Travel journals are a great way to encourage narrations while traveling. A DIY travel journal can be a keepsake to enjoy for years to come. We enjoy looking back through ours and reliving the memories.
I do not pack travel journals for every trip, but often take one journal for each person. Yes, I pack one for my husband and myself. You could purchase a travel journal or you could make your own. Here are instructions for making a simple DIY travel journal, including a video tutorial. Be sure to scroll down for suggestions of what to record in your journal.
How to Make a DIY Travel Journal
- Printer paper (20 lb)
- Card stock paper (65 lb, I prefer colored since this will be for the cover of the book)
Depending on what you have available, you have three different binding options. Supplies needed for each method are listed below. The video demonstrates each one.
- Binding with Brads—Plain brads found in an office supply store or decorative brads from a craft store
- Stitched Binding—Crochet string or ribbon, awl or sharp object for punching a small hole, darning needle (optional)
- Stapled Binding—Long reach stapler
- Gather five to ten pieces of printer paper. Ten pieces are usually plenty for even a two-week trip. Play around with the number of pages until you find a thickness you like. Remember that ten pieces of paper will result in four times as many pages on which to write or draw.
- Fold the paper in half with a hamburger fold and crease. I find it is helpful to fold a few pieces at a time to get a good crease if you use more than five pages.
- Choose a piece of colored card stock paper. Fold it in half with a hamburger fold.
- Place the piece of card stock on the outside of the printer paper.
- Bind using your choice of binding technique.
If you have access to a long reach stapler, you could staple the centerfold of the book. This is the simplest method and allows the book to open flat.
Binding with Brads
This method does not allow the book to open completely, but works well and is easy. Plus, there are so many pretty brads available.
- Punch two holes along the fold of the booklet. You may need to punch a few pieces of paper at a time depending on your hole punch.
- Insert brads and secure on the back of the booklet.
The book will open flat with this method as well.
- Using the awl, punch two small holes through all of the pages along the center fold of the book. Be sure the edges of the book are aligned before you punch. The holes should be about 1″ from the edges of the book. You could also punch multiple holes along the center fold and stitch them. (See the video for a demonstration.)
- Cut a length of string or ribbon.
- Run the string through both holes, leaving the tail of the string on the outside of the book.
- Tie the string in a knot and/or pretty bow.
Watch the Video Tutorial
What to Record in a DIY Travel Journal
You can use a travel journal in a variety of ways. I usually require my children ages six and older to make one entry per day in their journal. (I encourage my children under the age of 6 to participate, but do not require it.)
Younger ones (usually under the age of 9 or 10) can draw a picture of something they saw or experienced that day and dictate a sentence or two for me to write in their journal. Then, I write the date or help them write the date on the page.
Older students who prepare written narrations at home can do a combination of drawn and written entries.
Suggestions to help them get started with an entry include:
- What you did today.
- What you saw.
- What you ate.
- What you liked or disliked.
- States or cities through which you traveled today.
- Paste a map of your travels
- Draw a picture of what you saw today.
Would you like more ideas for narrations while traveling?
Twenty narration ideas just for traveling are included in the narration jar. In addition to ideas for traveling, there are 115 more narration ideas sorted by subject, age level, and time required to complete. Suggestions apply to most subjects and include suggestions specifically for math, science and nature, composer study, and picture study.
This post has been linked to Hands-on Homeschool Ideas Ultimate List.