Why Pen and Paper is Your Best Choice for Travel Planning

Back to school (and back to work) may be just around the corner, but if you’re looking forward to a final sun-soaked getaway or planning ahead to Labor Day weekend, we have a few suggestions for making the most of it. Go analog with classic pen and paper for your easiest travel planning yet (and to make sure you don’t forget a thing). Here are our top suggestions for getting organized before you’re en route, and pro tips for enjoying the ride. Let’s get to it.


Polish Up Your Packing List

The packing list is polarizing—some dream about their travel wardrobe weeks before departure and end up with heavy suitcases and too much stuff, and some are up late tossing toiletries and essentials into their carry-on (and can’t tell if they’ve over or under-packed). Whatever your style, starting a list a week before departure will ensure you don’t forget road trip essentials, pack appropriately for the weather, and minimize stress when you’re trying to get out the door.

A travel planner lies open against a gray background. On the grid paper there is a packing list written with pen and colorful highlighters.


  1. Count the number of days and nights to get real about the amount you need to bring (that means being realistic about the number of books you can finish on a beach vacation 😉).
  2. Note the high and low temperatures or any inclement weather. This will ensure that you have enough layers to keep you warm and remember to pack your rain jacket or waterproof shoes.
  3. Check off as you go: we love a grid interior for build-in tick boxes, but using a To Do Pad or DIY checklist is fine too. Leave morning-of essentials like your phone charger or glasses case unchecked until they are physically in your bag (bonus points for knowing exactly what is left to pack for those early wake-up calls).


Make an Analog Copy

Web-based planning tools like Google Calendar have undoubtedly made travel easier in many ways, as flight information and hotel reservations are synced to our phones with real-time updates & reminders. However, it’s also essential to transfer some of your most important info to paper. Not only is this a life saver in case of emergencies, but can also help you commit your plans to memory and get a big-picture look at each day during the planning stage. Take a few moments to sketch out your itinerary, plus important phone and confirmation numbers. For ultra-light travel planning, pick up one of our slim and minimal Mini Linen Jotters, perfect for stashing in your pocket on the go.


Repurpose Your Planner

Pen and paper is an invaluable tool for not only mapping out your to-do list and lessening stress in the lead-up to a big trip but can also help you unplug and be in the present. Convert your travel planner into a travel journal for a two-in-one trip archive. Take a moment each day to reflect on what you experienced that day—even if it is just a single sentence. In this way, a travel journal can become a one-of-a-kind keepsake that you return to year after year. Not sure where to start? Here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • What about your destination met your expectations? What was different from what you expected?
  • Did you notice any new plants or animals that you wouldn’t see at home?
  • What were the best and worst moments of your day?
  • If you’re traveling with a companion, ask them what their favorite moment of the day was and why.
  • What was the first thing you noticed when you arrived to your destination today?
  • Did you try something new today? This could be a food, experience, etc.
  • What music or podcast did you listen to (on the plane, in the car, etc.) and why did you choose it?
  • What is something new you learned about your destination’s history or culture?

Our favorite for all-in-one planning and journaling? The Vision Journal is designed in a classic neutral hue with gold foil details, grid interior for mapping out custom layouts, and an inside pocket to safely store photos and souvenirs on the go. Meet your perfect canvas for planning your dream trip, and get ready for a brand new adventure.


The Appointed Vision Journal, a light brown bookcloth journal with brass binding, sits on the front set of a cart with brown leather seats and a leather steering wheel.


In our increasingly online world, planning for road trips, international vacations or even weekend getaways can default to digital. Moving some of your planning to pen and paper can not only be more effective but offer inspiration, a physical memento of your travels, and an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the moment. 

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