Travelling with a young family always has its challenges, bargaining with a five-year-old on how many soft toys it's acceptable to take on a flight being high on our list!
But what about when you're reducing plastic use in your home can that translate to travelling abroad? Decanting shampoo and conditioner into small plastic bottles for a week away, 3 for 2 on travel sized, toiletries in Boots, plastic bags for liquids in security, miniatures in hotel rooms, inflatables for the pool: when it comes to holidays we're drowning in plastic consumption.
We've now been on two holidays since we've started using less plastic and I have to say travelling is much lighter!
Let's take the shower - a bar of soap gentle enough for the whole family to use, a shampoo and
conditioner bar for all but my husband's hair (we refilled a travel-size bottle from his bottle of
shampoo) and already our wash bag is half as full! When I did decant stuff (face cream) I used mini jam jars that I had collected.
Some of the bigger hotel chains are stopping using miniatures and replacing with in shower refillable containers so it's worth enquiring where you are staying to see if you even need to take toiletries!
What about sun tan lotion? As yet as a family we haven't moved over to plastic-free versions but
there are more and more options available. Most come in factor 50 which is great if you have little ones. There are also options for grown ups in aluminium aerosols which use less plastic.
If this is not for you buy the biggest bottles you can in a brand/spf that's suitable the whole family,
we are all too often seduced into buying three different ones because of scents, shimmer and other extras when really we just need good sun protection
Avoid roll ons as they really don't last and have more plastic due to the roller ball.
Inflatables must surely be one of the biggest contributors to plastic holiday waste. But what's the
alternative to pool time fun?? Bath toys bought from home for little ones are always a hit. Instead of buying before you go wait till you arrive to see if departing guests will pass theirs on to you! Most people don't want the hassle of taking theirs home so usually leave them in communal places for others to use. We had four donated to our group this year which we also then passed on to families who were staying longer than us.
If you are prepared to bring yours home there is a fantastic company who turn old inflatables into bags!! Wyatt & Jack based on the IOW will take all old inflatables and turn them into all kinds of bags which look amazing (I've asked for one for mothers day!)
Talking of the pool what about those endless drinks whilst lazing (!) in the sun. Take some reusable
cups/aluminium water bottle with you and then your barman can refill them instead of handing out
single use cups.
It's definitely easier than you think to reduce your plastic waste on holiday especially if you've already started at home. And it will save you some money too.
Written by Sue Eyre
Sue lives in Essex with her husband and 2 children Lottie, 6 and Thomas 5. A part time Cardiac Physiologist she began her plastic free journey last July and has managed to reduce her luggage weight in the process!
Sue runs the Instagram @mum_versus_plastic