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How to Make a Fun and Easy Postcard Travel Journal

You know how you return home from traveling and you’re bursting with excitement, and you want to tell everyone about everything you’ve just experienced?

And then after a couple days, friends, family, and colleagues are already tired of hearing you say “when I was in…” Here’s a solution for your next trip…

Create a Postcard Travel Journal

I used to lug around whatever journal I was currently using but when I started traveling with a laptop, I wanted to avoid carrying additional heavy things. Which meant that my beloved, big, clunky journals had to stay home. 

I also wanted to share my travels but not my personal journal. And I definitely didn’t want to carry two journals.

These days I use my I’m Thinking…TRAVEL! Journal for my personal journal. But I also often like to create a simple postcard journal to share with others once I’m back home.

Postcards are plentiful, lightweight, and inexpensive. A postcard journal is something you can create while traveling and then display it on a coffee table. It’s a lot of fun to flip through once you’re back from your trip – and it makes for a wonderful conversation starter. Your friends and family will beg you to talk about your travels! 

How to Make a Postcard Journal 

Here’s what I do. Each day I buy a postcard that represents where I am or what I’m doing that day.

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When I sit down for a tea break, have a few free minutes on the metro or am unwinding at night, I pull out my postcard and jot down a few notes from my day (I know, I do not have pretty handwriting. I’m ok with it.). Sometimes it’s a quick overview of what I did, other times I go into more detail about one experience, make a list, etc. I just do whatever I feel like doing that day. 

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I label each postcard with the date, location, and trip “Day #.” I keep the written postcards in a ziplock bag until I get home. If you’re on a long trip and don’t want to carry them around the world with you, just mail them home.

When I get home, I punch a hole in each postcard and use a metal binder clip to bind them together. 

Tip: decide ahead of time where you’re going to punch the hole so you can keep that space clear of writing. I punch the hole where the stamp would go since I’m not mailing them.

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I use an extra postcard to create a cover. (That purple one below? It’s part of a set I bought when I lived in Germany as a high school student!) I then use washi tape and a Sharpie to write my travel information on the cover. You could also simply use your “Day 1” postcard as your cover. Or get fancy with stickers and other embellishments. 

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I then bind all of the postcards together using a metal ring. Don’t have a metal ring? You can buy them at any office supply store for a couple bucks. You could use a ribbon or baker’s twine.

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Leave your postcard journals on your coffee table or hang them on a bulletin board. They’re a great way to invite questions and conversations about your travels without feeling like you’re forcing the topic on anyone. Instant scrapbook!

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Why I Like Postcard Journals

I’m a fan of traveling light, postcards, and keeping things simple. I’m addicted to postcards but rarely send any when I’m abroad (thanks, social media), which means I end up with boxes of them sitting in my attic.

Postcard journals allow me to feed my postcard addiction in a positive way. 🙂 It’s so easy to pick up a few postcards at a time and keep them in my day bag. And, because postcards are so small, I only need a few minutes a day to keep up with my travel journal. No more going home with a mostly empty travel journal!

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