By: Elizabeth. Elizabeth, a freelance writer and attorney, loves travel and being a mom. Her favorite activities include sampling local ice cream, playing tennis, training her dogs, and exploring the outdoors with her son. She enjoys writing about personal finance for moms, product reviews, and family travel tips. Elizabeth also writes for the personal finance website Wise Bread. Find her on Google +.
In this article, it will explain the tricks of exploring Scandinavia on a reasonable budget tremendously.
Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel
Where to Go Backpacking in Scandinavia
A trip backpacking in Scandinavia will precisely show you all the beautiful natural landscapes, a diverse culture, and a unique history.
Backpacking in Scandinavia is a trip that makes you feel like a king or a queen.
Travel to the foggy fjords of Norway.
Climb the Kings Trail via the Sweden of wilds.
Come across the delicious food culture in Denmark and be delighted by the Northern Lights of Finland.
Scandinavia has all sorts of lovely nature photography, exploring tiny villages, hiking, excellent cuisine, and coming across all big cities.
Get a Wonderful Adventure to Travel in Scandinavia Cities
Let your journey kick off by going to see these eye-catching cities: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, and Bergen.
Stockholm is a gorgeous city to explore.
If you are in love with museums, this is the best place for you.
There are more than 100 museums in Stockholm to fit the blazing desire of every tourist.
The famous ancient town, Gamla Stan is one of the highly conserved in old districts of any main European capital.
Pass over the cobblestone roads going in the small shops, restaurant, before visiting the Stockholm’s Royal Palace.
After full and half day travel in Stockholm, it’s now the right time to move to Copenhagen and Denmark.
Take the sights of the striking Danish capital before your backpacking Scandinavian adventure comes to an accomplishment.
A stroll along the old harbor of Nyhavn and an exploration to the top of the Round Tower are inevitable.
Lapland is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the world; eighteen in total.
The green spaces, including the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Finland, are where to come to hike through stunning landscapes, get up close to the reindeer and enjoy an abundance of sports such as skiing, snowboarding and ice fishing.
Guided tours are available year round and these can be on foot, snowmobile or in some areas on husky-driven sleighs.
Booking eco tour of the parks by locally operated tour guides will help to financially support the local community.
Engaging with the indigenous population
If you’re travelling to northern Norway you can meet some of the indigenous Sami population and enjoy traditional reindeer sledging as well as exploring the Sami capital of Karasjok in Finnmark.
There are a number of Sami festivals each year including Sami Week in Tromso, where visitors can buy hand-crafted goods as well as traditional food from the markets.
There is always the option to purchase locally-made Sami products from Finnish villages like Enontekiö, including reindeer skins, wooden and leather goods and clothes from the many traditional sellers.
Eco-friendly accommodation and Eco Lodge
There’s no shortage of options if you’re looking for eco-accommodation or an Eco Lodge in Lapland.
In Swedish Lapland, the Ice Hotel has to be redesigned and rebuilt every year, always with the environment in mind when it comes to innovative lighting and heating systems.
In addition, the people behind the TreeHotel in Sweden have actually found a way to secure cabins high up in the trees without damaging the trunks with nails.
Elsewhere, the Igloo Village in Kakslauttanen, Finland is another amazing Eco Lodge accommodation option, with igloos constructed from thermal glass (so heat energy efficient), under which you can fall asleep to the sight of the Northern Lights.
Supporting the environment and EcoTourism
There are holiday companies that take their responsibilities to the environment seriously and you can help promote ecotourism by choosing a responsible travel company.
Many Eco tour operators will give a percentage of each booking towards environmental and conservation concerns; this is usually in the form of a voluntary donation by the traveler during the booking process.
Flight emissions are another concern and many holiday companies provide the option of making a small financial offset, which will then be donated to organizations such as Climatecare.
I really wanted to know exactly how and why non-stop flights are better.
Surprisingly, it took a lot of research to figure this out.
I thought a simple Google search would turn up the answers.
Instead, I spent hours digging through websites, running calculations and conversions, and even browsed through flight school manuals to learn why stopover flights are worse for the environment.
Because it’s so hard to find this info, I encourage you to take notes and spread the word.
Knowing that all flights are not created equal will help you to make informed choices.
Some calculations of airplanes’ fuel usage
During a 143 mile direct flight (roughly Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia, PA), 51% of fuel burned is from the taxi, takeoff, climb, and landing.
During a 863 mile direct flight (roughly Washington, D.C. to St. Louis, MO), 16.6% of fuel burned is from the taxi, takeoff, climb, and landing.
During a 1,151 mile nonstop flight (roughly Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis, MN), a plane burns about 13,896 lbs of fuel (1,819 of which come from take-off and landing).
