Guide for travelling in Zero Waste style

Traveling in Zero Waste Mode
To think: from preparations to return

It’s holiday season!

Are you soon going on a trip and wondering how to keep a Zero Waste lifestyle on the road, how to reduce your carbon footprint and what to take with you?

It’s easy with this Zero Waste travel guide, from packing to after your return?



  • Inform yourself where there are bulk shopping opportunities; check out the Bea Johnson’s locator website “Bulk Finder” to search for local markets:
  • Read local Zero Waste blogs to find tips
  • Inform yourself about the water quality
  • Fill up drinking water: the App called “Tap” ( helps find places where you can fill up with clean drinking water or use water filters
  • What Bea Johnson packs for travelling:
  • Take a compact backpack: eg. for 5 months in Southeast Asia with 7 kg in your backpack: 1 skirt, 1 pair of trousers, 3 T-shirts, 2 tank tops, bikini, towel, 7 pairs of underwear, solid soap, solid deodorant, sunscreen – alternatively coconut oil during the day and at night Aloe Vera, flip flops, sneakers, windbreaker, silk sleeping bag, headphones, toothbrush & toothpaste (coconut oil).

Here we go!


  • Tickets purchased digitally and stored on your smartphone
  • Reusable luggage labels
  • Take your own food and drink
  • Take your own refillable cup and refuse single use cup in the airplane, train or bus



  • Reusable drink bottle (1L)
  • Leakproof food container
  • Wax/fabric cloths (washable and reusable)
  • Fabric handkerchief and serviettes
  • Reusable and lightweight shopping bags, nets
  • Disposable glass: transport drink, waste (compost) etc.
  • Reusable cutlery


  • For example a Kindle instead of books
  • Secondhand or borrowed books (in certain hotels/cafés there are exchange shelves)
  • Audiobooks / Podcasts


  • Earphones
  • Large warm scarf (instead of plane blanket)
  • Hand disinfectant: Alcohol or black cumin oil
  • A reusable cup or large opening reusable bottle (Advantage: waterproof)


  • Choose a hotel that uses the least disposable products possible, eg. at the buffet and no individually wrapped soaps or grooming kits.
  • Choose a Bed & Breakfast or AirBnB with a kitchen, or go camping
  • If necessary, contact the hotel with your specific requests.


  • Avoid to “take away”, stay to eat in
  • Tupperware, cutlery and/or fabric bag always to hand, test the BYO (Bring Your Own)
  • Eat local products
  • Visit local bulk stores and markets, also for possible eatable souvenirs (spices, local pastries…)
  • Ask restaurants and markets about the origin of the ingredients (and try to buy local and seasonal)
  • Ask locals where to find the best zero waste food options
  • Ask tap water in restaurants (in countries where it is possible), order tea instead of water in countries where tap water is not always safe to drink
  • Ask for water in glass bottles (in restaurants). For example: in Asia, private households sell boiled water


  • Bring home the memory of experiences, photos and the written word instead of material objects


  • Shower: solid soap for hair and body, otherwise shampoo + shower gel in small refillable containers.
  • Body: solid body lotion or balm in refillable containers, available in specialized shops or bulk stores.
  • Solid deodorant (in bulk stores) or homemade in a small glass jar.


  • Book flights directly
  • Travel by train (usually feasible in Europe). Think of long trips, doable in night trains.
  • On the spot, prefer public transportations (bus, train, boat) rather than private transportation
  • Use Carpooling, Blablacar (
  • Consider in advance if the flight / the long journey adds value or whether the same experience could be achieved in a closer vicinity (e.g during hiking holidays)
  • Opt for Co2 offset flights for example with MyClimate (

You have other suggestions and ideas, websites or interesting blogs to share?
Let us know !