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Easy DIY Travel Journals for Kids

This past summer we’ve done a ton of traveling and made memories that I hope will last a lifetime! I wanted my kids to remember their travels, so I went looking for some travel journals.  I was quickly frustrated. All of the journals I found were either too specific (road trip theme, for example), too babyish, too grown up, or too cutesy. They just didn’t feel like my kids and they felt very one-time use only to me. I was looking for something that could be used as a journal of our travels, in general, and not just limited to a single trip.

So I headed to my local crafts store where I went looking for some scrapbooking supplies to make my own journal.  By the time I got done combining the (admittedly gorgeous) materials for their journals, I realized I’d be spending at least a couple hundred dollars on the four journals I wanted to throw together. While I loved some of the items available in the journaling section of the store, I just couldn’t afford to use them all.

So I decided to cobble together a custom solution. I purchased a few specialty journaling items (Smash had a great selection) and stickers at my local craft store. I combined these with leftover craft and scrapbook paper and cutouts that I already had around the house. I then headed to the nearest office supplies store for simple three-ring binders, filler paper, pouches, envelopes, and business card holders. I wanted to make it easy for my littler kids to write about specific things and to draw pictures, so I created my own simple journal pages that I then copied and three-hole punched. In all I managed to spend less than $35 for four custom journals and was quite pleased with how they came out.

Are you heading out of town for the holiday weekend? Want to make the most of your memories? Here’s some ideas and inspiration for easy DIY travel journals for kids that don’t cost a fortune and that will keep your kids busy as you travel now, and for many trips to come!

Photos Credit: Ciaran Blumenfeld

  • DIY Easy Travel Journals for Kids 1 of 14
    journalCollage1
  • Putting it Together & Mixing it Up 2 of 14
    IMG_9141

    We combined store bought elements, envelopes, blank paper, and printables in an inexpensive three-ring binder. One nice thing about the three-ring binders we selected are the pockets. We used them to store a lot of extra bits and pieces that we might want to glue inside. Because we used smaller size binders, we also purchased an adjustable three-hole punch for punching material we wanted to add to the journals. We punched two holes in shorter items.

  • The Itinerary 3 of 14
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    I placed a copy of our travel itinerary (laminated, because I have an addiction to laminating) in each journal so our kids could refer to it and see where we were going, and where we had been. It's also a nice memento after the trip!

  • Personalize with Stickers & Stuff 4 of 14
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    One of my splurges was travel stickers and decals on sale at the craft store, which I mixed in with stickers we already had on hand. I put these on the inside pockets of the binders, so that my kids could have fun decorating and personalizing their journals while we were on the road.

  • Pre-Fab Journal Stuff 5 of 14
    IMG_9116

    To mix it up, I used some booklets of pre-printed journal cards from Smash that I purchased at my local craft store. I split the booklets up amongst the four journals, and punched holes so that filled out cards could be added to the binder.

  • Blank Lined Pages 6 of 14
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    I included plenty of blank lined pages for storytelling and drawings. My son was so excited to start writing that he drew the plane before the trip even started. I filled in with my own handwriting, his notes/narrative about his drawing. 

  • Downloadable Stuff 7 of 14
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    I scoured the internet for free travel printables, to use in addition to pre printed materials, and added some of these to the pockets of the journal as well. Handy for those days when you don't want to write a ton, but still have something to say. These were great for my older kids.

  • Envelopes For Treasure! 8 of 14
    IMG_9120

    We included several envelopes with holes punched into our journals so that we could save treasures and bits we found along the way. Also useful for writing letters to one's future self! We pre- addressed some of these as a reminder to write to friends back home.

  • Prompts for Younger Kids 9 of 14
    IMG_9121

    These pages are not fancy - until they are filled with your kid's drawings and notes. I simply hand wrote (and photo copied) some pages that were easy for a kid to fill out, leaving space for a picture. I tried to ask the sort of questions my kids like to answer.

  • Don’t Forget Food! 10 of 14
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    One of the best parts of travel is finding new foods to try. My kids love to try new stuff so I included some pages to document this.

  • Break it Up 11 of 14
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    I divided section with scrapbook paper. This is really just to make it pretty, and help kids keep their place.

  • Biz Card Holders for Stuff 12 of 14
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    We used biz card holders to display currency, subway tickets, foreign candy wrappers and maps fragments that we collected along the way. It's the perfect size for stashing and displaying all sorts of stuff/

  • Holding it Together 13 of 14
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    We brought a pouch of pens,pencils, glue sticks, scissors and tape along with us, but this handy elastic band from Smash with slots for pencils/pens really kept the journal together and kept the pencils right where we needed them, when we needed them

  • On The Plane 14 of 14
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    My son loved writing about what he thought the plane ride would be like and used the envelope to store a souvenir puzzle that he got on the flight.

 

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