a travel journal, let’s move on to what you can and specifically should include your travel journal.
Some of these things are pretty useful for planning and will save you from the hassle of travelling, others will help in bringing out the creative side of you and make the overall travelling experience more enthralling.
1. Budget Tracker
As mentioned earlier, maintaining your finances is one of the primary tasks involved in planning a trip.
To save yourself and your wallet from going down the drain when you should have spent your time relaxing, it is recommended to include a budget tracker within your travel journal.
You can jot down all the expenses that you expect to have during the trip. Do some research before travelling about the place you will be visiting to become aware of what sort of expenses you might have, like food costs, living costs, shopping and recreational expenses etc.
Write those down and assign every expense an amount so that you know what you can afford and won’t go overboard when actually travelling.
This way, you would have an idea of how much you have spent, what is left, and any unexpected or impulsive expenses.
2. Things to do
One of the most important aspects of your travel journal would be a list of things that you can do at your destination. This can be a general list of activities that are available within that region, or you can write only things you would be interested in doing.
A useful tip would be to add the time and cost, if any, of all the activities that you are interested in. This way, it would be easier to assess which activity suits your travel duration and budget.
An itinerary is perhaps the most essential thing you need after a budget planner in your travel journal. Once you are done enlisting all the things that you want to do during your trip, start making an itinerary.
This itinerary will be a detailed plan of what you will be doing each day during your time away. Start by enlisting the time required for each activity and which day is most suitable for it, then organize everything into an order for each day.
Don’t be too meticulous about this though, you are still on a trip, and it should be an enjoyable experience, not a work-related project that needs to be done by the minute.
Take it easy on yourself while you are travelling.
You want to be organized but not too hard on yourself if you missed the train to your next destination.
You can always wait for another one and maybe stroll around while you are at it, meet some new faces, eat from a food vendor and just have fun.
4. Savings Tracker
Every year, month or week, whenever or however often you plan on travelling, you need to know what your budget is and whether you have enough savings to support this leisure activity.
To plan ahead for spontaneous adventures or even yearly or monthly trips, it is essential that you include a savings tracker within your travel journal.
You can either contribute a specific amount every month to your travel fund or make use of this savings tracker to plan ahead your trips.
Having an idea of your savings and which travel destination suits best for that amount will aid you in deciding whether you can afford to travel right now, how much money you can spend on what leisure activities and whatnot.
This tracker can also be used in collaboration with the budget tracker, while you are travelling, to gauge how much you planned on spending, and how much you have actually spent.
5. Packing list
Next to a “things to do” list is a packing list of all the items that you need and will be taking with you on the trip.
Make sure to do some research on your travel destination before planning and packing.
Check the weather situation, any cultural or societal things that you must be aware of so that you pack the right stuff and are fully prepared for the trip.
From clothes, food requirements, travel gear, money and other important stuff, anything can be enlisted here.
This list will also enable you to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything important, perhaps health-related items or anything else that you might not be able to travel without.
6. Vacation countdown
To make your travel journal a bit more fun and colourful, you can add a vacation countdown forever trip you take.
Ideally, whenever you start planning, you can start a vacation countdown at that time.
This way, you can plan out better how much time you have before leaving your home and sorting out the important stuff, or it can be just a fun activity to raise your anticipation for the trip and be more excited.
Apart from planning, your travel journal can include memorable anecdotes as well. It can be used as a self-reflection journal while you are travelling, after you have come back, or before you leave for vacation.
Journaling is a tried and tested method for self-reflection and attaining mental clarity. In your travel journal, write about all the places you went to, the people you met, any interesting experiences that made you laugh, angry, cry or was just overwhelming and you need to let it out.
8. Travel Wishlist
A travel wish list in the journal can be of particular importance to those of you who have a lengthy list of places they want to see, things they want to explore, foods they want to try and a bunch of other stuff that is location-specific.
A travel wish list will help you organize those ideas.
Think of it as a bucket list, specific for travelling.
You can write about all the countries that you wish to see, what cities you plan to visit, monuments or festivals you would like to attend, and once you’re done visiting those, come back to this list and check it off.
The feeling of accomplishment that comes after checking off something from a list just makes you feel like you have achieved something of importance.
Where to buy travel journals?
Amazon has some of the most amazingly designed and practical travel journals.
Keeping in mind your travel journal needs, we picked out the best travel bullet journals.
Best travel bullet journals & regualar travel journals
This A5-sized journal has a synthetic leather cover, enclosed with a leather string and a nautical compass pendant. The front cover is embossed with a nautical compass that adds an antique flair to this journal.
The inside is filled with acid-free paper that will protect your travelling plans and paper mementoes from light and air damage.
It also includes colour dividers for sectioning the journal, three transparent bags to hold small memorabilia from your trips like ticket stamps, business cards, and dried flowers.
For those of you who want to record possibly every moment of your trip but lack the creativity required to make your journaling experience more fun, this journal will be your travelling companion.
It has more than 100 prompts for daily reflection when travelling, weekly quotes, a pre-designed packing list, departure day checklist and other fun activities to help you make the most of your trip.
This journal can be particularly helpful in keeping a track of your thoughts and memories while travelling. With sheets for sketching and taking personal notes, you can add other meaningful things.
