Travelling plastic-free is a challenge. You might have packed your plastic-free bathroom kit, but once you're on the road, you are tempted by the plastic water bottle at the airport, the coffee-to-go at the train station, the in-flight meal or the blanket wrapped in plastic. In order to uphold your values you have to plan ahead and stay strong.
And if you think it's hard to travel green, it's even harder to find a hotel that shares your values and is as eco-conscious as you are. In most hotels you are flooded with little shower gel bottles, mini bar amenities or cocktail straws. Sure, there are green, sustainable, organic, vegan and even climate-neutral hotels out there, but how many of these eco-friendly hotels are truly plastic-free?
Finding those gems is a challenge. I love to travel and have been to hundreds of hotels all over the world. Very few of them advertise with being plastic-free. I am aware that it is very difficult, if not impossible, for a big hotel to be 100 percent plastic-free. That is why I am focussing this page on green and eco-friendly hotels that make a true and provable effort to reduce plastic as much as possible in all parts of their operation.
You can start by searching for "green hotels" or "eco-friendly hotels" at the destination you want to travel to. Like I wrote, you have no guarantee that eco-friendly hotels are also plastic-free. However, while green hotels usually put a greater emphasis on reducing carbon, serving organic food or using non-toxic cleaning agents, some of them also make an effort at reducing plastic waste as much as possible.
Or you travel to ecotourism destinations. Ecotourism is in high demand at the moment. If you visit an official ecotourism destination like Costa Rica, you can be sure that all hotels there are encouraged to drastically reduce their ecological footprint, including the production of plastic waste. As an added benefit, you deliberately say "NO" to conventional mass tourism and help preventing the natural ecosystem from being disturbed or endangered.
By the way, ecotourism and sustainable tourism are not the same thing. Here is a definition of ecotourism.
It's not easy to find a hotel that truly walks the talk. In order to make your search for the next holiday accommodation easier, here is a list of eco-friendly hotels I've visited.
All of the hotels recommended here are completely sustainable and as plastic-free as possible. Some of them even managed to get rid of plastics entirely!
If you need more inspiration for your next trip, I compiled a whole list of the best plastic-free hotels of 2023.
If you too want to make your hotel or bed & breakfast fit for a plastic-free, sustainable future, contact me. I am a certified Environmental Consultant, working with hotels and guesthouses around the world to reduce single-use plastic footprint. Learn more here or reach out to me via email.