The Best Travel Journal Ideas and Prompts for Kids

You are here Home > Best Travel Tips > The Best Travel Journal Ideas and Prompts for Kids

Have fun and create a treasured keepsake with these travel journal ideas and prompts for kids. Lifelong travel memories await.

The best travel journal ideas for kids cover image

Why it’s Good for Kids to Have a Travel Journal

Crafting a travel journal offers more than just a pastime for kids (or a chance to grab five minutes for frazzled parents.)

It serves as a canvas for young minds to express their encounters, shaping their perceptions of the world beyond familiar boundaries.

And there’s plenty of research to say that keeping a journal, particularly when it comes to travel, is good for us (more about that later.)

I’ve loved watching my daughter as she records her travels her own way. From crayon scribbles in the beginning to detailed drawings, flower pressing and holding onto inked souvenirs as time marches on, it’s a joy to see the world through her eyes.

But you don’t have to keep a strict, rigid, day by day account to get the benefit.

Here are some great travel journal prompts for kids. A collection of ideas to get the ball rolling and make the most of your travel experiences.

And what about your own travel journal? Don’t forget to check out our travel journal examples for adults here.

Using stickers in a child travel journal
Let your child’s artistic side run free!

Why Travel Journals Are Good for Us All

Apparently, the act of journalling nurtures creativity, kindling a child’s imagination with every stroke of the pen or brush. It turns pages into a gallery of experiences, and it helps to strengthen memories.

But I have to be honest. She doesn’t seem to be a page at a time, chronological kind of girl – and I really get that. She captures moments, inspiration, fleeting feelings.

Her journal is more than just a booklet of holiday activities; it is her evolving perspective, a visual guide to the expanding horizons of her world.

Cheesy? Maybe. OK, definitely. But when all is said and done, some of our most meaningful moments in life come accompanied with a hefty slice of cheese.

Plus, not only do kids travel journals help them to appreciate the subtleties of different cultures and environments but they make for a great keepsake to revisit time and again.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may earn a small commission if you book or buy through this article. This doesn’t cost you anything and we only recommend the good stuff. Ta!

Nature collage in a kids travel journal
The best kids travel journal allows for a lot of flexibility…

Setting Up a Kid-Friendly Travel Journal

First things first, the chances are that your kids travel journal is not going to be instagram pretty. And even if it starts off that way, it won’t stay that way for long.

So, don’t stress too much about picking the perfect journal; just look for something that can withstand the rough and tumble of travel. I seek out sturdy, spill-resistant covers, ideally with elastic or a fastener to bind it shut and reduce the chance of things falling out.

It doesn’t seem to make much of a difference whether the paper has grid lines or is blank but the paper absolutely needs to be tough enough to withstand candid scribbles with both crayons and markers, the odd spilled drink and a splashing of rain.

Next, comes the selection of writing tools. Before each trip, I gather together a mix of colourful pens, pencils, and stickers. I also keep them a secret, eking them out at tricky points in the journey, like during long haul flights and long waits in restaurants.

How to Set Up a Travel Journal for Kids

So, to summarise…The key things to look for in a kids travel journal are:

  • A personal touch: Personalisation is always fun. If you’re organised, you can engrave your kids journal with a letter for their name. If you’ve left it too late then school labels, fancy pens or stickers will do. Seeing their own name stirs a sense of ownership (and staves off family squabbles when they each have their own travel diary. )
  • Practical components: A sturdy strap or elastic keeps the journal closed when tucked away, and a built-in pocket is handy for collected treasures—leaflets, tickets, and photos. Paper needs to be sturdy.
  • Size matters: Compact is crucial. You’re going to have to carry it around a lot in your day pack and have it always at hand to jot down moments of inspiration or to unveil during unexpected delays.
  • Remember accessories. Pack a soft, zippable pencil case for pens, pencils, washi tape and stickers.

Simply putting together a kids travel journal pack lets them know that their observations are worthwhile, that their memories matter.

Where to Buy a Kid Friendly Travel Journal Kit

The best thing to do is to get started. Here are some recommended travel journals and handy accessories:

List of dream foods in a child travel journal
Even lists of dream foods can be a great way to get started…

Travel Journal Prompts for Kids

So, how do we get started? Well, there’s a first time for everything.

The best way is to just leave the materials on the table and not say a single word. Encouragement is the death of child participation!

If, however, your child is keen but stuck on where to start, then you can try these prompts to get their creative juices flowing.

Direct Travel Journal Prompts for Kids

  • Encourage them to scribble a few words or to draw what captures their fancy.
  • Start with something simple: “I spy with my little eye something that looks like…”, turning the classic game into a visual diary entry.
  • Ask how many colours they saw today. Suggest the marketplace oranges, the blue of a cloudless sky, or the splattered greens of a mountain trail.
  • How about a weather log, complete with drawings of sun rays or raindrops?
  • Try pasting something from nature, along with a description. The skeleton of a fallen leaf, sealed besides a description of the towering tree it once belonged to.
  • Then there’s food. Can they draw the intricate patterns on a ceramic plate or the twisted shapes of unfamiliar pasta?
  • Challenge older kids to write a travel story
Travel journal menu from Estonia on an interactive activity scavenger hunt
Collect menus and ticket stubs to add to your child’s travel journal

Interactive Activities to Include in Kids Travel Journals

For the ultimate travel journal, try these additional ideas.

