For my pre-kids travel adventures, I always erred on the side of every-possible-scenario packing, and while I never exceeded the weight limit (and thus never had to pack and re-pack on the floor next to the flight check-in desk!) I always arrived home with a bunch of clothes/items that I had never actually worn/used the entire time I was away. Once our daughter was born I did a complete 180, took on board my mum’s advice (you can either buy it there or shop for it), and reveled in the ways I was able to fit both our clothes in one suitcase and manage to keep a baby’s needs and my wants in one carry-on backpack. But children grow (which will happen if you keep feeding them!) and so do their clothes which means sharing is now 50/50 instead of 80/20. Even though our daughter is about to christen her very own piece of luggage, I still feel the need to simplify, edit, re-edit, and keep our packing simple. So here is my list of sustainable travel products you must have when packing light!
I decided to give the latest (hopefully here to stay) trend of toothpaste tabs a try last year and I have to say for travel, they are a space saver. Bite toothpaste is pretty well known by most consumers and since they were one of the first bigger names on the scene I decided to give them a try. Travel toothpaste usually means tiny tubes that might not last long (especially if being shared between family members) and bringing extras kind of defeats the purpose. I love the travel size jars (which are also their sample size) with 62 bites is more than enough for two adults and a two-week trip. They also have flavors for kids (Coco Mango and Berry Twist) and
Apart from the very obvious reason (less plastic!) switching to shampoo bars not only helped declutter out our shower area but also our toilet bag for travel. It’s a growing industry after long being relegated to the hippy-dippy market and as a result, there are heaps of options regardless of what type of hair or hair problems you might have. My go-to bar remains the one I started out with – Unwrapped Life, a women-owned company based out of Canada Their products are available through third-party sites in the US or you can order directly from them. My favorite is the Hydrator Bar (shampoo and conditioner), but if you’re wanting to ‘travel’ in your shower time their wanderlust collection could be a good choice. The best part is they offer travel tins either as a package deal or separately.
Two years ago I tossed my plastic razor (and the $$$ for refills!) and joined my husband with his stainless steel safety razor routine. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t without a few bandaid applications along the way (it’s a learning curve!), but the switch means that I have only one razor, when we travel it goes in my suitcase vs my carry on (so no hold-ups at security) and each blade lasts approximately 2-3 weeks so even bringing an extra one or two for an extended trip is simple. The savings are incomparable – I mean apart from just sneaking a couple of my husband’s – most razor refills run at $0.09/blade. Put that up against your standard (decent) cartridge refill which is roughly $3.00/refill ( x 6 for a multipack) and it isn’t hard to see that it’s a win-win for your wallet and the world. To make it smooth, I use Sallye Ander soaps which last a really long time and are super easy to pack. The only downside is you may need to find an extra soap container to pack it in and avoid some lather in your dop kit if you don’t have time to dry it out before you zip everything up.
This is an essential personal item that in most cases is packaged in a pretty travel-friendly manner. However, I am here to recommend this natural-deodorant-that-actually-works and comes in a travel size (though if you need a full size for an extended trip it’s not a big ask to squeeze it in. Black Chicken is an Australian brand of deodorant that’s basically a super paste. It’s long-lasting both in terms of daily application and the time it takes before you need to open a new pot. I have the regular size containers but snagged these mini ones which are perfect for travel and if your wanderings are taking you beyond a standard getaway adding a second one isn’t going to cramp your packing goals.
Lips et al
Whether it is a summer break by the beach or a sojourn (with kids? Hmmm . .probably not the best word choice!) in the snow, our lips are constantly out there with the elements. I’ve stuck everything on there since high school – vaseline, lanolin, coconut oil, a variety of balms, and salves from several different countries. My go-to’s as a parent also do double duty for my daughter. I really love Zoe Organics Everything Balm which goes beyond lips and works well as a treatment for rashes, scrapes, and insect bites. It’s a big tube but worth the space for its versatility. My other go-to is the Australian favorite, paw-paw ointment. There are several brands available to US and European buyers but I really recommend ones that don’t contain petroleum as an added ingredient. This one has is minus a lot of standard artificial ingredients. It serves a similar purpose to Zoe and is really fantastic on lips. Don’t want to have to share? I really love Glory Lips (yes, another Australian product – don’t blame me, I was born there!) which not only heals lips but doubles as a natural lip gloss.
Traveling light (and traveling light with kids!) doesn’t mean you need to compromise on quality or cart a bazillion things for multiple purposes. There is a huge market out there for sustainable travel products and more importantly, there is a growing market of products that are good for us and good for the planet.
You might also like these articles on the Bébé Voyage Blog:
Zero Waste Travel: Good For Mother Earth And Good For The Soul