The Bullet Journal can be the perfect system to plan your every day life and your travels! I used my own separate travel bullet journal to plan a 5 month long trip across Asia and India and now I want to help you figure out how to use a bullet journal as a great travel tool. Here are my top 10 spreads and pages that you can include to make your travel bullet journal useful for the road. If you’ve read my blog post all about how to choose your perfect travel journal then you should now be ready to fill it in! Check out that blog post here and read on to get ideas for spreads for a travel bullet journal of your own.
This is one of the most important features of both a general and a travel bullet journal. Your calendar gives you an overview of the months and helps you plan stuff accordingly. My calendar only covers the months I’m travelling and each month takes up a whole spread in the A6 Leuchtturm. The calendar is the first thing in my bullet journal. I use it to fill in definite events, like booked flights or hotels and then I also use it to remember where I was when or even what I did that day.
Although I don’t generally use pencil in my usual bullet journal if my travel plans are likely to change I like to pencil things in quite literally! Once things are concrete you can put them in pen instead.
2. Daily Log
In my everyday bullet journal my daily log is where I focus on the day to day to do list. Although you might not use it in the same way as you do for everyday life you can use a travel bullet journal as an actual diary to write down everything you did. You can record important things, like meeting times or departure times and details about. It can also be a good way to keep track of things you need to organise that day. When you’re travelling long term you’ll often find that you have to spend a significant amount of time getting organised for the next leg of your journey. A daily log can help you breakdown what you have to do into manageable steps.
3. Packing List
You could include this just as easily in your everyday bullet journal to plan your trip the way I did. I dedicated a page to my packing list a few months before we left. I simply added to it as and when I thought of things and used a coloured pen to mark when I had collected the things together. If you wanted to you could include this in your travel bujo and use it as an inventory in case you’re worried about things getting lost. That way when you’re moving on you can do a quick check over and make sure you don’t leave anything behind!
4. Flight/Transport Itinerary
One of my first spreads for my travel bullet journal was my itinerary spread. In the first month of our travels we had loads of little flights booked in advance so it was hard not to mix them up. I sat down before we left and wrote out all the details for the separate flights including times, flight numbers and terminal numbers. It meant that I could just whip out my travel bujo and check the information without having to rifle through the massive folder of printouts for all the separate flights.
We did the same when we had a lot of trains booked around Rajasthan in India. Especially as we had some Night Trains and it was easy to get confused about when we were where! It takes about half an hour to do but saves you a lot of confusion in the long run and is a lot safer than rifling through a backpack or getting your expensive electronics out to check reference numbers.
5. Hotel Details with Basic Directions
Hotel details are another one that I included before we left. I didn’t record the details of every single hotel we stay at just the ones when we were due to arrive somewhere drastically new, like when we first arrived in India. I note down the name, address, contact details and I also include any outstanding amount I have to pay on arrival so I know I have enough local currency. It’s a good idea to have a look at directions getting to your accommodation and note down that too. It doesn’t have to be detailed but it can jog your memory and again is a lot safer than getting an expensive phone out to look at a map.
6. Personal Information & Practical Details
Similar to the flight itinerary pages this spread means that I don’t have to fish out my passport every time I need to know the passport number and expiry date. It’s also a lot safer because it reduces the risk of getting your valuable passport pick-pocketed if someone is watching you get it out. I also used it to keep details about my credit and debit cards and travel insurance which includes emergency numbers. For obvious reasons I can’t really include a picture of this but it’s set out like a general list with all of the expiry and start dates, passwords, pins and more info. I make sure that I disguise things like pins in a code so that they can’t immediately be understood.
Similar to personal information you can also use your travel bujo to make quick notes about really important things you need to remember. If you’re on a trip where you have to cross borders note down some information about visa requirements. Being able to access the information in front of you means you can decrease your risk of getting scammed.
7. Addresses & Contact Info
I’m a huge lover of sending postcards to people while I’m away so of course I have to have a list of all the addresses I need. Instead of scrambling around trying to find out people’s addresses while you’re away with dodgy wifi just take some time to compile a list and write them down. I also use a tally system so I can keep track of how many postcards I’ve sent to people and I note down when I send one to see if it actually arrives! Some postcards took a few months to arrive to people and in the end some didn’t arrive at all!
This is the main thing that I used my travel bullet journal for on a daily basis. My budget pages are all very rough but that’s not too much of an issue for me because it works and it’s practical. Travelling on a limited budget meant I needed to be aware of my spending and if I took too long to sit down and create neat spreads then I would have probably forgetten what I spent! Instead I just scribbled it down quickly, tallied up the amount at the end of the day and then currency converted it into GBP so I can add it to a spreadsheet of spending. Although let’s be honest the spreadsheet system didn’t carry on for the whole trip writing it down definitely made us think twice before spending money on random things.
9. Useful Phrases & Quick Currency Conversions
If you’re travelling somewhere with a completely new language and you know there won’t be many speakers of your language why not note down some useful phrases? You can also write down some phrases in the local language and use it to communicate with locals by pointing at the phrase so that they might read it. Or you might want to try your hand at drawing symbols if it’s a language with a completely different script.
It’s also useful to note down some quick currency conversions or maybe some guide prices for things like a bottle of water or a meal in a basic restaurant. When you arrive somewhere new and you have to use a new currency it can be very confusing so this is just one way to make it a little easier for yourself and save some money. I often use the really useful website Budget Your Trip to get an idea of a budget and how much my daily spending should be.
10. Wishlists & Memories
I also like to use my bullet journal to create wish lists of places I want to see in a specific country. When we’re visiting so many countries it can be hard to remember everything that we really want to see. So I created a page that can jog my memory. The time I take to make it also helps it to cement in my memory.
You can also use this method for memories once you’ve done something. Many bullet journalists create scrapbook style pages where they keep their memories. If you’re not into drawing you can also write out a journal.
Don’t think you have time to create a travel bullet journal?
I always recommend creating your own if you have the time. After all it will be personal to you and you can tailor it to your needs. If you really can’t swing it though check out my blog post showing you pre-made travel journals that can help you plan your next adventure instead!