Becoming a More Sustainable Traveler in 2020

A Guide to Becoming a More Sustainable Traveler

Becoming a Sustainable Traveler

One of my goals for 2020, and the new decade in general, is becoming a more sustainable traveler. Over the last few years I have really tried to make better (and more conscious) decisions when it comes to the products I’m buying and the food I’m eating. I’m 34 years old, and if I’m being completely honest, it’s hard to make lifestyle changes. I regularly forget to carry a reusable bag when I’m heading out to go shopping and I also forget to restock my car with reusable straws. My point is, no one is perfect. But I think the whole idea of being a sustainable traveler isn’t about being perfect. It’s about making the effort, right? To try and be better, not be perfect.

So, without further ado, here is my list of 7 ways to becoming a more sustainable traveler in 2020 (and beyond).

Disclosure: My posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll earn a small commission. As always, I will only include links to products I actually use, love, or recommend.

Becoming a More Sustainable Traveler in 2020


Traveling with your own cutlery and reusable straws will greatly reduce the amount of plastic being used and thrown in the trash during a trip. This is one thing I plan on being better at in 2020.


I always travel with a refillable water bottle and so does my husband. Most airports nowadays have water stations where you can fill up your water bottle after you get through security. Not only will this reduce the amount of plastic water bottles being thrown in the trash, but it will also save you a lot of money.

*I personally really love the S’well brand (linked above) and have several that I not only travel with, but use at home as well.


Another great way to limit plastic consumption when traveling is by carrying a reusable grocery bag. This is actually something that my husband and I are pretty good at when it comes to traveling, but terrible at when we are at home. I always forget to grab a bag before I leave my house. My goal for 2020 is to leave a few in my car so I always have one readily available.

If you don’t want to carry around an extra bag when traveling, a backpack works just as well. There have been many times when traveling that we just toss our purchases into our backpack.


This is another great way to not only be sustainable, but also save money. Instead of buying new travel size toiletries for every trip, stock up on about 5-10 reusable travel-sized bottles/containers. This way, you can fill up the bottles and containers with the shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, etc. that you already have at home.

I have been doing this for years and I can’t recommend it enough. I even put my liquid makeup in small containers/contact lens cases* so that I don’t have to travel with full-size bottles. This saves so much room in my toiletry bag.

*Shoutout to the great Lindsay Silberman for the tip about putting liquid makeup in contact lens cases. She’s a genius. If you’re looking for trustworthy beauty tips (or really tips on anything) definitely check out her blog. She’s the real deal, guys.

And if you want to get really serious about traveling sustainably, you can even purchase items that are completely package free. Like toothpaste tablets, laundry soap sheets, and bar soap.


For all my ladies out there, using a menstrual cup will be a game changer! No more worrying about finding tampons or pads when you’re traveling. There is a learning curve to using one, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to use a tampon or pad again.

*Keep in mind there are different sizes based on your age and if you have a heavier flow, etc. so make sure you choose the right one.


Walking and biking are great ways to explore new cities without relying on cars. When we travel, my husband and I rarely rent a car or use Uber/Lyft. We almost exclusively walk, bike, or use public transportation like the subway/tube or buses/trains to get around. There are obviously destinations were renting a car is necessary, like Iceland for example, but for the most part, you can get by using public transportation or walking/biking.


If all else fails, recycle. We all know it’s hard AF to become 100% sustainable, and honestly, it’s not realistic for most people. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to buy something that’s “not sustainable” for whatever reason, odds are, it can at least be recycled. Most hotels nowadays include a recycle bin in your room, so make use of it. And remember, every little bit helps.

Well, there you have it. My tops tips to becoming a more sustainable traveler. What are some of your favorite tips? Leave me a comment below or tweet me {@michlele_aaron}.

And if you’re interested in other travel tips check out my post on how to afford travel.

Becoming a More Sustainable Traveler in 2020


Becoming a more sustainable traveler




    • Michele
      January 1, 2020 / 3:15 pm

      Happy 2020 to you, too! I am going to get better about using reusable shopping bags when I am home. I am the first to admit that I’m the worst and always forget to grab one.

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