Thus, 13% of fuel is burned from taxi, takeoff, climbing, and descent.
But, if you stopped in Chicago for a layover on your way to Minneapolis, your planes (jointly) will burn at least 15,715 pounds of fuel (3,638 from takeoff and landing).
So a whopping 23% of the fuel your planes use goes toward takeoff and landing.
Always remember that a direct flight is different from than a flight that is non-stop.
In other words, because you took a flight with a layover, your itinerary burns at least 1,820 more pounds of fuel than a non-stop flight.
Additionally, because you likely sat on the extensive runway traffic that is Chicago O’Hare Airport, your plane probably burned through even more fuel.
Since 1,820 pounds of jet fuel probably doesn’t mean much to you, I’ll translate.
Jet fuel weighs approximately 6.7 lbs/gallon.
Therefore, 272 extra gallons of fuel are burned during this stopover itinerary than during a non-stop flight
That’s the equivalent of filling up my Honda Accord 20 times!
Next time you fly, ask yourself: “Is saving $50 by flying with a layover really worth the environmental cost?”
For me, it’s not.
Knowing why non-stop flights are better will hopefully encourage you to consider them the next time you schedule plane reservations.
I’m not a mathematician.
I haven’t taken a real math course since my MBA over 20 years ago.
There were a lot of calculations and conversions and searches that went into these numbers.
I doubled checked my work, but please feel free to run the numbers for yourself.
Also, note that the type and size of plane changes these calculations as does the distance flown.
Calculations are based on Climate Care.org’s Aviation Emissions and Offsets.
Traveler Security Lanes ~ Here’s 7 Tips How to Use Them Like an Expert
Remember the days it used to be fun and exciting to go to the airport and embark on your trip?
Now with increased security, crowded airports and overbooked flights, things often take more time and patience.
Yet airports are always working to streamline processes to make the customers’ experience faster and hopefully better.
On recent trips to from Minneapolis to Dallas and Chicago, I noticed Expert Traveler security lanes are cropping up at more airports.
That’s great news for savvy travelers.
But be warned — these lanes are self-select so you don’t have to be a frequent traveler to use them.
Don’t be surprised to find people there who should be in the Casual or Family Traveler lanes.
Here’s how to use the Expert Traveler security lanes like a pro
Have your boarding pass and ID out
Before you get to the agent who will check your papers, take out your boarding pass and ID.
Make sure they’re facing the right way when you hand them to the agent.
Be friendly and polite but don’t engage in idle chitchat with the security personnel.
Wear slip-on shoes
Wear shoes that you can quickly remove when you get to the front of the line.
Or, untie your shoes while you’re waiting in line so they’re ready to slip off when you get to the conveyor belt.
Remove your liquids
Don’t wait until you have a tray in front of you to start digging through your luggage for your bag of liquids.
Take your liquids out while you’re waiting in line.
Take off your coat (or sweatshirt or sweater)
Don’t wait for the TSA agent to ask you to remove your jacket.
Even if you think you can get by in your light-weight button up shirt, it’s better to play it safe.
If you’re wearing anything that could be interpreted as outerwear, take it off.
Remove your laptop from your bag
Unless you have a TSA-approved laptop bag, you must take your laptop out of your bag.
Do your research about your bag beforehand; don’t hold up the line.
This also goes for your C-PAP machines and other devices.
Plan your trays
Before you get to the conveyor belt, know how many trays you’ll need.
Grab your trays and move out of the way.
Plan on one for your laptop, one for any small luggage (depending on the airport), and one for everything else.
Some airports may require you to divide up your things further.
If you have kids, help them get the trays and load their belongings as well.
Once you’re through security…
Take your tray(s), grab your things, and move out of the way.
Be considerate and keep the line moving.
If you need to tie your shoes or put your luggage back together, carry them with you to the chairs a few feet away.
Do your best to get out of the way and do not stop suddenly.
The Expert Traveler security lanes are excellent for people who travel frequently.
But anyone who considers himself an “expert traveler” can go through that line.
Even if he’s traveling with a 3 year-old and hasn’t flown in a decade.
Just follow these tips to make sure you’re not holding up the line.
Damages of Air Travel on Our Environment
Most of us love air travel from one destination to another and we love to get the aerial view of the cities around the world.
It is not uncommon to have anyone who mainly gets to only travel on land get excited over the idea of flying.
And air travel definitely has its benefits and exciting moments, right from the desire to get a window seat to maximize the benefits of a guaranteed perfect aerial view to the thrill of cruising several thousand feet above the ground.
It is indeed an experience that one would probably want to take advantage of severally.
It has its disadvantages though, for example, any aviation accident has fatal effects and may probably not have any survivors after the accident.
