Sometimes at the Endpaper Blog we get the unique opportunity to offer a platform to creative journallers from around the world. We’ve recently partnered with Quynh Vu – a multitalented artist and bullet journaller who specializes in brush lettering and modern calligraphy. You may remember Quynh from her Instagram account @caliquynhletters or her previous hand lettering and planning tutorials here on the Endpaper Blog.

Today we’re excited to welcome Quynh back to the Endpaper Blog to share her advice for mapping out the perfect vacation. Join Quynh as she walks us through the different stages of travel planning and then enter for your chance to win a new Paperblanks journal!

2020 Travel Goal Planning Blog

Photo credit: Quynh Vu

At the beginning of the year, I need time to reflect on the year ahead. I do this by carving out time in my busy schedule to dedicate to goal planning. This process of turning dreams into reality requires brainstorming, planning and taking small steps to create a life of intention.

This goal planning blog will show you how I transform an exciting daydream of travel into a new reality.


  1. Poetry in Bloom midi unlined journal or the notes section of your 2020 Paperblanks planner
  2. Brush pen
Photo credit: Quynh Vu

Step 1

Think about something that makes you happy and that you want to do more of. This starts with a brief recap of what you think and dream about. This idea makes me think of travel.

I love visiting new places and I constantly crave adventure and exploration.

Step 2

Turn what you love into a statement that illustrates what you hope to accomplish.

I want to travel more in 2020.

Step 3

Turn your goal from Step 2 into a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, Time-Bound) Goal.

I want to go on a budget-friendly vacation to a national park with my family in 2020.

Step 4

Explain why this goal is important to you by adding this reason to Step 3.

I want to go on a budget-friendly vacation to a national park with my family in 2020, because I want to create lasting memories and traditions with my kids.

Step 5

Schedule time on your calendar this week as to when you will complete the first step of your goal planning.

Wake up early to grab a cup of coffee and carve out some time to enjoy the process of planning a trip.

Step 6

Break your goal into small steps that are easy to achieve.

This can be done by asking yourself questions that need to be answered. A good first step is one that can be completed in less than 30 minutes or about one Netflix episode of your favorite show.

This seems to be a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to the first phase of making your dream become a reality. If a task takes more time than this, divide the task into smaller segments so that it does not take more than 30 minutes to achieve for now.

See if you need supporting questions to guide your thought process.

Trip Planning can be broken into seven categories:

  1. Research
  2. Location
  3. Duration
  4. Budget
  5. Transport
  6. Lodging
  7. Itinerary
Photo credit: Quynh Vu


Start the research for your goal or trip planning by looking at a few different options. Here in my research session, you can see that I was debating between visiting Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion national parks. I picked Yellowstone as my trip destination because I have already been to Yosemite and Zion. I have always wanted to visit Old Faithful and I felt excited to start planning towards that goal.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu


Once you have done your research on where you would like to go, it is time to find out more information regarding this location. Here you can see that I looked up how many entrances there are to Yellowstone and the names of the closest airports I could consider if air travel was an option that I wanted to pursue.

This is also a good time to look up the best time of year to visit Yellowstone, but keep in mind that based on other scheduling constraints one might have, it is reasonable to visit based on your availability versus waiting for the perfect conditions to arise before you begin to plan a trip. My life is pretty chaotic, with working full time and taking my kids where they need to go for sports and extracurricular activities. To me this means that if I wait for things to be perfect, I may never get to go anywhere. It is easier for me to just go and make the most out of the time that I have.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu


Determining how long of a trip you can take is actually easier than you may think if you have limitations that are based on work, spouses or kids and their school vacation schedules. I recently started at a company where I have not accrued a lot of vacation, so I have a maximum of five business days, plus the weekend before and after, for a total of nine consecutive days. My kids and my husband have the same amount of time available, so nine total days became the duration for our upcoming trip. The cost of a trip is directly related to its duration. Keeping a trip shorter will also help you reduce expenses.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu


The idea of budgeting for a trip may seem restrictive to some people, but it actually can be very liberating if you plan accordingly. It will allow you to make sure that you have the funds you need to have a fun trip. You will not feel guilty about splurging on a ziplining excursion, since you have already set aside the funds to be able to do that.

