Minimal and Eco-Friendly Travel Toiletry Bag – What I took with me to Australia

My backpack currently weights around 12kg and I try to avoid every additional gram, as it is already hard to carry so much with me around, especially when I need to walk for longer.

Sometimes I see girls having even huger backpacks and I am very lucky that I choose to only take a 50l backpack with me. Because if you have more space, you take more with you.

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When it comes to my toiletry bag I also wanted to stay as minimalistic as possible. I tried to avoid everything that runs out quickly, has a big container and I realised, that it is so much more convenient to have eco-friendly (and zero waste) cosmetic products.

 

It’s not just better for the earth to stop using products in plastic containers, it is also cheaper (in long term, because the products last a lot longer) and a lot smaller and lighter which makes it awesome for travelling!

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Anzeige/PR-Sample // The toothbrush I use is from hydrophil, a German brand that sells bamboo toothbrushes and some other hygiene products. The toothpaste is just the cheapest one from Coles that I got because I run out of mine from home.

A zero-waste substitute for the toothpaste would be dental-taps you can get at bulk stores. You just chew on one them and use them with water and they are super small, light and plastic free.

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I also have a small packaging of tooth floss with me. There are also zero waste options available in bulk stores that I want to try out when I run out of mine.

As a deodorant, I use the deo cream from Wokenseifen that I really like and recommend, and that I filled into a very small container because I don’t need a whole package of it.

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For creams and moisturizer, I have a face cream from lavera that is natural, vegan and cruelty-free.

The body moisturizer I use is shea butter that I filled in an old container at the bulk store. It is super handy because you only need a very small amount as it is super rich and you can easily apply it by rubbing it a bit in your hands so that it melts.

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Anzeige/PR-Sample // One product that saves me so so much money and weight is my soap bar from Duschbrocken. It is a body wash and shampoo in one and because it is all natural and contains many oils, I don’t need to use conditioner as well. I also use it to wash my face and the best thing: it still has almost the same size as two months ago, even though I used it so much!

I already tried out a few different soap bars and I’ve heard from friends who’ve been experimenting with them and I never had (or have heard) of any better product than this. (And I don’t get paid or anything to say this – I just got the product for free to test, nothing more)

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I am super lucky that I don’t have to carry 4 bottles with me and save so much space and weight with this little soap bar in its metal container!

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My shaver is probably a little bit heavier than a usual plastic one, but it saves me a lot of money and the planet a lot of plastic waste, so it’s worth it! The first purchase is more expensive, but I don’t have to buy new shaving heads that are much more expensive in the long term.

I paid 18€ for my shaver and 30 razor blades and they will last me for a long time. When you compare a plastic shaver you pay around 10€ for the shaver and maybe 2-3 shaving heads and then need to pay around 5€ for new heads.

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I also carry a hairbrush with me. At first, I only had a comb because I thought that would be enough, but with the wind, salt and sand it is definitely necessary to have a proper brush.

Because I don’t want to spend money on going to the hairdresser, but still want my hair to stay healthy and not look frizzy and dead, I have my own hair scissors with me and occasionally cut my ends a bit. This keeps them so much healthier (the sun is drying them out so bad!) and I save money and length (cause I can cut less than a hairdresser would).

In the little red container, I filled some coconut oil and use it as a moisturizer for my ends once or twice a week.

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For female hygiene products, I have my menstrual cup with me. This is another great example, how much money you can save with eco-friendly products. It costs around 15-20€ and lasts you for years and years. Tampons and napkins however can be super expensive and in some countries, you will have a hard time to even find them.

Also, they are so much better for your body because they don’t contain bleaching chemicals and other nasty stuff you don’t want to put inside your body.

I still have a few tampons and napkins with me if I don’t have the possibility to clean the cup.

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I don’t need and want to wear makeup on a daily basis and if I am going out with friends, I usually find a friend who borrows me her mascara and concealer, so I only took my eyebrow pencil with me. That’s the only thing I really care about if I don’t want to look like I just woke up: eyebrows.

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And the last few small items I carry in my beauty bag are hair ties, nail file and scissors and cotton buds.

