Eco-friendly Bags for Your Next Family Vacation

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SERRVWeekenderBag-TMFor those of us who want to lessen our footprint on the environment when traveling there are a host of eco-friendly and stylish traveling gear. Regardless if you travel by airplane, boat, automobile, bicycle or foot, most of us need a bag to carry our stuff from point A to point B. Luckily, there is no shortage of eco-friendly bag options in the marketplace and we’ve found some great fair trade ones to share.

  • The Dudie bag from Kingdom Ventures is a great replacement to the fanny pack when you need to carry around things like money and a passport or ID but don’t need a huge bag (or you want your hands free). Handmade by artisans in Cambodia, it is made using recycled poly-pro and a clear vinyl covers the design to protect clothing from any possible transfer of the printed patterns.
  • For a simple, multi-use wallet, I swear by Malia Designs’ Recycled Travel Wallet. Also handmade by women artisans in Cambodia, it has multiple pockets and a zipped pouch inside so I can keep receipts, foreign currency and credit cards separate and yet all in one place.  And the wristlet features makes it easy to throw around your wrist if you need both hands free.
  • SERRV’s Blue Weekender Bag is sturdy as it is made with recycled rice sacks and lined with black cotton. Measuring at 14 inches long and just over a foot high and 18 inches wide, it makes for a nice bag for a quick getaway. Handmade by women in Cambodia. (Photo coutesy of SERRV International)
  • For those tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner and other liquids, consider Sol Fair Trade’s toiletry bags, handmade by artisans in Brazil using repurposed advertisinMataTradersbagTMg banners. Available in two sizes, each comes with an internal velcro pocket and zips shut to contain any leakage.
  • Once you get to your destination, keeping things compact is ideal. This collapsible cotton sarong tote from Global Goods Partners folds neatly into a small zippered pouch made from newspaper or recycled comic strips (the recycled portion is the bottom of the tote when unfolded). The tote is not only handy to have when traveling as a lightweight way to carry around your daily needs, but also is a great backup for an overflowing suitcase on the way home. The tote is made by Friends International, a nonprofit that provides employment, health care and opportunity for marginalized communities in Cambodia.

These are just a handful of eco-friendly travel bag options. Which one would you reach for on your next solo or family vacation?


Megy Karydes loves handbags. Big bags, little bags, eco-friendly bags and colorful bags. She especially loves fair trade and handmade bags (she thinks they have more character). You can find several at World Shoppe as well as many fair trade shops throughout the U.S.

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About The Author

Megy Karydes is founder of Wandering Tastes, a travel and lifestyle website meant to inspire, excite & encourage exploring and seek adventure. She’s also principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing communications firm. She writes regularly on food, lifestyle, health and nutrition for USA Today, Natural Awakenings magazine and Chicago Health magazine.

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