Sustainable travel: 5 simple steps to make your packing and travel more sustainable

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Sustainable travel: 5 simple steps to make your packing and travel more sustainable

Finally, it’s time for me to pack for a long deserved holiday! But all the holiday preparations have got me thinking: What is sustainable travel? Am I being as sustainable as I can be on my holiday? The answer was: ”no”. So I sat down, did some more research and came up with 5 simple steps to make my packing and travel more sustainable.

1. Pack your own bio washing powder & dishwasher tabs.

Does this sound like a step too far? An extra weight? A hassle? Well, let me explain: looking back I recall a time I got a rash after using local non organic washing powder and spent hours looking for a bio washing powder in the local stores and trying to explain in my broken Spanish what I was after. The solution is so simple: Now I always pack my own bio-washing powder to ensure I don’t have to waste precious beach time on a “washing powder hunt”.

Same goes for the dishwasher tabs. If you are staying in an Airbnb apartment why not bring your own. A reasonable amount of washing powder and some dishwasher tabs can be carried in a small container and will weigh very little.

Bio washing powder and dishwasher tabs packed for more sustainable travel

The contents of this container are enough for two weeks and I can use it as a travel case for any fragile souvenirs or jewellery I buy on the holiday.

2. Bring your own shopping bag with you

You use your own fabric shopping bag at home, so why not take it with you on your holiday?, It looks way better than the plastic supermarket bags, provides extra baggage carrying space, and in my case, acts as a beach bag for my daughter’s toys! Win-win!

Fabric shopping bags to pack with you

My favourite foldable reusable grocery bags that I use at home and for a more sustainable travel. So small they would fit into your pocket.

3. Think about your holiday wardrobe

It may sound obvious, but this is where many people (and I) go wrong. I have a shelf of “holiday clothes”, which are there because they are too transparent/short/wrong colour for the city; work only with a tan; or because there is no other opportunity to wear that linen vest with the pom-pom trim. This year, try laying all your best summer clothes out and have a good look at all of them. Try to pick a capsule wardrobe where all the items work well together. Think about what you will be doing on the holiday, what mood you’ll want to create? Since holidays are one of the most photographed times of our lives, why not to take your favourite pieces? A light maxi dress to hide your pale legs for the first few days of the holiday, and to look glam for the evening cocktails.

Now try all of them on. Yes, really, all of them. This way you’ll avoid any surprises and see if the garment is intact and fits ok. I go as far as to take photos of all the combinations, it helps me to remember all the cool ideas I came up with for when I’m on the holiday. It might take a bit of time now but this way you’ll have less stress on your holiday and won’t need to run and buy clothes you are missing or forgot to pack.

4. Switch from books to devices or join a library

There’s nothing like a gripping novel based on your destination to get you fully immersed in a trip. A travel guide is a good way to check out all the must-see spots on your holiday. By going digital you’ll not only be kinder to our planet but will travel much, much lighter. An e-reader can hold a whole library for a lifetime of holiday reading!

If you can’t bring yourself to give up the tactile experience of turning pages of a paperback, why not join your local library and borrow them instead? Or ask your friends to lend you their favourite books and you can discuss your holiday AND the book when you’ll get back.

5. Buy local

If you’re going to support the local economy and buy something, try going straight to the source to make your purchases. Stay away from the large retail chains and instead check out the local artisan markets and boutiques. This way you won’t just have a lovely souvenir from your holiday but a unique one as well.

Sustainable tourism is making smart and informed decisions when choosing to visit another city or country, leaving behind no negative impact

Do you have any other tips on how to make my holiday more sustainable?

11 Comments
  • August 14, 2017

    Buy local! That’s always been the key for me! Love this!

  • August 14, 2017

    Great tips! I love my Nook so that I can read as many books as I want, but only have to bring one small device with me.

  • Neely Moldovan
    Reply
    August 14, 2017

    I am all about the devices. having all my books, magazines on my iPad is great!

  • August 15, 2017

    These are all great tips. I do think bringing along a Kindle or other e-reader is a great idea – just don’t forget your charger!! And buying local is a nice thing to do!

  • August 16, 2017

    These are great tips you shared! I can’t move without my iPad! Carrying your own shopping bag is a great idea!!

  • August 16, 2017

    Good tips! Living in Europe, bringing my own shopping bad has saved me a few Euros.

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