If functionality and style combined, it would be the birth of this travelling bullet journal. With more than 190 pages premium quality pages, two ribbon bookmarks, a pocket at the end, a sewn elastic pen holder and a band for closure, this bullet journal is one of the best options for travel enthusiasts.
The binding is strong enough to withstand turbulence and damage and the compact size is perfect for carrying it around.
This A5 bullet journal with a PU leather cover comes with more than 200 dotted pages, 120 gsm thick. The faux leather is cruelty-free and gives a smooth finish and aesthetic appeal with its gold foil embossing on the front cover. .
This journal comes with an elastic band to enclose it, a ribbon bookmark, a pen holder and a pocket at the end to store paper mementoes.
This vintage journal has 200 handmade pages which add an antique flair to the journal due to its color and texture.
These premium quality pages are perfect for planning a trip, penning down your thoughts, scrapbooking and doodling or sketching.
These pages are thick enough to hold watercolor paints, fountain pen and acrylic colors. Overall, it is a sturdy journal, perfect for traveling or using as a daily planner.
If you’re someone who wants to add a personal touch to every journal entry and don’t shy away from adding plenty of colors and vibrance, this is a one-of-a-kind journaling kit for you.
The kit includes not only a bullet journal notebook, but 15 Fineliner pens, 5 stencil sheets, 6 sticker sheets, 6 washi tape rolls and 1 black pen. The binding is sturdy, and the notebook includes a pen holder, back pocket and an elastic band for enclosure.
If you’re in the bullet journal community, you are probably aware of the recent hype with kraft paper for sketching, scrapbooking and planning.
This compact notebook with 80 kraft paper sheets is available in 6 designs and perfect for writing travel plans, thoughts and ideas.
This ring-bound leather notebook comes with 40 lined and 40 blank sheets of paper, a zipper pouch, two card slots for keeping your business cards and even passport, loose leaf at the end, and a pen holder.
The notebook encloses with a button strap, so your belongings are safe within it. It is perfect for camping and other traveling adventures due to its sturdiness and space.
This A6 notebook comes with 80 pages, and in three beautiful shades – cyan, dark grey and coffee. The cover is made up of high-quality cotton linen leather that has a smooth finish and is perfect for enduring travel turbulence.
The best feature is its ring bind, which allows you to replace sheets once you’re done.
The compact size enables it to be taken anywhere that you desire – whether you are hiking, camping or on a flight to your next destination.
Another vintage inspired travel notebook with a hard cover and thick binding, has over 260 pages, 120 gsm thick. This multi-use journal can be taken with you anywhere as its compact size allows it to fit in any bag.
The notebook comes with a 0.5 mm ballpoint pen, and extra refills, perfect for your travel planning. This retro designed notebook serves as the perfect gift for a planning-obsessed wanderlust soul!
A leather-bound A5 notebook with a strap enclosure and 60 pages, perfect for one-time travel plans. If you’re someone who needs a separate notebook for one trip, this might be your call. The simple design and compact size are perfect for traveling.
The Bedsure journal offers this unique, vintage-style, leather-bound journal for personal reflections, traveling plans and scrapbooking. It is available in two sizes, both are suitable for carrying around while traveling, but has plenty of space to allow your creatively to flow.
With more than 200 premium-quality pages, it is the right choice for journaling, making travel plans, doodling or scrapbooking.
The Clever Fox Bucket List Journal is one of the best, perhaps the best, travel journal out there. With a vegan leather cover and crisp white 120 gsm pages, an elastic band, pen holder, ribbon bookmarks, pocket at the end a user guide, this journal offers everything you need for planning out your traveling goals.
The best part is its pre-designed bucket list more than 200 traveling ideas from all over the world. There is also an empty list of 100 ideas that you must fill once you get your hands on this.
Moreover, every bucket list idea comes with a before and after page, waiting to be filled by you before and after your traveling experiences.
If you’re someone with a more minimalist approach to traveling and are a light packer, this pocket-sized travel journal is the right product for you.
It comes in a pack of three notebooks with premium quality 48 dotted pages. It can be used for logging traveling plans, scrapbooking and writing to-do lists.
A classic A5 bullet journal that comes with five color options, and 160 pages with 120 gsm thickness. All pages are ivory colored, smooth and resistant to ink bleeding.
It is quite the right choice not just for writing out travel itineraries, but scrapbooking, sketching and journaling for reflection.
The deal comes with an elastic closure, sticker sheets, inner pockets, ribbon bookmarks and a pen holding loop.
For lovers of witchcraft and symbolism, this leather-bound journal is embossed with a Celtic triquetra symbol and gives a vintage vibe to your journaling experience.
A premium quality travel journal with thick 90g ivory paper and a beautiful floral cover. The compact size and sturdy built makes it a perfect gift for your travel buddies or use it for your travel plans, journaling or scrapbooking.
Travelling should be a relaxing and stress-free experience for you, therefore, planning your itinerary and finances is crucial. To make this easier for you, we recommend using a travel journal before every trip – no matter how short or long.
You can choose from a wide variety of travel journals mentioned above, depending on your needs and what you need to include in your travel notebook.
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