Before choosing a travel journal, I would suggest to have a look at the type of binding you like most on your notebook. This is the material that is used to make the upper (front) and lower (back) covers of the journal.

Another thing to look at is the way the pages are attached to the covers/back of the notebook. Both of these factors really change the way a journal opens and how you can use it.

For example, a saddle-stitch bind is when paper is folded with a staple or thread through the fold. PUR binding uses a paperboard or heavy cover stock to attach pages to the spine with glue (like in a paperback book). With spiral binding, there is a loop wire going through holes in the cover and pages (Nick hates these, as he’s left-handed and somehow always finds the wire in his way when writing), and with section sewn binding or coptic stitch binding, you get a flexible spine so you can lay the pages flat to work on.

As for the cover, you can choose between a hardcover or a more flexible, soft cover.

I personally don’t like albums where the pages that are sewn or stitched to tightly, because when you add lots of items (photos, stickers, receipts, tickets, etc.) to your album, it makes it impossible to close it properly after.

In those cases, soft covers can then make it easier to close the album (with a ribbon or elastic or something like that).

When I create a travel journal that is more heavily focused on just writing or albums with only photographs, the pages can be a bit tighter and a hardcover is usually best.

So you can see how the way you use your travel notebook changes the type of travel journal cover you choose. And then we haven’t even talked about the options in design, which are endless! Let’s get more into that now…

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