It is also a very expensive affair to construct an airport and purchase all the airplanes used in air transport, so it requires a huge capital outlay in order to be effected.
Additionally, in relation to the environment, air travel has increasingly caused concern over the pollution it causes on our environment.
The negative impact caused by air transport on our environment is outlined below;
It has been estimated that air travel contributes at least 3-30% of all the global warming on our earth.
One transatlantic return flight for example, emits almost half of the carbon dioxide emissions as from all the other sources like heating, lighting and car use, according to research.
They are mainly a source of greenhouse gases like nitrogen oxides, water vapor and carbon dioxide CO2.
Chemicals like Benzene which are found in cigarettes are to make used this fuel.
Research documents that in order to stabilize the atmospheric carbon dioxide current levels, we need to work towards ensuring that our total carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 60%; and already, the developed world emits more than its fair share due to all the industrialization and developments going on.
Water vapor emitted by the aircraft reacts with nitrogen dioxides in the atmosphere leading to destruction of the ozone layer in the stratosphere Nitrogen found below the ozone layer (in the troposphere) contributes to ozone formation, but unfortunately, it doesn’t assist in replenishing the ozone layer at this level.
Instead, it actually contributes to the smog found around the airports and additionally acts as a greenhouse gas.
Another negative effect of water vapor is that it leads to the formation of increased cirrus clouds, and this contributes to global warming.
Additionally, it has been proven that contribution to the negative impact on the environment is caused by the aviation industries themselves, over and above the emissions from the airplanes.
This is mainly brought on in the course of processing and transporting the aviation fuel.
The whole process of maintaining and manufacturing the airplanes, the airports and all the vehicles used in support services have gone a long way in the creation of extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Air transport consumes particularly large quantities of non-renewable fossil fuel.
The jet fuel that is used in the aircraft is mainly non-renewable and the need to find alternative sources of energy to be able to sustain air transport cannot be underestimated.
It is needful that a solution is found soon to this predicament, so that we will not soon deplete this valuable resource.
It is therefore correct to say that air travel essentially promotes an unsustainable form of transport.
Jets that are mainly used in army operations are some of the noisiest crafts in aviation.
Together with other passenger and cargo airplanes, though these may not produce as much noise as the jets, aircraft in general are a major source of noise pollution in our environment.
Here are some questions to consider before taking a look at our travel jacket recommendations below:
Before Buying a Travel Jackets Ask Yourself
What Type of Climate Are You Traveling To?
Before you find the best travel jackets you should first consider the type of climate you’re visiting – is it warm or cold, wet or dry?
This may seem obvious but visiting the hot and humid rain forests of Belize will require a different type of rain jacket (i.e. lightweight and breathable) than the kind you’ll want on a chilly, rainy, early spring day in the Pacific Northwest.
The best travel jackets will be adaptable for many types of weather, but before you make a purchase think about where you’ll wear the jacket the most.
How Long Will You Be Gone?
If you’re going to be going on an extended multi-month trip you’ll want a lightweight jacket that you can layer with a fleece that you can layer with a raincoat as it will presumably change seasons while you’re gone.
If you’ll just be gone a week you only need to find something that will meet your needs for one season and one climate.
What Type of Traveler Are You?
If you’re an adventurous traveler on study abroad.
You’ll want something that’s more informal and all-weather, if you’re a person traveling with your spouse and will mainly stay in hotels and not venture out of museums on rainy days.
You’ll want a jacket that is nicer looking.
So think about what kind of traveler you are.
Will Travel Jackets You Already Own Suffice?
Before you go buy a new jacket just for an upcoming trip, first make sure you don’t have a travel jackets tucked away in the back of a closet that will work just as well as a new jack.
If you do, save your money and take an awesome excursion or have a fabulous meal on your vacation.
Is this a Jacket You Will Continue to Wear?
Make sure that you buy a travel jacket that you will continue to wear around after you’ve returned.
Maybe you’ll only need it when you go on hikes or walking the dog or in a crisp fall day, but buy a quality jacket that will last and be practical for other occasions.
Best Travel Jackets by Category
If you’re on your way to a destination notorious for rain, I highly recommend investing in a good rain jacket – with a hood.
Find a lightweight rain jacket that you can wear on a daily basis (black coats always blend in well) will be critical to your happiness and comfort.
Places like Ireland, anywhere with a rain forest, the Pacific Northwest all come to mind as places I would want to bring a good rain jacket.
Remember, you can always buy a cheap rain poncho if you’re somewhere and it rains unexpectedly, but for places where it usually rains for a least part of the day you’ll want a raincoat.
Here are the best six rain jackets I’ve come across for men and women travelers:
Lightweight jackets for travel fall into several categories.
Formal and informal and rain proof or water resistant.
