Keeping Green When Traveling with Kids


The following guest post was provided by Isabelle Guarella. Isabelle is a British-based blogger, and you can find more of her writing at

Traveling with the kids can be stressful, and being eco-friendly is probably the furthest thing from your mind when you hit the road with the littles ones in tow. There are, however, lots of simple ways to make your journey a green one. From packing lightly to dining selectively, we’ve got some simple tips for you to follow on your next family road trip.

Tactical packing

Preparation is key when it comes to a green family trip, and planning in advance will make things much easier.

Think about what you’re going to take with you, and only pack what you really need. The lighter the car is, the less fuel you’ll use and the less carbon emissions you will emit. The same goes for the kids’ stuff, although it’s often harder to cut down when it comes to the little ones.

When it comes to packing the trunk, make sure you haven’t left anything in there that you don’t need. For example, you probably won’t need a snow shovel if you’re traveling through California mid-August! The same goes for bike and roof racks, too, so if you’re not using them, take them off.

Eating green

Don’t panic, this doesn’t mean you can only eat vegetables, although veggies are a good eco option! Instead of grabbing fast food on the go, pack a healthy lunch beforehand. It’s a good idea to avoid lots of packaging and processed food, but this doesn’t mean spending ages in the kitchen. There are loads of quick simple recipes, ideal for families on the move.

Fruit salad, for example, is simple to make and involves no cooking. Divide it up into small containers and it will make for a great healthy breakfast or mid-journey snack. Trail mix is another good option, and a good, healthy source of energy. When it comes to sweet stuff, instead of processed sweets, try flapjacks or cookies. You can even get the kids to help you bake them if you’re up to the task of making them yourself!

Recycle as you go

Try to minimize the amount of rubbish you have and recycle wherever possible. If you’re on the move and can’t recycle immediately, keep it in the car until you can. Drinking from refillable flasks instead of plastic bottles and eating from reusable containers are both good ways to reduce your wastage.

Eco accommodation

If your trip is a family vacation, consider staying in an alternative kind of accommodation. Rather than opting for hotel chains, research eco-friendly or green accommodation in the area. There are lots of lodges and cabins across the US marketing themselves as eco accommodation, so a simple Google search should throw up a few options!

If you’re feeling really green, you could even try camping. The kids are bound to love being in the big outdoors, even if you don’t!

Limit the laundry

With adventurous kids we know it’s almost impossible to get more than 2 wears out of the same outfit, but wherever possible limit your laundry when on vacation. Try to avoid using the tumble dryer if your accommodation has one, and (weather permitting) leave things outside to dry instead!


Photo via cta web/Flickr 

2 thoughts on “Keeping Green When Traveling with Kids”

  1. some really good tips ,,we travel with the grandkids often an usually I pack our snacks an lunches before we go an we stop an picnic an we try not to take too much that will make trash

  2. We do a lot of traveling. And we have a lot of kids. 5. (Holy cow, what were we thinking?) Anyway, we keep our kids occupied with audiobooks, and lots of them. There are a lot of sites where you can download them, but we use this one a lot because the stories are all free and they’re original. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.


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