15 October 2014

Decorate your travel journal pages

When I started going on far-flung holidays, I had a great plan that I'd spend time each day doing a drawing in my travel journal. Unfortunately I always seemed to find myself either too busy or too tired to do this (sometimes it was all I could do to jot down the day's events before nodding off!). So my journal pages turned out looking a bit more boring and text-based than I'd intended.

Here are some ideas that I've used to make my journal pages more interesting, which don't impinge on my time having fun (or sleeping) when on holiday.

My travel journals are all Moleskine Japanese albums, which are a single long piece of paper folded into pages. This makes it more fun as my design can extend over the whole journal. And they have a useful pocket at the back where you can store all the little items you pick up along the way, from luggage labels to autumn leaves.

1. Stamping
This is a great idea if you've already written in your journal and want to spice the pages up a bit. Use a light-coloured or transparent ink if you're stamping over your handwriting, so that you don't obscure it. Here I've used pale pink and gold stamps over my writing, and also stamped some examples of the stamps that I bought on one of my trips to Japan.

2. Pre-drawn pages
This is one of my favourite ways of adding interest to my journals. I read about the country I'm going to, draw some relevant images through the journal, then when I go on holiday I write around the drawings. I used this technique on my trip to Peru and my second trip to Japan.

3. Local stamps
This is something that is particularly found in Japan, but other countries have them too at tourist attractions (I found one at Machu Picchu for example). The temples, shrines and other visitor attractions in Japan have a rubber stamp (and ink pad) so you can stamp in your journal to celebrate your visit.

4. Glued-in items
If you take a glue stick or tape runner with you on your trip, you can quickly and easily stick receipts, labels and other small items into your journal when you get back to your hotel room.

5. Leaving space
If you visit somewhere that you'd really like to draw but don't have time, how about taking a photo instead, leaving a space in your journal, and drawing it when you get home.

6. Quick sketches
Try drawing a very quick basic sketch in your journal, then you can perfect it (or add colour to it) when you get back home.

7. Coloured ink
To make your handwriting more interesting, use different colours of ink. Often I'll use a new colour when starting a new day's entry in the journal, as it makes it easy to see when one day ends and another begins.

I'd also suggest that if you're on a trip where you are doing lots of different things each day, take a little time during the day to jot things down in your journal rather than trying to remember it all when you get to your hotel!

Have a look at last month's post on how I decorate the outside of my travel journals!

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