Which category you need goes back to the questions I posed for consideration in the beginning.
If you a twenty something traveler backpacking around Eastern Europe you’re probably going to go for a less formal jacket than you would if you’re a middle aged retired couple taking a river cruise down the Danube and stopping off at fancy restaurants in cities in Europe.
Here are the best lightweight jackets I’ve found based on reviews and personal experience.
Auromere make a range of different flavors including liquorice, mint free, fresh mint and a non-foaming version, which is perfect for people with a hypersensitive gag reflex.
These products are 100% natural and organic, they do not even contain fluoride, but they do contain 24 natural cleansing agents that are also known to be good for dental health.
US Organic insect repellent in travel size
This USDA certified travel-sized insect repellent contains no alcohol or synthetic chemicals and it has not been tested on animals.
It is certified as kid safe and is DEET free as well.
This is a very effective insect repellent.
Organic Travel Toiletry Kits
One of the most economical ways to buy you travel organic toiletries is to buy them as a kit.
Here are a few of the best ones.
Honey Girl Organics facial care travel kit
If you want to carry out a full skincare routine while on the go, this kit is great.
As the name indicates, all of these skin care products are honey based.
They all come in a zipped travel pouch and the kit includes lip balm, facial cleanser, toner, moisturizer and eye crème.
PAYA Organics travel toiletry set
If you want to order everything in one go the PAYA organics travel size kit is the answer.
This kit contains a 1.5oz bar of organic soap with orange peel, a bottle of organic shower gel, a small bottle of organic body lotion, as well as a bottle of both shampoo and conditioner.
Acure Organics dry shampoo and leave in conditioner kit
For those who are not sure they will have access to water for a while a travel dry shampoo can work wonders.
It is easy to use, is suitable for any type of hair and keeps the hair free of dirt until you can get access to a water source.
It is also a great option for business travelers who may experience delays, which does not leave them enough time to wash and dry their hair before a meeting.
Couple that with leave in conditioner and you have access to a complete water free hair care system.
Acrue Organics products are all high quality and they really do wash and condition your hair.
Miessence travel pack review
2 Different Varieties of Shampoo (for normal to dry and normal to oily hair)
Hair Styling Gel
All of the products are products of Australia and Australian Certified Organic.
Overall the products worked well.
I really liked the B5 Hair Repair and the shape Hair Styling Gel. I have curly hair and they did a good job of keeping my hair from frizzing.
One thing that stood out about the shampoo containers was that they are made of extremely hard plastic. This is great for traveling as they won’t get smashed in your suitcase leaving shampoo-soaked clothes.
The downside of this is that you have to take the entire cap off the bottle to get shampoo out since you can’t squeeze the bottle to get it out of the flip-cap.
A minor annoyance, but the benefit of not squishing in the suitcase is nice.
Miessence has a range of organic skin, hair, body and cosmetic products.
It’s stressful enough traveling so it’s great if you can use great products along the way. By bringing your own toiletries, you can decline the mini shampoo, condition and lotions that come in plastic containers.
We try to use organic travel products when traveling. It’s been easier than ever to find them. If you have other favorites, we would love to hear from you.
Here are my favorite features and the one downside I’ve found.
Removes Many Harmful Contaminants
As you know if you’re a regular reader, we’re all about healthy water and healthy water bottles.
Tap water sometimes gets a bad rap, but the truth is, many of the harmful chemicals and pollutants in your water can be easily removed with an inexpensive carbon filter like the one in the Elemaris XL pitcher.
It can be dangerous for the unborn and for young children.
It can act like a hormone in the body which can disrupt normal hormone levels in fetuses, infants, and young children.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study and found that BPA exposure for unborn baby girls may cause behavioral problems when they become children.
The National Toxicology Program at the FDA reviewed the available evidence and afterwards expressed concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain and behavior of infants and young children.
The BPA may cause more serious effects on children because their bodies are still developing and they aren’t as efficient as adults at eliminating the BPA from their system.
Other studies show that there may be a link between BPA exposure and an increased risk of cancer.
Of particular concern are types of cancer that include breast, prostate, and uterine cancer.
Two independent studies also show that adults who have the highest rates of BPA in their bodies also have a higher incidence of heart problems.
BPA can also cause sexual dysfunction.
A research article published in 2009 reported that men who were exposed to high levels of BPA at work were 4 times as like to experience erectile dysfunction and reduced sexual desire, compared to men who didn’t work with BPA.
These workers who were exposed to BPA were also 7 times more likely to have ejaculation problems.
It also affects women’s fertility.
BPA has been linked to miscarriages, and women undergoing in vitro fertilization and who had higher BPA levels had more difficulty in becoming pregnant.
They had lower estrogen levels, they had fewer fertilized eggs, and their eggs were of lower quality.
