The Travel Journal

Over the weekend my friend Sophie emailed me with a question regarding what to do with all the little things she collects on her travels – addresses, business cards, brochures of favorite places – that she holds onto and can share with friends who are headed to the same place. Currently she uses a binder with plastic sleeves, but figured there must be a better solution, but not sure she has the patience for scrapbooking. I thought I’d share a few ideas that have caught my eye, but I’d love to open it up to your thoughts!
1. I was majorly inspired by yesterday’s Boarding Pass with Jodi McKee. Her “mini-books” [top 2 images] that use simple binder rings let you make a book any shape or size, and you can even design your own cover. I love the possibilities of having a map fold out, and it’s also a great tangible way to showcase your pictures, which tend to live online these days (for me at least), and even postcards. Here’s a whole post about her mini-books, where she credits Elizabeth to turning her onto the idea.
2. For my birthday my friend Elena gave me this awesome new Moleskine Travel Journal/ Carnet Voyage (my friends know me well!). In fact it’s so new I could only find the press release on the Moleskine site at first, but you can buy your own here. It’s full of practical information, tabs, stickers and places for photos/clippings so you can customize it to be your own travel bible.
3. The next two ideas are from the Design*Sponge DIY archives. The photo above is a DIY Catalogue Project by Grace Light of Poetic Home, that she made as a handmade gift to share her love with her husband using a card catalog generator. While I’m all for love, I thought it could be a cute, old school way to keep your favorite addresses for wherever you live and for your travels. Similarly, the project below for a Vintage Postcard Calendar by Ashley is another clever way to use simple items for storage. I love the idea of using travel-related vintage postcards to divide up each location, and instead of being a calendar, you could keep your favorite recipes from each trip, along with maps and ticket stubs.
I plan on digging through the Boarding Pass archives soon to share more things that people are doing to record their travels, but I’d love to hear your ideas too!


  • Those are all great ideas. And I especially like the mini-books. I hand-bind books – accordion bound or quick and easy with a long-reach stapler – but even the stapled books aren’t as fast to make as the minis detailed here. Plus, big stapled books can get pretty hulkin’ bulky :D

  • This is a very nice post. For now I had to shove my precious scraps of papers, maps, and other travel related materials into a gift bag and with each passing day it seems the fate of those items is to be confined in that bag for an eternity. I especially like the idea of the making books.

    Another question, would you happen to have suggestions on albums for 3×5 pictures, something big that could hold them (but not a binder like album)…like a scrap book, but I can’t seem to find anything to satisfy my picky choice in the stores sadly. So yet again, my precious photos are in a shoe box :(

  • These are great ideas! I used to make scrapbooks, but they became too time consuming, so now I make virtual scrapbooks, and document things via my blog.

    It is nice to have something tangible though instead of relying solely on the virtual realm to keepsake your travel tips and memories!

  • Love this blog!

    I like the idea of mini-books! They live somewhere in between the labor-intensiveness of scrapbooks (which I used to do obsessively) and the ease of blogging (my current means of documenting trips, and life in general).

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