The 10 Best Travel Journals of 2021

There’s a format and a style out there for every kind of journaler.

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There’s nothing like hitting the road and embarking on a new adventure—until you realize you don’t have anywhere to record your experiences. A travel journal is the perfect way to document your days wandering the trail, trekking through a new country, or navigating a new city—and as old-school as it is, there’s nothing like putting pen to paper at the end of an eyes-wide-open day. Travel notebooks tend to be a little more sturdy than regular notebooks (they have to withstand plenty of transit, after all), and some also include prompts for adults and kids who might need that extra boost to start writing. There are a ton of travel journal options out there, so we did the hard work of rounding up the best of the best.

Keep reading for the best travel journals to pick up today.

The Rundown
The flexible faux leather cover gives a surprising amount of protection for all of your inner thoughts.
It packs a lot of punch for a travel journal in the sub-$10 budget.
Rite in the Rain journals have long been a favorite of those who are frequently writing in bad weather, backpackers and news reporters among them.
Moonster’s leather notebook is as well loved as it is elegant, and it's practical on the go.
Best for Long Trips:
You Are Here at Amazon
The pages offer different mindfulness techniques to focus on the experiences.
It comes with binder rings so you can easily swap pages in and out.
Best for Travel Inspiration:
Travel Listography at Amazon
There are more than 70 lists in this journal, from world cuisines to animals you’ve spotted in the wild.
With this travel journal, kids can help plan the trip and take charge of their packing list.
We weren’t necessarily convinced that there needed to be gendered travel journals until we saw this.
We love the archive that lets you organize where you’ve stayed, eaten, shopped, and visited.

Best Overall: Peter Pauper Press Voyager Refillable Notebook

Voyager Refillable Notebook
What We Like
  • Beautiful design

  • Storage pockets

  • Customizable page inserts

What We Don't Like
  • No zipper closure

The best kind of travel journal is inconspicuous, minimal, full of lots of empty pages, and refillable. The Voyager notebook from Peter Pauper Press checks all of the boxes. The flexible faux leather cover gives a surprising amount of protection for all of your inner thoughts. This notebook is made up of three separate inserts—one blank, one lined, and one dotted—so you can choose the option that best fits your needs. In terms of storage, there’s a clear pocket on the inside of the front cover, as well as a zippered pouch (also clear for easy referencing) on the inside of the back cover. An elastic closure band keeps everything together.

Page Count: 180 | Page Format: Dotted, lined, and blank page inserts

Best Budget: Poketo Colorblock Travel Journal

Poketo Colorblock Travel Journal
What We Like
  • Small size

  • Organizational sections

What We Don't Like
  • Soft cover

Not only is this travel journal eye-catching in design, it’s also slight in footprint and can be tossed just about anywhere. The Colorblock Travel Journal from Poketo is great if you want a separate space to document different trips: At this price point, it’s easy to purchase one for every single journey you embark on. This journal is designed to have some open-ended space to write down observations, memories, and other notes, but it also focuses on organization. There are dedicated pages for penning your itinerary, packing list, shopping list, accommodation information, and expenses. It packs a lot of punch for a travel journal in the sub-$10 budget.

Page Count: 72 | Page Format: Lined

Best Weather-Resistant: Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Side-Spiral Notebook

Rite In The Rain Weatherproof Side-Spiral Notebook
What We Like
  • Weatherproof

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Large format

Rite in the Rain journals have long been a favorite of those who are frequently writing in bad weather, backpackers and news reporters among them. We love its durability for a travel journal, whether you’re wandering the trail, holding on during monsoon season, or simply spending a week in Scotland. The 64 weatherproof pages stay intact in the rain, and each leaf will repel water, mud, and grease to hold memories that stay put even in the worst conditions—and the cover, made from a flexible Polydura shell, is also waterproof. We also love Rite in the Rain’s proprietary binding, which keeps its shape without bending or starting to unspiral in the bottom of a backpack. You can write on the notebook’s pages with a variety of implements, too—as long as the ink isn’t water-based. We suggest a space pen or a regular No. 2 pencil for best results.

