Sustainable Travel Essentials: How To Have A Low-Impact Trip

Dear travel gals, I know you’ve already dusted off those frequent flyer miles and are putting them to good use jetsetting across the globe…but, because it’s 2022 and climate change is a stark reality, I’m sure you’re wondering how to travel sustainably.

While there’s no way to get around the fact that hopping on a plane and traveling thousands of miles isn’t the greatest way to support our dear Mother Earth, there are a myriad of things you can do to make your travels more sustainable. And, no, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort, travel essentials, or that one remote country that’ll take you three planes to get to. 

How To Travel Sustainably

1. Choose your transport wisely

First and foremost, even though flying will probably be a must, not all flights are created equal. There are a few ways you can reduce your environmental impact when picking out airline tickets, according to Momondo. They recommend the following:

  • Choose a nonstop flight when possible (which, why wouldn’t you?).
  • Choose a fuel-efficient airline – do some research, but generally newer planes are a safer bet.
  • Pick a smaller plane if possible.
  • Pack light!
  • If you can, consider taking a train.

2. Be sustainable at your destination

Sustainability doesn’t stop at baggage claim. Make sure you’re adopting sustainable practices wherever you’re traveling to. Things like taking public transit instead of renting a car, taxi, or Uber can make a big difference. Plus, there’s nothing like navigating public transportation to make you feel like a local!

When possible, choose to support the local economy by buying souvenirs from local businesses. Forego the global McDonald’s comfort food and find a restaurant that’s been in a family for generations. Walk everywhere you can (the best way to get to know a city, IMO). Be respectful of the local practices, culture, and environment. Take some time before you leave to research best practices and you might even find some local sustainability tips.

3. Pack sustainably

Last but certainly not least, pack sustainable travel essentials. Things like water bottles, reusable toiletry bottles, biodegradable toiletries, and reusable shopping bags will help minimize your eco-impact wherever you go. Here are some of our best picks:

Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles take less oil to produce, which means no plastics! You’re reducing your carbon footprint and lessening the plastic waste that ends up in landfills, oceans, and other places.

Yeti Rambler
Takeya Active Insulated Waterbottle
S’well Stainless Steel Bottle

Reusable Coffee Cup

Using a sustainable coffee cup every day means that you are not taking part in the wasteful cycle of creating paper or plastic cups. Plus, they keep your coffee hot or cold for longer!

Corkcicle Travel Coffee Mug
W&P Portable Ceramic Mug w/ Protective Silicone Sleeve
Collapsible Travel Cup w/ Straw

Reusable Shopping Bags

As we know, plastics are bad for the environment — especially single-use plastic bags. Reusable shopping bags are made from sustainable materials, and not only do they last longer, but they’re better for the environment.

Baggu Standard Reusable Bag
BeeGreen Reusable Bags
BagPodz Reusable Shopping Bag

Refillable Travel Containers

Skip the travel toiletries section at Target, and fill some refillable containers from your larger supply at home. These work great for any liquids, like shampoo/conditioner, lotion, or perfume. When you get home, just wash them out and save them until your next trip!

Kitsch Refillable Flat Pouch Travel Bottles
16 Pack Travel Bottles Set
Gemice Travel Bottles

Biodegradable Toiletries

You can travel with zero waste when you choose biodegradable toiletries — you can take your trip and have a positive impact on the planet!

Rice Water Shampoo Bar
Cleo + Coco
Cleo + Coco Deodorant, Body Powder, Cleansing Bar, And Body Polish Bar
5 Star Super Deals
Natural Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush

Good Quality Travel Backpack

An eco-friendly backpack is a must for any traveler. Make sure to invest in a brand that uses sustainably sourced materials!

Calpak Kaya Laptop Backpack
Beis Expandable Backpack
Open Story
Traveler Backpack

Will you implement any of our tips on how to travel sustainably? Tell us in the comments!

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