Three must have eco-friendly travel essentials for your next trip
We all know about the standard eco-friendly travel must haves: reusable cutlery, a keep-cup and a bamboo toothbrush. But if you're looking to make your next trip even more eco-friendly then this blog is for you!
I went to book a trip to the Pacific recently and realised after two years of no international travel...I am SO out of practice! Coordinating flights and accommodation, figuring out the best time to go, planning the best things to see and do let alone packing and finding my passport which I've stored away in some dusty, forgotten-about cupboard...It got me thinking about how I would manage the everyday sustainable living choices I make at home but on the road a bit of planning ahead is needed.
Read on to hear from Karen, an eco-conscious travel writer who shares her adventurous travels and how these three essentials can help make your travel more enjoyable and sustainable.
Three of the best eco-friendly travel essentials
- 70g tin of plastic free sunscreen by Seasick Sunscreen Co
- Merino wool clothing
- Reusable water filter bottle
There's no denying the carbon emissions caused by international travel. So when I travel I try to minimise my impact on the local communities I visit by taking my eco-friendly travel essentials, supporting eco-tourism and taking public transport whenever possible.
Pre-covid, we used to travel a lot. With the world opening up again, I thought it was time to dive into my travel memories and dust off my favourite sustainable travel essentials!
Eco-friendly sunscreen is essential for Dubai
Photo: Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In 2018, we visited family in Dubai on our way to the UK. It was August so incredibly hot and sticky; any outdoor activities were a struggle in 40 degrees plus so we made sure we got out early to see a few of those famous landmarks; the Burj Al Arab Hotel resembling the sail of a ship, the towering Burj Khalifa overlooking the famous fountains, and when it got unbearably hot we escaped into the air conditioned Souk Al Bahar where you can check out authentic handicrafts and the Dubai Mall where you can shop forever and enjoy that massive aquarium. For a taste of ‘old Dubai’ the Dubai Museum is well worth a visit housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in the city.
A trip to see the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a must – white marble courtyards, columns and domes overlooked by the tall minarets - the blistering heat made everything shimmer which added to the visual impact - it was breathtaking especially with the contrast of the deep blue sky above.
I was most impressed that the sunscreen didn’t melt on the Dubai leg of our journey, not only did it provide the all-important sun protection but it was a great moisturiser too. The durable plastic free tin, meant I could throw it into my day bag and it travelled with me everywhere.
Merino Wool is an eco-friendly travel essential for Scotland
Storr Rocky Mountain Range, Isle of Skye, Scotland
It was quite challenging packing for this particular holiday as when we arrived in the UK the temperatures were all over the place. Still some warm sunny September days but much cooler weather as we headed north into Scotland. This is where my merino layers worked amazingly. Merino wool is a natural fibre that is environmentally friendly, biodegradable and an excellent thermoregulator. I could wear a merino t-shirt when it was hot and put on another merino long sleeve when the temperatures dropped. They are lightweight making them easy to pack and stayed fresh without washing for ages.
Up in Scotland the highlight had to be our visit to the Isle of Skye. Such amazing wildlife together with the raw beauty of the countryside, coastline, hills and cliffs makes it a very special place to visit. On a fine day I took a sailing trip and was lucky enough to see white-tailed and golden eagles, puffins and dolphins. Sunscreen not only protects against the sun's rays but also salt, wind and sand. We found the locals to be so welcoming and kind and of course the country pubs and music make it a unique experience.
"since discovering Seasick I am happy to say I use it daily; it is non-greasy and easy to apply so it has become part of my daily skin routine" - Karen, eco-conscious traveller
A Water Filter Bottle is an absolute must for eco-friendly travel in Kenya
I have visited many many countries but probably the most wonderful experiences were in Kenya. I traveled there in September which is towards the end of the dry season but one of the best wildlife viewing months. Within a few days of landing in Kenya I had seen the “big five” namely elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros. I stayed in eco-friendly camps which were erected and then dismantled at the end of each season, all staffed by the wonderful Masai people who are the best, friendliest, kindest and most knowledgeable guides. September is almost the end of the Great Migration during which around two million animals make the journey from the Serengeti into the Masai Mara - mostly wildebeest but also zebra and gazelles. And the perfect way to end a full day on safari has to be a “sundowner”, basically happy hour, sitting watching the sun go down over the beautiful African plains. My reusable water filter drink bottle meant I always had access to safe drinking water and saved probably hundreds of single-use plastic bottles throughout the duration of the trip.
Sunscreen is an eco-friendly essential at home in NZ too
I arrived home to summer and took a sailing boat trip in the Coromandel. With the lush green forests plummeting straight into clear teal waters, its hard to beat! I am in the over 60 age bracket so unfortunately already have sun damaged skin from years of being out and about without sun protection. However, since discovering Seasick Sunscreen I am happy to say I use it daily; it is non-greasy and easy to apply so it has become part of my daily skin routine - read our blog for more on sunscreen best defence against ageing skin. I love that it is ocean and reef safe and made with not only your skin in mind but the environment as well. And now I am a grandma, I use it on my grandson as it has no hidden nasties and is super safe for sensitive skin, it’s a win win really!