15 Sustainable Travel Essentials For Your Next Journey

sustainable travel essentials

In my opinion, traveling is about adventure, freedom, breaking the routine, meeting new people, and taking in the sights of unfamiliar places. Sadly, traveling also tends to contribute a lot to our carbon footprint and climate change, thus the importance of having sustainable travel essentials.


Starting at the airport or train station, disposable water bottles are used. There are hot or cold drinks and snacks in disposable cups on planes and trains. Upon arriving at the hotel, you will find toiletries, drinks, and snacks with plastic straws waiting for you. 


However, people are now taking steps to ensure sustainable travel by adopting eco-friendly measures to reduce the negative effects of climate change. Traveling while reducing your carbon footprint is a great idea, isn’t it? Make your travels sustainable by investing in zero waste travel products!


Why is Sustainable Travel Important?

a man with his wife and kid about to go on a plane for sustainable travel

It is important to know what sustainable travel (or eco-travel) is to understand why it is important. A sustainable approach to travel involves reducing carbon footprint. Stakeholders must focus on preserving the natural and cultural environments to ensure the transport industry remains sustainable for a long period.


Sustainable travel is important for several reasons, among them are:



      • As a means of reducing ecosystem loss, climate change, and sea level rise

      • Consumers today demand sustainable options to meet their needs and demands

    Travel is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and climate change. As a result, the ecosystem has suffered greatly. Traveling sustainably is one of the most effective ways of preserving the environment and ensuring the long-term sustainability of tourism and transportation.


    15 Sustainable Travel Essentials for your Journey

    A lady on vacation taking a photo with her mobile phone

    1. Solid bathroom products


    These sustainable travel essentials are important in minimizing water consumption and bathroom waste!


    Solid toiletries are a little bit of a thing for me. The products include shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, moisturizer bars, and even cleaner bars. These products are so useful for traveling. These sustainable travel toiletries are plastic-free and zero-waste. Their longevity makes them more economical than liquid versions. 


    Besides passing airport security, there are no spills or worries about squeezing your tiny liquids into bags. As a bonus, they aren’t too big either. They can only be dirty during the process of transportation. In that case, I recommend using soap tin. Your hair and skin type determine which solid toiletries are best for you. In my opinion, I prefer those that make my hair shiny and clean without being too heavy. Neither a conditioner nor shampoo is necessary.


    Travelers of all types can choose from a variety of climate-conscious options, including:



        • Conditioner bars

        • Shampoo bars

        • Facial cleaners

        • Body cleaners

      With these bars, you’ll save three times as much money as you would with a liquid alternative. To keep zero waste travel toiletries dry and together, I recommend a soap container for your journey. As well as being leakproof, it is compact, allowing you to pack lighter. 


      Read More: Successful Tips to Create a Zero Waste Bathroom


      2. Reusable cup or water bottle


      When traveling, make sure you have a drink to keep yourself hydrated. The majority of retailers, however, serve beverages and water in single-use plastic cups. Reusable water bottles and cups, preferably stainless steel tumblers, will help eliminate or reduce your waste.


      Whether you’re on a 12-hour flight or cross-country train ride, you’ll be able to keep your drink hot or cold. After going through security checkpoints, you can easily refill stainless steel tumblers at drinking fountains or particular refill locations.


      3. Eco friendly food storage containers


      A plastic food container is one of the first things people think about when traveling. You might also want to consider beeswax wrap or collapsible silicone containers as alternatives to packing food when traveling. Bamboo travel sets can be a great alternative to plastic cutlery for travelers who enjoy roadside delicacies.


      4. Sustainable bamboo cutlery


      As a commonly used and waste-producing product, plastic cutlery can take centuries to degrade after use for an hour or less, which is typical of takeaway meals or restaurants. It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy local cuisine while reducing your carbon footprint.


      5. Eco friendly soap holder


      Using bars instead of plastic bottles is the best way to reduce your plastic usage while traveling! From shampoo to soap to face serums, everything comes in bars these days. But how can these bars be carried and organized? 


      Food is traditionally packed in bento boxes in Japan. Increasingly, Americans are using them to pack lunches for their kids. The bento box is also a great way to organize your zero waste toiletries. Organizing your travel bag in this way will keep it compact and organized. 


      Stasher bags are another excellent option for zero waste toiletries. Moisture cannot seep into these silicone bags, so your bars won’t get ruined! If you want your bars to be individualized, you can get the pocket Stasher bags or just have a large Stasher bag for them all. Traditional travel toiletries spill like lotion and shampoo bars. 


      6. Bamboo toothbrush 


      It’s a little tricky. Make sure you choose a bamboo toothbrush carefully, as they are not all the same. Some are plastic-free, but not all. There are many brushes with nylon bristles, which are made of plastic, of course. Separate the bristles and handles if you buy those. The handle goes on the compost heap, while the bristles are recyclable.


      Pig hair is used in some toothbrushes. Although that might be plastic-free, I am not sure how the pig was treated as most toothbrushes are made in China. Unfortunately, there is not yet a perfect toothbrush. It is up to you to decide what is important to you.


      7. Reusable straws


      Using a straw is not harmful to the environment even if it’s your preferred way of drinking. With reusable straws, you can still enjoy a straw sip while traveling plastic-free. It comes with a carrying pouch designed to easily clip onto a bag or keychain, as well as a cleaner so you can use it again and again. Bamboo straws, on the other hand, make a great alternative to single-use plastic when traveling. 


