Travel Journaling with Almost No Supplies

Keeping a travel journal is a wonderful habit. I always pack some basic art supplies and my travel art journal when I go on vacation. But what if you are stuck without supplies or the chance to get them?

Travel journaling is the best. There are a few reasons I love it so much: It lets me keep up a creative habit while on vacation, whether the trip is short or long. It gives me something to do when there is time to kill during travels, for example on a train or ferry. Also, it’s a great way to create lasting memories! Sometimes I look through my old entries in my travel art journal. The memories that pop up are guaranteed to make me smile! Depending on how private your travel journaling is, it can also be a great way to share.

A traveling art journal, or travel scrap book, or a travel journal, can take many forms. But whether you doodle, collect ephemera, write out each day in detail or paint the landscapes you see from your hotel window: You’re going to need some basic supplies to create your travel journal.

Improvisation is Key

Originally, I was going to use this past week of vacation as an opportunity to create a packing list for the traveling art journaler. However, circumstances changed, and suddenly I found myself on that vacation with only a very small suitcase. It contained no art supplies save for a ballpoint pen  with different colours, clear tape, and two felt tip pens in purple and red. I’d been smart enough to grab the small sketchbook I’ve been using for short trips, but no additional “gear”.

Minimalist Travel Journal

As I had limited supplies, I created only very few pages this time. I did collect a few ephemera that came in very handy on the pages. I also ended up buying a plastic alphabet stencil in a one-euro store close to our apartment. It was definitely the best purchase I could have made for the travel journal!

Here are a few examples of what I created using what I had:




I’m definitely pretty happy with how these pages turned out – considering what I had to work with! For my next trip, though, I will definitely make sure I’m better prepared. Then you’ll also get that packing list, promise!

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  1. Good job on short notice! When I go on my trip, I’ll be taking some washi cards, my multicolor colleto, and clear scotch tape.

    • Clear scotch tape is so good to have with you! That’s definitely a staple in my travel supplies, too.

  2. Travel Journaling is something I would like to do but I never seem to make the time for it :(.
    Next time I’ll give it a try.

    • Definitely do! It can be as quick as just taping a few ticket stubs into a blank journal and just jotting down a quick note about who was there and what you did – or it can be a full blown artwork on every page. It’s your journal – your rules!

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