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Sit back and relax because we're here to take the stress out of preparing for your next trip. By the time you're done reading this list you'll be armed with knowledge about how to travel lighter and smarter, all while supporting conscious brands doing good in the world.
Able to fold up into a fraction of its size, this packable backpack by Eagle Creek will free up a lot of space in your suitcase for the rest of your items, including other bags if you like having options. With its lockable main compartment that will help keep your valuables safe, though, we think this makes for a smart day bag option. Of course you can also just bring it along as your just-in-case bag. It's always smart to prepare for the unexpected and you can't go wrong with bringing one of these along. It also makes for a perfect everyday backpack for minimalists or those tight on storage space since it can easily be stored away in a drawer when not in use.
Eagle Creek also offers packable totes and duffels, all of which are 99% pthalate (PVC free), made with recycled PVB and bluesign approved fabrics, which lessens any negative impact on people and the planet, and backed by their No Matter What Warranty to help keep gear out of landfills.
Another packable backpack option is this one by Everlane, an ethical clothing brand that partners with factories that provide fair wages and reasonable hours. While it doesn't have a water bottle pocket or safety features like lockable zippers, it is arguably the more stylish option. And if you're just using this as your just-in-case bag or perhaps occasional gym bag, then the absence of those features shouldn't really be a problem.
This infinity scarf has a hidden pocket that you can use to keep your valuables safe at hand, while freeing up some space in your luggage. If you want to travel with just a carry-on, this scarf is an absolute must-have. It comes in a bunch of unique, colourful designs, but we chose this one because 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this pattern will go to Marshal Direct Fund, which supports youth education and provides economic empowerment opportunities for women in Pakistan.
Upgrade from your standard neck pillow to this one from Essentia for a more luxurious, healthy nap. Hypoallergenic and made only of natural, organic materials, you can sleep easy knowing you won't be breathing in or touching anything harmful.
If you're not so keen on the idea of bringing a bulky neck pillow, however, then we'd recommend this inflatable neck pillow from Eagle Creek. It inflates and deflates in seconds and packs down into a small stuff sac. The clip on the front can be used to keep the pillow in position around your neck or to attach it to your luggage for easy carrying.
This travel set made by Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts comes with a sleep mask and earplugs - two key things that will help you get some shut eye - as well as a drawstring bag that you can use to separate shoes or dirty laundry from your clean clothes. Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts is a nonprofit organization that helps poor and disadvantaged female artisans generate an income.
Even if you're going someplace with scorching temperatures, we recommend bringing at least one hoodie to keep you warm at the airport, on the plane, in chilly grocery stores, or really, just about any place that's blasting the AC way too high. We recommend zip up hoodies because they're easy to put on and take off, and the zipper provides you with some flexibility, allowing you to zip down for some ventilation or zip up if you need a little more warmth.
For every product purchased United By Blue will remove one pound of trash from our oceans and waterways.
Travel light with these eco-friendly noise isolating in-ear headphones made with FSC®-Certified Wood, recyclable aluminum housings and a tangle-free cable. It has an in-line microphone with 1-button remote so you can easily play, pause or skip your music and can leave them plugged in for easy access to calls. It also comes with two sizes of silicone ear gels so you can find your most comfortable fit.
If travelling as light as possible isn't your number one priority and you're going to be travelling far or be gone for a while, you might want to go with the extra comfort that over ear headphones provides. This pair is eco-friendly, noise-cancelling, water resistant, has a remote and can be used wirelessly. It's also foldable and comes with a removable tangle-free cable, making it easy to travel with.
This safe and sustainable 2-in-1 solar powered lantern and charger by LuminAID is perfect for your next outdoor adventure. It has 5 brightness settings, packs flat for easy portability, is waterproof and floats. The built-in 2000 mAh battery takes 1-2 hours to recharge by micro-USB, or about 12-14 hours in the sun. (There's also a 4000 mAh version available that takes a little longer to charge and is slightly bigger.) You certainly don't need to be an outdoor enthusiast to use this, though. It can be used just like any regular portable charger, so even if you're not going to be venturing anywhere off the beaten track, we think this is definitely a charger you should consider getting, especially if you're keen on having the extra peace of mind of being prepared for emergencies such as power outages.
LuminAID helps provide safe light to those in need.
If all you need is a basic portable charger without lantern or solar charging capabilities, then consider this durable, stainless steel one from BioLite, a brand that uses Parallel Innovation to create products designed for both outdoor recreation users, as well as those without access to clean, affordable household energy. It's sleek, thin and boasts a silicone gasket to make it weather-resistant. There's also smaller 2600mAh and larger 10400mAh versions available. (A note of advice when it comes to shopping for portable chargers: be sure to check that the power output meets your device's minimum power threshold.)
