Published: April 21, 2022 By

With summer approaching, vacation plans may be on your mind. Whether that is road trips, plane rides, or any other traveling, it is important to think about how to do so sustainably. 

While planning for travel can be a bit chaotic, there are ways to plan your travel and make zero waste a convenient part of your voyage! Avoiding disposable items when traveling is vital to the planet and can also save some money in the process. Keeping these tips in mind will help show the earth some love!

    You travel to visit beautiful places, make lovely memories, and/or visit some loved ones. Preserving these special moments for others to appreciate requires being an eco-conscious traveler.  But this effort will be worthwhile and easily become a habit with a little effort up front.


Helpful Tips While Traveling

  • Bring reusable utensils and containers/bags

  • Make your own snacks.

    • Either make your own snacks or even buy a pre-made snack using reusable bags at a bulk store that you can plop into your carry-on/car.

    • Here is a great list of some!

  • Bring your reusable water bottle with you! (and thermos)

  • Pack reusable period products, such as a menstrual cup

  • Use rechargeable batteries

  • Keep tickets and passes on your phone, no need to print them out.

Live by this motto: Leave it Better Than You Found it.

Thinking about how you can continue to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair while you are traveling can be more of a challenge, which is why it is so important to be aware. 

  • Traveling light is one of the best tips to take just what you need and makes it more efficient.

  • Looking up recycling regulations in the area could also be beneficial to know what sort of zero waste station you will be setting up. 

  • Researching the place a bit ahead of time could help significantly. 

    • This way, you are already prepared for certain places you will go and activities you are interested in so you know what to pack for. 


  • Try walking and utilizing public transportation when you can. 

    • This could help reduce your carbon footprint, you could also consider carbon offsets if you are traveling longer distances. 

  • Do research on where you can eat locally and places that have sustainable efforts. 

  • Using Airbnbs rather than hotels can make it easier to set up your own recycling or compost. You also have better access to make your own meals and do your own laundry.

REFUSE… One of the best ways to reduce waste!

Say no to freebies, go paperless, etc.


Some other items that may prove to be useful:

Package-free shampoo/conditioner bars and toothpastes, use sunscreen from reusable tins, and another essential is to build a zero-waste travel kit! This includes:

  • A handkerchief

  • Reusable grocery bag/ziplock bags

  • Reusable straw/utensils

    • A spork or chopsticks is best!

  • Reusable toiletry items

  • Bamboo toothbrush

  • Thermos and/or water bottle

Consider staycations and/or camping when craving a get-away

  • If you are camping, try using second-hand gear or borrowing from a friend if you do not own any of your own already.

  • Figure out if there will be water, if not bring enough in reusable jugs.

  • Cook over a fire if you can instead of a propane stove (check for fire bans!)

  • Plan your meals with bulk and package-free items.

  • Bring all your reusables!

Try to think and choose the lowest carbon-intensive travel option when possible.

Finding eco-friendly places may become more and more widespread, so consider trying a quick search for sustainable accommodations.


Not everywhere you go will it be easy to stay entirely zero waste, especially while traveling. Accessibility to recycling, composting, bulk stores, drinkable tap water, vegan/vegetarian options, and so much more look different all around the world. So it may not always be as feasible to achieve, but making some of these habitual changes can prove to make a huge difference. 

Traveling zero-waste isn’t about perfection, it is about caring enough to put in the effort. Any effort goes a long way, show your love to mother earth while traveling!