Travel Pens: Beach Vacation

We’re well into June now, which means many of you are loading up the family minivan and hitting the road this Summer. If your life is anything like mine, going on vacation with kids, even to the beach, is not exactly relaxing! But I talked with my team about some of their vacations (which often include a lot of downtime!) to get an idea about how they use fountain pens when they travel. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a few days seaside to slow down and write out your reflections, thoughts, and dreams! Here are our suggestions of products to take with you on your beach vacation…

    • Widely known as a ‘workhorse’ pen
    • Swappable nibs that you could take with you, EF-B, italics
    • Lightweight, durable
    • Easy for a purse, pocket, backpack, beach tote bag, whatever!
    • Can take Lamy cartridges or ink samples with you if you get a converter
    • $29.60

    • Inexpensive plastic pen with a surprisingly reliable nib
    • If you lose it or drop it, it is a low investment pen.
    • Eyedropper, cartridge, or converter (separate)
    • Traveling with family? This is a good one to let others try out. 
    • Not the most durable, so don’t abuse it
    • $4-5
    • Great as a backup pen or primary if you have a journal you’re already using with absorbent paper in it
    • Uses the popular Pilot G2 .7mm “medium” refill, writes awesome
    • Durable and well-balanced Metropolitan body
    • $13.50

    • Good for keeping around in your shirt or pants pocket, very unobtrusive
    • Flexible cover
    • Lays flat
    • Rugged
    • Blank, graph, lined
    • Different seasonal cover colors are available, or get brown or black regularly
    • $9.95/3-pack

    • More for a dedicated journal or diary
    • Outstanding paper quality
    • Blank, dot, or lined paper
    • Orange, Black, Silver, Purple, Lilac, Chocolate, Poppy Red, Sapphire, Turquoise
    • A5 size 5.5”x8.25″
    • $19.95
    Rhodia Rhodiarama Medium Webnotebook - Purple, Lined (5.51 x 8.27)

    • 6.25”x9.25″
    • Several bright and fun cover colors
    • Great off-white paper made by Clairefontaine, lined and blank
    • 5.5mm lined ruling, very tight
    • Slightly larger, slightly thinner, very comfortable to write in
    • $19.95


    A summer vacation is a great time to try some of that “fun” ink you’ve had your eye on. It’s totally okay to step away from your normal browns and blacks and go kind of… well, crazy. Pick out some colors you’ve never tried and take some samples with you when you head out of town! A few that we recommend are: 

     Sheaffer Turquoise 

    Noodler’s Saguaro Wine

     Diamine Hope Pink

    Diamine Sunset

    Are you headed to the beach this Summer? What things will you be taking with you? Let me know in the comments below.

    Write on, 
    Brian Goulet  


    2017-10-11T02:18:13+00:00 June 9th, 2015|Shopping Guides|19 Comments
    • Brian hey i love ur vids….. Could you do a detailed review of sheaffer100

    • Kathy

      Great video! What a nice break from a hot, humid Tuesday in Nashvegas. I totally agree with the Lamy Safari. This pen rocks. After I bought one, I had to have more. I use them much more than my MBs, Viscontis, etc. The nib variety is the best, and the nibs are fairly smooth. I love my Webbies and Habanas, too, though I recently have developed a Leuchttrum addiction. All are great options, though! Gosh, with a Safari, loaded with Sheaffer Turquoise (probably my favorite ink), an azure Leuchttrum, and sunscreen….I'm ready for the beach! Surf's up!

    • Scott Rogers

      While you can't beat Lamy Safari for rugged reliability, my go-to pens when I'm taking off for a week or two on an island have been the TWSBI Diamond 580 and the Noodler's Ahab with Goulet #6 nib. Both just inexpensive enough that losing the pen won't ruin my week, and both hold relatively immense amounts of ink so that I don't have to worry about refilling while I'm away.

