Zero Waste and Plastic Free holiday: What I will be packing

We (my boyfriend and I) are off to the USA for three weeks and I cannot wait. We will be visiting Hawaii, Arkansas and ending with two days in LA. The main purpose of the holiday is to escape winter (it's cold here) and visit my family.
Our last holiday to the the Philippines was our first zero waste trip and while we did pretty well there was one constant trash element that popped up and that was luggage stickers that came from checking in luggage.

So this trip we are only doing carry on. This means we have a weight limit of 7kg (15 pounds) each. This includes one standard small suitcase plus a small bag like a backpack or handbag. It's not a lot when you have to consider that we were taking stainless steel items and some of our beauty products were in glass.

Zero Waste and Plastic Free holiday: What I will be packing

Zero Waste and Plastic Free holiday: What I will be packing

Zero Waste and Plastic Free holiday: What I will be packing

Here is what I packed in my suitcase....

  • 1 blue dress
  • 1 formal dress
  • 1 denim shorts
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 button up blouse
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 maxi skirt
  • 1 black singlet top
  • 3 knickers
  • 2 bras
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 swim top
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 pair stockings (for flight and return to Melbourne)
  • 1 long sleeve cotton top (for flight and return to Melbourne)
As we are flying from winter into summer I will need to dress for the airport here and our return trip home, not to mention keeping warm on the plane. I will wear my blue dress, a black singlet underneath followed by a long sleeve grey cotton shirt and teamed it with wool stockings and my sneakers. Then I will use my maxi skirt as a blanket on the plane. We are flying Jetstar so there will be no pillow or blanket free. I will stuff clothes into one of the reusable cloth bags for a makeshift pillow.

I will hand wash my underwear after each use and other items after a couple of uses. Because it is summer it should dry overnight. I generally just use my soap to wash my clothes in the sinks of wherever we are staying.

  • 1 sneakers
  • 1 sandals
  • 1 heels
I would not normally pack heels but we are celebrating our anniversary (awwww) and plan to dress up a little. Explains why I am taking a formal dress. 

  • Handbag
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Tote bag
  • Pen
  • Writing book
  • Sunglasses
  • Ear plugs
  • Adapter
  • Ear phones
  • 1 dirty clothes bag
  • 1 camera battery
  • 1 phone charger

Everything below is everything we both will pack into the toiletries bag (black bag in the bottom of the photo). We will share things like soap, toothpaste, razor, deodorant and sunscreen.
  • 2 bars of soap
  • 1 small jar toothpaste
  • 1 face oil
  • 1 mascara
  • 1 razor
  • 1 tweezer
  • 1 bottle of aftershave/deodorant
  • 1 bottle of citronella
  • 1 roll on perfume
  • 1 lip balm
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • Hair brush, hair ties and bobby pins
  • Menstrual cup and cloth pads
  • Sunscreen
I have to pack the cloth pads in with my clothes because they take up a lot of room in the toiletries bag.

Zero Waste and Plastic Free holiday: What I will be packing

This is what I packed into the backpack.... 

The backpack was the extra bag that the Builder will carry on.  
  • 2 stainless steel cups
  • 2 containers
  • 1 cutlery wrap
  • 5 cloth bags
  • 2 water bottles (1 missing from photo – it is being washed)
  • 1 tea towel

And that's it. I have room to pick up an item or two if we go thrift shopping. Sorry for the poor lighting in the photos. This was a quick and unplanned post that I thought i'd share.


  1. Anonymous8/23/2015

    Loved the stainless steel stuff. But I am just wondering, your suitcase and backpack is plastic, no? You could use a cotton canvas backpack, I guess. I don't know of any cotton suitcase, though. BTW, I love your blog! :-)

    1. You are right - both are plastic. They were purchased way before I started this journey and if they break or I need a new one then I will look into a cotton canvas backpack. Until then I will use them up so as to not waste the resources that went into making them.

  2. Hi Erin - late person to your blog but fantastic find - thankyou. I'm curious how you managed to get through airport security with cutlery? thanks, Kate

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words :) I have not had an issue with lightweight wood cutlery or my metal straw. I imagine if it were regular metal cutlery, airport security would remove it.


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