Plastic Free Travel Tips

Tips to Traveling Plastic-Free

If you're an eco-warrior gearing up for a relaxing beach vacation, these how to travel with less plastic tips will ensure you don’t leave a massive plastic footprint behind you.

Carry On Packing List

  • Reusable Drink Bottle: Stainless steel is usually the safest to get through security.
  • Reusable Cup: Ask the flight attendant to fill this with your beverage of choice.
  • Fruit: The most delicious treat when traveling—fresh, juicy, sweet! Oranges are good, you can use the peel to wipe your face! It is a gentle exfoliator and the citric acid acts as a natural cleanser.
  • Reusable Bag: to carry all of this stuff! Also for when you go to the markets, so you are not tempted to use a plastic bag. It doesn’t have to be a daggy reusable bag, perhaps even a nice beach bag or a hiking pack that doubles as a giant shopping bag. Give things multiple purposes!

Checked Bag Packing List

  • Tupperware: It can be useful to store things like electronics or cords or toiletries in a little box or container, that way when you need to contain a fruit salad you’ve made, pack a lunch, or take something to go, you have something available.
  • Durable Clothes and Shoes: nothing single-use, especially flips flops. If they break, where will you dispose of them properly if there is no recycling where you are going?

In Transit

  • Tickets: Try to book everything online, so you don’t have to print a ticket and ask them to email your receipt.
  • Security: They mandate we pack our liquids in a small plastic bag to go through security. I have a plastic bag that I reuse for this very purpose every time I travel. I received a recycled plastic bikini in this plastic bag, and was grateful to find such a worthy use for the bag! I can also reuse the bag during travels to keep my bar of soap separate or my DIY toiletries from leaking all over my bag.
  • Water: Keep your water bottle close, stay hydrated, empty it before security, and refill it after security for the long flight ahead.
  • Headphones: bring your own headphones, the airline will only replace what has not been used. If you leave the plastic wrapped headphones, they won’t be singly used by you!

Upon Arrival

  • Wifi: If you are getting a sim card, this is unavoidable plastic! If you come back to this country often, tape the sim card into the back page of your passport with the phone number, so you can reuse it.
  • Local Markets: Locate the nearest local market. It is a wonderful way to learn what foods are in season, and it's also a chance to stock up on fresh produce, so that you always have delicious snacks when plastic packages seem all that is available. Plus you acquaint yourself with the locals!
  • Cocktails: You’re on holidays, so enjoy yourself! Tell the waiter/waitress in advance that you don’t use straws or bring your own reusable straw!
  • Eating Out: Let the waitstaff know you are trying to be plastic free, so any sauce can go on the plate to avoid containers.