With summer quickly approaching in the US and an overall decrease in COVID-19 travel restrictions, more and more folks are booking flights and taking the time to discover the rest of the country. 

In fact, booking sites and airports are currently seeing a tremendous rise in domestic travelers with capacity rates reaching those around at this same time in 2019. Travel + Leisure reports that the rising trend in domestic travel alone is expected to generate $2 trillion of the U.S. economy this year. 

Still, given COVID-19’s significant impact, many can expect radical changes in the way people will travel. According to a recent global research report made by Booking.com (based on a survey conducted among 20,000 travelers across 28 countries and territories), 53% of global travelers want to travel more sustainably in the future. Given the rise in conscious travel they expect to see the industry offer more sustainable travel options. 

Other possible trends include less travel to areas that typically see heavy tourism, an increase in ethical waste disposal options, and transparency in the way travelers’ money is being used to give back to communities. 

In lieu of this positive outlook, we’ve compiled a list of eco-friendly essential items that you could consider taking with you on your next trip. Discover the ways sustainability is transforming the way we travel! 

  • Aviator Carry – On Luggage by Paravel$350

This carbon-neutral suitcase is the perfect carry-on thanks to its 360 degree rotation, steel axles, and TSA-approved lock. The entire suitcase is made from recycled materials (including the zippers!). The Aviator’s lining is made from 15 upcycled plastic water bottles, the detailing is made up of vegan leather, and the telescopic handle is made of aluminum. So far Paravel has offset 16,853 tonnes of CO2, upcycled 4.7 million plastic bottles, and planted 170,000 trees.   


  1. Hemp Donner Shoes by Astral$110

These outdoor performance and lifestyle shoes are made from hemp and recycled polyester. They feature rubber outsoles and arch support to handle heavy terrain. As opposed to the conventional track shoe, the hemp material allows for more breathability and rot resistance.  


  • Hapa Oversized Beach Towel by Slowtide – $70

Sure this towel might be expensive, but in the name of sustainability it’s definitely worth it. Unlike traditional towels, this one is reinforced with a 815gsm looped terry back, making it extra thick. Its reactive dye also makes it resistant to fading which makes this a good long term investment. And, this extra large towel (big enough to fit you and a friend) is made from 100% sustainably sourced cotton. 


  • Fresh Mint Toothpaste Bits [Trial Size] by Bite – $12

Bite’s toothpaste tabs are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and plastic free. But the star of the show is nano-hydroxyapatite, which is a non toxic alternative to fluoride. This mineral strengthens enamel and restores teeth while fighting tooth sensitivity. Its packaging is made of glass as opposed to plastic and they sell refillables in compostable packaging.  


  • Pack-It Reveal Hanging Toiletry Kit by Eagle Creek$29.95

Hang up all of your essentials with this durable hanging toiletry bag made from 100% post-consumer recycled and bluesign® certified fabric. This toiletry kit features various elastic and zippered pockets for all of your smaller items. 

Eagle Creek

  1. Cubos Travel Cube by Cotopaxi –  from $15 

Travel cubes make packing all the more easier and organized. This brand makes durable yet lightweight packing cubes out of repurposed nylon and mesh. Each cube is unique as it uses leftover materials from other companies’ production. The brand also makes repurposed backpacks, outerwear, activewear, and more! 


Urban Ears takes trash and turns it into headphones. That’s right! Recycled plastics (such as water bottles and air conditioners) are carefully sorted and repurposed into wireless headphones that last 30 hours. Their goal, among all of their sustainability efforts, is to become climate neutral by 2030. Urban ears currently also makes plastic free gift boxes made from 80% recycled paper. 

Urban Ears

  •  Nimble Champ Lite Portable Charger by Day Owl$24.95

A portable charger is a must when traveling abroad, and luckily Day Owl has you covered. Their power bank is housed in a 72.5% post-consumer plastic shell. The brand uses recycled landfill-bound materials to make bags but also accepts donations from those who want to get rid of their recyclable items such as bookbags and textiles. 

Day Owl

  • 500ml Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle by Ocean Bottle – $50 

No eco-friendly journey would be complete without a reusable water bottle. This one is made from recycled stainless steel, BPA-free plastic, silicone rubber and ocean-bound plastic. It’s fully recyclable!  Plus, Ocean Bottle pledges that for every bottle sold, they’ll fund the collection of at least 1,000 plastic bottles in weight before they enter the ocean. 

Ocean Bottle