Five items that will make your plastic free holiday easy


Summer vacation is arriving and for many that means traveling time! This can easily be done plastic-free. It just needs a bit of preparation. Today plastic-free blogger Erin shares how she goes about travelling zero-plastic.

I love living plastic free.

I also love travelling.

The searching, planning and booking is just as thrilling as exploring a new country, state or town. I get agitated if I have not been away. A fortune teller once told me that if i don’t immerse myself in new surroundings often then my soul will starve, I was not meant to settle in one place she said. Unsure if her words were true or not I like to use them as an excuse for when I get the urge to get away. And luckily I will be jaunting off from my home in Melbourne Australia to see family in the US to scratch that travel itch.

Of course travelling is taxing on the environment. I am not going to skirt around the issue there. The negative aspects of it are mostly out of my hands unless of course I decided to discontinue overseas travel… but i’m not ready to do that just yet and with a large portion of my family living in another country not being able to see them would be hard.

But there are ways I can limit my impact and reducing single plastics is one of the best ways to do this.

As the traveler I am technically a guest in someones ‘home’. I was taught to be polite and not make a mess when visiting other peoples homes. Saying no to plastic is simply being courteous to the country I am visiting. After all they should not have to clean up after me and I would not expect them too either. Plastic is not an easy item to clean up. While plastic can be recycled, 50 percent of the plastic used just once is thrown away and still exists somewhere on this planet. I don’t want to add to that statistic.

To be a kind and courteous traveler I like to take items that help me to say no to plastic, minimising my impact and reduce my trash.

Five items that will make your plastic free holiday easy

Plastic Free Travelling

Cutlery wrap
I take this cutlery wrap everywhere. In it I have a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks and a reusable straw plus a napkin. It folds up small and can be easily carried about. It also doubles as a place-mat for a makeshift picnic.

Plastic Free Travelling

A stainless steel cup will be handy for drinking water on the long haul flights and any other times single use plastic cups might appear.

Plastic Free Travelling

Water bottle
Plastic water bottles not only litter the environment, they are a waste of resources and also waste your hard earned money. I have taken mine everywhere from Myanmar to Estonia, India, Fiji, Philippines, Denmark, Borneo, Bosnia… you get the picture, it’s seen some places.

If you are staying in a country where the water is not drinkable don’t ditch the reusable bottle option immediately. I like to contact the hotel in advanced to find out if they hotel can refill it from their system. Other options are iodine tablets, a SteriPEN or simply boil water (my go to option). I have been able to travel through China, Philippines, Myanmar without buying bottled water and did not get sick.

Plastic Free Travelling

Cloth bags
Cloth bags are great for collecting fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, sandwiches, doughnuts and any fun street food you want to sample. I also use mine to take food on long haul flights to avoid the waste from airline food too. Before I go on any trip I search for local market options where I can shop for fruit and vegetables without packaging. Plus it is usually cheaper at the markets and will add a fun travel memory because who doesn’t love markets? I also check out what bulk stores might be in the area via the Bulk App, available for the iPhone and Android.

Plastic Free Travelling

Stainless steel container
For this trip we are taking a stainless steel container that can double as a plate for the two of us. Because we are staying in Air BnB’s with cooking facilities we can use the container to also grab anything for cooking from local delis.

Plastic Free Travelling

Everything fits together and is light to carry. We just put it into our day pack and off we go.

Travelling is fun, and I encourage everyone to go out exploring. If I can do it plastic free, anyone can. It’s a great conversation starter too and we all need to be having more conversations about plastic.

At rejse er at leve – Hans Christine Andersen

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  1. Noel McDonough on

    Inspiring. I am much, MUCH older than you obviously are but am determined to begin attempting to live more waste free. I’ve always worried about the growing tendelncy to increase packaging. (There was a time that I recall buying 1d worth of broken biscuits because biscuits were sold by weight rather than packet; thus causing broken biscuits.)
    Thank you for this site.

    • Annemieke

      Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your kind and encouraging message, Noel! There is indeed way too much packaging. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but we can all take small steps to reduce plastic waste. This also signals to businesses and politicians that we care about this problem, building pressure to create systematic change. Good luck on your journey to less waste.

    • Annemieke

      Thank you for your question, Pamela! I always take a spoon with me in my hand luggage. I usually take it out of my bag at the security check because I have been asked to take it out a couple of times. Previously I often brought a reusable, but plastic spork (fork, spoon, knife in one) with me, but it broke. I am not sure whether it is ok to bring a knife and fork in your hand luggage. I expect trouble, so I would suggest to only take a spoon.

      • Marlies

        Hi Pamela!

        I’m sure you can take a spoon and fork on board without any problem, but I’ve have had to hand over a regular “breakfast” knife during security check a couple of times. Not sure what they were afraid of, as I could not even really cut an apple with it :-). But there you go!

        The handiest thing for traveling are the “sporks” that were already mentioned. Let us know how it goes!


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