BPA contamination is rampant.
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention took urine samples from a statistical group that was representative of the US population, and found that traces of BPA were present in 90% of the urine samples.
BPA Water Contamination
Scientists have also proved BPA water bottles dangerous not just in the food and beverage containers we use.
The problem is that these plastic containers we use that have BPA are being dumped in the seas.
Even the ships that cross these seas have their hulls coated with anti rust chemicals that contain BPA.
BPA is a man-made chemical, and it does not occur naturally in the environment.
So if BPA traces have been found in the seas, then they must have come from man-made sources.
It’s already been found that as early as 2010 BPA environmental contamination is widespread.
What they found is that every batch of water or sand they tested was found to contain BPA.
It was found in the shorelines of 20 countries.
They found widespread decomposition of polycarbonate, which is a hard type of plastic made from BPA.
The researchers were actually surprised at the time when they discovered that polycarbonate plastic biodegrades in the environment.
Of course, the American Chemistry Council (the lobbying group that represents BPA manufacturers), immediately expressed their skepticism.
But other scientists expressed alarm at the news.
Dr. Frederick von Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri and a highly regarded expert on hormones, expressed concern that people can go to the beach and absorb the BPA through the skin from the water and from the sand.
The implications of the findings are still being studied to this day, because plastic continues to flow into the oceans.
There’s a huge patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean that’s as large as the state of Texas, and that’s a lot of BPA seeping into the water.
Are BPA Water Bottles Dead?
BPA Free Water Bottles
BPA Free Water Bottles
The lobbying group American Chemistry Council was unable to stem the tide of alarm these news reports have caused, and as a result people were made aware of the dangers of BPA.
Several states in the US imposed bans on the use of BPA for water bottles.
Other countries have put up similar legislation, including the countries of the European Union, Canada, China, and the United Arab Emirates.
Still, there are other actions you can do, especially if you are a parent.
While totally eliminating BPA may be impossible due to its ubiquitous presence, there are steps you can take which may minimize your exposure, and your child’s exposure as well.
Buy food products that are fresh or frozen, instead of buying them in cans.
BPA may still be used in many containers of canned food, because it helps in preserving the food.
Check for labels that state they are BPA-free.
Nowadays, this is not more common.
Many brands of tableware, sippy cups, and bottles have prominent labels stating that they are BPA-free.
If you have to buy infant formula, again you need to check for a BPA-free label.
If there is none and you really want a particular brand that comes in a can, perhaps you should choose the powdered formula over the liquid option.
Liquid products are more likely to absorb BPA from the container lining than powdered products.
Your best bet for food products is to use or buy containers that are not made of plastic at all.
Containers that are made from stainless steel, glass, enamel, or porcelain do not have any BPA.
Never use plastics with a recycling coding of 3 and 7 for food storage or preparation.
Plastics with the code 7 are OK only if they also say “PLA” or have a leaf symbol on them.
Codes 2, 4, and 5 are safe, but you should only use the code 1 plastics once.
Have you heard about the chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used in the manufacture of plastic and resins?
There was a controversy regarding the presence of the said chemical in various products like water bottles, feeding bottles, and soda cans as it was reported by different organizations that BPA can cause various health problems like diabetes, obesity, and asthma.
This health scare has led to the use of BPA-free plastic products like water and feeding bottles.
Which leads us to the question—are BPA water bottles dead?
BPA has been harnessed in commercial applications since 1957.
It is used for making clear and hard plastic and epoxy resins.
Digital luggage scales reviews – Digital luggage scales seem to be all the rage these days.
Well, at least that’s what the ads I’ve seen have led me to believe.
And with the increased airline baggage fees for pretty much every single U.S. airline, and stricter weight policies — “You’re 3 pounds over, that’s going to cost you!” — perhaps it’s time to invest in a luggage scale.
But is this just another electronic gadget to have to deal with?
Is buying yet another thing helping to go green? Well, it depends….
Why buy a portable luggage scale?
Personally, on the occasions I’ve needed to weigh my luggage, I always used a bathroom scale.
And I’ve never given any thought to buying a special suitcase scale since my bathroom scale works fine.
However, when researching luggage scales and trying them in order to write these digital luggage scale reviews, I realized there are plenty of reasons why a portable luggage scale might be a good choice.
Luggage scales help you to be eco-friendly
Using a portable digital luggage scale can help you and/or your family to plan and stay within packing limits.
I know a family who travels with a family of five and doesn’t bring more than 70 pounds for the entire family.
Just because I am allowed to pack and bring a 50 pound suitcase doesn’t mean I have to.
So, having a scale like this can be helpful for the environment in that you can use it not to maximize what you can bring with you, but to minimize what you bring.
