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10 Sustainable Travel Must-Haves for Your Upcoming Trip

Here are some sustainable travel must-haves (and tips!) that will help you go exploring in the most planet-friendly way possible.

Written by
Brenna Marshall

Summertime has arrived, and that means travel season is finally here! The sweet, sweet PTO you've worked so hard for is so close that you can almost taste it. But before you pack your bags and head to the airport, check out these tips and sustainable travel must-haves.

Travel Tips

Before we get to the must-haves, here are three easy ways to travel sustainably and ethically this summer:

  1. Pick a non-stop flight
  2. Choose public transportation at your destination
  3. Respect the local culture

These travel tips may seem obvious, but taking the time to find non-stop flights and using public transport over taxis or cars substantially lowers your footprint while traveling.

But sustainable travel isn't all about being aware of your impact on the planet—lessening your negative impact on the destination plays a huge role as well. Be sure to respect the local culture. Being conscious of little things like this can have a huge cumulative impact on the planet as a whole.

Now let's get packing! Here are 10 Brightly staff favorites to take along on your upcoming journey.

10 Sustainable Travel Must-Haves

Make packing a breeze and score three packing cubes by Cotopaxi made with repurposed materials. The cubes feature a wrap-around zipper for easy access to clothes, toiletries, and other must-have items. You'll be surprised at how much you can fit in a suitcase when using packing cubes!

An added touch is that since repurposed materials are used to make them, each cube is one-of-a-kind. Be prepared for a total surprise in the color variation!

Get the capacity of a 20 oz. water bottle without all the bulk! Simply collapse this bottle into a tiny sphere and hook it to a bag strap while you're going through airport security. Fill it up on the other side and enjoy staying hydrated with a BPA-free and LFGB Certified silicone.

For comfort and cleanliness when traveling, it may be a good idea to bring along your own towel. Bonus points if the towel is multi-purpose, like this one by Flowe.

It's mindfully crafted from recycled waste and fashioned into luxuriously soft fabric. It's made to accompany you on travels, beach trips, indoor rituals, and daily adventures. It also absorbs moisture quickly and dries off in minutes. Check out the Brightly Shop for three different colorways, including Checkered, Floral, and Striped.

Don't get caught roaming the terminal for an outlet or find yourself mid-hike with 2% battery life left on your phone. This tough and rugged portable battery pack by Revel Gear can be charged either by micro-USB or via solar.

The solar pack comes with an 8,000 mAh battery and a built-in ultra-bright LED grid that will illuminate better than any headlamp or flashlight. It also includes two USB outputs to charge your phone, tablets, camera, and more.

Lightweight but durable, this backpack by Cotopaxi is another great addition to our travel must-haves list. It's made of high-quality, remnant fabrics that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.

The backpack features a main zippered compartment, along with a front vertical zip pocket and two mesh water bottle pockets. It also has a zippered front pocket with a quick-access phone/camera sleeve and ultralight mesh shoulder straps for easy carrying.

6. Cadence Travel Capsules, (Reg. $84) $76

Say goodbye to lugging around full-size toiletries, cheap travel-size items, or single-use plastic Ziploc baggies.

The Travel Capsules from Cadence were created with the goal of reducing the amount of single-use items that end up on our beaches in mind. Each capsule is completely customizable and magnetizes to each other to create an extremely useful product unique to you.

Being a sustainable consumer usually means giving up the conveniences of single-use items like cleansing wipes, which frequently make it on lists for travel must-haves. But Busy Co. makes zero-waste cleansing wipes so you can put convenience back into your sustainable travel routine.

There's no shame in the after-flight-freshen-up game. With compostable wipes for your face, body, and lady-bits, you'll be adventure-ready as soon as the wheels hit the pavement.

Reusable makeup remover pads are absolutely a travel essential for makeup-wearing folks. Made from a special material that removes all makeup with just water, there's no need to pack additional makeup remover.

These pads are machine washable and can be used in place of thousands of makeup wipes that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Toothpaste tablets are the perfect sustainable swap and an easy choice when thinking of which items should make up our list of travel must-haves.

You can pack only the amount you need with no possible mess involved. Tablets would fit great in a Cadence capsule or any other small container coming along for the trip.

You know the exhaustion you feel after a canceled flight leaves you stranded in an airport in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a cot to sleep on in your sweaty clothes?

Yeah, this energizing mist from The Body Shop makes the list of travel must-haves because it leaves your skin looking like you actually slept at the Ritz. Plus, The Body Shop is B Corp certified, which means the company meets the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.