The best travel journals allow you to plan, document, and remember the international jaunts and road trips that change your life. A journal should prompt you to be both creative and memorable, be that with interactive activities or a blank page calling. Matador’s editors tested and selected the top travel journals on the market. These are the winners, broken down by category. Each allows you to record your adventures, with options for those who like prompts, the kiddos, and even the traveler who prefers to document their travels through watercolor.

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The best kids travel journal

The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids: Awesome Activities for Your Adventures

ultimate travel journal for kids best travel journals

Photo: Rob Taylor

“The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids” is the ideal companion to the book below, and also works on its own should you be traveling abroad. This book is meant to get your kids thinking and writing. There’s enough space to journal about four separate trips. The author, Rob Taylor, co-founded the popular blog 2 Travel Dads, and in this book he includes fill-in-the-blank puzzles and other games to help kids learn and process their knowledge, with the overall goal of learning how to grow from travel and bring that skillset into daily life.

Price: $8.99

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The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!

Taking kids on road trips is kind of like taking that final trip to the buffet table: it seems like such a great idea at first, but if you don’t plan ahead and practice self-control, it’s going to end in regret. The “50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!” kids travel journal acts as the planning and the self-control all in one. It keeps kids occupied in the car as you traverse America’s highways. And it gives them something to talk about and look forward to at each stop along the way. Your kiddos can circle the things they want to see and you can discuss them to pass the time on the road.

Price: $17.79

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Best leather travel journal

Wanderings Refillable Travel Journal

wanderings refillable travel journal best travel journals

Photo: Wanderings

Wanderings Refillable Travel Journal is the best leather travel journal due to its versatility and longevity. Its pages are refillable, so you can buy the journal once and keep it with you for life. And, in a nod to zero-waste ethics, its pages are optimized for fountain pens. It’s lined with naturally tanned leather and filled with blank inserts. The journal buckles for safekeeping and its page marker makes it easy to open to where you left off. Simply put, there is not a better leather travel journal on the market for the traveler who simply likes to capture their thoughts, sketches, or poetry while on the road.

Price: $22.99

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Best travel journal with prompts

Promptly Journals Compact Travel Journal

promptly travel journal best travel journals

Photo: Promptly

Promptly is the go-to for journals that beg you to write. Their Compact Travel Journal lives up to its reputation with actionable writing prompts that cover the spectrum of travel — from dreaming and planning to doing, and with plenty of nudges for remembrance, as well. The journal is comprised of five sections including photo placeholders and a world map to track where you’ve been and where you’re going next. For the all-encompassing journaling experience, this is the best travel journal available.

Price: $22

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Best 50 states travel journal

Travel 50 States Journal

The Travel 50 States Journal is fit for new and experienced US travelers alike. Divided into sections by state, you can scribe your thoughts on each, and note activities you did in order to determine your favorites. The journal also includes a national park checklist, prompts to create your ultimate travel bucket list, and more fun activities to keep you stoked during those long highway stretches. You can also incorporate life hacking strategies using the financial planner, note your favorite hikes and outdoor activities across the country, and note trip planning logistics on specified lined pages.

Price: $12.99

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Best travel journal scrapbook

Wanderings Leather Watercooler Scrapbook Journal

wanderings leather watercolor scrapbook journal best travel journals

Photo: Wanderings

For the traveling artist, this is the best travel journal scrapbook to record your thoughts and notes along with drawings and free-form creations. The pages are handmade of Deckle Edged paper, a creativity prompt in itself. Its oversized format makes it the perfect addition to your coffee table or to keep in the van or RV while out on road-bound adventures. It can also be used as a general sketchbook, for those mornings when you wake up in the mountains and open the door to a truly majestic view.

Price: $59

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Best mindful travel journal

The Transformative Travel Journal from the Transformative Travel Council

Mindful travel is the future — and no travel journal better helps you capture this journey than the Transformative Travel Journal. Stay in the moment on the road with interactive prompts designed to promote mindfulness and long-term planning. You’ll practice intentionality in your trip planning, execution, and post-trip recaps. Overall, the journal is designed to help you take the best aspects of travel and incorporate them into your daily life even at home. Harness your best inner-self.

Price: $29

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Best travel journal for international travel

WANDRD Travel Journal

wandrd travel journal best travel journals

Photo: WANDRD

Adventure gear company WANDRD did something incredible with their travel journal — they brought together all aspects of trip planning including packing lists, transportation tracking, daily itinerary planning, and more to create the most all-encompassing travel journal available. It’s the best travel journal for international travel because its broken into sections based on trip length. More prompts and pages are provided for longer trips, and there’s room for many shorter and weekender trips as well. Keep track of contacts met on the road, your favorite meals and moments, and those pesky confirmation numbers that always seem to slip between the cracks.

Price: $35

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