Are you going on a trip soon and do you want to keep track of all your fun memories? Great news! In today’s post, I’m going to show you how to make a simple DIY travel journal. It’s really easy, low-key, and fun! Plus, if you’re not feeling crafty, you can even download my free printable travel journal template that I made just for you.
Like many travelers, I used to forget the small, fun details of my trips. So, I started keeping track of memories with this one-question-a-day journal.
The idea is simple.
You just answer one fun question every day for a week. And the week after, you’ll answer the same one. It’s not like those big, heavy journals that are hard to carry. And you won’t have to write a lot, just one interesting question each day. This way, you can remember all the neat things that even photos can’t show, without any effort.
So stick with me, and I’ll show you how this easy idea can make your trips even more memorable. Let’s start making your very own travel journal!
Save this free printable travel journal template
Don’t forget to save this template on Pinterest so you’ll know where to find your downloads for your next trip!
Why you should keep a travel journal
Alright, I know you are dying to get started with this DIY travel journal, but just before you grab your crafts and head off, allow me to share a few more reasons why journaling is a game-changer for your travels. Trust me, after reading these reasons, “forgetting” to journal will be a thing of the past!
- Document memories: Revisiting your adventures through a journal is super fun. Those quirky anecdotes and hidden gems you discovered? They will all be in your journal waiting to be re-lived.
- Record thoughts and ideas that you might otherwise forget: Ever had a brilliant idea or a profound realization while traveling, only to forget it later? A travel journal ensures those thoughts are captured forever.
- Reflect and learn: Journaling allows you to ponder over your experiences, offering insights and learnings that can be transformative.
- Unleash creativity: It’s not just about writing; it’s about expressing your creativity. Doodle, paste ticket stubs, or write a poem – your journal, your rules!
- Enhance your journey: A journal adds depth to your travels. It encourages mindfulness and helps you appreciate the journey on a deeper level.
Ready to make your travels more memorable and meaningful? Let’s get started and make your own travel journal!
A question-a-day: How does it work?
If you’re unfamiliar with the one-question-a-day format, let me give you a quick rundown, so you can make the most out of our free template.
Traditionally, these journals are used for an entire year, containing 365 unique questions – one for each day. The idea is to keep the journal for five years, answering the same question on the same date each year. This way, you end up with a fascinating record of how your thoughts and experiences evolve over time.
What I love about this format is the ease and simplicity. Answering just one question a day is a breeze, making it effortless to maintain a consistent journaling habit – often the biggest challenge for many travelers who want to keep a travel journal.
I adapted this concept for travel. Instead of spanning years, it covers your trip’s duration, with the same set of questions repeated each week. This approach is perfect for travelers who start journaling with enthusiasm but find the task daunting as their journey progresses. With just a short question to answer daily, it’s easy, fun, and incredibly rewarding.
So now that you understand the concept, let’s find out how to make your own travel journal.
I will share two options below; A DIY version and a free printable one. Neither one is better, just pick whichever one suits you best!
Option1: DIY travel journal
The first option I’ll share is a true DIY travel journal. You start with an empty paper or notebook and craft your own.
If you are looking for the free printable, scroll down to the free printable travel journal template section.
- Paper (A4 that you fold in two to make a booklet or any type of notebook)
- Crafting materials (if you want to make it look nice, but this is not necessary)
How to make your own travel journal
Step 1: Find a notebook
Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you just fold A4 paper in half and use a stapling machine to bind it. If you buy a simple notebook, or if you go all the way and buy a beautifully designed travel notebook.
I’m a big bullet journal fan, so I just make a collection and dedicate a few pages of my daily bullet journal to this Question-a-day journal. That way it’s integrated with all my other work and travel notes.
But feel free to do whatever fits you. All that matters is that you actually start and that you enjoy working on it. If you need a beautiful design to feel inspired, then by all means go for it. But the design should not be a reason to not get started.
The size of the notebook doesn’t matter either. I usually prefer an A5 format, because it’s small and easily fits in my backpack. But really, anything works. Lined, dotted, squared, or blank paper, all is fine.
Step 2: Make the pages
At the top of each page write one of the questions below, followed by a prompt for the right date. So weeks 1, 2, 3, etc (depending on how long you’ll be traveling)
- What did you eat today?
- Who or what made you smile today?
- What did you do today?
- Did you learn something new today? What was it?
- What is the most beautiful thing you saw today?
- Did you come across any challenges today? What was it? How did you overcome it?
- What was your favorite moment of the past week?
Of course, there are many different variations of questions you could ask. I found these seven the most interesting ones. But check the section about other prompts below for more question ideas.
