Summer travel is officially here! During a recent trip to Madrid, Spain for work, I started thinking about some of the ways I make my travel just a little more sustainable. As I’m gearing up for a trip to Italy with Daniel and my family in August (YAY!), I wanted to share my top 5 sustainable travel tips with you too.
1. Bring your own water bottle and thermos
Bringing your own water bottle is pretty self-explanatory. It’s so simple that there isn’t an excuse to not bring one with you when traveling. You can find water fountains in most airports around the world, or you can ask a restaurant to fill your water bottle up for you. Not only can you reduce the number of plastic bottles you are purchasing, but you can ensure you stay hydrated. I always make sure to fill up my water bottle before getting on the plane so I don’t have to use plastic cups from the airline. And I make sure to get an aisle seat so that I can stay hydrated and hit the bathroom as many times as I need without bothering my row-mates. PRO TIP right there! I love my S’well bottle for water (and it keeps things hot or cold) and this Kleen Kanteen portable mug is great for coffee, tea or bone broth.
2. Buy reusable travel containers for toiletries like shampoo
I plan out my outfits before I travel so that I can pack as light as possible. If the trip is under a week, I can usually get away with just a carry-on, but if it is longer I’ll need to bring a big suitcase. Either way, I try to limit the size of toiletries I bring and the easiest way to do this is by purchasing reusable travel bottles. This means that I can buy shampoo, body soap, body lotion, etc. in bulk and I avoid buying individual bottles. I reduce waste and have my favorite products with me all the time. I love these BPA free silicone bottles for shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion, and this set is great for hair spray, toner, eye creams, etc.
3. Bring your own healthy and organic snacks
If you’re going to a country where you may not be able to find your favorite snacks, I definitely recommend bringing some of your own. You can make sure to bring healthy, organic and fair trade items and if you have any food restrictions then you will be so thankful to have snacks with you. I brought a few bags of my favorite ginger turmeric tea and some of these GoMacro protein bars with me to Madrid so that I didn’t get hangry. Next time, I’ll actually bring more snacks and I’ve been considering bring these coconut oil packets and collagen sticks for smoothies and coffee.
4. Walk everywhere! Or take public transportation
Since I don’t often have the time or energy to workout while traveling, I make sure to walk as much as I can. While in Madrid, my colleague and I went exploring on Saturday and we walked 11 miles! Needless to say, we were exhausted by the end of the day but it was a great workout and way more sustainable than taking taxis. We didn’t even use public transportation but that would be a great alternative to taxis for longer distances. I think it’s so fun to figure out public transportation in a foreign country and it’s a great way to discover a new culture. It makes you feel like a local and gives you a new perspective on all the things going on in this unknown city.
5. Find local and sustainable restaurants
Finding local and organic restaurants is so much easier these days with Yelp and TripAdvisor. In Spain, there was a farm to table café, grocery store or restaurant around each corner and I made it a point to seek out these spots. Not only is it a more sustainable option but it’s also healthier. Win/win! I rely on Yelp or TripAdvisor reviews heavily to make sure I’m going to get a sustainable and healthy meal that is delicious and worth every penny. You can download the apps to your phone and you’ll be so glad you have them.