Whether you decide to print your own travel journal template, do a DIY journal, or purchase a premade journal with prompts – to keep kids engaged, you have to keep it fun. This is where the supplies come in. Fun supplies mean that kids will want to journal. And journaling is too important to ignore. So, let’s take a look at the essential supplies for kid’s travel journals.
Links may be affiliates, but thoughts about these products are all my own.
Best supplies for printing travel journals
Because I offer so many free travel journal templates, let’s discuss printing. The paper quality is more important than anything else. Here’s why:
Why you should use quality paper for printing travel journals for kids
They’ll get messy
Unless the trip is really short, these journals will get messy. Ideally, they’ll be used during the journey (on the plane, bus, train, or car), in downtime (waiting to eat at restaurants), and in small corners of available space at hotels.
They need to hold a lot
They’ll be drawn all over and little pieces of the trip via brochures, business cards, and other items will be glued to their pages.
They might need to last a long time
They’re also meant to be keepsakes or souvenirs. Putting them on good, archival-quality paper helps guarantee they’ll last until… well, a really long time.
They help make kids feel like it’s important
Quality-paper just feels right. And kids pick up on that too.
I love the Epson Presentation Quality Matte paper. On my Epson printer, it can print to the edges and has vivid colors. There’s a heavier version which is good if you know you’re kids will be gluing a lot of things into their journals or if they want to decorate it with paint. Otherwise, the lighter one works fine. (BUY THE HEAVY OPTION OR LIGHT OPTION ON AMAZON.
For most of my travel journal printables, I try to limit the amount of color I use to save printer ink. But kids may still want color. So, using colorful cardstock is a good compromise. Maybe not all of the time (sometimes the fun is them adding the color themselves) but a nice pop every once in a while.
Once printed, just use a three-hole-punch and put it in a binder or folder.
Best pens for travel journaling
Like quality paper, quality writing utensils go a long way. I once kept my kids quiet and occupied during a Kentucky distillery tour and I attribute their fabulous behavior to the fabulous pens I provided for them.
The second most important aspect of good journaling pens, for kids, is the ability for it not to roll. We don’t need these writing utensils to be rolling off airplane trays never to be seen again.
With that in mind, here are my top recommendations.
Triplus Fineliner is my absolute favorite for kids because it’s also what I use for myself. When I got some of these for my kids on our trip, they knew they were special. The holder also acts as a stand. That said, younger kids may not treat them well for the duration of a trip and if that’s your kid, triangle crayons are antiroll (though not recommended for trips to warmer climates) and Crayola Twistables are always fun.
For kids who might do more writing than drawing, a nice sharpie is my go to. And it’s also why we need thicker paper.
Getting Crafty with Travel Journals
The part that separates amateur travel journals with, well, more fun travel journals is the level of craftiness involved. To me, that means the ones that collect all the paper goods from the trip are my favorite. Airline tickets, museum stickers, brochures, business cards, notes on hotel stationery. You name it, you can collect it.
While an envelope works just fine, I like to attach them right into the book to give it a bit of bulk. Creating a little travel kit that includes good adhesive (glue stick, washi tape, photo tape) and airplane-friendly scissors will make sure everything fits and sticks.
A portable photo printer is the perfect last touch to make the travel journal a keepsake. This allows the kids to put themselves, and their favorite pictures, in the album, in the moment. No need to find a place to print photos, or wait to get home – do it all now. So worth it.
What essentials would you add to your travel journal kit? Let me know in the comments.