Inexpensive Travel Must Have for Kids

By Kate |

ten dollar tuesday

In the past year, my family of five has flown across an ocean, made our way through Europe by plane, train and car to visit no fewer than six countries. In all the travels, it wasn’t until our trip to Sicily that I discovered my new must have travel item for kids: a travel journal.

This probably isn’t travel essential you were expecting but now that we’ve started the tradition of journaling our trips, I know we won’t travel without them. It all started when I put together the kids’ backpacks for our flight and I packed the Mead Primary Journal for my son and a blank spiral notebook for my daughter. I figured they’d be good for the plane and didn’t think much beyond that. But one day we sat down at the table in our hotel for quiet time during Max’s nap and I told the kids to write and draw about what we’d done that day.


We did it every day on the trip after that. And a tradition was born! My favorite entry from our Sicily trip is what my son wrote about losing his tooth!

lost tooth journal

Having the kids journal every day is a great way to unwind and spend quiet time during travel. It helps to create a little routine when things are most certainly out of the ordinary. In addition to capturing fun memories, it’s also tracks your child’s progress. I can’t believe how much my son’s penmanship and sentence structure have improved since that page less than 3 months ago.

Travel Journals for Kids

Both my kids now use a Mead Primary Journal (about $5) as their “travel journal”. We like it because each page has a space for drawing at the top and the bottom is lined for writing.

Mead Primary Journal

Here are three more options if you’re looking for something geared specifically towards travel and with prompts to help your child capture trip memories.

My Vacation Journal (4yrs+) ($6.99)
my vacation journal

Kids’ Travel Journal ($9.99)
kids travel journal

I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded ($11.50)
i was here a travel journal for the curious minded

Happy journaling.



Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    Travel journals are a great idea! I love the idea of them documenting their own journies.

  2. 2.
    Janet W.

    What a wonderful idea! It reinforces writing and drawing and lets them create a lasting memory!

  3. 3.

    I like this !!!!! what a neat idea! you could even stick nice memorable things in the journal as well.
    We need to get one for our upcoming vacation now as well 🙂

  4. 4.
  5. 5.

    I love the ‘I Was Here’ one. What a great idea – that will be such a great memento for them when they are older. I will have Theo do that when we travel once he can write.

  6. 6.

    Love this! What a great idea!

  7. 7.

    I always had journals for my 2 children. I even had special ones made for them. They mainly consisted of plain paper and drawing, but we have the primary journals too. Now a few years later they love looking at their pictures and trying to decipher what they wrote. They are keepsakes for sure.

  8. 8.

    Thanks for the great ideas! My kids are just learning to write so they will love the travel journal, I’m going to give it a try on Memorial Day Weekend!

  9. 9.

    Great way to work on developmental skills while going on vacation!

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