Travel Light and Sustainable: 6 Packing Hacks for Travel Sustainably

Sandra Oberg

General, Travel, Travel News

Are you looking to travel lightly and sustainably? Everyday activities impact the environment around us, and of course, this includes travelling – it can have a significant impact no matter where you’re going. We all know it’s best to reduce travelling by air, do fewer car journeys if possible etc, but sometimes duty calls and travel is required – our transport options are limited. However, there are many easy changes we all can do for the environment. Let’s look at what our top travel packing hacks are here at Situ!

Want to travel lightly and sustainably? Here are Situ's top 6 travel packing hacks!

1. The lighter, the better!

We’ve all done it. Packed for a trip including everything but the kitchen sink, but never get through all the clothes in the suitcase. 

This is at the top of our travel packing hacks. Consider the trip you’re about to make: do you need that chunky, heavy jumper? How about swapping it out for lighter items that can be layered? Or do you really need to bring a towel? Check with your accommodation if they provide it before your trip.

Not only will a lighter suitcase be easier to carry, but the heavier the suitcase, the more fuel will be needed when travelling by train, plane, or car.

In this case, sustainable swaps really make sense!

person jumping on a road

2. Easy travel packing hack? Bye bye plastics

Did you know that it can take up to 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose in a landfill site?

Switching from single-use plastics like bags, takeaway coffee cups, water bottles, and straws to reusable alternatives is one of the easiest changes to make.

Not only will using sustainable materials in terms of reusable bags, coffee cups, and water bottles reduce waste going to landfill; but there can also be financial benefits too. Many coffee companies now offer a discount when you bring your own mug.

3. Save your energy

Have a think about the number of electronic devices we take with us on our travels – laptops, mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches – to name just a few. These items all need charging, which requires electricity. As a traveller, you’ll have no control over how this energy is produced, but you can still do your bit to contribute to energy sustainability.

Even little changes make a difference. Only charge your device until the battery is full rather than leaving it plugged in overnight. Shut down your laptop at the end of the day rather than closing the lid. Both these changes will help save energy. Also, don’t forget to turn the lights off in rooms that you aren’t using – it all helps!

4. Try toiletries with less packaging!

In the modern world, we’ve all heard about the new bamboo trend, however, bamboo may not be for everyone! But there are still some great options if you rather try other sustainable toiletries.

Here are a few examples worth looking into!

  • Solid eco body wash/shampoo/conditioner – perhaps give bars a try? (or you could always ask the accommodation provider if they provide this)
  • An eco-friendly toothbrush
  • Non-plastic safety razors
  • Toothpaste tabs
  • Natural deodorants without plastic

You can find eco-friendly toothbrushes that look pretty much like normal plastic, but many of them are derived from plants (bio-based) and are recyclable. All you need to do is do a little research to find the best options suited for you.

5. Smart travel packing hack? Bring your own set of reusable cutlery

When travelling it’s hard to find time to cook even if you’re staying in a serviced apartment, and it just makes sense to grab a takeaway meal when you’re out and about. It’s easy, quick and convenient, but what about when you’re given single-use cutlery? Not so great… A good little tip on what you can do to “be more starfish” is to bring your own set of cutlery. Cutlery doesn’t weigh much and won’t take up much space in your suitcase, making it brilliant to pack for your next trip.

reusable cutlery set

6. Pack one or two tote bags

Plastic shopping bags are some of the worst things when it comes to polluting our streets and seas. Also, having your own shopping bags is eco-friendly, and you save yourself from paying for them each time. So why not instead of asking for single-use bags, bring your own tote bag? You could keep one in each of the bags that you’re likely to use and use it whenever you’re at a supermarket or food market.

And there you have it, our ultimate top travel packing hacks for your next trip. But for an enjoyable and comfortable stay you also need somewhere to stay, so be sure to browse our serviced apartments with Situ.