I usually don’t add the answer sections for each week yet (I only showed it in the example above to give you an idea), because I don’t know how much space I’ll be needing for my answers. But you could add those if you want to make sure everything fits on one page.
Step 3: Decorate your travel journal
Now, I’ll admit. I am not the most creative person out here.
I can’t draw and I have the handwriting of an 8-year-old. So when I get crafty with my journal without any template, stickers, stamps, or premade anything, it will look like a mess. And that’s why I go for simplicity,
But if you are nothing like me, this is where you can get crazy. Get out your markers, crayons, glitter, and whatnot to make this travel journal feel like you. You could even add more blank pages so you have more options for photos, doodles, and other fun keepsakes from your trip.
Step 4: Start answering the questions every day
Now that your journal is finished, all you need to do is answer one simple question a day. No endless essays, writer’s block, or not feeling inspired. You’ll know exactly what to write and it will only take a few seconds.
What I like even more, is that even if I forgot to journal one day. I can easily trace back and still answer that one question from yesterday.
Option 2: Free printable travel journal template
Alright, if you’re looking for a printable travel journal, then I’ve got you covered too. Find out how to make your own travel journal from my free printable PDF below!
- Paper (white A4 that you fold in two to make a booklet)
- Printer (that can print in a booklet, though most printers nowadays have this setting)
- A free printable cover
- Free printable questions
How to use the free printable travel journal pdf
Step 1: Choose and download your cover
For you to use this journal every day and make the most out of it, you need to be super enthusiastic about it. And one way to get you excited is to help you find a design that matches your personality. And that’s why I came up with five different covers so that you can pick one that matches your spirit best.
Choose your favorite down below, or head over to Canva and make your design, as long as you print it on the right side of the paper in landscape shape, it will work too.
Step 2: Print the cover
Print it on an A4 paper and fold it in two. I deliberately put it on landscape and on the right side of the paper, so you can fold it in two and use it as the cover.
Step 3: Print the questions
Now that we have your cover, it’s time for the questions, which you can download here.
They are in A4 PDF format, but you can easily print them as a booklet by using the right printer settings, I explained below.
- Click print once you’ve downloaded and opened the PDF on your computer
- Go to printer settings and select booklet
- Print double-sided
With these settings, your printer will automatically put them in the right order, so that when you fold it in two, you will have a book from question 1-7, and extra notes in the back.
The settings might look slightly different on your computer, but it works the same for every printer.
Feel free to add more blank paper so you’ll have more notes. Or simply print more of the last “notes” page.
DIY travel journal tips
There are a few things that can help you to make the most out of this travel journal.
- Make this journal your own: the more it feels like your own project, the more enthusiastic you will be to write every day
- Set a specific time or moment when you will answer the question
- Start each answer with your current location followed by “:” and the answer. As travelers we visit so many different places that sometimes just seeing the name of a city you were at helps you set the mood and remember the content when you’re reading your travel journal years from now
DIY travel journal variations
As you probably already noticed, there are about 1000 different ways in which you can style your travel journal.
I just shared five printable travel journal templates with you, as well as my super simple but effective handwritten method. But remember. This journal is about you. It should be a design that invites you to write every day and create a beautiful travel memoir for your future self.
So go wild and use which ever design you want.
Besides differences in designs, you can also add different questions that are important to you, or that you want to remember from your trip. I’ll share a few of my other questions below.
I use these when I make my monthly travel journal for longer trips (more about this monthly journal below).
- Who did you meet today?
- Did you travel with someone today? Who is it?
- What was the weather like today?
- When was the last time you did something kind for someone else?
- What surprised you today?
- When was the last time someone did something kind for you?
- Did you fall for any tourist traps this week?
- What was your favorite accommodation up until now?
- Did you do something that scared you this week?
The printable travel journal prompts I shared with you today are for a five-week trip, but of course, you can also use them for a two-week vacation or any other duration.
If you’re traveling longer than 8 weeks, I would advise you to make a journal with a question for each day of the month. That way you’ll have more variation in the types of questions asked and the things you will remember from your trip.
Just check out my list of questions above for more inspiration. And if you want more help, or if you’re not feeling creative, Shoot me a message and I will send the full list of monthly questions as well as a free monthly printable that I use as well!
More DIY travel ideas
Did this project release your inner Martha Stewart?
Then you’re in good luck! We’ve got more super DIY travel projects for you to try.
- The 45 best DIY travel projects
- 25 Epic travel journals
- Homemade voucher book for your loved ones staying behind
Save these free templates
Did you save these free printable travel journal templates on Pinterest yet?
Final notes about this simple DIY journal
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, I hope that this free printable travel journal template will make your adventures more memorable.
So, grab your pen and start capturing those precious travel moments, one question at a time!