Summer is almost here and our wanderlust is in full swing. After being trapped inside for the last year, we’ll finally be able to take the time this summer to travel around the United States once fully vaccinated, says the CDC. It’s safe to say we’ll be taking advantage of that. West Coast sunsets? New York City shenanigans? Florida fun? Screw it, Idaho potatoes? We don’t care. We’re ready to go just about anywhere this summer — but we’ll be going nowhere without documenting our experiences within a travel journal.
Sure, snapping photos on your iPhone or carrying a disposable camera around to create mems is great for visual memories, but logging your days in a travel journal is one of the best ways to remember specifics on a trip that you might otherwise forget. Sure, photos can bring joy and smiles when looked back on years later, but travel journals have the ability to let you remember particular moments.
The way the boardwalk smelled after it rained at the Jersey Shore. The drink you spilled on a stranger’s lap on Bourbon Street. The games you played with your pals while waiting for the BART in San Fran. The accidental entering into Canada in Upstate New York. These are memories photos can’t necessarily capture, making them best to be written down in a travel journal whilst on your trip.
Travel journals are a keepsake all travel lovers need to keep on hand no matter where they’re headed. Documenting these memories will only bring joy and nostalgia to your future self when you need it most. So, before you head on your next long car or short plane ride, check out these travel journals below and get scribbling.
1. Moleskine Classic Notebook
Moleskine is the notebook of all notebooks, so you shouldn’t be surprised that we’re naming Moleskine our favorite travel journal. It’s an inexpensive, straightforward option that isn’t at all showy — perfect for the kind of person who simply wants to document their adventures. It has an elastic band that stretched over the cover to keep your contents secure and comes in an array of good-looking colors.
2. Paperage Lined Journal Notebook
Paperage has an array of lined travel journals perfect for taking on the road. There are a variety of cool colors available and each one is hardcover, so you won’t have any problems bending or ruining paper inside. Each notebook is constructed with a water-resistant vegan leather cover and lay flat for easy writing. Detail trip after trip after trip in this one.
3. hlc Leather Journal Notebook
This is the travel journal our e-commerce editor Tyler Schoeber swears by. “Sounds weird, but my ex got this for me for our one-year anniversary and I’ve been bringing it everywhere ever since. I like to take a lot of photos when traveling, so sometimes I’ll use this notebook to plan out the photos I want to take before I take them or write down how I’m feeling that day on my adventures.” The notebook has a handsome yet older aesthetic to it that makes it look more vintage. It’s made with genuine leather and has 300 pages for as many trips as you go on.
4. Persian Grove Journal
This travel journal screams nothing but elegance. With a 16th-century Persian cover, you’ll feel like you’re scribbling down your travel logs like royalty in ancient times. Golden flowery trees and serene deer cover the exterior on a matte black background for all the eye can see. Inside, travelers will have 160 pages for writing down all of their adventures from AM to PM. If you appreciate a good-looking cover, this one’s for you.
5. Pentalic Traveler Pocket Journal Sketch
BEST FOR SKETCHING
If you’re more apt to record your journeys through a visual medium, this lightweight sketch pad is easy to throw in your backpack and bring with you. Made with recycled paper, it’ll last through your next journey and many more. Heck, just because there aren’t any lines doesn’t mean you can’t write, too — use this as a dual-sketch and written journal for all of your future trips. Who’s stopping you?
6. Get Lost Adventure Log 3-Pack
Here’s one for you and two for your go-to travel buddies. The Get Lost Adventure travel journals come in a pack of three for the long road ahead. They’re tinier than the majority of travel journals we’ve shown you so far, but that just means they’re the most packable. Each log can be numbered on the front, so if you choose to continuously purchase more and more logs from Get Lost, you can create a travelers story by filling log after log. Best part of all? These can fit right in your back pocket for easy on-the-go adventures.
7. Eccolo World Traveler Style Journal
It’s a travel journal, isn’t it? So why not have it inspire both current travels and future travels alike? This travel journal from Eccolo is perfect for logging any and all adventures. Like, just look at the embossed map front cover. It only makes sense, doesn’t it? Each journal has 256 acid-free cream color pages for writing. We think you’ve found your match.
8. Amazon Basics Classic Lined Notebook
BEST FROM AMAZON
If Amazon Basics doesn’t have a version of it, does it even exist? In 2021, the answer is probably not. This classic-lined travel journal is our favorite pick from Amazon’s brands. Sitting at just under $10 with a classic black exterior, this is one of the best notebooks because it’s both simple affordable. It’s got 240 ruled pages in total and makes for a great travel companion.
9. Moleskine Passion Journal
BEST FOR THE PASSIONATE
Got a passion for travel? Like, is travel your true BFF? If so, look no further than Moleskine’s Passion Journal, built with a durable cover and elastic band that’s become synonymous with Moleskine. It has a quality make and a slew of durable pages for writing again and again. Use this on the plane, the train, in the car, your Airbnb, the beach, the mountains — wherever.
10. URSUNSHINE Dotted Grid Notebook
Some of us like to ditch lines for dots, and you know what, that’s okay! If you’re the type who prefers logging their escapades in a grid notebook, this one from Amazon is for you. It’s incredibly inexpensive at just about $8 and has a 100% durable flex leather cover to keep all of your contents safe. What else could you need?