A journal is a must. It's great for having an offline, tech-free backup of important travel info, jotting down your thoughts and ideas, doodling, remembering your dreams and keeping busy on the plane or at the airport. We like this one because it comes with an elastic strap closure and a pen.
Through Pura Vida Bracelets artisans around the world can depend on a steady income. Through their charity bracelet collection they've also donated over $1.5 million to a variety of different causes like mental health awareness and saving pandas.
This hat was designed for travel. It's lightweight, breathable, has a packable brim that will retain its shape after being scrunched up, and comes with a pocket that you can use to stash your keys, credit card, change or anything else. There's also reflectivity logos on the front and back to help you stay visible and safe. This hat is made out of leftover fabric, so it's totally eco-friendly too. And 5% of the sales of this hat (just as with all Janji products) will go towards funding clean water projects.
Whether you're going someplace hot or cold, sunglasses are a must. They'll protect your eyes from the sun, wind, rain and snow, and if they have a dark tint such as these, they'll also offer a bit of privacy for when you want to take an impromptu nap, but don't necessarily want to whip out an eye mask. Aviators are a versatile choice that can easily be dressed up or down. For every pair of glasses sold, DIFF will donate a pair of glasses to someone in need.
Made of vegan leather, this slim case is a smart, travel-friendly way to protect your sunnies without being too bulky. Many DIFF sunglasses, such as the style above, come with this case included.
Trust us, these FSC certified, eco-friendly tissues will definitely come in handy. Bathrooms without toilet paper, runny noses, wiping tears (hopefully only happy ones), dirty hands - you'll be so glad you came prepared.
Not only are rainboots bulky, they're not exactly the most comfortable thing to be wearing around all day. The good news is that you don't have to bring any with you! Vessi's Citscape Shoes are completely waterproof, yet breathable, so you'll be able to explore the world comfortably and stress-free knowing you'll be prepare, rain or shine. All of Vessi's shoes are 100% vegan, as comfy as slippers and lighter than a phone.
Keep everything safe with this RFID safe travel wallet that's got pockets for your passport as well as for your credit cards, cash, tickets and boarding pass. There's a lockable zip-around closure for added safety, as well as an exterior handle for easy carrying and a D-ring that you can attach a wallet chain or lanyard to.
Or if you prefer to keep your passport and your money separate, we recommend this sustainable, PETA-approved vegan RFID safe cork wallet that also includes a very handy coin pocket. While this style is found only in the men's section of Corkor's website, we see no reason why women can't use this too.
Corkor will donate 1% of your purchase to the charity of your choice at checkout.
Protect your laptop with this organic, fair trade certified laptop sleeve. It comes in several colours and is also available in a larger size for 15" laptops.
When hunger strikes it's never fun, especially when you're on a flight that may or may not cater to vegan diets or any other dietary restrictions you may have. And when you factor in any possible delays, well things can just get downright miserable - unless you're prepared, of course. That's why bringing your own food is a must. This practical, eco-friendly container by EcoVessel holds a generous 8 ounces of food. You can even use it to store a drink if you wish! The best part is that it collapses to about half of its size for easy storage when you're done.
If you can afford the room for them, these 100% leak-proof stainless steel containers are also a smart, eco-friendly choice. They're lightweight, easy to clean and their sturdy construction means you won't have to worry about anything happening to them on your travels.
Bumkins' offers a large variety of eco-friendly reusable sandwich and snack bags such as this gorgeous floral print one. They've also got some with Disney, DC and Nintendo characters, such as Wonderwoman, Mickey Mouse and Super Mario. There's a design for everybody! You can use these sandwich bags for storing just about anything from food to cosmetics to electronics, though we recommend designating at least one for food use (in addition to a container like the ones above) so you'll be well prepared for when the munchies strike. Just be sure to use it for dry food only. Anything even slightly wet, such as freshly washed veggies, is better suited for container such as the ones above. What we love about these, though (besides their cool designs), is that they'll take up practically no room to store away once empty.
Having protein bars on hand is crucial as a vegan because when faced with limited food options, these babies will help fill you up and keep your hunger at bay. They have 15 grams of protein, are gluten free, non-GMO, raw, kosher, made with clean ingredients and free of most common allergens. The variety pack comes with delicious flavours like Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Chip Coconut.