Saving throughout the year continues to be sustainable, when you are able to reward yourself with a vacation as a result of that daily discipline. I selected a moderate budget, which means that I will be trying to make conscious choices to save money throughout the trip, with a few splurges here and there.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu


There are a few different ways to get to Yellowstone National Park from San Diego. Flying would get us there very quickly and allow us to make the most of our vacation time. Flights for our whole family from San Diego would have cost more than our budget could handle at this time, so we decided to take a family road trip. Although it would take us longer to get there, we could make some fun stops along the way through several different states that normally we would not get a chance to visit. After all, it is the journey that we will cherish and remember, not just the final destination. Using our own car and only having to pay for gas would be a huge cost savings.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu


Since we were on a moderate budget, this meant that we would not be staying in a fancy hotel or at a campsite. We would look for vacation rentals, which are typically more affordable while providing more spacious accommodations for our big family. Vacation rentals have kitchens that are fully equipped so that we could prepare some of our meals, which is another means to make it easier for us to stay within our budget.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu


You’ll notice that my itinerary is blank. This is intentional because each traveler’s itinerary is unique and should be individualized to their own personal needs. Before a big trip, I typically read and do research, but I actually do not like to commit to things too far in advance. This is mainly because I am a carefree spirit who enjoys not knowing exactly how each day will look based on a very detailed itinerary. I will plan the first night and last night of lodging in advance. The rest of the days, I book as I go. This allows me lots of flexibility and usually no regrets. If it rains, and I only have outdoor activities planned, I may go to another city without worrying about whether I will get a refund for my lodging that was booked so far in advance. My itinerary looks more like a multiple choice exam, where I pick from a few previously researched items, but I decide each day what I feel like doing at that moment.

Excursions are fun, but I have noticed that my mood and energy level waxes and wanes on vacation. Oftentimes, day trips require waking up very early and being on bus/train rides for long parts of the day. Booking day trips and other activities once I get there makes the most sense for me since I will have a better sense of how I feel and what I have time for.

For some people, having every moment of their day planned out is their idea of a dream vacation. The beauty of this customizable travel itinerary is that you can adjust it to your own needs.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu

Thank you for visiting my Travel Goal Planning Blog. Using these concepts of breaking a dream into small, actionable steps will allow you to prioritize fun, excitement and adventure in 2020.

Instagram: @caliquynhletters

YouTube: Quynh Vu

Send me an email at so that you can be included in VIP email lettering and drawing tutorials that will be sent out each month.

Photo credit: Quynh Vu

We hope you like this Travel Goal Planning Blog and will share with us the exciting trips that you have coming up. We are always looking for new places to visit. 

2020 Paperblanks Spring Notebook Contest 

We are excited to offer you the chance to win a new notebook from our Paperblanks Spring 2020 Collection by sharing with us how you used our Goal Planning Blog to help you plan out your own 2020 goals. 

Help us inspire others to travel and pursue other dreams through goal planning in 2020. 

To enter this contest:

  1. Follow @caliquynhletters and @paperblanks on Instagram. 
  2. Find and like the contest post on @caliquynhletters and tag a friend who you think would love to try this Travel Goal Planning Blog tutorial. 
  3. Create your own version of a “Goal Planning 2020” post between 1/30/2020 and 2/13/2020 23:59 PDT using a public Instagram account and tag @caliquynhletters and @paperblanks in the photo so that we can see your work and cheer you on. 
  4. Feel free to create several different “Goal Planning Concepts” variations for different areas of your life.
  5. Use the hashtags #PaperblanksGoalPlanning and #CreateGoalsWithCaliquynh so we can see your posts.

Optional: Share in your posts and stories for added visibility and encouragement.

The winner will receive a Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues ultra unlined hardcover journal, just like the one featured below!

Pictured here: Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Embellished Manuscript

Winner will be selected from eligible countries within three business days of the contest ending. This contest is not affiliated with Instagram. Contact information for winner will be shared with Paperblanks so that prize can be shipped directly to winner. Prize will be mailed within 3 weeks of the end of the contest.


  1. I cannot find if I as a Turkish citizens would be allowed to enter. And would it be possibly to otherwise give the address of a friend in the Netherlands? I will share my goals in any case, but I couldn’t find the rules in regards to this contest : )

    • Hi, thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately at this time we aren’t able to open the contest up to people living in Turkey, but if your friend in the Netherlands can enter your submission, we think that would work! Every country has specific rules about the types of giveaways they allow, so we just need to be careful about these rules.

      For reference, these are the countries currently approved for our online contests. We are always doing research to try and expand this!

      New Zealand
      Saudi Arabia
      South Korea
      United Kingdom
      United States

      Either way, we would still love to see your goals as you mentioned 🙂

      All the best,
      The Paperblanks team


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