Sustainable Travel Tips with Kids.
We have been practising a sustainable lifestyle at home for some time now and this time I adopted the same while travelling to Pondicherry with my 3 years old son. We have been trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle by adopting green methods like composting wet waste at home, buying plastic-free packaging materials, making our own cosmetics/toiletries, and floor cleaner, using reusable straws, cups, cutlery, etc. giving away all kinds of plastic items and food pouches for recycling.
One of the most important things, we can do to protect our environment is, to find ways to reduce waste. There is not a perfect zero-waste solution, but there are some little sustainable travel tip things we can each do. It just requires some advance planning.
Single-use items like- water bottles, cups, and straws, have an impact not only on the environment but also on us.
Here are the sustainable travel tips that I followed:
- Packed our own food in reusable containers (or reusable food wrap) instead of buying that are wrapped in plastics
- Carried our own water bottles and refilled them after security check-in. Refilled at regular intervals from drinking water station
- Carried reusable, steel straw handkerchief, steel cup, cutlery, and containers
- Cloth diapers(in case of emergency)
- Cloth pad and menstrual cup (in case of emergencies) (cloth pad)
- Loose green tea leaves
- Electric kettle
- Carried toiletries like- shampoo bar, detergent powder, soap,
- Steel straws, spoons, and snacks in small containers for the little one
- Requested the hotel staff to provide drinking water in a jar instead of water bottles
As a result, I could save 10 single-use straws from going to the trash. No unnecessary buying of water bottles.
Trash that we generated:
- One water bottle was kept in the hotel room and my little one was feeling thirsty
- 2 chocolate wraps someone gave it (which I got back with me)
I am most guilty about the carbon footprints that I contribute while taking a flight. I know flying is bad for the environment and all, but unfortunately, it was my only option. Otherwise, we mostly travel by public transport or on foot once we are at our destination.
Planning ahead for the trip will not only help you lessen your environmental impact, but it will also make your whole travelling experience more enjoyable. It was my first attempt at making a sustainable trip and I am glad I could attain it to some extent.
My husband and I love to travel on any given day. After travelling to different places in India and the US between Nov to Feb (4 months) including visits to our native place in Assam (including some solo trips ), it was time to take a rest.
And within a month I conceived. I guess travelling helped my mind and body to relax, as we’ve been trying hard for the last year for a baby, followed by a miscarriage.
My pregnancy went smoothly and we had a lovely baby boy. Life became a roller-coaster ride for us. But the travel bug was crawling inside me and pinching me occasionally. Travel bug doesn’t come and go, they resides permanently inside you.
I desperately needed a break from the daily routine. Oops did I say daily routine? The daily routine doesn’t change whether you are home or on vacation when you have a baby.
Our son was approaching his 1st birthday, and 10 days after that we had to leave for our native place in Assam. Before going home, we took a short 3 Days Trip to Goa with our 1-Year-Old.
One week before our trip, I introduced my son to formula milk (he didn’t have outside milk before). So in public places, I don’t have to cover him or look for a secluded place to breastfeed him.
I even made a checklist of items like his daily essentials and food items to carry for this 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old. This helped me with what to pack and when to feed him.
What to pack for 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old? Below is the list of items to pack for a short trip:
1. Diapers and Changing Mat: 3 Days Trip to Goa with a 1-Year-Old.
I guess it is the first things that come to our mind while packing a baby`s bag are diapers and a changing mat. Take only the required number of diapers or carry a few and buy the rest at the destination as disposable diapers are easily available. And if you only use cloth diapers then I would suggest taking flats and diaper covers as they are easier to wash and dries really fast. Travelling with cloth diapers is not at all messy. All you need is a little planning and patience.
Do remember to give some diaper-free time to your child, it can be early in the morning after the child wakes up and after reaching your hotel/resort. Training/Potty pants and nappies are best.
2. Diaper Bag:
Choose a backpack instead of a shoulder or sling bag as a backpack will keep your hands free. You can use your regular backpack instead of a separate bag for the baby. I recently came across this Foldable Mummy Bag with a Bassinet, that can be used as a diaper bag as well as a cot. This will be very helpful at the beach.
3. Extra sets of clothes:
Always carry 2-3 extra sets of clothes when you travel with babies
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you step out in Goa. The one from Mother Sprash is my personal favourite.
5. Toys and Board Books:
Keep 2-3 small toys to keep them engaged for some time like during a train/flight journey or while waiting for your food at the restaurant or at the hotel. Small board books, and touch-and-feel books or Doodle art books have been very helpful to me.
Carry a few snacks with you like Cookies, makhana, fruits, and cake that can be made at home. If that is not possible here are a few options:
7. Formula Milk:
Your regular formula milk (if required)
8. Feeding Bottles:
Take 2-3 bottles if your baby is on formula milk only or takes bottle feed 2-3 times a day. Wash and Sterilize them once you are back at the hotel.
9. Electric Kettle:
All hotels and Resorts usually have an Electric Kettle but do check with them before leaving as you may need them to make baby food or milk or even to sterilize baby`s utensils.
For keeping water for making formula milk or food.
Do carry all the medicines along with the doctor’s prescription, because you just never know when you will need them.
Carry your regular toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and shampoo, detergents in small bottles instead of those full-size bottles. Comb and face cream.
13. Baby Carrier/Stroller:
Do carry a kangaroo bag cum adjustable baby carrier. The baby is not only comfortable in that but will be very helpful when the baby is sleeping and you are out exploring places or riding a bike or car. A stroller will be helpful at airports or hotels. You cannot take a stroller to the beach, so check if you require them. We didn’t take them as it is difficult to move around in India as the tourist places are always crowded.
Wipes not only clean your baby`s bum but for cleaning their little hands or face also. You can make your own wipes. Just carry a few small cotton clothes or old leftover cotton fabric or bamboo sheets with the solution. Check this video on how to make Wipes Solution.
Carry their shoes/slippers/crocs. Don’t take any new shoes or make them wear them a few times as they might not want to wear them or may get shoe bites.
16. Sanitizer/Hand soap sheets:
Sanitiser their and your hands regularly. You can also opt for Travel Handsoap sheets. They are very useful as they are very easy to carry and don’t leave any residue after use. All you need is some water. Check Reflekt and use my code GB15 to get 15 % off.
17. Cutlery and Bibs:
Take their small bowls and cutleries like spoons, forks, food feeders etc.