Those who met me know how crazy I am about everything related to bullet journaling, in addition to being a stationery junkie. It started as a love-hate relationship – I have absolutely zero talent in the drawing department, and setting up each notebook was an enormous challenge. Now, after over two years into journaling, I’m organizing my whole life via my beloved bujo-planner creation. It still doesn’t look as appealing as all the artsy ones you can find on Instagram, but it’s useful which is what matters the most.
Using my bujo to plan our trips was a no-brainer. I’ve tried lots of different travel setups. Some of them proved really useful, some didn’t work at all. At this point in time, I am proud to say that I’ve developed a travel planning system that works (at least for me 🙂 ). Here are my best and the worst bullet journal travel spreads.
Before the trip…
In my travel spreads, everything revolves around a packing checklist. I have one in each bujo, where I divide my stuff into categories and reuse the list before every travel. During packing, I tick off boxes with a pencil and erase the ticks as soon as I’m all done. I also like this checklist by Tiny Ray of Sunshine, eye-pleasing, and simple.
Another thing I would always include is weather info, although I do it mostly because I think it looks cute in the spread. 🙂 I admit that I don’t really find it useful (hello, Google!).
What I definitely use every single time is either a fixed itinerary, or a list of places to visit. So what’s the difference between those two? It’s pretty simple. I include itinerary whenever we are absolutely sure what and when we are going to visit. This was how I usually planned our travels before the kids. Now, however, I find lists of places to visit more useful. Here’s how I create it. During a date with Uncle Google, I preselect a number of fun things to do in each destination, usually based on my personal preferences (shh, don’t tell my husband!). What we later select from the list usually depends on factors such as: the weather, general mood of our kids and how little sleep we got at night. Sometimes we see/do everything from the list. Most often, we don’t. You can also make your kids feel in charge by showing them the list and allowing them to choose what to do on a certain day.
I need to give a shout-out here to @petitemelanie_ who created this awesome things-to-do list. I love its clarity and simplicity.
After the trip…
Preparing a Memory Spread is a joy! It is something I’m happily doing when we return home. I usually dedicate two pages in my bujo to cover the best memories of the trip. Having a photo printer is a must if you’d like to create such spread without too much of a hassle. I use this HP Sprocket portable photo printer to print my favorite images, and then create a memory setup. To spice things up a bit I also add stuff like used boarding passes, receipts or even local currency that I’m unable to change back 🙂
What didn’t work at all.
As briefly mentioned above, there were some ideas which I’ve tried, but they simply didn’t work for me. To each their own, obviously, but for the sake of having a full picture of my bujo personality, I’ll mention some.
Creating a world map and marking countries I’ve been to.
Those spreads look awesome, but man, they require so much work AND drawing skills! I’ve attempted drawing a map of Europe once. Ended up tearing out pages in my poor bujo.
Listing restaurants to try.
This seems like a great thing to do in advance, doesn’t it? Nope. When you travel with kids, your schedule needs to be flexible enough to prevent random tantrums. Imagine explaining to a hungry 3-year-old that he can’t have his lunch right now because the restaurant we planned to visit is still 5km away! (We tried this by the way, and you don’t want to know how “well” it ended 🙂 ).
I used to love creating spreads where I would cross out (or color out 🙂 ) days left to a trip. Now I simply don’t have enough time to engage in such arts & crafts activity. With brutal honesty: if it doesn’t add any value to your trip – ditch it! (except for those cute little weather spreads, of course!).
Ideas for future trips.
In my free time (not that I have that much time to spare with three kids…), I love to browse Instagram and Pinterest for bujo inspiration. I try never to copy a full spread that someone else has created, I mostly watch and admire! Those are some ideas I dug out for our future trips:
|–||This eye-pleasing travel spread from @nohnoh.studies.|
|–||A pre-travel checklist from @breeeberry, what a great idea!|
|–||A gorgeous two-page trip overview from @mylifejournalized.|
|–||Amazing Cover page art that I would never be able to recreate, by @artistic.world.04 🙂|
There you go. A summary of my best and worst bullet journal spreads. I hope you found this post useful!