In case of emergencies. All you need is hot water and spoon and you're good to go. Comes in a bunch of delicious flavours, like Coconut Cashew and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan. This one has 7 grams of protein to help fill you up. All of Nature's Path products are organic, non-GMO and created in zero-waste manufacturing facilities. Every year they donate at least $2 million in food to places like food banks and charities.
Not only is plastic cutlery bad for the environment, there are no guarantees that it's always going to be available to you. We highly recommend you bring one of these so you'll always be able to eat your food whenever, wherever.
Fresh fruits make for a nutritious, hydrating snack, but you should also consider bringing some freeze-dried fruits along too, like these organic, vegan, non-GMO ones by Natierra. They're a sweet, crispy, healthy alternative to chips and unlike fresh fruits, they won't leave your hands sticky or drip their juices everywhere. They're also great for mixing into cereal or oatmeal.
If you've got a sweet tooth then we recommend one of Natierra's freeze-dried chocolate covered fruits for a healthy way to get your fix.
For a more savoury snack you could opt for one of Natierra's freeze-dried veggie packs, like this roasted corn one. They also have freeze-dried sweet corn, peas and beets available. We recommend you stock up because not all restaurants or airlines offer vegan-friendly prepared veggies. Of course, you can always just make some yourself, but you can't beat the convenience of these.
Freshen up your breath with these all-natural and xylitol-free mints. After a garlic heavy meal trust us when we say you'll be glad you had these on hand.
Minty gum is another great option.
Staying hydrated is important. This eco-friendly, triple insulated stainless steel water bottle will keep liquids cold for 40 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. What we love about this one is that it also comes with a removable strainer that you can use for steeping tea, infusing your water with fruits and herbs, or for using as an ice dam to keep the ice in the bottle and prevent it from hitting your teeth. It's also leak proof and the lid's attached carrying strap will prevent it from falling off and getting lost.
Tap water isn't always the best, so if you're looking for extra peace of mind we'd highly recommend this water bottle from Clearly Filtered that will remove 99.9% of most chemicals and contaminants, including lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides (such as Glyphosate - the cancer-causing chemical in Round-Up), and up to 99% of fluoride.
If you're going to be camping or going anywhere where you might not have easy access to clean water, or you simply want the ultimate peace of mind, then we would recommend this water bottle by LifeStraw instead. While the bottle is made of Tritan, rather than stainless steel or glass (which are safer materials) the bottle's powerful filtration capabilities vastly make up for this one downside. Not only can it filter dirty tap water, it can also filter contaminated lake, stream or pond water and make it safe for drinking! You can say goodbye to all your clean water worries. It's the ultimate survival water bottle and very practical to have, whether for your next trip or simply to keep at home or in the car in case of emergencies. Oh, and did we mention that for every LifeStraw product you purchase, a school child in need receives safe water for an entire school year?!
Just like Lifestraw, this GRAYL bottle can filter clean water from just about anywhere. You just press and in 15 seconds your water will be purified of viruses (e.g. hepatitis a), bacteria (e.g. salmonella), protozoan cysts (e.g. giardia), particulates (e.g. sediment), chemicals (e.g. chlorine, benzene) and heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic, chromium). GRAYL is a 1% for the planet member and will donate 1% of your purchase to environmental nonprofits. One advantage this bottle has over Lifestraw is that it removes viruses and heavy metals. The Lifestraw Go Bottle does not.
As you can see, there's a lot to consider when choosing a travel bottle, from design to materials to price to filtration capabilities. But we're sure you'll find one that suits your needs.
Travelling can certainly do a number on your skin. Help rejuvenate dry skin with this hydrating, aloe vera, green tea mask that comes in packs of 1 or 5. It's the perfect way to relax after a long flight. We especially love that there's no rinsing required for this one, which makes it really convenient to use on the go. 100% Pure, as the name implies, is known for having some of the cleanest and most natural products.
Everyone needs a good cleanser. This creamy, soothing cleanser from OSEA, a non-toxic vegan skincare brand, is fragrance free and pH balanced, making it suitable for all skin types.
In case of delays, layovers or simply just long flights, it's a good idea to have an easy, no rinsing needed way to be able to freshen up on the go. But don't make the mistake of using something harsh or irritating! Travelling can be stressful on your skin as it is, so you don't want to be using anything that can potentially make it worse. These super gentle cleansing cloths can remove make-up and impurities in just one swipe and will leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. As a bonus, they're also eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable!
(Also available in a pack of 35.)
This luxurious, deeply moisturizing cream for all skin types will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and dewy. Like most Biossance products, it's also EWG VERIFIED, which means this product meets the EWG's stringent criteria of transparency, safety and good manufacturing practices. All EWG VERIFIED products are top scoring products on EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which scores products based on the safety of their ingredients. While all beauty products listed on our site are very clean and non-toxic (we use the Skin Deep Database site for confirmation), the EWG verification marks this product as among one of the safest.
