Travel Journaling in 10 easy steps

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

A guide for children aged 7-11.

Summer holidays are the best time to start a new hobby. If you like to draw and write, then starting a travel journal is the ideal thing for you!

With our 10 step guide, you will be travel journaling in no time! Just like the famous adventurers did, hundreds of years ago!

Unfortunately, travel now-a-days is tricky, due to the ongoing restrictions and regulations caused by the global crisis we find ourselves in. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep a record of places you have already been to. You can also write about places you would like to visit in the next few years.

Let the summer of 2021 be the year you start your own Travel Journal.

1. Make or find a travel journal

If you are attending one of our workshops in August 2021, you will be able to make your own travel journal. We will be combining different textures of papers to create your own unique journal with amazing covers to suit your taste and style!

However, if you would like to get started right now, you can use a notebook or a diary you may already have lying around in your house. You can decorate the covers with a travel theme or leave the journal plain.

It is important that the journal is sturdy enough to withstand the test of time. Inside, the journal can be made out of:

· blank paper

· lightly coloured paper

· lined

· grid

· dot grid

The main thing is that your journal should be easy to write in.

If you like to draw, it is wise to use a journal with blank pages, so that the lines "don’t get in the way".

2. Starting a travel journal

You may have photos from your past travels. Old photos are a good source for inspiration. If you have a photo of yourself next to a monument, building or interesting land mark, try to draw the landmark in your journal, leaving enough space for some journaling. Write about your adventure, by starting with a rough date of when you were there (ask your parents if you can’t remember).

If you would like to journal about places you would like to visit in future, start by creating a list (a travel bucket list) of places that fascinate you. You can create this list on the first page of your travel journal. Look for inspiring ideas in a travel book, a magazine or the internet.

3. Drawing and writing

It is nice to combine drawings with your written text. If you are not confident at drawing, you could cut out pictures from an old magazine (ask an adult for permission first) and glue it into your journal.

However, in order to practice your drawing skills, it is best to start with simple sketches in order to build up confidence.

You may want to draw an image on a loose piece of paper, then cut it out neatly and glue it into your travel journal. This will ensure your drawing is how you want it to be. If the first one turns out wrong, you can draw another one until you are happy.

4. Drawing materials to use

Drawing materials are entirely up to individual preference. Every material has its up-sides and down-sides.

· Ball point pen makes a strong permanent mark, but can’t be erased if a mistake is made.

· Watercolour, easy to use and bright medium, but might buckle the paper when too much water is used on plain paper rather than watercolour paper.

· Pencil marks can be erased, but smudges badly when rubbed.

· Crayons and colour pencils give a nice pop of colour, but due to the wax in them, can create unsightly shadows if you forget to put a sheet of paper between pages to protect your previous work.

· Felt tip pens and markers create a “ghosting” effect and show through on the reverse side.

5. Writing tools to use

A waterproof pen such as a ball point pen is a good choice, because these pens are easy to come by and won’t smudge.

Using fountain pen ink in travel journals is not recommended as it may not be waterproof.

Pencil can smudge easily, but good for beginners who are not yet confident writing with a pen.

6. Making Mistakes

Practice makes perfect. Don’t despair if you make mistakes. We all make mistakes and this is how we learn. For bigger mishaps, cut out a piece of paper- big enough to cover the mistake, and glue it on top of your mistake to hide it. This isn’t ideal, but is better than having lots of crossed out words and lines. If you are unhappy with the whole page, paste a plain piece of paper on top of the page and start again. Just remember, sometimes we just need to move on after making a mistake and not to dwell too much on it.

7. What to write about

Usually, it is good to start with the name of the place, location and country. You could write some facts, why this particular place fascinates you and the reason for wanting to visit. An example:

“Durdle Door, a lime stone formation in, Dorset, Jurassic Coast – England."

“I would love to visit the Jurassic Coast because I love collecting fossils. Jurassic coast stretches from Devon to Dorset- a stretch of 96 miles. Located on the south coast of England, this coast is famous for its fossilised remains of animals which lived millions of years ago. Very famous for its beautifully preserved ammonites.”

One does not have to write at all- sometimes just a drawing is enough when it comes to iconic landmarks and monuments.”

8. Handwriting

Try to keep your handwriting neat. It is more pleasing to the eye, if the entries are written neatly. Explore different handwriting styles. Combine different “fonts” for titles and headings. Try using a different direction and make a feature of dates and numbers. Uses stencils, if you have them, to create a neat look. Use a different colour pen to make the headings stand out.

9. Style and colour

It is worth experimenting with different materials and styles. If you would like to explore layouts which are unusual or would like to combine paper collage in your journal to include tickets and maps, your travel journal is the place to try it out!

Would you like your journal to be bursting with colour? Or do you prefer the black and white look? Are you a fan of a vintage/ antique look?

Try different styles and decide on your favourite. There are no rules and one does not have to stick to one style.

You don't have to stick to one page, a page spread on two pages looks nice too. If you have a landscape drawing which won't fit on one page, use two pages!

It can be daunting to colour in a sketch that you are happy with, in case of mistakes. There is no going back when colour is added. It is difficult to correct and cover up mistakes. It might be worth exploring colouring outside the box for a change. Colour around your drawing and leave the drawing plain or very lightly coloured for an unusual effect.

10. Secret Compartment

At the back of your travel journal, paste in an envelope on the inside of the journal cover. In this envelope you can keep useful things such as a small stencil, stickers, tickets, stamps, scraps of pretty paper and anything you might want to keep safe. If one envelope isn’t enough, paste another one on the front inside cover.

You can now confidently set up your own travel journal, start writing in it today and show it off to friends and family- I am sure your they will be really impressed!

Thank you for reading our blog

If you need more tips and ideas, please feel free to email us and we will gladly help you!

If you have any topics you would like us to write about, please let us know in the comments section.

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