Even though we all travel with laptops or tablets, there is something therapeutic about pouring out your hopes, dreams, frustrations, and irritations onto a page of paper. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer or an artist, keeping a travel journal is an amazing way to connect with your journey in a way that photographs alone can’t always capture. Make lists of all the flavors of gelato you try, glue train ticket stubs onto the pages, and draw funny caricatures while you’re waiting in airports. Whether you want classic leather or a tiny pocket notebook, these 20 stylish and tough journals would be perfect for any adventure.
1. BrotherWorks Handbound Leather Journal ($29): With 240 pages, this handmade leather journal will last you for any extended travels you have (or don’t have) planned.
2. Field Notes ($13, pack of three): These cuties are the perfect size for sticking in your back pocket and are just what you need with you as you wander the streets. Plus, they have real cherry wood covers.
3. Rifle Paper Passport / Bon Voyage Passport Notebooks ($10): Even if you’re only taking a carry-on, you can tuck these pretty little notebooks into your bag.
4. Urban Outfitters Work/Play Notebook Set ($12): Talk about some serious motivation. These journals are practically begging to go on an adventure (well, at least the “Play” one is).
5. Smythson Travels and Experiences Notebook ($75): This one’s a little on the pricey side, but the gilt-edged pages will add an air of luxury to your written tales.
6. Minted Mountain Views Notebook ($16): Get inspired to explore the great outdoors with this journal featuring painted mountains. You can also customize the pages and binding, and add your name to the front.
7. Papersource Watercolor Happy Journal ($13): Elegant and sophisticated with gilded pages and a satin ribbon marker so you never lose your place, this journal is happy about everything… except maybe that layover.
8. Sukie Coastal Travel Journal ($17): This soft-covered retro journal will help you jot down your travel discoveries and doodle along the way. It also has pockets for you to tuck in your plane or train tickets.
9. ban.do Hold That Thought Notebook Set ($14): This set of notebooks is to remind you that when you’re traveling, everything is roses and rainbows and there are no bad days.
10. Rifle Paper Bon Voyage Journal ($15): This travel-sized journal has a soft linen cover, an illustrated map of the world, and gorgeous pages printed with metallic lines and accents.
11. Uncommon Goods Scratch Travel Journal ($25): The best part of this travel journal and planner is that it comes with scratch maps of every continent. Just scratch off the countries you’ve visited as a fun way to document your globetrotting.
12. Rite in the Rain All-Weather Notebook ($9): Available in a variety of colors, this sturdy notebook, along with its waterproof cover and weather-proof pages, will tough it out right alongside you and your adventures.
13. I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded by Kate Pocrass ($17): Not sure how to keep a travel journal? This colorfully illustrated journal prompts you to record every fabulous discovery and offers a place to write down itineraries and important addresses, and includes a reference section full of helpful bits you might need while navigating the great unknown.
14. Moleskin Voyageur ($23): You can never go wrong with a sturdy Moleskin notebook. This portable-sized one is designed to keep all your maps and itineraries neatly organized, and to give you lots of space to write notes. There is also a map to fill out and a sheet of stickers. Who doesn’t love stickers?
15. crackeddesigns Journey Journal ($18): Embroider your way across the map with this hands-on journal. You can place the round fasteners on your destinations and then make a string map of your travel plans.
16. Minted Pineapple Pattern Notebook ($16): If you’re constantly dreaming of a tropical vacation, grab this pineapple-themed notebook and start planning where you’re going to soak up some sun, stat.
17. Uncommon Goods Traveler’s Agenda ($38): This little black book has a vegan leather cover and is the ideal travel companion. It allows you to plan multiple trips, track wishlists and checklists, and record your daily travelogues.
18. Atlas Art Travel Notebook ($9): These vintage-inspired notebooks are handbound with covers made of school atlas pages. They come in a variety of country-themed covers and include vintage landmark illustrations on the 32 interior pages.
19. Moleskine Passion Journal ($23): For the organized traveler, this journal has you covered with different tabbed sections (including areas to plan long and short trips), calendars, checklists, and adhesive labels.
20. Travel Listography by Lisa Nola ($17): If you’re more of a list person than a journal person, this book will help you capture memories in a succinct way. Topics and lists include “countries I’ve visited/hope to visit” and “animals I’ve seen/hope to see in the wild.”
Have you kept a diary while traveling? Tell us how it may or may not have enhanced your travel experience @BritandCo.
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(Additional reporting by Lesley Chen)