When you pack and tote less stuff with you, it lessens your impact on the environment.
Other times a luggage scale will help
If you’re likely to have more stuff when returning home.
If you are going somewhere (e.g. a trade show or winery tour) and are planning on bringing a lot more home with you, a portable luggage scale would making packing a lot easier.
If you frequently pack bulky or heavy items.
Knowing how much your belongings weigh in advance will definitely lessen your stress as you make your way to the airport.
Photographers or others carrying a lot of equipment might benefit from a luggage scale.
If you attend cruises, weddings, polar expeditions, or other events that require a lot of clothing options, it might be helpful to buy a portable luggage scale.
When you travel abroad, they weigh your carry-on luggage.
My backpack always weighs more than the 14 lbs they allow on international flights.
My laptop with cord weighs about 6 pounds alone.
Add a book and a camera and you’re at your weight limit.
So I can definitely see that if you are doing a lot of airline travel abroad a luggage scale would be incredibly useful.
When you’re backpacking for an around the world trip and your packing list includes only 3 shirts, you probably don’t need a luggage scale.
But if you are attending events several times a year, or are going on a big trip that require lots of changes of clothing, I can see how a luggage scale would be a good choice.
And again, you can use these digital luggage scales reviews to help you pick one to minimize your packing not just maximize your packing.
Digital luggage scales reviews of the best luggage scales
After trying many different luggage scales, here are our top choices, in no particular order.
Balanzza Digital Luggage Scale
The Balanzza ergonomic digital compact luggage scale is one of the best luggage scales.
It’s supposed to be an “ergonomic digital luggage scale” due to the design of the scale.
It weighs luggage up to 100 pounds.
It’s small and compact.
What I liked about it is that the scale itself is the grip.
You lift the bag and can easily see the weight as you are lifting it.
Their process is unlike others:
You lift the bag with the scale, you wait for it to beep, and then you put it down.
It’s also great for weighing other things such as packages you want to mail.
It’s not one you would pack exclusively for a trip, but it folds up nicely and at just 8 ounces, can be tucked into your luggage or travel backpack and used when needed for hikes, sightseeing, and around town.
It’s waterproof, made of lightweight nylon and while it has separate sections, it has light straps and compartments.
We have two of these backpacks, and they have become a family favorite.
How to choose a bag to pack light
The most important things to consider are:
Quality — Luggage needs to be durable.
Transportability — You will carry your luggage more than the carriers will.
Airline carry-on limits — In the real world, there are two kinds of luggage: carry-on and lost.
Fold Your Clothes
Fold your clothes in an efficient, wrinkle free manner.
Come As You Are: Wear your power suit on the plane and take it off once you get to the hotel.
Group “Hot” Items: If you know that your money clip, tweezers, watch, or necklace is going to set off that metal detector, group those items into one carry-on that you can send through the x-ray machine.
Leave the guidebook, novel and iPod at home.
Every seven pieces packed should yield at least 14 ensembles.
Each piece of clothing that goes into your luggage should be interchangeable with at least one other piece you intend to pack.
Every shirt should match at least two pairs of pants, every blazer should work with at least two different shirts or sweaters, and so on.
More packing tips
Other considerations are to include two off-the-beaten-path travel items:
It’s small but sturdy and even has a laundry pocket.
We love the range of colors as well.
One Take-it-With-You Bag
I carry a fold up bag in my purse which works great for quick trips to the market.
It is made from an easy-to-wash and dry fabric and hardly takes any space.
It’s great for saving on using plastic bags too.
Learn to Roll Clothes and Bundle Pack
Rolling clothes and bundle wrapping them (essentially wrapping everything around a central object) makes for fewer wrinkles and takes up less space – which allows you to pack a smaller and lighter piece of luggage.
Ditch the Guidebooks
Guidebooks can be extremely heavy.
By leaving them at home your bag will not only weigh less, but you’ll be more likely to get off the beaten path.
If you insist on guidance for your journey, take a look at these 12 Paper-Free Guidebooks.
I admit that I didn’t know much about Gore-Tex until recently and even what I did know was limited to “it’s bad for the environment.”
After doing a little more research I’ve learned that Gore-Tex is essentially the same material as Teflon®, a perfluorochemical, PFC.
If you don’t know much about Teflon you should know this:
Cooking with Teflon pans can kill birds and it’s chemical compounds have been found even in polar bears in the Arctic.
The never-ending green traveler’s dilemma
If you want to know more about Gore-Tex I’ve listed some additional resources below.
But the key thing is this: the chemicals in Gore-Tex are bad for my personal health and they are bad for the environment.
But, wouldn’t it be nice to have breathable, waterproof shoes?
Concerns with your green values
I want to buy “made in America” products. I really do.
