We’re hanging out in Utah this week for our 8-year-old son’s National Taekwondo Tournament. He and his dad left in the truck and drove the 800 miles to Park City. I on the other hand, opted to take the less than 2-hour flight with our 4-year-old daughter.
While I love road trips, a 24-hour road trip with the kids in one week would wreak havoc on my nervous system. So we instead decided to take this opportunity to spend some quality time one on one with each child.
Before the boys left, our son reminded me he wanted to bring his journal because he enjoys journaling when he’s on the road – which we feel is an important aspect of schooling while we travel.
But there are so many journals to choose from. Which one is best for each person?
In this article, I’m focusing on journals that mainly pertain to our kids (because I found it’s much harder finding the right one for them).
When we travel the globe in a few months, I want to make sure we choose the best journal for each kid because they not only serve multiple aspects of documentation but also as memorabilia they’ll hopefully keep for a long time.
I know it doesn’t maybe seem like identifying a journal deserves its own explanatory essay but we feel journals are very personal and should be chosen wisely in order to get the most out of them (and again, there are a bazillion to choose from!).
Our journal criteria for global travel are as follows:
1––Lightweight – when you rely on one backpack per person, lightweight items are essential.
2––Durable – A journal is bound to take a beating and be immersed in some stickiness now and then.
3––Quality – A large, sturdy journal with decent-weight paper to draw or paint on.
3–– Easy to Use– Who wants to draw or write for a prolonged period of time in a book that won’t lay flat?
4–– Inviting– We want our kids to want to journal, not find it burdensome. Each book needs room for at least 90 days worth of open-ended thoughts and plenty of white space.
While we still haven’t found our golden solution for the kids’ globe travel journals yet, I did find many fun options to choose from (see below). We don’t like all the kiddy-type booklets and I didn’t list them as we prefer our kids journal using their imaginations and without so many prompts, bright colors and stickers.
One of the best journals I found (I may get it for both my son and I) is this Scratch-it map journal from Uncommon Goods.
Etsy has beautiful stuff, including tons of journals. I personally like the simplicity of this one.
And this one with maps (I can always print a little black/white map he can color, thus replacing the first one).
Lonely Planet sells their own journal too, naturally.
Rainbow Resources is one of those sites many homeschoolers use (but you don’t have to homeschool to use it). Here’s one of the journals one their site that offers more questions than we’re comfortable with but great if your child responds well to them.
And I landed on a fun “extra” Funschooling journal for our daughter.
If you’re like me, Amazon is one of my main go-to’s for things like this. Sometimes things work out and sometimes, like now, I don’t find what I need. Many of the children’s journals on Amazon are for shorter trips. Some of them have too many questions. But I’ve found our kids tend to use these books maybe once or twice and then never again.
If all else fails, we’ll probably just create our own journal for each child or use a simple top-bound sketchbook. I may put my own prompts asking about weather, what their favorite experiences were, modes of transportation, which foods they enjoyed… etc. (If I do create our own, I’ll be sure to share it with all of you!)
Just know you don’t have to travel the world or homeschool to find or make a decent journal for your kids. Just make sure you read the reviews so you choose the right one for each child.
Do you have a favorite journal? Please share it with us!