Travel light with these carry on essentials

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Find it hard to travel light? Here’s a guide to the handiest, planet-friendly accessories and products to ensure that you can actually close your suitcase comfortably

Despite best efforts to make the home more zero waste and low impact, often it is when we find ourselves on the go that we realise that we have a lot of stuff we can’t leave home without.

If you want to finally be able to close your liquids bag comfortably, to be able to swing a weekend bag over your shoulder with ease, and be able to pack quickly, here are some travel essentials that really do make a difference to lighten your load and the impact on the environment.

1. Leave the toothpaste tube at home

Is there anything worse than arriving at a hotel and realising that yet again, you have left the toothpaste at home? That’s why we’re going to keep a container of toothpaste tablets in our suitcase from now on.

The tablets, which aren’t a paste but a compressed powder, are made from ingredeints like xylitol to fight oral bacteria, a mild abrasive called calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, which is standard baking soda. Conventional toothpaste tubes are hard to recycle, but a word of warning —  some tablets may not contain fluoride, which is a toothpaste ingredient that fights cavities, so be careful if you plan on making a permanent switch.



2. Swap your water bottle for a more portable version

It’s all well and good carrying a big water bottle with you — until it’s empty and you start to resent the valuable space it is taking up in your bag.

You may recognise Stojo cups, a reusable cup made from sillicone that folds easily to a more portable size. These cups are super handy compared to bulky travel mugs or fragile glass ones. Stojo has expanded the range to include a collapsible bottle which is ideal for your carry on and for your daybag when out exploring.


3. Take a break from your face wash

Bar shampoo and conditioners has been around for a while, and if you anticipate that your accommodation will provide haircare and shower gel, you may not bother packing them or decanting your usuals into those little bottles.

However face cleanser is one thing we’d never risk leaving behind, and it takes up a lot of space in a liquids bag. Thankfully, solid alternatives have really come on in recent years.

Gone are the one-fits-all soaps that really don’t tally with modern multi-step skincare routines. Instead you can now find options to suit any skin type and price range.





4. Get more wear out of what you do bring

You may not like the answer, but one way to travel lighter is to bring less clothes. By spot cleaning and giving clothes a quick freshen up in the sink, you’ll hopefully be able to make more use out of what you pack. Taking this approach will also lengthen the lifespan of your wardrobe, as washing can also contribute to wear over time.




5. Choose your luggage strategically

This may sound counterintuitive if you’re one of those people that struggle to zip up a suitcase. Resist the urge to throw in another outfit and fill your suitcase to the brim by restricting the size luggage you bring. Consider whether you really need your carry on and try bringing a backpack or duffle bag instead.



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