Traveling is a great way to see the world, learn about new cultures, and meet new people. But it can also be quite expensive and resource intensive. While many try to practice sustainable living in your day to day, it can be more difficult to travel sustainably. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite sustainable travel tips and products to help make your travel more eco-friendly.
I’ve taken many trips over the years for work and for pleasure and have found some great ways to practice more sustainable living while cutting some expenses. Here we’re providing you with some sustainable travel products and tips, and some that you can use during your next trip.
11. Find the water refill stations
It’s super important to stay hydrated when you travel, especially if you’re on a long haul. Skip the plastic bottles and extra expense and look for the water refill stations at the airport. Many major airports have water bottle filling stations, which dispense filtered water. When you’re on the plane, you also don’t need to worry about a cup spilling on your laptop or on you if you hit turbulence!
When you’re at your hotel, you can also use the water fill stations at fitness centers to fill your water bottle. Many hotels place water bottles in your room, and will charge you for drinking them, so this is a great way to get cold water in a more environmentally friendly way.
10. Make sure your room has a mini fridge
Before preparing for your trip, you can check to see if your accommodations have a refrigerator. Get a room with a fridge if you can- so you can eat leftovers if you have them. Even if they are cold, you will definitely still enjoy them after a night out. You can usually ask the front desk for utensils or bring your own travel ones if you feel like it.
We like to recommend reusable utensils such as these reusable bamboo utensils that fit perfectly in your carryon bag as our first sustainable travel product. I prefer the bamboo here to stainless steel because you will avoid problems with TSA or equivalent security.
9. Mobile Boarding Pass
In today’s traveling environment, you typically don’t need to print out your boarding pass. Save yourself the paper and trash – most airlines offer boarding passes on mobile. Not only will this reduce waste, but it enhances your security as well. Adopt this more sustainable practice the next time you travel, you won’t regret it!
8. BYOT – Bring your Own Tea
The next sustainable travel tip is for caffeine addicts like me! Bring tea with you if you’re a routine tea drinker, whether in the morning or at night. Many hotels offer coffee or tea in the rooms, however, they may not deliver the quality cup you are expecting or they may be wasteful. Bringing your own tea will be more sustainable than the K-cup tea pods because you can reduce waste generated from K-Cups or other hotel coffee machines when you bring your own tea bags.
7. Have your travel coffee mug ready
If you’re anything like me, you bring your reusable coffee mug with you anywhere you go. But most people neglect to bring them when they travel. Most coffee shops will let you fill your mug for the same price as the same size coffee and may even give you a discount. When you bring your mug, you can always wash it out in your hotel sink or find a communal kitchen in your living space to keep it clean.
Best of all, you get to keep drinking your hot coffee all day long! My preferred travel mug is my Yeti, and I’ve included the link for it here.
6. Vitamins & Supplements
You may not think of it right away, but traveling can really take a toll on your body. Additionally, you are exposed to many unfamiliar elements, and it can be a trap to getting sick. While you may not consider it a sustainable travel tip, it is a great tip that I had to learn the hard way after eating vegetarian and having limited options. For those that eat a more restricted diet, this will help you stay healthy in the long run. Additionally, supplements like melatonin may be helpful when you’re traveling in different timezones. You won’t regret it when you’re not sick upon return!
5. Travel Snacks!
A good traveler always brings snacks with them. For your next sustainable tip for traveling is to bring snacks or eat before your flight. Airport food has a lot of packaging so bringing your own is cheaper, more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly. If you decide to buy snacks at the airport, get the large snack size so it will last you a few days. Fruit is always a great snack; oranges or bananas are a great option since they come with natural packaging. If you’re looking for a portable snack, check out our recipe for no bake date bars here!
4. The Scarf Trick
If you’re traveling in cold climates, wear a big scarf ! It will keep you warm while you travel, and it can also be used as a blanket in your hotel room. This sustainable travel tip will save room in your suitcase and makes a great accessory to switch up your outfits. Not only is this practical, but it’s sustainable by using what you have.
3. Pack light!
If you’re likely to overpack, consider packing items you can wear multiple times or serve multiple purposes. Leggings and pajamas – do you really need both? Can you wear a pair of jeans or your bulkiest shoes to save space in your suitcase? See what amenities your hotel has, and if there’s really a need to pack extra. For example, if your hotel room has an iron, there’s no reason for you to bring a steamer. -Traveling lighter will help you travel lighter and it creates less weight on the plane. Meaning better gas mileage for your flight or car ride!
Try to not use the small toiletries provided in the hotel – these are small and don’t last very long. Purchase refillable bottles if you can or refill the bottles you have already purchased. If you travel a lot, there is a 3.4 oz tube of tooth paste that can live in your carry on so you don’t have to keep purchasing the small ones.
Many hotel chains now are offering larger, in room toiletries such as this hotel. The larger bottles reduce plastic waste from small bottles which are typically replaced after just a few uses.
1. The Most Important Sustainable Travel Tip: Look for most logical flight path
The last sustainable travel tip is perhaps the most important: look for the most sustainable flight path. For example, if you’re flight is normally three hours, try to go direct rather than having multiple flights. Knowing this is not always possible, try your best to reduce your carbon footprint. Google flights now shows you the most sustainable flight path when booking. Opt for the least amount of carbon impact in your flight travel.
We hope you enjoyed reading about some sustainable travel tips and products. Are there any sustainable travel tips that you would add to the list? We’re always looking for more ways to be more sustainable. Share this article with someone you know who’s taking a trip soon!
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