Page Count: 64 | Page Format: Lined

Best Leather: Moonster Leather Journal

Moonster Leather Journal
What We Like
  • Quality leather design

  • Great writing surface

What We Don't Like
  • Not refillable

With more than a thousand reviews and a five-star rating on Amazon, Moonster’s leather notebook is as well loved as it is elegant—and practical on the go. The water buffalo leather cover and binding are soft and supple, and the light wear-and-tear that travel inevitably involves will give it a wonderfully vintage patina (if you’d rather keep it more on the pristine side, you can also rub out quite a few of the markings the journal will likely pick up). Each book comes with plenty of pages—120 sheets or 240 pages if you’re using both sides—and they won’t bleed through thanks to the hearty paper weight. If you’d like a notebook that has a little more spatial room, there’s an 8 x 6-inch model available—or, should you be gifting this to a lucky traveler, the notebooks also come with the option of being purchased in a gift set with box and pen.

Page Count: 120 | Page Format: Unlined

Best for Long Trips: You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal

You Are Here: A Mindful Travel Journal
What We Like
  • Guided writing prompts

  • Focus on mindfulness

What We Don't Like
  • Non-durable cover and design

Amazing as they are, a weeks- or months-long trip can sometimes wear a traveler down: It’s the constant logistics-planning, looking-ahead, always-on-the-move nature of it that can cuz more fatigue than relaxation. This notebook helps you break away from logistics mode and take a look at just how incredible the journey is in the moment. The pages, along with plenty of space for writing, offer different mindfulness techniques to “zoom out” and focus on the experiences you’re having, encouraging you to stop and smell the roses (after all, that’s part of the fun of travel). We love the variety of prompts, too—some exercises are silly, some are a bit more reflective; some involve drawing, others involve writing a few sentences.

Page Count: 190 | Page Format: Lined

Best Refillable: Maleden Refillable Spiral Travel Journal

Maleden Refillable Spiral Travel Journal
What We Like
  • Refillable

  • Beautiful rustic design

What We Don't Like
  • Large logo engraving on the cover

This all-purpose notebook is an elegant and practical tool for any traveler to capture memories in. Travelers who often swear by Maleden's notebooks often praise the quality of this book, particularly for the price. It’s made from 100 percent leather that holds up functionally through the rigors of travel and, aesthetically, it ages beautifully along the way. Should you manage to get through the included pages, it also comes with binder rings so you can easily swap out pages and keep on writing.

Page Count: 80 | Page Format: Unlined

Best for Travel Inspiration: Travel Listography: Exploring the World in Lists

Travel Listography
What We Like
  • Refreshing take on travel journaling

  • Guided prompts

What We Don't Like
  • Not super durable

The travel take on the well-beloved Listography series of journals, this handy tool is a great way to get inspired for future trips when you’re back at home with time to contemplate and daydream. It’s a quick and easy way to reflect on where you’ve been and what you’ve done while figuring out what your next destination might be. There are more than 70 lists in this journal, from world cuisines to try to animals you’ve spotted in the wild.

Aspiring travelers love that the book helps awaken their sense of adventure and gets them dreaming, while hardcore travelers love jotting their experiences down in it as a type of minimal-effort time capsule. Couples and travel buddies love this as a date-night activity or way to get ideas for forthcoming adventures. On a practical note, we like that the pages lay flat so two can easily pore over them.

Page Count: 160 | Page Format: Lined

Best for Kids: Kids' Travel Journal

Kids' Travel Journal
What We Like
  • Guided prompts

  • Back cover pocket for mementos

What We Don't Like
  • Not refillable

There’s no better way to get kids writing than, well, to get them writing—and that’s precisely what this clever travel journal, filled with colorful illustrations and playful prompts, does. It makes a great tool to take along on summer vacations, especially when kids are out of school and maybe not getting the daily writing practice they otherwise would have.

