Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, and Natural Packing Tips

Girls Who Travel | Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, and Natural Packing Tips

Hi Everyone! It’s Malika again, this time with cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and natural packing tips. I’m super passionate about cruelty-free products, with reduced or zero waste, which can be really tough to do when traveling. I’ve composed a list of products I know to be cruelty-free certified with minimal environmental impacts. There are some things you should know before we start: I’m Asian and Caucasian (so my skin is fair but not super easy to burn), I have dyed hair, and my skin is good ol’ combo oily + dry. Also, I recognize the products on my list of natural packing tips list might not work for everyone!

Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, and Natural Packing Tips

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Some housekeeping: In my mind, everything can be carry-on for liquids because I get the bottles you can fill before your trip, so if the sizing doesn’t work for you as a carry-on you can always check it! I have also checked that the products listed are safe for coral reefs & wildlife! With that said, here are my natural packing tips!

Soap & Shampoo

Girls Who Travel | Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, and Natural Packing Tips
  • Lush has some amazing packaging and most of their products are vegetarian (working on removing eggs and honey to be vegan). Solid shampoo & conditioner bars are A+ – it’s just a matter of finding what works with your hair. Plus, there’s no packaging required for a purchase other than a small paper bag; less waste for the win! One of my favorite natural packing tips!
  • Soap bars are awesome to bring with you. I have sensitive skin and hotel soap often makes me break out. I would actually suggest looking locally for these at a craft fair! SoapScapes is an awesome BC company; she’s a one-woman show & a stay at home mom, uh yes please! SoapScapes sells online or you can message the owner and opt to pick up if you live close by.
  • I’m all about dry shampoo because I like to get up and go! Plus, washing too often fades my color and hurts my scalp a lot. No Drought by Lush or Pacifica’s Invisible Powers are two dry shampoos I love. I have naturally dark hair but I dye it a lot so again try out what works for you!

Deodorant & Toothpaste

Girls Who Travel | Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, and Natural Packing Tips
  • Schmidt’s natural deodorant has been A++ in my books! It comes in a glass jar and looks small, but I use daily and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I also like that I have more control about what I put on. Lush deodorant and Lavanila have also been winners for me.
  • Toothpaste can be natural, too! Desert Essence has some great gluten-free mouthwash, floss, & toothpaste. I’d also recommend Tom’s of Maine. Lush also has travel solid tab toothpaste, I really like them but I know it’s not for everyone.


  • Facial sunscreen – the must have for protecting your gorgeous skin. Josie Maran Daily Moisturizer in SPF 47 is a big yup for me; you can also get it in tinted for a very light foundation combo. Tarte’s Tarteguard is also tinted lightly and has SPF 30. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer is also a big yup for me. 
  • Body sunscreen – protecting the skin on your body is just as important as protecting your face! I love Kiss My Face’s SPF 50 spray lotions, just gotta rub it in and you’re good to go. Otherwise, it won’t soak in it’ll sit on top. Badger Unscented SPF 30 and Kokua Sun Care SPF 50 are also good choices. Sunscreen is essential for all travelers, that’s why it needs to be on every list for natural packing tips.

More Products & Natural Packing Tips

Girls Who Travel | Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, and Natural Packing Tips
  • Coconut oil can be packed in a jar as a solid. It’s melting point is low but usually, I’m fine to travel with it. I took it to Mexico in January and it was okay. Great for your skin and hair and you can use it as a natural mouth rinse. It helps with bacteria!
  • Bamboo toothbrushes are a big love for me, so I wouldn’t leave them off the list for natural packing tips. Plastic toothbrushes create so much waste and I hadn’t thought about it before. The big win for me was these bamboo toothbrushes come in zero waste packaging (it’s recyclable paper) and the brushes are compostable!
  • Makeup remover is a key product for me. Body Shop has a solid cleanser for makeup remover and it comes in a tin. It’s great for sensitive skin, can’t recommend it enough!
  • Surfer Salve is a game changer! It’s a Hawaiian product by Island Soap & Candle Works you can buy online and oh boy this is my go-to for an all in one product. It’s great for eczema, bug bites, rashes, dry skin, a must for natural packing tips.
  • All organic bug spray – I know I know, DEET is the best, BUT it’s destroying so much good wildlife. And if you use it and then go for a swim you can really mess up the ocean life. SecondSkinOrganics from Hawaii has an amazing recipe and you can totally replicate it on your own at home (with similar ingredients). Badger & SoapScapes also sell great organic bug sprays.
  • These next suggestions are for if you’ll be traveling for a while. First is stain remover. You can get stick stain removers that work with just a bit of water. Same with laundry bar soap. There are a few natural options around.

What natural, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly products do you travel with? Join the discussion about natural packing tips in the comments below.

Click here to listen to Away She Goes, the Girls Who Travel podcast. On today’s episode: Tips for traveling with carry-on luggage.


Malika is a queer, woman of color. She has an invisible illness that causes some minor disabilities. Malika loves to travel and has been to Japan, Mexico, several places in the US, and lives in Canada. She shares her experiences with health and being a minority on her social media.

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