As my family prepares for a summer of, slightly, intense travel, I have travel journals on my mind.
Due to space and financial limitations, I’m going to attempt to keep it as easy as possible. I’m also attempting to provide my kids, who are now 5 and 7, with the most creative expression opportunities that I can.
So, what’s in their summer travel journal kit?
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Summer Travel Journal Kit Contents for kids
I. Traveler’s Notebook
The book. In the past, I’ve used dollar store journals, composition notebooks, and duo tang folders. This year I got them the same thing I got myself, a traveler’s notebook. I decided to go with a faux-leather holder with two blank books and a double pocket inside. If my budget was higher, or my kids older, I would have bought the popular Midori brand pictured below:
Instead, I went with the Michael’s brand that was only a fraction of the price (and even less since it was on sale). The quality of mine is still decent, but I think the kids will love it. And since I had to get three of everything, it just made sense.
II. Travel Journal Prompts
The notebooks are promptless and empty. I’m going to encourage them to do what they want as I have in the past, but I’m also going to provide some fun prompts using something they’ve used in the past – the A-Z Travel Journal Prompts I offer as a free download on this site. Instead of the full 26-page download, though, I’m going to print out the one sheet I created with all the prompts. That’s keeping it much easier.
I also have a pdf I made for an older website that has more detailed questions. Into my travel kit it’ll go.
And another new thing for this year, scrapbooking supplies. Ali Edwards is a scrapbooker I’ve followed for years. I’ve done her December Daily album since 2009, her Week in the Life album since 2016, and was so excited to see her launch a travel collection. Her items sell fast. Many are already sold out, but you can get an idea of what she does her in her post. Since I have a specific and established way I like to collect my travel memories, I just picked her products that worked best for our needs. This was a combination of stickers and icon stamps.
(Side note: If memory keeping trips is new to you, you may want to check out some of the classes she is offering on her site. They’re listed at the post I linked earlier. I haven’t taken those classes, but if these classes are just a fraction of what some of the many other classes I’ve taken from her are like – you’ll be happy.)
III. Travel Journal Tools
I’m trying not to spend too much. I’ll be scouring our children’s craft rooms for colored pencils, airline-friendly scissors, a glue stick, and washi tape. My favorite color pencils are these by Staedler. I first used them when I was in the kid’s area of the Rijksmuseum years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since.
I also really love Staedler brand pens. My kids feel like they’re using something special when they use “mommy’s pens” and they really take care of them. Plus, they don’t roll when you set them down.
IV. Taking pictures
I like giving my kids the opportunity to take their own pictures to put in their own journals. (Side note: A picture of my son taking pictures, and a picture he took, during our travels is in the book Traveling in Europe with Kids.)
I got both the Fiji Instax and HP Sproket printers for Christmas. They’re small enough so that I can take both. I feel there are benefits to both of them that I can further explore when I’m on my trip.
The HP paper is cheaper, comes with a sticky back that makes it easy to add to pages. Instax has more of a small polaroid look, but comes in different types of frames other than just white. I’m happy to have both options.
IV. A Camera
My kids have had a kids camera before, they’re too bulky for the type of lean packing measures we have to take. They have and are bringing a kid’s kindle fire. I’m sure there’s a camera feature on it, but the memory size isn’t the best.
So, as I consider their camera I’ve come up with two options. Let them use my current or old phone sometimes, or get them a cheaper point and shoot. I currently have this camera in my cart. It’s not too expensive and has decent reviews. It’s also a Kodak, so while the reviews aren’t 5-star reviews, there’s some comfort in the brand as opposed to the similarly priced brandless.
Sample prices for items mentioned above:
I thought it would be fun to see how much this particular project would cost. So, below you’ll find prices for items based on what they were when I wrote this post. These prices can, and will, fluctuate. Keep in mind, I’ve only made two purchases specifically for this summer’s travel journal. The notebooks and the watercolors. The other items I already have. I don’t think I would spend this all for one trip, but purchase things through the year instead.
- Midori Brand Notebooks are usually around $20 for a case and notebooks.
- Travel Journal Prompts free download with NO sign-up.
- Writing Utensils
- The Fiji Instax (with some film) is around $170 – and – the HP Sproket is around $130 without film. Film, for both can run between 50 cents to $1 per print, depending on the deals you can buy and how many you purchase.
- The Kodak point and shoot camera is currently available under $70, but using cameras you already own (via tablet or phones) make it even easier… and I think this is what I’m going to do.
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