With this travel journal, kids can help plan the trip and take charge of their packing list—and once on the trip, they can do fun exercises, like rating each day, gluing in ticket stubs and photos, and sketching things they saw along the way. It’s also great for keeping little ones entertained, thanks to the puzzles and games scattered throughout the book, foreign language phrases, and some cool maps. The elastic band, the book cover will stay closed when it’s not in use, which helps ensure pages won’t get too banged up.

Page Count: 96 | Page Format: Lined

Best for Women: Everywoman’s Travel Journal

Everywoman’s Travel Journal
What We Like
  • Travel tips included

  • Built-in pocket

What We Don't Like
  • Not refillable

We weren’t necessarily convinced that there needed to be gendered travel journals until we saw this. The Everywoman’s Travel Journal has both lined and blank pages for writing and drawing, but it doesn’t stop there: There’s also great information tucked in about security, dress, and even naturally based fixes for some of the more common ailments adventurous travelers run into.

The book has all the travel advice you want in one place. There are tips about how to pack and shop, as well as insights on manners in different countries and ways to help numb the effects of jet lag. It features a great pocket inside that will hold everything from important documents to receipts and postcards. Although the orange color can be divisive, we love the fact that we can easily spot it in our tote bag or purse while on the go.

Page Count: 160 | Page Format: Lined and blank

Best Moleskin: Moleskine City Notebook

Moleskine City Notebook
What We Like
  • Maps included

  • Great quality

What We Don't Like
  • Not refillable

Moleskin’s City Notebook series of journals is great for the traveler who can’t bear to leave their everyday Moleskine at home but want to keep their travel reflections separate. With cities like London, Istanbul, Prague, Madrid, and San Francisco, there’s a version available for plenty of major travel destinations. Inside the notebook, you’ll find plenty of ways to organize your trip, both while you’re in the planning stages as well as on the ground.

The pages (76 of which are blank for journaling) include large-scale maps of the city along with a street index, a map of the city’s metro system, and 12 translucent, repositionable sticky page overlay sheets so you can keep track of your routes. We also like the archive that lets you organize where you’ve stayed, eaten, shopped, and visited, so you always have the information on hand when your conversation turns to “that one really good restaurant in Bloomsbury.”

Page Count: 220 | Page Format: Lined

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, opt for the Voyager Refillable Notebook (view at Amazon), which comes with a variety of page formats to try out. For something you can toss in your bag that won’t take up a ton of room, check out the design-forward Colorblock Travel Journal (view at Poketo)—it’s small enough to cover one trip extensively and inexpensive enough to buy one for each trip.

What to Look For When Buying a Travel Journal

Type

There are all kinds of travel journals out there, so it’s best to know what you want to use it for. More recently, travel journals featuring writing prompts have been popping up—everything from list-making journals to mindfulness journals for recording memories during your trip. Once you figure out if you want guided or unguided writing space, think about if you plan to use the journal repeatedly. If so, opt for a design that allows refillable page inserts.

Page Format

Generally, there are three types of page formats: lined, unlined, and dotted. Lined pages are great for traditional journaling. Unlined page formats are good if you find yourself doodling often. Dotted formats allow for a mix of both writing and drawing. 

Size

You can find travel journals of all sizes, so it’s hard to define “standard.” Most travel journals are slightly smaller than the notebooks you’d take notes in for school. Consider how much room you have in the bag you’ll be carrying day-to-day on your trip. Not a lot of space to sacrifice? Go for something slight and slim. More concerned about having enough writing space? Go all out with a larger format design.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Erika Owen is an avid traveler and writer based in Brooklyn. She prefers to use the Colorblock Travel Journal from Poketo and purchases one for each upcoming trip, creating a library of travel memories.

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