When we first started taking our kids out of school for a family trip, the school asked them to keep a travel journal while they were gone. They saw it as a way for the kids to do a little work while away from school and I think it is a great way for the kids to record their memories of their adventures. Plus, they get to share their journal with their classmates upon return. Win/Win! This idea of a travel journal is such a big hit in my family, that my older kids STILL do it, even though they are no longer required to do it for school.
You could just BUY a kid travel journal, but personally, I am not a fan of the “fill in the blank” type books. I think it limits kids creativity for writing. I mean, what if your kid’s best memory of the day was losing a shoe on a ride and then they had to hobble off the ride and try to find it, but couldn’t and then got a new pair of shoes? There isn’t a space or spot for that in the pre-printed journals. This is why I like to have the kids create their own.
Now, most of you know I am not crafty, so creating a travel journal has to be quick, easy, and fuss-free. And it totally is in 5 easy steps.
Creating a Kid Travel Journal
- Get a spiral notebook: Spiral, in my opinion is a must. It holds up better under kid-conditions than one that isn’t wire bound. I prefer the personal sized ones for a travel journal (like the ones we used to use as assignment notebooks back in school), but you can pick whatever you think is best. You can usually find some plain ones at the Dollar Store or you can get ones that have a little more flair via Target or Amazon.
- Help your child decorate the cover: You can use whatever you’d like. Sometimes we just use a little construction paper, write “Travel Journal” and secure it to the front of the book. The journal can be decorated however your child would like. Just make sure any glue is dried before packing!
- What to write: The travel journal possibilities are endless and are dependent on your child’s reading/writing abilities. Younger kids could just draw a picture of what they saw/did that day. If able, they could add a word or two. Help them write the date for each entry. Older kids can be a bit more detailed with their writing.
- Save room to add some photos: Totally optional, but my kids like to leave a place in their travel journal to insert a favorite photo from the day. They usually tack on one or two to each day’s entries. They also like to add favorites at the end of the travel journal (after the last entry). Sometimes add a few to the journal’s cover. We used to add these once we returned home. With the addition of the hpSprocket to our house, we can add them instantly! Right in our hotel room! Just make sure you bring extra photo paper!
- Carve out time each night during your trip for your kids to write in their travel journal: This is always somewhat of a challenge for us. We tend to really pack it all in each day. Planning to settle in a little earlier gives your kids time to reflect on their day and write. It is a great way to unwind before bed. It’s also a great opportunity for quality family time while you recount the day.
Enjoy the memories
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to create or use a travel journal. The point is for your kids to document their adventures–as they see them. The really awesome part of your kids keeping a travel journal is that in a few years, they will go back through them some random, rainy, Saturday. They will giggle and gasp and say “oh I remember that”. Those moments will be priceless. Family travel is all about those memories you make. Those memories they will carry with them forever!
Items I use for Kid’s Travel Journal
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