Travelling sustainably: How to have a more eco-friendly holiday!

With the world reopening and foreign holidays finally on the table again, we’re all buzzing to organise our next getaway! Rome, Paris, Barcelona – or maybe something more chill like a beach holiday in Crete or the South of France.

Wherever you’re going, it’s important not to jump straight back into travelling with all our old bad habits. Slowing down for the last year has really made us rethink some of our lifestyle choices, particularly how we travel and how our small actions can affect the bigger picture – we all saw those pictures of the Venice canals finally cleared of all the debris to show crystal clear water underneath.

Make smart, eco-friendly choices when packing and planning for your next holiday with our handy cheat sheet below!

Dining and food

Person In White Shirt Holding Black Rubber Bottle

We’ve all learned lots of ways to be more eco-friendly at home with our food shop and eating out habits – so why should those stop just because we’re on holiday? Learn how to say ‘no straw please’ in your country’s language so you can skip to unnecessary add on to your cocktail on the beach and bring a reusable water bottle with you on the plane – yes it’s a few of extra grams in your carry-on, but it’s worth it to avoid all the plastic water bottles rolling around your hotel room by the end of the trip.

Woman Carrying Tote Bags

A portable cutlery set, like the bamboo ones are also a very handy thing to have if you’re doing more of a road trip style holiday for all the cool spots along the road you’ll stop to grab food. And as always, a linen or fabric tote bag will never steer you wrong – as light as pacing a pair of underwear and taking up about as much space, you’ll be thankful for it when you’re doing that first shop!

Toiletries

Top view of zero waste beauty brush and dry shampoo with inscription on brown background

We all do it – buying up the local pharmacy over there with shampoos, conditioners and body washes because we couldn’t be bothered to fill up our little travel-sized bottles that we get through in about 2 days anyway. But the large bottles aren’t even half-gone by the time we’re ready to go home! Bars of shampoo and conditioner (and eve toothpaste!) are a happy medium – easily transportable and not subject to liquid restrictions, they’re super handy to bring with you and lack of packaging mean they’re better for the environment!

Woman Seated on Textile Applying Suncsreen

On that note, things like sunscreens are important to look out for too, especially if you’re swimming. You want an SPF that will make sure you’re fully covered for UVA and UVB rays, but that will also be kind to the sea life in your local area. Lots of sunscreens are now taking their environmental impact into account and are changing their formulas to make them sea-safe, so look out for the signs that they’re not damaging the environment!

Unrecognizable female standing near wooden shelf with pile of cotton pads and skincare supplies in bathroom with mirror at home

The same thing goes for insect repellent. Using a plant-based one instead of the ones full of harsh chemicals are better for local wildlife – and for you! Another eco-hack is to bring reusable makeup wipes – something we should all be using anyway!

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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