The problem is, I often can’t find them.
Sometimes when I do find them, I can’t really justify affording them.
It is an ongoing situation… especially when my children were younger and were growing out of their clothes quickly.
If I buy second-hand, not-made-in-America, is that better than buying local products new?
We are all doing the best we can, and even by being mindful of our choices we are already ahead of most.
So, I’m stuck with this green traveler’s dilemma:
Will choosing Gore-Tex hiking boots/shoes that will be convenient and practical for me (short term) or do I find something else that will, in the end, be better for my health and the environment (long term)?
Green Travel Gear Products on the Market
With so many new Green Travel Gear products on the market, it’s hard to know what to trust.
Here’s a collection of our favorite, tried and true, environmentally-friendly travel gear.
To buy it for yourself, or read more on Amazon, click the image or the title.
Everyone in our family has his or her own (in different colors so we can tell them apart) and we bring them on camping trips and backpacking treks, as well as road trips.
We use them in place of plastic, disposable silverware in fast food restaurants, and in hotel rooms for in-room dining.
Bed Buddy Neck Pillow
This neck pillow is great for relieving tension year-round.
Just stick it in the microwave to heat it up and wrap it around your shoulders and neck.
It’s made of natural materials and has lavender and chamomile for aromatherapy.
Any environmentalist is sure to love this relaxing gift.
Nothing Nasty lip balm
This lip balm by Nothing Nasty is made of all natural, organic ingredients is good for the environment and good for your lips.
And it’s easy to add to a holiday stocking!
I love the honey and vanilla flavor.
Nothing Nasty also has a full line of baby and toddler products for your little one’s stocking.
What will you be gifting as green stocking stuffers for environmentalists this holiday season?
Share your stocking stuffer ideas in the comments!
Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers Concerned About Environment Full of Excellent Picks
Best Christmas Gifts for Travelers – Whether you’re a traveler looking for ideas for your Christmas wish list or a shopper in search of holiday gift ideas for your favorite traveler, you’ve come to the right place.
From luggage and clothing to gadgets and water bottles, this list of the best Christmas gifts for travelers is full of excellent picks.
We even have ideas for kids who like to travel.
Read on and get your holiday shopping finished early!
Small Travel Backpack
I’m an advocate of packing light and a good backpack can make that easy.
I traveled in Argentina for 6 months with only a small travel backpack and an even smaller school backpack.
Opt for a front-loading backpack because top-loading ones make organization difficult.
Look for a backpack that’s comfortable, compact, attractive, and has lots of pockets.
A mug will come in handy for those quick camping outs and hiking trips, as it gives the traveler a reusable container for water or coffee.
Because it’s stainless steel a traveler can reuse it again and again, eliminating the need for paper or plastic cups.
While these mugs are often used for short trips, they’ll also come in handy for school or office.
With a stainless steel mug, they can pack up more quickly and get going.
Best Gifts for Travelers Water Bottles
There are few things an eco-friendly traveler needs more than a water bottle.
Different types of water bottles are available, but regardless what you buy make sure that it’s BPA free and it’s stainless steel as it will make the bottle last longer.
There’s a lot to be said about stainless steel water bottles, but their biggest benefit is they’re versatile enough to be used at home or on the road.
Since water bottles are so cheap, you can buy several of these.
Nothing beats a nice pair of eco-friendly shoes, and there are plenty of these available today.
Just go online and you’re going to find an array of green footwear made from recycled materials and using environment friendly processes.
Note that some of these shoes are for casual wear, so if you expect your recipient to wear it while traveling, get a pair of heavy duty travel shoes that can withstand rugged terrain.
This isn’t as hard as you might think as green footwear has become more commonplace.
No traveler will be complete without a travel book, it’s a fact.
Yes there are travel apps available, but what if he / she goes somewhere where there is no reliable Internet connection?
With a good travel book, a traveler will never be lost.
A good travel book will provide information about the country as well as photos, so it’s going to be an invaluable aid.
If your friend likes to travel to foreign countries, consider getting him / her a dictionary or a book with commonly used phrases and expressions, and it will also help if you get them an etiquette book, very handy to prevent misunderstandings and culture shock.
Ask any frequent traveler and he / she will tell you that a compost bin is a must-have, so why not give one as a gift?
They’re very practical, portable and eliminate the odor that would otherwise emanate from the thrash.
Many are sold in 1 gallon sizes although other options are available, and if you’re going to buy one, look for those with a charcoal liner as that helps eliminate odors.
A green traveler will appreciate this because it means they don’t have to rely on whatever the hotel is providing them.
And if they’re staying in simple lodgings chances are they’re not going to get any towels at all.