      8. Sustainable deodorant


      All-natural organic deodorants contain wax and oil, which keep you fresh for a long time. Conventional deodorants containing aluminum are much less healthy for your skin. Tin cans are reusable, plastic-free, and come in plastic-free packaging. Give it a try. 


      Many mainstream deodorant brands use wasteful plastic packaging and add harmful chemicals to their antiperspirant products, so you need a sustainable deodorant option in your eco-travel toiletries kit. 


      Buy from deodorant brands that use environmentally friendly, plastic-free packaging, as well as organic, non-toxic ingredients. They are the best choice for deodorant on the go because all of their bars are vegan, have PETA certificates, and cruelty-free.


      9. Zero waste clothing


      Brands generate a lot of waste while producing fast fashion, which contributes significantly to the climate crisis. Fast fashion is a business model involving the mass-production of clothes at a low cost and then selling them as quickly as possible to consumers. This type of business is not only socially irresponsible, but it also produces a lot of waste, generates 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, and consumes a lot of water.


      When you’re on vacation in hotter climates, eco friendly bamboo clothing protects you from 97.5% of ultraviolet rays. Microfiber material provides both warmth and breathability. The material is also capable of wicking moisture away from the body.


      Whether you’re traveling in luxury or backpacking, sustainable travel essentials like bamboo clothes are perfect. Their origins are more sustainable than cotton, making them a better choice for your packing list. 


      10. Reusable napkins


      In case you are traveling and are unable to wash disposable napkins, I have two alternatives for you:



          • For a two-week trip, bring about three napkins (handkerchief-like fabric) that you can easily wash with bath soap and dry overnight.

          • Use disposable napkins, but re-use them. If you use a disposable napkin at a restaurant, you can use it again if you didn’t soil it too much. The next time you go to a restaurant, refuse the disposable napkins and use your old ones instead. Reusing a disposable item more than one time is already a step in the right direction.

        11. Portable compost bags and bins


        If you’re camping or staying in a place where you can compost food scraps, bring along a small zero waste compost bin or bag. These sustainable travel essentials are the best ways to keep organic waste away from landfills, and the environment can benefit from it.


        The sun is rising over the Rockies as you scramble eggs over a campfire. It is not a must to throw garbage away. Eco-conscious individuals can dispose of their eggshells and leftover crumbs in a compost bag or bin to ensure environmental sustainability.


        12. Menstrual cup


        Women with a period will find menstrual cups to be one of the most indispensable sustainable travel necessities. The cost savings of using a menstrual cup is immense even though everyone should use the product that makes them most comfortable during their time.


        You won’t have to worry on a trip if you run out of single-use items (especially in places where they may be hard to find). Reusable cups are easy to clean and prevent you from running out of your usual single-use products.


        13. Sustainable tote bag


        Bringing a smaller bag will also prove useful in day-to-day life abroad, besides a large and durable backpack for comfortable and sustainable travel.


        Plastic grocery bags, another major waste contributor, have increasingly been replaced by reusable totes. A plastic bag takes 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. It’s best to carry your grocery bags since some countries have implemented taxes on them.


        If you travel on a day trip and don’t wish to lug your suitcases or backpacks around, a compressible travel backpack can be an excellent option. Since it’s reliable, folds up into a fraction of its size, and clips onto your bag for easy transportation, this backpack is the best eco-friendly personal item bag. 


        14. Reusable or biodegradable Q tips


        About our daily usage of Q-tips, did you know that 2 billion of them are trashed every day? It’s time for a change. You have two choices here, just as you did with the bamboo toothbrush. Choose biodegradable cotton buds or bamboo buds if you want to go all-natural. If you prefer a zero-waste solution, buy this silica and silicone reusable swab. It’s up to you.


        In addition to not being environmentally friendly, Q-tips can also pollute our oceans and waterways as they are single-use items. They are made out of eco-friendly materials and are 100% biodegradable. Additionally, they can be used for applying creams and skincare, removing makeup, and cleaning tight spaces.


        15. Reusable makeup removal pads 


        You can quickly generate waste if you use a single-use makeup wipe every day during your trip. It is therefore best to use recyclable makeup remover pads while traveling if you enjoy getting glam. These are vital sustainable travel essentials that guarantee a greener planet. 


        They are suitable for people with all types of skin and are made from 100% natural bamboo material. By using organic makeup remover pads made with biodegradable bamboo cotton, you can minimize waste and save money. Getting ready for vacation is easy with the cotton laundry bag included!




        Zero waste travel is not just a buzzword; it’s about making meaningful choices to lessen our impact while discovering new places. Sustainable travel essentials is all about those conscious decisions, right down to the products we bring along. That’s why opting for zero waste travel products, like eco-friendly toiletries and reusable water bottles, is key for eco-friendly travel. These sustainable travel essentials don’t just add convenience; they also contribute to a cleaner, greener planet.


        When traveling, you can reduce your carbon footprint by replacing your single-use or damaging products with durable, sustainable items. Moreover, many of them are reusable and long-lasting, saving you time and money. Reusable items are a great way to preserve the environment and combat climate change and ensure the sustainability of sectors such as transportation and tourism.

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