Kids adore scavenger hunts. Whether ambling through a cobblestone village or splashing through mud in a forest, you can easily set a scavenger hunt in advance by writing a list of things you think you may find. This can be obvious, like bottles in supermarket, or slightly more quirky, like an ancient tree with gnarly roots or a busker’s vibrant hat.

On city trips, a quest to find statues or specific architectural features turns an ordinary stroll into an exploration.

You can buy a clipboard to help with this here. It’s a great option and can be used just about anywhere, from restaurants to marketplaces to long immigration queues.

Another useful activity involves observing local wildlife. Encourage kids to document the creatures they encounter in their natural habitats, from a squirrel to the subtle flicker of a lizard’s tail. If you want some science based reassurance, this activity helps to teach children to be mindful and patient observers of nature’s rhythms. (But, hey, if it doesn’t work, don’t force it!)

Ask kids to pinpoint their location on a map, and then stick that into the journal. Or encourage kids to create their own map, filled with personal landmarks from their journey.

Wondering where to go? Here’s a handy collection of family travel bucket list ideas.

Starry night sky drawing in a kids travel journal
Move over Van Gogh, there’s a new Starry Night in town!

How to Personalise Travel Journals for Kids

Here are some of my favourite ideas to personalise travel journals for kids. Depending on the age (or level of cooperation) of your child or family member, you may need to do some of these yourself.

Collect personal memories: It’s an easy one but it’s still a good one. Tuck away concert ticket stubs, museum tickets, pressed flowers from a park, or even a napkin from your kids favourite ice cream shop. It’s an excellent way to create a trip journal.

Take lots of photos for visual storytelling: Help to take lots of photos with your kids in them. And let them take photos whenever they can. My daughter loves both taking photos and posing for them. But whatever your child enjoys, a few snaps now can lead to a lifetime of memories. Just because they’re not keen on photos now, doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate them on their 18th, 30th, wedding day, retirement and, hey, 80th or 90th birthday party. Don’t be shy, take the snap.

Make it easy for them to add artistic touches: Think of stickers, coloured pens, pieces of fabric, glitter (!) or more. Washi tape is a great invention. It’s like sellotape only more colourful and more forgiving than glue sticks. You can buy some washi tape easily here.

Educational Travel Journal Ideas for Kids

Make the most of fun activities even for children too young for writing skills. Remember, you don’t need to create rigid travel logs. Instead, look out for…


Stick at map at the start of the journal. That way, kids can physically plot out your journey and engage with the geography of each destination. It’s a good way of covering capital cities, flags, and landmarks as you set a challenge for them to discover fun facts for each.


Museums and historical sites offer a wellspring of prompts. Encourage your child to sketch artefacts or buildings that catch her eye, then jot down their significance or historical context. These journal entries will help them to learn.


Language offers another educational avenue. Nudge kids to learn and record simple phrases from the local language of each place you visit. A ‘Hello’ here, a ‘Thank you’ there; it’s a small gesture, but it bridges gaps between cultures and instills basic linguistic skills.


Science sneaks into our journaling through nature. We pick a tree, an animal, or a star formation to research and document.

For adults and kids alike, each entry serves as a memento of not just where we’ve been, but what we discovered along the way.

Why did you wake me up like that funny drawing in kids travel journal
Reflecting on the trip: why did you wake me up so early?

Reflecting on the Trip

And now comes one of my favourite parts. As the trip winds down, I sneak a look at Rosa’s journal (with her watching, of course.) This time, it’s not to chronicle what she sees before her, but to enjoy looking back at the memories she’s gathered.

It’s useful to talk about the highlights – and the lowlights. And again, apart from being fun, there’s research that says it’s good for us. Reflection is apparently an exercise in gratitude and growth, something that’s good for our soul.

And I know it’s fanciful but those travel journal pages tell not only of places visited but of a spirit seasoned by the winds. They hold the knowledge that comes from being part of a wider community, where every journey affects us in subtle ways.

Final Thoughts About Kids Travel Journals

Kids travel journals are not just scribbles, they are windows into young minds. A blank notebook has been transformed into a collection of favourite memories, with each horizon that stretched further than the last.

Plus, they’re a genius technique to keep kids entertained while you grapple with queues, waits at restaurants and other mundane aspects of life.

And finally, they’re fun to do together. Look at that cheeky worm in the wake up scribble above.

Read More About Travel with Kids

Now that you’ve worked out how to create one of the best souvenirs in the world, how about these other ideas?

For more on travel writing and creative tools, check out our courses here.