Here’s is a fun and original travel gift idea you will (I hope) love!

Being an artist means I always try to find ways to be creative, especially in the gift department!
I know most people find it so much easier (and often cheaper) to buy something ready-made in a shop of course but I also know I can do better than that.
After all, half the joy of making something unique is knowing how special the recipient will feel when they realise you made something original just for them! You don’t really get that with a department store gift card 😉
Ok, not everyone will appreciate a handmade present but, for those very special people in your life (and especially the creative ones!), it’s really worth it!

So… When I found out that my close friend Mandy was finally about to go on her dream trip to Italy (from Australia), I thought I’d better come up with a creative travel gift idea for her! After some brainstorming, I decided that putting a little travel journal kit together would be sweet and special – but it had to be as light and small as possible to be carried around in her handbag and not take much space in her luggage.

If you have a friend who is about to go on a trip (even if it’s just a road trip), this travel gift idea is simple to put together and does not require that much creativity but… It’s very cute and easy to personalise depending on the person’s tastes and your budget!


Obviously, you will need something to put all your supplies into: I recommend a zippered pouch that is lightweight and washable and can be re-used for something else (like makeup) after the trip (or if the kit doesn’t end up getting used! You never know, it’s the thought that counts after all, right?)…
I settled on this oh so pretty mint green and gold polka dots pouch with a see-through front. I found it at Target Australia in the stationery department and I actually love it so much I may need to go back and get one for myself ;-)!
You could also use a small handbag, a pretty toiletry bag, a pencil case or even a gift box instead (it all depends on the recipient, how much luggage space they have and how much you want to include in your kit).

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


Because my friend isn’t used to journalling much but is an excellent painter and drawer, I wanted to give her as much freedom as possible in the way she may want to use her travel journal.
This small A6 spiral journal from Daiso Australia is perfect as it has plain white pages with good quality paper that is thick enough to do some light watercolouring, colour pencil drawing, scrapbooking and journalling. I use the same one as a mini art journal and I love it.

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


Because the front cover has an opening, I removed the first page (with the writing on it) and stamped through the opening onto the second page with this gorgeous camera stamp from Aldi. I added a little pink and blue watercolour on it and used a magenta Inktense pencil to do a border. If my friend doesn’t like it or wants to make her own front cover, she can simply tear that page away ;-).

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi

I then pulled out my ”Worn Alphabet” stamps by Tim Holtz and added the words ”bon voyage” ;-)…
You could also write your friend’s name or the place where they are going.

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


To add a little interest and to give my friend who is not used to journalling a little inspiration, I stamped random pages throughout the book and added a little watercolour…

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


Next, I wanted to add a few bits and pieces that could be used to decorate pages in the journal and add some colour and inspiration…


I measured the size of the pages in the journal minus 0.5cm all the way around so when the paper is glued, the page underneath creates a white border.

I went through my stash of pretty papers and cut a few to size. I couldn’t find my paper trimmer and doing it manually was very time consuming so I didn’t cut many! I also knew my friend already had scrapbooking paper in her studio so I chose some I knew she wouldn’t have. If the idea appeals to her, she can always add more of her own into the kit, the idea here is to give a little sample of what ”can be done” 😉

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


I went through my gorgeous box of designer Project Life cards (all these are from the Bloom Edition by Becky Higgins) and selected a few pretty and colourful cards in various colours and styles. I made sure to include some with wording on the front as they are often great as ”prompts” to write thoughts.
Travelling is exciting but can also have its boring moments while you are waiting for a bus or train so why not grab a card and jot some thoughts down about how excited you are to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the famous Prado Museum in Madrid?
Actually, I was lucky to visit Madrid in June one year and couldn’t wait to visit that museum! But… The queue in front of it was so long and it was so unbearably hot that I had to give up on it and seek refuge in the shade… What a shame, right??

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


I found this pretty green white white dots washi tape that I think would go with just about anything (again this is a sampler as my friend does not really know about washi tape and may not like it) and pretty pens that matched the style of the pouch. Giving 6 pens away seemed like an overkill so I chose 3 which should be plenty ink to fill in the entire journal!

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


I now have all my elements (you can off course add a lot more if your friend is already into journalling or scrapbooking!):

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi

I wanted to keep the presentation simple and tasteful so I simply tied a light blue ribbon around the journal (which can also be used to keep it closed during the trip) and placed the cut papers (with a glittery die cut on the front) into a clear cellophane bag.

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi

I placed the journal cards into another cellophane bag in 2 neat stacks, with a larger journal card on the back for support (and to make the other side pretty!).

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi

And finally, I added a few little ribbons to the zipper on the pouch for a touch of fun and colour…

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi


I placed all the items inside the pouch to see how everything will fit together and they work perfectly! The whole kit is thin and light, and it looks pretty cool, don’t  you think??

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi

Creative Travel Gift Idea - Mimi Bondi

I know my friend will be very excited about this and I hope it will inspire her to record as much as possible during her trip through beautiful Italy (I think of ”Eat, Pray, Love” whenever I think of Italy lol).

I also hope you find this creative travel gift idea inspiring and that it is sparking up ideas of how you could make one for someone you love, or even one for yourself and your next holiday!

Leave me a comment below to let me know what you think 🙂

With love,