Towels for home use are large, warm and soft but usually not fit for travel, so it is better if you buy one that’s made of microfiber because it dries quickly, can absorb a lot of water and folds tightly and easily.
A molcajete (mortar and pestle) may not seem like a necessity, but if the traveler enjoys cooking then this will be something they’ll appreciate.
If you’re not familiar with it, a molcajete is the Mexican version of the pestle and mortar, and it’s especially useful for grinding and crushing herbs, spices and foods.
For hikers and campers who like to prepare their own food, this will be indispensable.
Anyone who travels frequently will need a backpack, but for eco-friendly travelers the recycled ones are going to be most appreciated.
Don’t let the term recycle mislead you, because these are as comfortable and dependable as any other backpack.
from the green factor, there are a lot of other factors to consider when buying a backpack, such as the size, capacity, and type and so on.
This all depends on what type of traveler your gift recipient is, so take that into consideration.
However, buying won’t be as difficult as it used to be since there are a lot of options available sold today.
Does your friend have a sweet tooth?
Then a gelato maker will be most welcome.
This might not seem to have anything to do with being green, but it does actually: having their own gelato maker means they won’t to deal with the urge to buy candies and consequently, not worry about where to throw away the wrappers.
Is there a better way to capture the beauty of nature than with a digital camera?
There are a lot of gadgets you can buy, but no question, a camera is what the green traveler will appreciate the most as it allows them to capture the most amazing moments of their trips.
Digital cameras are no longer as expensive as they used to be so finding one won’t be too difficult.
It’s true that smartphones and tablets have a built-in camera, but the quality a real camera provides is superior.
If your friend is picky about pictures, then only a “real” camera will do.
So there you have it, the best gifts for travelers, and whether your recipient has been traveling for a long time or just new to it, there’s no question that they will be grateful and will benefit from any of these gifts.
The Magniflex pillow contains no materials that are toxic or non-biodegradable, but it’s made in Italy so there is an environmental impact from that aspect.
According to Magniflex’s website, the company “strongly believe[s] that environmental safety, both for our employees and customers, and safeguarding the earth’s natural resources must play an integral part in our manufacturing process.”
If you love traditional memory foam but don’t like the negative impact it has on the environment, I would highly recommend checking out these two pillows.
As with all pillows, I think perfection lies in the preference of the sleeper.
I think these pillows are both great and I would recommend testing them out before choosing the one that’s best for you.
Learn what’s in some of your everyday use products, like pillows, your carpeting and your couches and other hidden toxins in homes.
It is generally a good idea to replace your pillows every few years.
If you have not spent a lot of money on them, this is a fairly easy thing to do.
There are other many factors to consider regarding how frequently you should replace your pillows.
Consider if you have children; how often you change out the pillow case; do you have a zippered pillow cover on it as well as the pillow case; and are there people in your home with allergies.
Also consider if someone has been very sick and using the pillow.
When you buy a more expensive memory foam pillow, keeping it encased with a zippered cover will help you in the long run from wear and tear as well as keeping it cleaner and more hygienic.
Investing in dust mite encasement is also a wise idea and will increase the life of your pillow.
It will also help those people in your home who may have dust mite allergies, as dust mites live and thrive in pillows, mattresses, blankets and bedding.
One word of caution: Do your homework and beware of green washing.
Some memory foam pillow brands claim to be eco-friendly, when in reality their products are made with 10% eco-friendly materials and 90% polyurethane.
You will most likely enjoy having a memory foam pillow, just be sure you know what you are buying, and be sure to take care of it so it stays clean for better health for its user.
Useful Eco Gadgets for the Green Traveler
Eco gadgets for the Green Traveler are most definitely a growth market now.
Sure there are lots of gadgets that are a waste of time and money, but there are also some gadgets that are genuinely useful.
In this article, Dan talks about 10 of his favorite eco-friendly gadgets that are designed with the green traveler in mind.
Wind up Torch
If we’re going camping or anywhere else where there’s likely to be a lack of lighting when night falls, then we need a torch. Conventional torches eat through lots of batteries, so something rechargeable would be great.
Rather than use standard rechargable batteries, why not have a wind up torch?
I have two of these torches myself, and they’re fantastic!
Just a minute or so of winding up and you get around 30 minutes of torch light.
In practice, the light dims after a few minutes, so you just top it up again.
You never need to worry about finding some batteries ever again!
Wind Up Walkie Talkies
On the theme of wind up gadgets, there’s a great way to keep in touch with your party, or kids, or anyone really, and that’s with a walkie talkie.
However, we hit the same issues with batteries, so how about some wind up walkie talkies?
For a minute of winding, you get 2 minutes of talking time and 10 minutes of standby time.
Perfect for emergencies, and you don’t need to worry about mobile phone reception either.