How To Travel More Sustainably & Efficiently - My 10 Top Tips

Hi guys,
So as you probably all know by now, I like travelling. I think this passion comes from the fact that I grew up in the Czech Republic, but I am also half Croatian so I travel to Croatia every year, but now I even live in Scotland so yeah I am quite international or as Pitbull would say I am "Mr(s) WorldWide". I travel home at least twice a year and although flying is not ideal given the current climate situation - my family is always my number one priority. Over the last 5 years of travelling, I've learned a few useful tips which will make your travelling more sustainable and efficient. These tips are not only for people who have to fly from time to time but also for people who like to travel locally.  So without further ado, let me share with you with my top 10 tips on how to travel more sustainably and efficiently! 

Myself in a pink t shirt in front of waterfalls in Croatia

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 1 - THINK BEFORE YOU PACK

If you travelled with me at least once you know that I don't take loads of clothes with me while travelling. I mostly use my Fjaallraven backpack for city breaks (5-7days), and I only use my hand luggage if I go home to the Czech Republic or I travel somewhere for more than two weeks. Even though this tip won't help you to travel most sustainably, it will definitely help you travel more efficiently. 

Different kind of clothes such as t shirts, jumpers on the bed next to my pink suitcase

I call this tip 'think before you pack, and it couldn't be more self-explanatory. We are all guilty of overpacking, and I actually learned how not to overpack only two years. Learning how not to overpack won't just save you time and stress but also money because you won't need to pay for extra baggage.

Before I start packing, I think about all the occasions and activities I will do while travelling. If I go home, for example, I know I will go to the gym, I will go to the pub with my friends, I will most likely go for coffee with my friends too and for food with my family too. I have no clothes at home, so that means I need to pack at 1-2x gym outfits and around 4-5 "nicer" outfits. Then, I look through my clothes and create the possible outfits I could wear. I also try to pack more neutral clothes so I can mix and match. For example, I know I can wear my white shirt with my pink trousers but also with my blue skirt. I then put all the clothes on my bed and go through it again and eliminate some of the outfits if I believe I have too many, and I wouldn't wear them, or I know some outfits are were similar. For example, if I pack 4 dresses, I will put one away, especially if they have similar patterns or style.

I also think it is important not to be afraid to repeat the outfit. No one is going to notice that you wore the same dress twice. So, don't be scared to repeat and pack less.

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 2 - PLAN AHEAD

If you are vegan like me, you know the struggle of travelling to an unknown destination and not being sure whether they have good vegan options or not. The best thing to avoid this is to do your research before you go. I like to use HappyCow on my laptop because it is entirely for free and I make a list of places I would like to visit or I close to our accommodation. I also mostly travel with non-vegans, so searching for restaurants which have both options beforehand makes things so much easier. You can also scroll through Instagram or look for specific hashtags, for example, if you go to Czech you can search for #veganprague or #veganczechrepublic, and I am sure you will find some good places too! 

If you are travelling either to Prague, Barcelona, Amsterdam or Croatia definitely message me and I can give you some good tips for good vegan food!

MacBook with HappyCow on screen. In the left side is selection of restaurants on the right side is a map of Prague, Czech Republic

One extra bonus tip is to book accommodation with a small kitchen. Whenever I travel with my boyfriend who is not vegan, we always reserve a little studio flat so we can have breakfast at our flat or sometimes we even cook dinner because it is easier for us and it also saves us some money.

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 3 - BRING YOUR REUSABLE PRODUCTS
Another quite self-explanatory tip - Bring your resalable products! If you bring your own reusable product, you are not only reducing your waste but also saving money. Water is safe pretty much in every European country, and most airport also have water fountains so you can refill your water bottle - just make sure your water bottle is empty before the security control. However, as you will see later on I went on a couple of holidays were forgot to pack my water bottle. We are all humans, and it can happen. Instead of buying a new water bottle every single day, I just bought one bigger bottle at the start and kept using it for the whole trip. Obviously, this might be a different story if you are travelling to a country where tap water is not safe, so always make sure you double-check whether it is safe to drink water in a different country. 

Chilli water bottle with flower pattern

Apart from the reusable water bottle I also like to bring my own reusable mug because I like to drink coffee and I also always get a peppermint tea before my flight to calm myself down haha.

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 4 - PACK SNACKS JUST TO BE SAFE

I know for a fact that loads of European airports are not vegan friendly. For example, the Czech airport had 0 vegan-friendly options. The same applies to Croatian airport, and although Paris airport has some vegan options, they are expensive AF. Hence, I would highly recommend packing a few of your favourite snacks in case of an "emergency".

