Carnet de Voyage: top 5 travel journals

by Tanja

Travel journals, pocket-size companions of explorers and adventurers back in the day, when journeys where lasting days on board ships and trains. When drawings were the only way to document new worlds. On the pages of these travel journals were told stories of new lands, notes, sketches and the memories of the first explorers, of the pioneers of adventure.

Over the centuries, the carnet de voyage has kept its charm. Synonym of culture, travel, memory, imagination and personal identity. An object that accompanies us everywhere and is able to define us at any latitude of the world.

Before leaving for a new adventure – yes, in a few days we will be in Indonesia – we wish you a good summer with a selection of our favourite travel journals! Read on to find out also how to write the perfect travel journal and the Instagram profiles that inspire us!


travel journals

Personalised Moleskine

Let’s start with our irreplaceable travel companion: the Moleskine notebook. Heir to the legendary notebook of artists and intellectuals such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, this diary has remained unchanged for over two centuries. A black rectangle with rounded corners, an elastic band and the inevitable inside pocket. To make your diary unique and unmistakable, you can visit the Moleskine website to personalize notebooks and diaries with a message, a quote or a name on the cover. For big city lovers there is the Notebook City, with detailed maps and transparent sheets stickers to cover each map with notes and infos on the places visited.

travel journals

Suck UK travel journal

But there are many other practical and unmissable journals. Like the Suck UK travel journal, with pre-set pages to annotate places, flights and memories. Perfect for storing photos, airline tickets, postcards and other souvenirs. For those looking for a more traditional look, there’s the Belcraft Tivoli travel Journal. A Made in Italy diary, handmade with recycled leather by Tuscan artisans.

For exceptionally long journeys you can rely on the Legami notebook. Also available in the daily 16-month version and in the 18-month weekly version. What if you could create a personalized digital travel journal with stories, photos and maps? Travel Diaries App makes it possible with very few clicks.

travel journals

Travel Diaries App

Travel journals are also a great gift idea for adventurers and globetrotters! Are you looking for perfect gifts for travellers? Here are 10 ideas for every budget!


Want to record the thrills and discoveries of your adventures? Here’s how to write an evocative and captivating travel diary.
First step, think about what you’ll want to remember from the trip: hilarious moments, your itinerary or maybe a few people you meet along the road. What to include in your travel diary to remember these moments? You can add your route plotted on a map, photos with friends, lists of ‘top moments’ from your trip, best sunset, view, restaurant…
Use ALL your senses. Write about the sounds, smells, tastes and textures of your trip.
Illustrate your experiences. Drawing a mountain, termite mound or a street food vendor will help to etch them in your memory. If you’re not artistic, how about bringing your camera gear to the next level and learning how to get the best results from your camera?
Scrap your diary. Stick in flight tickets, stickers, polaroids (my new addiction is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90). Take note of miles covered, glass’ of wine drunk, funny road signs, unknown animals spotted or other wired facts. What about summarising each day with one sentence? During our trip to Australia we identified the most exciting moment of each day of the journey and we listed them in a page that we named Our Daily Adventure.

To illustrate my travel diaries I use the pocket-sized kit of watercolours Cotman by Winsor&Newton and the Fabriano scratchpad for watercolours, cold press, 18×24 cm.

travel journals
Looking for suggestion to illustrate the perfect travel journal?
Here are a few instagram profiles we fell in love with:

Alicia Aradilla is a Spanish artist who illustrates the world with her watercolours.
On her website you can buy some of her original drawings.

With her drawings, Australian chef Anna Barnes tells about the food she tastes around the world.
The images she creates are small masterpieces.

Alena Kudriashova
, architect. From Russia she moved to Singapore.
She always carries a diary with her and on its pages she portrays places and experiences lived in far away countries.

Я рисую быстрее, чем пишу посты. Теперь и на ходу! 😄 Возьмите меня кто-нибудь в свое путешествие тревел скетчером 😛 За билеты и еду 😆 На развороте – всё еще 3 Апреля. С каждым путешествием рисовать получается все быстрее и лучше. И больше. Вот, даже фотографировать не успевала, в тексты вообще дома дописываю 🙈 Кстати, чтобы проследить за моей поездкой в Японию и ничего не пропустить, можно подписаться на хэштэг #mysquiggles_japan! … 🇬🇧I seriously need to adjust my drawing speed with my posting speed. Although it wouldn’t be right to make 7 posts a day 😆 Still posting pages from April the 3rd! Kiyomizu temple area in Kyoto. Btw, the way not to miss any of my Japan sketches and stories, follow the hashtag #mysquiggles_japan! … #uskjapan @uskjapan … #travelbook #travelsketch #travelsketchbook #sketchbookpage #sketchbook #archsketch #traveljournal #traveldiary #artbook #inspiration #sketching #sketchart #urbansketchers #sketchwalker #watercolor #watercolorsketch #watercolorsketchbook #citysketch #sketchguru #instaartist #sketchaday #урбанскетч #скетчбук #городскиезарисовки #скетчакварелью #тревелбук #артбук

A post shared by Alena Kudriashova, sketcher (@mysquiggles) on

How do you customize your travel journals?
Drop a comment below!


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