I love to travel. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t. But one thing that makes me anxious on a trip is not being able to make art, especially while waiting at airports, hotels, and other places I might be spending a chunk of time in. So I make sure I have some favorite supplies that can travel with me. Here’s a list of some of my favorite travel-friendly art supplies to pack whether I’m going across the country or around the world.
Watercolor pencils are easy to carry and compact. If you take them out of their original packaging (I always keep mine in their original packaging unless I’m traveling) you can fit them in a small pouch with all your other supplies. You can get lots of different looks from this one supply by using it in different ways: wet the pencil before coloring, color a large area then wet it for a wash effect, or draw with them and brush water on later, activating some parts and not others. You’ll get a nice lost and found line effect.
The best thing about water brushes is that you only need a small amount of water when you want to activate your watercolor pencils. Make sure they’re empty before you travel on a plane.
You can pack a roll of washi tape that matches the theme of your vacation. Are you going to the mountains? the beach? the city? a cruise? there’s a washi tape with colors and designs to fit the mood. You can use it to frame your sketches, as a mask when painting, or to stick ticket stubs and other mementos in your journal.
pens & pencils
Your favorite pens and or pencils are indispensable on any trip. Use them to capture the sights, write down any memorable moments you don’t want to forget, and keep them handy for filling out paperwork.
You can really liven up a journal page or quick sketch by gluing in some decorative paper. Small strips and cut pieces from other projects can be easily tucked between pages or in envelope pockets. Extra points if the outside of your journal or sketchbook sports a similar look.
Great for adhering mementos and decorative paper in your journal and won’t spill on the rest of your stuff.
small pieces of watercolor paper
If your journal’s paper isn’t heavy enough to hold up to water you’ll want to bring some watercolor paper along. You can cut sheets from larger blocks or pads into pieces that will fit in your journal. Then use the washi tape or glue to stick them to a page, or just leave them loose.
notebook or travel journal
Any notebook, sketchbook, or journal will work for travel, as long as it’s the right size to fit in your luggage of choice.