Keep blemishes at bay with this all-natural spot treatment that diminishes he appearance of blemishes and prevents new ones from fully surfacing. It's super small size makes it a no-brainer for packing.
If flying makes you anxious or you're prone to homesickness, this Vagus Nerve Oil is a great idea to bring with you. Its soothing blend of essential oils helps to regulate stress and has an uplifting, calming effect. Combined with some meditation or deep breathing, this can help you travel stress-free.
You've got to take care of your body too and you can't go wrong with a decadent body butter like this that moisturizes, softens and protects, while leaving you smelling good naturally. No need for any perfumes! And since it's thick enough to use on your feet there's no need to bring a foot cream either.
The body butter above can also be used for your hands. But if you want to keep your day bag as light as possible we recommend popping this in there instead and keeping the body butter in your hotel room.
Unlike deodorant you find at your local drugstore, this one is made with safe ingredients like arrowroot powder, aloe vera and calendula, using naturally occuring enzymes and essential oils to eliminate bad odors. All Good is a certified B Corporation and gives 1% of their sales to Save Our Snow and United Plant Savers.
Hydrate your lips with these nourishing, eco-friendly, non-toxic lip balms. They're 100% natural and made with high quality ingredients like fair trade cocoa butter and organic coconut oil. The manufacturing of these lip balms is 100% offset with renewable energy credits. You'll probably only need to bring one of these, but since it's not always easy to find vegan lip balms, it might be a good idea to bring another and keep it in a separate bag or pocket so that if you lose one at least you have a backup.
This eco-friendly, concentrated, pH balanced shampoo bar is equivalent to 3 bottles of liquid shampoo! This means on average every bar saves just under 1L of water and 3 plastic bottles. It's also TSA friendly, comes in compostable packaging, and is gentle enough on your hair that it won't dry it out and leave it thirsting for any conditioner. The less products we can bring the better! You could even use it to wash your body if you wanted.
Ethique is a sustainable, eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free and climate-neutral brand.
To store your shampoo bars you can use this container by Ethique which will preserve the life of your bars by keeping them drying and allowing them to breathe. It can hold 2 Ethique shampoo or conditioner bars. While it's designed for in-shower use, when it comes to travelling with it you can simply wrap an elastic around the container to keep it locked and secured.
For liquid shampoo lovers, this travel pack is a natural, fuss-free option. It comes with a shampoo, a conditioner, a facial scrub and a day cream - all made with super nourishing ingredients like argan oil, chlorella and gotu kola extract.
For a body wash/shaving soap we love this ultra versatile castile soap by Dr. Bronner's, an activist company that supports causes like regenerative agriculture, animal advocacy and living wages. This castile soap can also be used as a shampoo or cleanser, so if you ever run out you can always count on this to get you through. You can even use it to wash your dirty clothes or for doing the dishes. The uses are endless, so you might want to bring more than one of these. And if you plan on doing any hand washed laundry, be sure to bring either a sink stopper or a Scrubba Wash Bag (which also doubles as a dry bag) along as well.
Make the switch from plastic razors to this eco-friendly, sustainable bamboo one. The handle is biodegradable and the blades are replaceable and recyclable. It's compatible with all double edge razor blades and is suitable for both men and women. Plus, you'll get a closer, smoother shave without any irritation. Still not convinced? It's also more cost effective in the long run since blades are cheaper than cartridge refills and disposable razors. Upgrade your shaving game and your wallet and skin will thank you. Just remember to pack it in your checked luggage, not your carry-on.
This eco-friendly, travel-size detangler works on both wet and dry hair, making it perfect for busy days of travel and exploration. EcoTools is a vegan company that creates products with recycled aluminum and plastic, and uses tree-free packaging made of a blend of bamboo and cotton. The handles on their products are made of renewable bamboo.
For those days when your hair's looking a little greasy. This all-natural, cruelty-free, vegan dry shampoo absorbs oil, adds volume and leaves your hair smelling amazing. Captain Blankenship is a B Corp certified company and 1% For The Planet member
Nothing beats good old hand washing, but a hand sanitizer is always useful to carry around in case you there isn't a washroom close by to wash your hands or maybe the line is too long and you just don't feel like lining up and waiting. You can also use it to disinfect whatever you feel needs it, such as your hotel room's TV remote or phone for example, by adding a dollop to a tissue instead of bringing along a bulky package of wet wipes. This hand sanitizer is EWG VERIFIED and comes in a pack of 6, so you can keep one in your bag, your car, your office, at home and wherever else you may need one. Everyone is a certified B Corp and zero-waste manufacturer.
