Easy DIY Camping & Road Trip Planner


Summer vacation is upon us!  Organization is the key that unlocks an easy, enjoyable trip.  With one more week until our tiny camper is finished and the kids now out of school, adventure is beckoning.  I’m determined to organize the chaos that is my life as much as humanly possible so that the stress that inevitably accompanies such family outings can be minimized.  Most of my lists, maps and plans are on my phone.  Clicking a ton of different links and going back and forth between apps doesn’t always work well.  It also drains cell batteries.  A passenger needs to be able to access the info without needing a password.  I am a bit old school when it comes to writing things down, and I like to see everything in front of me.  So, taking all this into consideration, I scoured Pinterest for ideas.  I was surprised to find quite a few blog posts on easy DIY camping planners.  Along with inspiring me to make my own trip planner, this blog had cool printables to help make your trip more organized.  I came across several cute pre made camping journals, but I knew I had components already lying around.

What You Need

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a desk drawer or two full of notebooks, paper, and various other school supplies that are purchased at the beginning of the year.  Somehow we always end up with extra.  You will need something with binders, pockets, and maybe something that zips closed, so that the contents are protected from stains and spills.  I recommend the Case-it Mighty Zip Tab 3-Inch Zipper Binder, which is what I use.  You will also want to grab some Avery Big Tab Insertable Dividers.  Luckily I had a few packs of these in that overflow supply drawer, too, as well as a few 3 Ring Binder Zippered Pencil Pouches.  These are great for maps, small notebooks, and storing the state stickers I like to collect from places we visit.  Stay tuned for a cute craft/souvenir idea made with these stickers!

Found this guy in an old notebook of my son’s.  Perfect condition and great for a deck of cards, maps, pens and those fun stickers I mentioned earlier.  I may add a second for spare change (laundry, tolls).

camouflage pencil pouch

Labeling Is Important

The first thing I did was decide what I wanted to include in the planner, and started labeling the dividers.  Packing lists are paramount (especially if you have kids and pets that you are travelling with), so that was my first label.  I also included tabs for Reservations (for our campground reservations), Reviews (because we will be reviewing campgrounds and trails), Camp Meals, Maps, Itinerary and Mileage.  We are also camping with dogs, so I’ll most likely be adding a dog related tab or two.  I’m sure I will come up with other tabs as I go along, but these were good to start.

labeled divider tags

divider tabs labeled


I could have printed out a fancy cover page but instead I decided to personalize it a bit more, and my daughter helped.  She was excited to help me with it and as anyone who has children knows, one day they reach an age where they don’t want to help you with anything, so I soak up as much of that as possible.  It was a fun little thing we did together that made her feel part of the process of planning our trip.  I plan on picking up a travel and camping sticker sheet with which to decorate it further.  I even found a cute teardrop trailer decal!

cover page DIY camping trip planner

planner with tab dividers
Tah dah! Ready to be filled with fun!


Do you keep a planner to help organize your camping and road trips?  What do you include in it?

Up next:  Camping Tips & Tricks.

happy camper teardrop trailer decal with flamingo





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