Author – Elle Borg
No matter your adventure, there's always a better way to pack for what's to come. As the Scouts motto says - Be Prepared.
1 - Planning
Avoid single-use plastics by preparing a suitable “Travel Kit” – this may include a reusable shopping bag, food container, reusable straw, water bottle, reusable utensils, metal razor, bamboo toothbrush, and bar soap and shampoo, and any other items you consider essential for your trip.
2 - Toiletries
Purchase dry versions of toiletries, such as bars of soap, shampoo and deodorant. This limits your use of mini plastic bottles, and additionally- pro tip- they don’t count as liquids so there’s no limit to how much you’re carrying when travelling with hand luggage. Alternatively, opt to upcycle old travel containers or product tubes, or purchase mini reusable (glass or metal) containers which can be refilled from one trip to another.
3 - Eating
Most airplanes, trains etc. tend to serve food in plastic containers. By planning ahead and packing your own food container, cutlery and shopping bag, this will avoid you having to use single-use plastic whilst ordering food. Carrying a reusable food container isn’t helpful if you don’t ask to amend your order, or let them know you have your own bag beforehand. Sometimes you may even influence the person sitting next to you, or working behind the counter. Additionally, it can be tempting to grab plastic packets of snacks and food whilst travelling. Plan in advance and pack your own snacks from home, or opt for natural snacks like fruit and nuts with no plastic wrapping attached.
4 - Drinking
Ask the attendant to fill your reusable bottle or cup with your beverage of choice. Sometimes they need a bit more of an explanation to avoid the little plastic cups, especially when on a plane. Packing two bottles instead of one may be super helpful for long day trips – especially when you won’t always be able to drink tap water, therefore preventing you from having to repurchase water from a plastic bottle whilst spending a day travelling. We highly recommend metal bottles so your water stays cool! In addition, to avoid single-use plastic at restaurants and bars, we recommend carrying your own reusable coffee cup, as well as a reusable straw, and letting them know beforehand to avoid them serving you anything in plastic.
5 - Make-up
Rather than using cotton pads and wipes whilst travelling (or in general), look into investing in a washable makeup glove/cloth instead. This is as effective and can be reused over and over.
Ensure that you pack durable clothing, and avoid items such as flip-flops that are more likely to tear whilst travelling. And remember, strike a balance between what you really need and what you don't. Every extra item equals more stuff to pull around and more energy expelled.
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! Remember that most planes require the adapter from one to two pins for your audio jack whilst some modern ones also support Bluetooth headphones.
8 - Accomodation
Make use of the reusables available. If the hotel provides little plastic containers and toiletries like plastic wrapped soap, just do not touch them and keep their little arrangements as they are, so that they have no reason to throw them out. If you do not use them or touch them, the hotel is more likely to reuse them.