17 Eco-Friendly Travel Products for Your Next Trip

Love travel and love the planet too? Check out these fabulous eco-friendly travel products that will help you to have a greener travel adventure.  Whether you’re going for a weekend away or an epic backpacking trip, these sustainable travel products are not only better for the planet but super useful too!

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Why Choose Eco-Friendly Travel Products?

Did you know that when you travel a lot, you also contribute more to the global trash problem? You can be a more responsible traveller by going green!  Ditch single-use plastics and aim for a zero-waste lifestyle by using more sustainable travel products. You’ll be enjoying travelling and nature twice as much if you won’t leave any unnecessary footprint behind.

Sustainable travel isn’t just about what you pack though, so as well as choosing sustainable and eco-friendly travel products, you should also consider choosing ecotourism destinations and places that promote ethical tours and activities.

TOP TIP: Remember, don’t throw away your current travel gear if it is still usable – being eco-friendly doesn’t mean throwing out perfectly good products, but rather when they are broken or damaged beyond repair then replace them with more sustainable items.

What to Look for in Sustainable Travel Products?

A lot of marketed “Eco-friendly” travel items you pack in your suitcase might not be exactly what they seem. Be aware of “greenwashing” and do some research to make sure you are choosing the right product(s) for your needs and for the environment.

Going green is all the rage nowadays, that’s why a lot of manufacturers are eager to jump on this bandwagon without really offering sustainable products. So to avoid getting ripped off, you have to know how to spot the legitimate ones.  Check out these tips to help you choose wisely: 


Eco-friendly products eliminate the need for single-use items so they must be durable enough to last a long time, without breaking the first time you use them!  Disposable products tend to be flimsy and cheaply made, that’s why it’s also easy to toss them into the garbage bin.

There are lots of beautiful sustainable products out there that are well-made and well-designed so you will love using them for many years to come.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they will be more expensive, but choosing good-quality items that last for longer is more eco-friendly than choosing cheaper things that you have to throw away.


For material, ideally, you want your Eco-friendly travel items and accessories to be made of sustainable materials such as bamboo, wood, silicone, fabric, metal, or glass. Durable plastic could also be an idea as long as it’s made of recycled plastic or is sure to last a long time, thus replacing single-use items.


For toiletries in particular, check that the ingredients are eco-friendly and collected responsibly, and don’t have any animal testing.  Sunscreen should be reef-safe if you will be swimming in rivers or in the ocean so you don’t add pollutants to the water. 

Who Makes It

It’s always good to check out the company producing the items so you can see how eco-friendly they truly are.  Do they source sustainable base materials or recycle and repurpose old materials?  Are they ethical employers?  If their factory is abroad do they pay the workers a fair wage and have good working conditions?

While this post focuses on eco-friendly travel products, being sustainable is more about caring for the environment, it is about caring for the people in it too!

I should also mention here that a lot of the links in this article lead to Amazon.  If you can find these or similar products in local businesses where you live that is probably better for the environment as you won’t have additional packaging, but I’ve included the Amazon links for easy reference and if you can’t find these products anywhere else.

The Best Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Travel Products

Check out my pick for the best eco-friendly travel products so you can feel good about your travel gear!

Reusable Water Bottle with a Filter


Absolutely without a doubt the one thing I used every day without fail on my travels, I cannot recommend a filter water bottle highly enough!  You will save money and cut down on waste plastic as it negates the need for buying bottled water every day.
Water-to-Go is the bottle I use everywhere which filters 99.9999% of illness-causing contaminants, including those as small as a virus.  You can drink water from taps, rivers, streams and any freshwater source wherever you are, without fear of a dodgy stomach or waterborne diseases.

All Tales of a Backpacker readers can get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go filter bottle with the code BYORB


While the version I have (a 75 cl Active Bottle) is made of plastic, it has a removable and recyclable filter and one 26oz/75cl filter replaces 400 single-use plastic bottles, so I still feel like this is the right choice! 

If you’re still not convinced, Water to Go have recently launched their even more eco-friendly bioplastic bottle, with the body of the bottle made from sustainably produced and ethically harvested 100% sugar cane – how cool is that! 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Best Filter Water Bottles for Travel 

Canvas or Cotton Tote Bag

I always carry at least two cotton totes with me on my travels, as they come in handy for so many different things I inevitably need more than one!  Use them as laundry bags, shopping bags, beach bags and anything else you can think of to avoid using a plastic bag or single-use paper bag.