If you're sensitive to energies, then this is something you should definitely consider packing in your suitcase. Instead of burning sage or palo santo to cleanse your space and energy, all you need to do is spray a bit of this and you're good to go. What could be easier?
Keep your teeth fresh and clean on the go with JĀSÖN's travel size toothpaste. It's free of fluoride, gluten, saccharin, parabens, phthalates and harsh sulfates, providing a gentle yet effective cleaning.
Obviously you need a toothbrush. We like this bamboo one because every part of it is plant-based and eco-friendly, including the packaging, which is compostable.
To protect your bamboo toothbrush you can either store it in the packaging it came in, or for a sturdier option, you can use a case such as this.
Turkish towels are a great alternative to your regular terrycloth towel. Not only are they just as absorbent, they're also lightweight, much more compact and dry faster. They've got multiple uses, such as a sarong, a scarf, a shawl, a picnic blanket or a sleeping blanket. And the more you wash them the softer and more absorbent they get. It's no wonder Turkish towels are all the rage these days!
This cute little guy is a fun, convenient way to carry a wet bag. You can attach it to your bag or a keychain or just carry it as is. The enclosed wet bag is reusable and can be used for many things, such as wet swimsuits, sweaty gym clothes, leaky luggage items or to protect your sensitive gear. All of Matador's products are vegan, ethically manufactured in fair-labour factories, extremely durable, and made with decreased consumption and waste.
Like their reusable snack bags, Bumkins also offers a range of whimsical waterproof wet bags. The snap handle means you can attach them not just to your bag or keychain, but even around your suitcase, a bike handle or a stroller. And when not in use they can be folded down very compactly to fit into your bag or pocket. We recommend getting at least two so you always have on available to use for your wet swimsuits and another for your dirty clothes.
Life hack: When travelling to and from your destination, fill one up with clothes (rolling them rather than folding allows you to fit more inside) and zip it up for an easy makeshift pillow. It's the ultimate way to travel light without giving up any comforts!
When going to the pool or beach you need an easy slip on sandal to protect your feet. We recommend slides because they can double as slippers to wear in your hotel room. These ones by Native Shoes (a 100% vegan brand!) are only $25.
Did you know chemical-based sunscreens containing ingredients like oxybenzone are killing coral reefs? It's time to switch to a mineral-based, reef-friendly sunscreen like this one by All Good.
This pocket sized blanket is perfect for any of your outdoor excursions, whether that's a long hike or just a picnic at the park. Because it's so compact and easy to carry, you'll want to bring everywhere. And we don't blame you! It's nice to know you'll always have a clean place to sit no matter where you are. This blanket is water repellant, puncture resistant and seats 1-2 adults.
All Matador products are 100% vegan, ethically manufactured and designed to have a very minimal impact on the environment.
If you plan on doing any groceries on your trip, then we recommend this super compact, sustainably produced, reusable bag storage system by BagPodz. All materials used are bluesign certified, which means no harmful substances are involved in the manufacturing of this product. The bags are water-repellant and machine washable, and the case has a carabiner and a loop that you can use for attaching to your purse or grocery cart, or simply hanging around your wrist.
P.S. If you're looking for some great travel deals, check out these websites:
- AirportParkingReservations.com - Save on airport parking.
- Booking.com - No matter what kind of accommodation you're looking for, whether that's a hotel or something more unique, like a tree house or an igloo, you're bound to find it here.
- CarRentals.com - Find car rentals worldwide.
- Cheap Flights - Compare flight prices from thousands or airlines and travel agents.
- CheapOair.com - If you're looking for cheap flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises or vacation packages, this is a site you should check out.
- Contiki - A travel company exclusively for 18-35 year olds. They've got a whole section of their website dedicated to deals and promotions.
- DriveMyCar - An Australian peer-to-peer car rental service. Kind of like Airbnb, but for cars.
- Expedia - Compare prices for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and vacation rentals. Members can take advantage of their rewards program and exclusive deals.
- OneTravel - Compare prices and take advantage of their Price Match Promise.
- Outdoorsy - A peer-to-peer marketplace of RVs.
- Rentalcars.com - The world's largest car rental booking service. Compare prices from all the leading car rental companies.
- StudentUniverse - Cheap flights, hotels and tours for students and those under 26.
- TripAdvisor - The world's largest travel site.
- Zipcar - For on-demand access to cars. You can book by the hour or day.
Written by: The Change District