5 Best Traveler’s Notebook Brands for Writing on the Road

by Ed Jelley
Updated May 05, 2020

best travelers notebooks
Photo: Ed Jelley

Sure, snapping photos on your phone or favorite camera will capture memories of a trip, but nothing beats good ol’ pen and paper for remembering where you’ve been and what you’ve done.

By recording your memories in a notebook, you’ll always be able to look back and reminisce about the best (and maybe worst) parts of your travels.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the best notebooks out there to bring with you on your next journey. Here’s what to look for in your next notebook:

  • Extra durable: look for sturdy covers and high quality paper that will hold up with your travels
  • The right size: you don’t want a huge book that’s a pain to lug around
  • Fit your needs: the more you like a book, the more you’ll want to use it

Here are some of the best notebooks for your next adventures.

Baron Fig Confidant

baron fig confidant
Image: Ed Jelley

Born from a popular Kickstarter campaign, Baron Fig makes some of the nicest notebooks out there. This NYC-based paper company makes everything from hard- and soft-cover notebooks, to pens, and even their own wooden pencils. The Confidant notebook has a ton of features, worthy of your travel stories.

On the outside, you’ll find a cloth cover. It adds a premium look and feel to the book. Between the hardbound covers, there are 192 pages of acid-free, archival paper that plays nice with a wide variety of writing instruments.

The book is bound so that it lays flat, allowing you to write to the very edge of the page. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or somewhere between, the blank, lined, or dot grid ruling will accommodate both sketches and words with ease.

It’s available in three sizes – small, medium, and large. We like the medium size for it’s “just right” size – big enough for all your stories, yet compact enough to throw in a bag and go. Pick one up in signature light grey, or a darker charcoal color.

Midori Traveler’s Notebook

midori travelers notebook
Image: Midori

With a name like the “Traveler’s Notebook”, these books have a lot to live up to. The Traveler’s Notebook from Midori is a popular notebook and cover system that’s extremely popular in Japan. The system consists of a leather cover and several specially-sized notebooks inside.

The Midori’s premium leather cover will wear in and develop a beautiful patina the more you carry it. There’s enough room inside for up to three notebook inserts. Midori makes a variety of notebooks that fit inside, each with differing ruling, paper, and colors.

The Traveler’s notebook is available in two sizes, Regular (4.9″ x 8.7”) and Passport (3.9″ x 5.4”) in Brown, Camel, or Black leather. Pick one up for a truly customizable notebook experience.

First Draft Co. Notebook

First Draft Co notebooks
Image: First Draft Co.

First Draft Co.’s notebooks make a great travel companion, thanks to their elastic closure band. The last thing you want is in an unwieldy notebook opening up in your bag. This made in the USA notebook both looks and works great.

The 70# paper inside is hefty, without being too thick. The blank pages give you the freedom to write or sketch anything that comes to mind. No solid writing surface nearby? You’ll appreciate the hardcover, cloth-bound covers that will provide something to lean on.

The First Draft Co. notebooks are available in a handsome Navy Blue, understated Sand Beige, or bold Brick Red. You can pick one up for $22.

Word. Notebooks Adventure Log

the adventure log
Image: Word. Notebooks

Prefer to keep it short and sweet? The Word. Notebooks Adventure Logs are for you. These pocket notebooks are filled with a custom layout that’s made to document trips, adventures, and more. Word. already makes some of the best pocket notebooks around, so it’s a no-brainer to pick up some of these for your next trip.

Inside these pocket-sized notebooks, you’ll find a template designed specifically to write about a trip. There’s a spot for the location, date, companions, conditions, and several lines to record some notes. Inside the back cover, there’s even a spot for your “bucket list”.

Each notebook is 3.5×5.5” with 48 pages inside. Pick up a three pack of these made-in-the-USA books in black or hi-vis yellow here.

Rhodia Webnotebook

rhodia webnotebook
Image: Rhodia

While Moleskine might have one of the most recognizable names out there, it can’t stack up to the quality of Rhodia’s Webnotebook. This notebook might just be the best notebook out there, period. The silky smooth premium 90g paper inside can handle nearly any writing instrument and is an absolute please to write on.

The hardcovers feature a soft-touch Italian leatherette finish with a subtly embossed logo. The books have 192 pages of ivory-colored paper, available in lined, blank, or dot grid pattern. There’s also a black ribbon bookmark, an elastic band to keep the book closed, and a pocket inside the back cover for notes and cards.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another notebook that feels as quality as this one does. Snag one in black, orange, or silver.

Seen in: Everyday Carry, Gear

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