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Travel hygiene: how to travel light and environmentally friendly?

For an addicted to backpacking travel. I find this mode of travel completely brilliant. Little equipment and great freedom of movement, which allows you to refocus on the essential: your trip. However, it is not always easy to make the right choices when it comes to what to pack, especially when it comes to hygiene when traveling.

Hygiene when traveling is indeed very important if you want to feel good and enjoy your experience to the fullest.

Yes, but with a reduced toiletry bag, how do you know which products to take? To help you see more clearly, I have prepared a list of essential products for you to make a travel hygiene kit that combine efficiency, lightness, small footprint and respect for the environment.

Because traveling is good, but it’s even better to travel without leaving the waste of products used in countries that cannot always process them. And you will see that ultimately, having good hygiene when traveling, while traveling light and environmentally friendly, is not that complicated …

What products to take for good hygiene when traveling?

For your personal hygiene

Solid soap

To wash yourself, I advise you to choose a solid soap rather than a shower gel.

Benefits:

  • You can use it longer.
  • It’s solid, so it doesn’t leak in the bag and it fits easily in cabin baggage if you take the plane.
  • By choosing it, you avoid the plastic bottle of shower gel, which is good for the planet.
  • It takes up very little space in the bag
  • Most of the time, its composition is more natural than the shower gel and therefore better for your skin and for your health.
  • You can use it to disinfect a wound.
  • You can even use it to do your laundry.

My opinion:

Personally, I opted for organic soap from the French brand Les Essentiels. Its format is well suited to travel, it is organic, it smells good, it lasts a long time.

And, during my adventures, I carry it in a waterproof soap pouch that doubles as an eco-friendly soap box.

It allows me to protect my things when the soap is still wet, and to be able to store it without worry in my toiletry bag. Depending on your preference, a metal box works just as well.

Solid shampoo

For the hair, the most practical is the solid shampoo.

Benefits:

Exactly the same as solid soap.

My opinion:

For long-haul travel, I advise you to choose one that allows for a large number of uses. Indeed, solid shampoo is not everywhere, so it is better to choose one that can hold during your entire trip. It will save you from having to buy one back in a plastic bottle.

As with the soap, you can store it in an ecological fabric soap pouch without any problem.

Not all solid shampoos are created equal, but this one I have tested and approved. It foams well, it smells good and it lasts a long time.

It took 2-3 washes to get used to the feeling, but when dry the hair is all soft. I advise you to try before you go to get an idea on the matter.

All in one special travel soap

If you want to optimize your travel hygiene kit even more, then I advise you to choose the soap while on a special trip instead.

Benefits:

It replaces soap, shampoo and laundry;

You save space and you lighten your bag with this all-in-one solution, on the other hand, it will last less than if you had soap + shampoo;

It generates even less waste.

My opinion:

For me, this product is really great and will be more than enough if you go away for a few weeks or a few months. This is the one I take with me on a trip, and with which I am very satisfied. If you are going away for a very long time, I recommend that you take 2 with you.

By the way, if you’re about to take a long round-the-world backpacking trip, I advise you to check out the Eco-responsible Traveler Kit offered by the HumaGreen brand.

There you will find zero waste travel hygiene products, but also their famous filter bottle that will allow you to have drinking water everywhere.

The solid deodorant

If you want to limit the weight of your toiletry bag, while having a product that lasts really long, I recommend the natural solid deodorant.

Benefits:

  • It is natural and organic, therefore better for your health.
  • It doesn’t prevent sweating, which is healthy.
  • It avoids bad smells.
  • It is sold in a small, lightweight, compact, and reusable metal box which limits waste.
  • It lasts longer than an industrial deodorant.

My opinion:

At first, I was a little skeptical, but after testing I find it great. It’s ideal for a long trip and the environment will thank you. You apply it directly to the finger, it does not leave marks on the clothes, it does not have a wet effect. In short, it’s super practical. I bought mine here if you’re interested.

Another practical, zero-waste, long-lasting option: alum stone. Just run it under water, then apply it under the armpits like a stick deodorant.

You can find it in any organic store. The downside is that you have to have a water point to use it, and you have to choose one that is 100% natural to avoid any health problems.

For your oral hygiene

Solid toothpaste

There are solid toothpastes and it is a good alternative to industrial toothpastes. Just dampen your toothbrush and then rub it on the solid toothpaste before using it.

Benefits:

Solid toothpaste has, once again, all the benefits of solid soaps and shampoos and lasts much longer than tube toothpaste.

My opinion:

Solid toothpaste foams a little less than industrial toothpaste, but it’s light, compact, durable and zero waste, and that’s already good! For the taste, I advise you to test beforehand to choose one that suits you because it is quite different from what we are used to! ^^

Many brands sell solid toothpastes and you can easily find them in an organic store.

The wooden toothbrush

Plastic toothbrushes are very polluting when thrown away. And with one toothbrush thrown away per person every three months, that quickly creates a lot of waste.

But some time ago I discovered the wooden toothbrush, which is ultimately a very good alternative when you want to have good dental hygiene while traveling without polluting too much.

Benefits:

In terms of weight and size, it changes nothing or almost nothing;

It is not sold in plastic packaging therefore generates less waste;

It is compostable;

It is made from wood from sustainably managed forests.

My opinion:

Honestly, it doesn’t take any effort to replace the classic toothbrush with a compostable wooden toothbrush. So why go without it if it is good for the planet?

Be careful, however, to choose if possible, a French wooden toothbrush which is a more ecological solution than bamboo toothbrushes.

You can find some here.

You can carry it in a fabric pouch. If you take a reusable travel straw with you (to avoid disposable straws in cocktails), you can also store it in this pouch.

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