Everyone looks forward to a vacation, but tourism is usually full of plastic water bottles, one-time-use straws, and disposable everything. Is it even possible to “go green” while on vacation?
Yes!! And with a little advance planning and creative packing, you can make any vacation more green and eco-friendly, starting before you even leave your home.
The very first thing you need in order to have a successful green vacation is a creation-friendly mindset and attitude. It is so easy to lapse from our green lifestyle while on vacation, but if everyone would plan and pack with eco-friendly intentions, we would have a much cleaner world.
Packing for vacation can be a busy time, but it’s very important to slow down and think about your green expectations. Make a packing list and be sure to plan on taking your own reusable items, so you’re not forced into being wasteful while away.
Here are my top green travel packing tips…
Darlene’s Creation-friendly Packing List:
Pack Reusable Earth-friendly Items, So You Don’t Contribute to Waste
- Take a reusable water bottle and/or coffee tumbler
If you are flying: Pack one in your carry on and fill from a fountain after security to reduce your plastic use on the plane.If you’re driving: Fill them at rest stops or restaurant.
At your destination: Use them at the pool, the beach and while sightseeing/excursions.
My favorites: Straw Tumbler, Leak Proof Bottle, Coffee Tumbler
- Take a Reusable Utensils
Reusable utensils are a great way to avoid one-time-use plastic cutlery while traveling and when sightseeing on your trip. Some come with their own carrying cases, but you can always make your own out of upcycled materials.
My favorites: Metal Utensils, Wood Utensils, Spork, Multi-tool
- Skip Plastic Straws or Pack Your Own Reusable Straws
Straws are mostly unnecessary and plastic straws can be very dangerous to the environment. But, if you like straws with your drinks be sure to take your own reusable ones. Pack them in your personal item when flying or your daypack when driving and sightseeing.
My favorites: Stainless Straws, Bamboo Straws, Silicone Straws, Straw Tumbler
- Pack Reusable Lunch & Snack-size bags/Containers
Pack your own snacks for the plane, leftovers from restaurants or pack your lunch for day trips.
If you are flying: Pack your own snacks and avoid the prepackaged single-serve plane snacks.
If you’re driving: If you don’t want to stop for long sit-down lunches or dinners while driving, pack your own in reusable containers and avoid fast food.
At your destination: Use them at the pool, the beach and while sightseeing or on excursions.
My favorites: Silicone Bags, Stainless Lunch Containers, Cloth Snack Bags, Stainless Snack Boxes
- Take a Reusable Shopping Bag (or two) or Lightweight Backpacks
Reusable shopping bags are great for general shopping, grocery trips, sightseeing and to carry your reusables while sightseeing.
My favorites: Tote Bags, Light Compact Bags, Foldable Lightweight Backpack
- Take Digital or Borrowed Books Instead of New
If you like to read during vacation, try reading digital books on your Kindle or iPad. But, if you’re like me and still enjoy paper books while sitting in the sun, check a few out from the library before you go or borrow some from a friend.
My favorites: Kindle 7″ Reader, Kindle Unlimited Free Trial
**Related Post: Why I Recommend Poofy Organics Products **
Bring Your Own Eco-friendly Toiletries and Personal Care Items
- Pack Shampoo Bars instead of Liquid
Avoid the hotel disposables and pack shampoo bars or your own soaps/shampoos that you will bring home. Shampoo bars can be used for more than just hair. They make packing a bit lighter since they can be used for washing, shampooing, and shaving. This also makes them great for flying since they are solid and not liquid!
My favorites: Orange Lavender Shampoo Bar, Herbal Mint Shampoo Bar
- Pack Your Own Toxin-Free Hand Sanitizer
My favorite is Poofy Organics Clean Clappers hand sanitizer spray. It is great for cleaning your hands, but it is also great for toilet seats and shopping carts.
See Poofy Organics Clean Clappers: HERE
- Pack a Small Bottle of Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap
If flying, this little bottle is worth the space it takes up in your allowable liquids bag since it can be used for just about everything that needs cleaning. Just a few drops and diluted, you can use it for washing your hands, your hair, dishes, hotel coffee pot, and even for shaving.
See travel size: HERE
- Pack Your Own Toxin-free, Biodegradable Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Sunscreen and bug spray are a must but make and take good choices to avoid adding toxins to your body and damaging the environment.
My favorites: The Sunscreen (especially good for kids), Clear Zinc (less white for darker skin). Organic Pest Protection Spray
- Refill and Reuse Your Own Travel Size Bottles
Make sure you choose the right size bottles for travel that won’t leak in your bags. This is the best way to avoid using hotel products and wasteful one-time-use travel size products.
My favorites: Transparent & Leak Proof Bottles
**Related Post: What to Do When You Break Out from Natural Deodorant**
Don’t Over Pack and Take as Few Pieces of Luggage as Possible
Heavier transportation and especially planes take more fuel to operate and then release more emissions. By packing less you can help reduce your travel footprint.
- Mix and match your clothes
My choosing outfits that coordinate, you can pack much less and still look great.
- Plan your outfits to take the fewest pairs of shoes
Depending on your planned activity take as few pairs of shoes as possible. This will reduce your luggage weight and leave more room in your suitcase for reusable items.
- Roll your clothes to take up less space and as great fillers between your reusable eco-items
Rolling your clothes compresses them and keeps them tidy and easier to find. You can also tuck them in between your reusable items to keep them from being damaged during travel.
These are just a few helpful packing tips I’ve picked while trying to travel green. Packing well with an eco-friendly attitude can go a long way towards making any trip a green and eco-friendly vacation. Please take the time to plan and pack well.
Happy GREEN Travels!
Hi Darlene, there are some really useful tips in here – next on my list of things to do is to reduce waste while out and about and at work – taking reusable utensils and a water bottle definitely the way forward!
This is a great and thorough post. Saving for my next trip!!