With August just about to begin many of us are packing up and heading on our summer holidays. It’s an exciting time, but it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our eco-credentials to have a good trip. Here are my five top tips for keeping your summer holiday sustainable for years to come:

Don’t buy items ‘for your holiday’

When we’re about to go away it’s natural to get excited, and sometimes that build up spills into buying items ‘for our holidays’. But do we actually need to buy a new bikini every year? Or a ‘fashionable’ summer outfit that we’re not going to like in a year or will fall apart before your next trip? I don’t think so. It’s not sustainable for the planet, or our bank balance, to mindlessly buy things just because we’re going to a different place. Instead, why not invest more money into versatile, timeless pieces for every summer season? Look out for good quality sustainable fashion items that can be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. If you find pieces that make you feel good wearing them year on year, you’ll never feel like you don’t have anything to wear.

Find ethical, eco necessities

There are some things you really do need to keep yourself safe in summer. Check out this guide to sustainable sunscreen and ethical, non-toxic insect repellant to make sure your safety doesn’t come at the expense of the planet. On top of that, why not invest in some zero waste shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant? It makes life so much easier when you don’t have to get them under 100ml in those plastic bags, whilst simultaneously avoiding the ‘shampoo explosion’ risk in checked luggage!

Take a reusable water bottle

As soon as you get out into the heat you’re going to need to stay hydrated, which can easily lead to buying multiple bottles of cold water or other refreshing drinks. Keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times is a more sensible, plastic free option which can also keep you free from unhealthy sugary drinks that you don’t really need. If you’re headed somewhere where the water quality is a little more  suspect, buying bottled water isn’t the only answer. Check out this advice on water purification when travelling; you can grab a bottle of purification tablets from most pharmacies pretty easily.

Top tip: most airports have water filling stations after security, so take your bottle through empty and you don’t have to buy overpriced drinks in the airport!

Learn the local transport or go pedestrian

So many times over the years I’ve seen city-break travellers fork out ridiculous money (and contribute unnecessary carbon) by getting cabs that weren’t really needed. Most larger cities have pretty good local transport systems or walking routes; if you do your research ahead of time you will often find that, with a little planning, it’s easy to go completely car (and carbon) free. And hey, a little longer walking time is both good exercise and the best way to see a new city. You may discover some hidden gems you would have never found otherwise along the way!

For sustainable eating, plan ahead

Whether you’re full on vegan, vegetarian or nothing of the sort, it’s pretty common knowledge that decreasing our meat consumption is an easy and impactful way to be more eco-friendly, but sometimes being in foreign places makes it pretty hard to find meat-free options. When going away plan in advance using Happy Cow, a free app and website that can show you vegan and vegetarian friendly options wherever you may be going. Not only can this place be a total life saver when heading somewhere new, it’s a fun way to discover food places that you wouldn’t have found before. Win win.

And there you go! I hope these tips help. It’s often the small choices that help us stay sustainable, as long as we stay aware on holiday it is possible to keep ourselves in check. I hope that wherever you head on holiday this year treats you well!

Until next time, stay magic y’all.