    • Tom Johnson

      Great selection, for me it would probably be a Safari and Metropolitan FP & RB (plus several others, vials of ink, etc etc.) By the way, I now regret that I never kept journals of all of our trips over the past 40+ years together. All the little details that have trickled out of the memory banks that I would like to look back on. That wonderful meal at ???? restaurant – what did we have? Things like that. When did we see the deer calmly walking down the beach and it let us walk right up to it and talk to it. What year was that? What were the details? Too late for us, but not for many of you out there. Your children (and grandchildren) will someday love that you did this. Post in photos too. Thanks Brian for a great topic! And, that music reaches back some 55+ years. All the kids with electric guitars were playing this every summer in the late 50's-early 60's. Wow, it does say summer to me.

    • Kate B

      Wacky opening sequence! Your video team has really stepped it up. What fun. On vacation I don't take anything different than what I use daily. Black Lami Safari with 1.1 stub nib. filled with Document Brown and a blank black Rhodia notebook. Boring. 🙂

    • pepperpath

      cool! that beach dude sure has the moves! the green screen sure is fun…thanks ( now I want a yellow safari with Diamine Sunset)

    • Otter

      That opening sequence made me LOL! Brian would fit in with the folks I see in Waikiki all the time! 🙂 I'm lucky enough to be able to go to the beach on any given weekend. I do take some Clairefontaine or Rhodia paper to scribble on, and my Pilot Metropolitan, Noodler's Konrad, TWSBI Classic, Faber Castell Basic, Conklin Duragraph, or Jinhao x450. I've even been known to take a Pelikan or Visconti (but then I don't let those out of my sight!). Favorite inks are whatever they happened to be filled with, frequently Diamine or Private Reserve. Great post!

    • Haha, yeah I feel ya. It's in the 90's here in Va, humidity about 1000%. A beach vaca would be nice 🙂 Thanks for the compliments!

    • nice, solid choices Scott!

    • ooo, nice!

    • Henry

      Future Q&A – Most people keep and maintain their fountain pens for all of their lives, but have you ever used a pen or had a pen fail forcing you to throw away the pen? What was the cause of the failure?

    • Lisa Porter Cordovana

      Great video, Brian! My beach here on he Big Island is 6 blocks from my house, but it's not sand – it's a very high, lava coast cliff. I can be found there writing frequently, always with my cigar case filled with my favorite pens – TWSBI 580, Visconti Van Gogh, Super 5, Sailor Chalana, Pilot 78, and Sheaffer Townsend. My favorite beach inks are Diamine Vermillion, Hope Pink, and Private Reserve DC Super Green, Naples Blue, and Purple Mojo! I have a refillable leather journal I have been using for years, with a well worn cover. I love journaling! For grab and go notebooks, nothing beats the Rhodia Webnotebook, but this video made me want to try the Quo Vadis! For everyday notes, appointments, etc., I would be LOST without my Midori Traveler's Notebook. I use it in some way, every single day!

    • Shelley

      Q&A question: This Q&A question is completely coming out of nowhere, but I was just looking at random videos on YouTube and I came across this video from three years ago in which you were announcing February ink drop, with Joseph! He was such a cutie! Do you think he and/or Ellie would make an appearance in your videos again? So look forward to it!

    • Bill

      Someone clearly had fun with the intro for this video and talk about timing. Tomorrow we're leaving for Scotland and I'll be taking my Kaweco Classic Sport which is just the right size to drop into any pocket of backpack without worry. Since I've had problems with fountains pens leaking when not full, on the plane I'll have a Pilot G-2. Not enough time to order a Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball, so I'll take care of that when we get back.

    • Thanks Tom! Sound advice here. I find myself already wishing I'd kept more detailed journals of my life's adventures! But it's never too late to start, right?

    • haha, yeah I was feeling a little wacky here for sure 🙂 Jenni did a great job with it, you'd be surprised (or maybe not) how improvised this whole sequence was! Thanks for sharing about your travel pens…haha, might be boring but it works!

    • haha, I definitely have moves 😉

    • Lucky you! 😉 That's awesome, and sounds like you probably don't have to be all too considerate of your beach travel since you're so close!

    • Great question! I haven't had any significant fails. I have broken a couple of Preppies, but that's about it! I've had some random issues like a defective Metropolitan body (glue came off and body slid off, was a defect very early on) but glued it back, and had a Jinhao where the nib housing came out (glue defect again) and I glued it back!