3 snacks - the first one is nuts, the middle one is myvegan carbcrushers and the third one is EatVive Protein chocolate bar

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 5 - SOLID OVER LIQUID

I always used to be the person who would buy a new toothpaste, shampoo, makeup wipes etc. when going on holiday but not anymore! Travelling liquid-free is the best thing you can do. It will save you the hassle at the airport security plus I think we all experienced shampoo leak in our bag or luggage which is always a NIGHTMARE.  The solid bars are also not subject to 100ml rules which again will make your travelling so much easier. So, instead of buying new products every time you go somewhere just pack your favourite solid shampoo bar and cleansing bar instead. You can store them in a metal tin like I do or keep them in their original paper packing (just make sure they are dry before you put them in there). 
Pink Ethique shampoo bar on the left. Metal tin with Lush Face Wash on the right

I also switched from plastic toothpaste to tablets which again, are not subject to 100ml rule so they will save you the airport security stress and you won't need to buy the small toothpaste every time you go somewhere. 
A metal tin filled with toothpaste tablets.
 

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 6 - REUSE PLASTIC SECURITY BAG

Talking about airport security and 100ml rule, we all know that you have to place all your liquids in a plastic bag or they will go straight to the bin. Sadly, this is an inevitable part of air travelling, but you can minimise your waste by simply reusing the security bag for as long as you can. I always keep mine as you can probably tell from the photo because it is very messy, haha and I try to take good care of it, so I make the most of it. 
A plastic security bag which you get at the airport with liquid products such as perfume.

I believe that there are situations where it is not just possible to avoid plastic, and that's why I think it is vital that we learn how to reuse products like that instead of putting them in the bin. Especially when we know, we will need the product next time again. 

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 7 - (RE)USE OLD POTS

This tip is very similar to my previous tip because it focuses on reusing old pots and packaging. If you know that you are going away only for a week or even less you can use some old pots (I like the one from Lush) for products that are more than 100ml so you don't need to buy new ones. I like to use the small pots for my face cream or foundation especially if I am going somewhere for a short period of time. This means that I don't need to take the whole product with me and I can only take a small amount necessary for that period. 
Two small black lush pods. The left one has foundation in it the right one has white face cream

You can do this also with the miniature shampoo and body wash bottles. If you still own one of these you can just fill them at home with your current shampoo and body wash instead of buying new ones. This habit will save your money and it helps to reduce your waste too.

A wee bottle with shampoo

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 8 - CYCLE, WALK OR USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Whenever I go, I always check how public transport works mainly when I fly. Even though the taxi might sound better after a flight if you go by public transport, you will save money and reduce the carbon emission by a bit too. Once I am in the destination, my favourite way of transportation is on foot. I think walking is the best when you are trying to explore a new city and guess what - it is entirely for free.
Me wearing denim shorts and pink shirt and shoes with a bike on the street. I also have a plastic water bottle and black bag pack in the front basket of my bike.

One little side note: Even though sometimes flying might look cheaper and quicker than the train, it is not always the case. For example, the flight between Edinburgh-London is usually cheaper than getting a train, and it might even seem faster. HOWEVER, consider this: The train journey is around 5 hours between Edinburgh and London whereas the flight is only 1 hour, but you usually have to be at the airport 1-2 hours before your flight then the airport is not situated in the city centre so you will need to use another transport link to get there and it takes maybe another 1 hour or so. I am not even accounting for the time between you leave the aircraft and you find your way out of the airport, especially at big airports like the ones in London. So in total, the time you spend travelling is most likely equally. Then we have the price aspect, yeah the train may cost around £130 compare to £60 flight ticket but - I remember a few years ago I had to fly to London from Aberdeen. The flight was early in the morning, so I had to get a taxi which was £20 then another £15 roughly to get from the airport to the city centre and then I had to do on the way back too. So in the end, the price was the exact same, maybe even a bit more expensive. 

So, whenever you are planning on travelling ALWAYS consider all the options and ALWAYS consider all the effort and costs that go into getting from point A to point B because even though option A might seem cheaper in the bigger picture, it might be the complete opposite.

SUSTAINABLE  & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 9 - SUPPORT & RESPECT LOCALS
Another thing which I love to do when I travel abroad is to support locals. As I mentioned in my introduction, I am partly from Croatian thanks to my dad. Croatian people live from tourist and their economy is very dependent on it. Thus, supporting the locals is super important because you can make their day so much better and help them to make their life better too. I personally love to go to farmer markets while abroad and check out the local products and try some local food. It is so much better than buying the stuff from the supermarket and you are giving your money back to the local economy as I said. You can even go to a local cafe or restaurants instead of big chains. There is so many options of how you can support the local people! 
Lots of different kind of olives in a wee basket - black, green
With that being said I think it is also super important to respect local people. If you are travelling somewhere make sure you never leave any rubbish anywhere, you treat people with respect and you follow the rules of the given country. I am certain that people who read this blog are mostly aware of this and would not behave this way but I also thought it is an important thing to mention. 
Mark stall with different local products such as dried fruit, cheese

SUSTAINABLE & EFFICIENT TRAVELLING TIP 10 - STAY LOCAL

The last tip but not least is to stay local. We are so focused on exploring different countries and cultures that we often forget how beautiful our own countries are! There so many amazing places you can visit in the UK, so instead of going on a city break, why don't you go and explore your own country with your friends or family?
A lake with mountains behind it and trees



That's all the tips I got for you now! I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if you any more useful tips for travelling more sustainably and efficiently share them with me in the comment section below!


Lots of love,
Kat 

1 komentářů