Cotton bags can be rolled up and stuffed into the smallest of spaces when you’re not using them, whereas canvas totes are usually larger and bulkier to pack.  There are hundreds of different designs and colours to choose from, Etsy has some cute designs like this Wanderlust tote bag.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is essential while you are travelling, but lots of sunscreen contains chemicals which can damage fragile reef systems.  SUN BUM sunscreen is Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Gluten, Cruelty and Paraben Free to ensure a fun day in the sun in the most eco-friendly way possible!  

After-Sun Bar

If you do get burned, soothe your skin with aloe vera or cocoa butter.  There are plenty of liquid aloe vera lotions you can try, but if you’re in the UK I highly recommend Kin Kind after sun lotion bar.  I bought one for my trip to Australia and I love how compact it is, and effective at cooling and calming my pale skin after too much sun!  Badger also makes an organic after-sun bar which gets great reviews too.

Solid Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

We all know that plastic bottles are not good for the environment, and when you’re travelling carrying around bottles of shampoo and conditioner takes up space and weighs a lot too!  Solid shampoo and conditioner bars are much smaller and lighter, don’t contribute to your liquid allocation for hand luggage if you’re only taking carry-on. 

There are lots of brands making solid shampoos and conditioners with eco-friendly ingredients that are vegan and cruelty free, and without nasties like parabens.  My personal favourite is Kin Kind NOURISH me! shampoo bars which is the only brand I’ve found that lathers like a normal shampoo and leaves my thick hair clean and soft.

Lush solid shampoos are also quite good, and I’ve yet to try Ethique, although I love their solid cleanser (more on that below!).  I’ve yet to find a solid conditioner that really works for my long thick hair but I bought some Ethique shampoo and conditioner to test out so I’ll let you know how that goes!


Facial Cleanser Bar

I have quite oily skin that is prone to breakouts, so I am very fussy about how I cleanse my skin.  I’ve used various liquid cleansers but for my last trip I decided to take a gamble and try out a solid facial cleanser from Ethique and I LOVE IT! 

It leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft, but without any dryness and more importantly without spots!  The only downside for travel is the shape of the bars doesn’t fit into any of my travel containers, so I have to cut them in half to fit inside the travel tins I already have.  For short trips, check out their mini trial packs.

Eco-Friendly Toiletry Bottles

If you do still need some liquid toiletries, having travel-sized containers to decant your own stuff into is a fabulous space-saving trick, as well as reducing pointless plastic use when buying mini-sized toiletries at the airport.  This silicone set has a 3-layer leak-proof design and has a soft and squeezy body so you can get the last bits out!


Toiletry Bag

Current flight regulations mean that to take any liquids in your carry-on you will need a clear bag to put them in.  Don’t pick up a plastic bag at the airport, come prepared with a TSA approved toiletry bag that you can use every time you fly – this one has a handle for hanging in the shower too.

Bamboo Toothbrush and Toothpaste Tabs

This plastic-free toothbrush is a great addition to your eco-friendly travel toiletry kit and has soft charcoal-infused bristles, is vegan and comes with its own travel case and stand!  Pair it with some plastic free toothpaste tabs and you’re good to go!


Cruelty-free and Vegan Make-up

While I don’t travel with much make-up, if you do bring some with you then choose cruelty-free brands that haven’t been tested on animals.  You can also find various options that are vegan too – there are too many options to pick out the best ones here as everyone has such different requirements, but do your research and choose wisely!

Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
Cotton or Bamboo Reusable makeup remover pads will save a lot of plastic waste

Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

Forget your bottle of chemically-laden makeup remover or disposable wipes and go green with washable round pads. Just dip in water or dab with your favourite eco-friendly cleanser, and gently wipe over your skin to remove makeup. You can use these washable pads over a thousand times with no waste! 


Bamboo Cutlery Set

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve used my bamboo cutlery set while travelling and it is one of those essential eco-friendly travel items that is easily overlooked

Not only do they come in handy when I’m out and about eating street food or having snacks that I can’t eat with my hands, but also in hostel kitchens when there are never enough forks or knives!  This bamboo set is more eco-friendly than hard-wearing plastic, and lighter than stainless steel so that’s why it gets my vote.


