Free tutorial: how to prepare a travel journal before you go

When I am traveling, there is never enough time to make entries in my travel journal.  I want to do at least a bullet journal of what I did that day, tape in some receipts, and stash any brochures in my journal.  I find I cannot remember specifics even with the photos of the events.  Where did we eat, how much did it cost for that museum, and how did we get there?  These are some of the questions I will want to remember and to share with my family and friends when I return home.  The way I have learned to take care of this is to prepare my travel journals before I leave home.  I thought I would share how I do that with you my dear blog readers.

I buy a large blank page notebook whenever I can find them on sale.  I found these at Walmart for only $2 each (a stunningly low price) and purchased 3 of journal 10Since the paper is kind of thin, I glue 2-3 pages together to make a strong base to paint and to eventually staple and glue the memorabilia from the journal 11Then I make the cover using mixed media products, stencils and journal 1Now I am ready to start painting or using watercolor pencils to prepare the blank pages to write my journaling, and to attach other items I want to save from the trip. I normally add stickers and colorful borders to the pages as I prepare them.  I sometimes draw light pencil lines since that keeps my writing easier to read journal 2

travel journal 4

travel journal 7I will add some envelopes and glue two pages together to make a large envelope to stash larger items.  Recent feedback from one of my travel journal customers, add more envelops to store journal 8Finally, I will put together a traveling art kit that includes; pens, water coloring pencils,  a ruler, tape, double sided tape, a paint brush, a stapler with staples, a big glue stick, liquid glue, and a small pair of scissors. [Use short, blunt scissors and omit anything liquid if you plan to put the kit into your carry-on.]journal supplies

Now I am ready to quickly journal by either writing out a narrative or using bullet points to summarize my day. Here is a bullet journal sample from a day that we spent in Paris last year.

  • went to the Louvre  (got there early and there was not much of a line)
  • saw the Mona Lisa, so many people around it, hard to get close
  • went to dinner at small outdoor cafe at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (romantic)
  • back to the apartment by the metro

I also will purchase postcards, cut up the photos  and add them to the pages.  I also leave some blank pages to add my photos when I get home and have them printed.

I hope this tutorial helps you prepare for your next travel adventure and makes it easier and quicker to write down some precious memories from these fleeting moments in your life.  If you use this idea and have any comments about your travel journals, please let me know.



Free tutorial; How to prepare a travel journal

One thing that I do now since going to Europe the last 2 years is to prepare my travel journal before I go.2017 travel journal2017 travel journal 1 I keep tickets, train stubs, receipts and other ephemera as we travel and there is not time to make special pages to keep this loose stuff.  2017 travel journal 4So I put in pretty envelops in my journal at home.   I also paint and add decorative paper to my journal pages as it is difficult to find the time and carry all the supplies to do that on the road.2017 travel journal 3  I make pages with fold outs to put secret or just private thoughts into.  2017 travel journal 6 I also stamp and color pages like this. 2017 travel journal 2 or this2017 travel journal 7  I take along a zip lock plastic bag with scissors, double sided tape, tape, color pencils ( water color ones), colored pens,  a small spray bottle, glue sticks and a small stapler.  Now I am ready to add papers and pages as I go along.  Hope this helps you prepare for your next big trip or even a little one.

Free tutorial making clear packing tape image transfers in your travel journal or smash book

So we are here in Europe for an extended period with very little luggage and just a few art supplies beside my smash book / travel journal that I brought from home.  We have been touring so there is not a lot of time to play with art journal techniques.  I have had to be inventive and use very basic techniques and supplies to make my travel journal interesting and quick.

Here is my clear packing tape image transfers using free antique images .  I found this old paperback book in Florence that a book seller had left in a box on the sidewalk for free.  There were some antique images in it and I thought the images  would work in the smash book.  I bought some $1 clear packing tape at the 1 euro store ( yes, they had several 1 euro stores in Florence but none here in Lucca)  and went to work in my apartment’s kitchen sink.image transfer tape small 1  I pressed down the tape to the images with a rolling pin that happened to be in the kitchen and put these babies into some warm water to soak in the sink. image transfer small 2  Turned them over and carefully rubbed the paper away from the back side of the tape and dried it off.  Then I used them in my travel journal in an appropriate place for the image.image transfer  3 small As you can see it gives another dimension to the travel smash book / journal and it took less than 30 minutes to make 4 of them.

I am experimenting with other papers and have discovered that you can do an image transfer with this lovely Florentine paper.  The paper on the side of this photograph.Smash book  tutorial travel postcards small I will do a quick tutorial about that in the upcoming days.  It is amazing how inventive you can get when you do not have all of your supplies and cannot even find them in the stores.  I really miss my distress inks.  Hope this helps.  If you have any questions or comments about your own travel journal ideas please leave a comment below.  Happy travels

Tutorial quick & easy ; How to make a travel smash book or journal on the road

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a travel smash book or travel journal .  It is important for me to keep my tickets and memorabilia ( plus I like to keep the prices of things like food and tours for future reference) from a trip because all the days sometime melt into each other and I cannot remember. Later, David will ask “When did we do that?”  and I cannot recall.  In addition, when we are traveling like this, it is hard for me to find the time to record all of our activities everyday.  This is where a travel smash book comes in handy.

It’s a journal where you just tape or glue in receipts, tickets, itineraries and menus as you go.  Here are two photos; one of two pages already prepared at home and another of the cover of my smash book that is not decorated smashbook tutorial small 10travel smashbook tutorial small 6  This is not an art journal like I would make at home.  I only take a small amount of art items with me due to packing space. ( watercolor pencils, double stick tape, scissors, a small stapler, pencil, black sharpie pens, paint brushes, glue sticks, eraser and dry watercolor paints).   I prepare my journal before the trip by lining the pages with papers themed to where we are going and/or painting different backgrounds . Smash book  tutorial travel postcards 3 small

Then all I have to do is add the date to the page and a couple of comments. travel smashbook tutorial small 7travel smashbook tutorial small 9  Some times when I have larger brochures I glue some pages together and put the brochures inside.  travel smashbook tutorial small 11

I take lots of photos but I will not have time to get them printed until later so I leave space for them in the smash book.  Another trick that I use is to purchase postcards that have three photos on them in places we visit and cut them up and paste them into the book as I go along.  Here is a post card that I purchased and how I made a page from it.Smash book  tutorial travel postcards 2 smallSmash book  tutorial travel postcards smallThere is a pocket I made from some manuscript paper that I purchased here to put the tickets in to.

By the way, if you are short of packing space, you can acquire most art supplies here in Europe, and at reasonable prices. Here in Italy there are “99 cent only” stores, and a chain of Danish stores called Tiger. These last have lots of low-cost items ranging from spices to socks, including many office supplies and small craft materials.  Here in Florence, every museum and many other stores offer high-quality wrapping paper, two sheets for €2.50. They have Florentine motifs and are great for use in smash books. You can see a couple of sheets in the pictures above.

These are just a few suggestions.  If you have any other ones you would like to share , just leave a comment below.  Happy traveling and smash booking.