One Sunday afternoon, looking over past photographs it suddenly dawned on me why I never created a travel journal each time I traveled. I am extremely creative by nature, love photography, have an unhealthy obsession with collecting Paperblanks journals, and love to travel, so I found myself questioning why I ever thought that ‘lots of pictures’ would be enough…

I have made a conscious decision to put my stash of Paperblanks journals to good use in 2016, beginning with planning out what essentials I would need to bring with me for my Florida trip in May. After a little research online, I managed to get my essential travel journal items down to a decent amount.

My journal kit consists of 6 essentials for any trip, in any corner of the world. This is what you need:

  1. The journal itself – I can’t stress this enough – get a nice journal! It should inspire you to want to fill it and be worthy of the memories you’re going to make. It also needs to be durable enough to stand up to the trip, and the right size so that you use it. Cheap journals often fall apart during your travels, or years later when your looking through them. You’ve spent a lot of money and time planning this trip, invest in a nice journal thats worthy of it. Consider whether you want your pages lined or unlined, and if you’ll want to do something wet (like watercolour) or more vigorous sketching, which would require a bit heavier paper. While I do prefer unlined pages as there is more freedom, with enough weight to them to allow for whatever you feel inspired to do, I cannot for the life of me write in neat straight lines, therefore I personally, would opt for a lined journal.
  2. A glue stick – Perfect for gluing in ephemera you may pick up along the way, or doing little collages on the flight. I prefer the UHU brand. Don’t get anything washable as everything will come undone.
  3. Pencil – Mechanical, so that the lead is hidden and doesn’t get messy in your pocket or bag. Most museums don’t allow note taking with anything but a pencil, so you’ll want to be prepared.
  4. Pens – one water soluble that you can add some water for quick shading. Pilot do nice pens. Also, one or 2 water resistant ones in case your caught in the rain. Micron do great water resistant pens, black and a sepia colour is ideal.
  5. Waterbrush – Fill this tool with water and use with both your water soluble pen, or with watercolour crayons to add some dimension.
  6. Caran d’ache set – An easy way to add colour without carrying too much gear. The set of 10 is great because the case is flat and sturdy. You can also supplement with other colours they sell individually, by cracking them in half so you can fit twice as many colours in the case.

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