Collapsible Silicone Food Storage Containers

I didn’t bring one of these with me on my current backpacking trip and I regretted it immediately!  When you’re cooking your own meals or eating out and want to take away the leftovers, avoid food waste with a collapsible container you can fill up and enjoy the following day. 

It is hard planning and cooking meals every day when you have nowhere to store any cooked food!

Be wary of transporting cooked food in one of these though, they may leak.  When you’re not using it, just fold it down or fill it with clean clothes to avoid wasting space in your luggage.

Silicone Ziplock Bags

These reusable ziplock bags are another eco-friendly way to solve your food storage problems without adding to the bulk of plastic waste in the ocean. The silicone material is more durable than plastic so you can re-use these bags over and over.  They don’t leak, are easy to clean, and won’t easily puncture. You can pop in your favourite fruits, nuts or sweets, and use them the next day for your homemade slaw. 

Some cheaper reusable bags are made from BPA-free PEVA which is still plastic so isn’t as eco-friendly as silicone, but still better than single-use food bags.  Another sustainable alternative is beeswax wraps, although they aren’t vegan!   


Pocket-sized Laundry Machine

Scrubba wash bags give you the freedom to wash your clothes even if you are in a hotel or anywhere where laundry fees are expensive.  There is no need for electricity so you can save money, reduce your power use and still enjoy fresh and clean clothes.

By using minimal water and no electricity, each Scrubba wash bag saves travellers an average of 1000 litres of water and 7.5kg of carbon each year.  As an added bonus because it is water-tight you can also use it as a dry bag too! 

However, if that feels like too much effort, at least bring some eco-friendly laundry detergent with you to use at the laundrette.  I use these Tru Earth laundry detergent sheets that are plastic-free and easy to pop in my luggage as they pack flat.  

Solar Charger

Harness the power of the sun and fuel your gadgets and devices in an eco-friendly way with a solar charger. You can fully charge your phone and other gadgets on a sunny day without the need to plug into any electrical source. It’s quite convenient when you are going off the grid since you do not have to depend on fossil fuels for power, just some sunshine!


My hand holding a Kindle eReader
A Kindle or eReader is an eco-friendly alternative to buying new books

eBooks & eReader

This should be a no-brainer, it doesn’t make sense to bring bulky travel guidebooks on a trip, it’s too heavy, and let’s be honest – they are often left unused because many of them are outdated as soon as they are printed. As much as I love reading books, bringing them on my travels is just too much.  

Not only are traditional books too heavy, but since they are made of paper, trees are cut down to have them sold. And since they are printed on (ink), they actually can’t be recycled that easily. So, what is the alternative?  eBooks!

Not only readings books can be stored here, but travel guides too. eBooks are with bookmark feature, meaning you can easily go back and forth on pages without having to flip through them endlessly.

E-Readers are rechargeable (you can charge them with a solar power bank), and you can bring hundreds of books with you without the weight and environmental impact of physical books! Good for you and good for the environment. Definitely a win-win situation!

The standard Kindle is a good choice, but the more advanced Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof so is super useful for backpackers and travellers who might get caught out in the rain. 


If you already have a Kindle, then a Kindle Unlimited subscription could be really useful for you, as it includes unlimited access to over 1 million eBooks.  You can also use the subscription on any device with the free Kindle app, you don’t even need to own a Kindle.

Final Thoughts on Eco-Friendly Travel Products

Travelling can nourish your soul, but it can also add to the already piled-up plastic waste in our oceans. I hope that this list of sustainable travel products has been useful for you. If you think that I forgot something and want me to add it to the list, let me know in the comment section below!

2 thoughts on “17 Eco-Friendly Travel Products for Your Next Trip

  1. Madeleine Dawson says:

    Great advice Claire – I travel a lot and spend a great deal of my time in the ocean salt water (swimming, diving, surfing) and I’ve found a great combined 2in1 shampoo/conditioner that works wonders on revitalising my hair and getting moisture back into it when it gets so dried out – you can get it on their site or Amazon; recommended! https://amzn.to/3u8dpy0

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