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Something that doesn’t fit into my toiletrie bag, but that I still want to mention is my sunscreen. I use this one in SPF 30 or 50 that I brought from Germany which is from Jean&Len. You can get them in most drugstores and they are vegan, cruelty free and have less chemicals in them.

Sadly sunscreen has really toxic ingredients to make it work, but we still need it to protect our skin. This brand is already a lot better than conventional sunscreen and it still has a very nice texture without being too thick and making you white, which is important as well :D

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So this is all I have with me – not zero waste, not completely eco-friendly, but  I try my best and hope to inspire you to swap you plastic toothbrush or shaver and made small steps every day to save our earth from downing in plastic!

If you want to read more about plastic, my thoughts and some amazing pictures, have a look at my blog post We Drown in Plastic.



*Disclaimer: This blog post includes two PR-Sample (as marked), but I still only mention them because I think the products are great and worth sharing with you. I only do PR-Samples (or Advertisings) if I truly support the companies!

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What’s in my Backpack for One Year of Work & Travel in Australia

For about 10 months I’ve been preparing my work & travel journey. Reading books, blogs and talking to people. I scrolled through hundreds of articles about what to pack as a minimalistic backpacker, female backpacker, Australian backpacker or on a long-term journey…

I tried to filter what I think I will really need and use and gave my best on packing very minimal. My backpack contains 60l and weights 10kg (which is pretty good for my first time backpacking and without any experiences). In addition to that, I have a small 12l daypack that carries some extra stuff.

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Backpack

I bought this backpack because it was cheap in comparison to the brand backpacks and the quality felt good. It also has a back support that I could easily remove so it’s a lot lighter like that. It has many straps to adjust (too many in my opinion, but I could cut them off if I want to).

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For my daypack, I chose a small and unspectacular one because I am not carrying a lot on an everyday basis and I don’t like too many pockets and straps because they annoy me.

The size is good to carry my camera, water bottle, snacks, papers and wallet like I do every day, but for the plane (where I needed my laptop, pillow, kindle, food, water bottle, papers and more) it was too small and I had to take an extra bag with me on the plane. I also always carry one with me for when I go food shopping.

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Clothes

Luckily, I can replace some things in my backpack when my cousin or my parents visit me. For now, I have some more warm clothes like two hoodies, longsleeves and an extra pair of shoes that I’ll get rid of when it’s summer. Right now, it’s only around 16 degrees Celsius in Melbourne so I’ll be good with an extra layer of clothes.

With all my clothes I tried to stay in the dark colour palette (or it’s stuff that I don’t care too much about) so that I only need to wash one machine every week and not separate into light and dark laundry. I’ve heard that white and light clothes get yellow/grey so fast while travelling and they also get dirty so much more easily, that’s why everybody suggests to leave them home.

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The only ‘unpractical’ t-shirt I brought is my self-made tidy t-shirt, that I have to wash with my hands. But I love it so much so it’s worth it and one t-shirt is washed quickly in the sink.

  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 4 tops

I don’t have specific workout clothes or pyjamas with me because I feel like being okay with my regular clothes. I’ll just wear one of my comfy shorts for sleeping/working out and a t-shirt and that’ll be fine.

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  • 2 comfy shorts
  • 1 jeans shorts
  • 1 pair of long pants/jeans (very stretchy & comfortable)
  • 1 pair of flowy pants (sun protection on hot days)
  • 1 pair of long leggings (I wore them on the flight)

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Through reading all the blog posts I learned that you should never pack something that you are not sure about or that you can only wear on specific occasions. That’s why I tried to pack clothes that are practical and functional for every day (hopefully!)

  • 1 thin blouse (great sun protection)
  • 1 t-shirt dress (that I can always quickly throw over and be good to go)
  • 1 pretty dress (short, comfy and suitable for every day or special occasions)

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It was really hard to decide how much underwear I am going to take. Some people suggest to only take 5 and wash more often, others had 10 pairs with them so they don’t need to wash that often.

I decided to take 8 pairs so that I can wash around once a week and always have one pair as an extra.

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bralettes (because I don’t wear bras)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 2 bikinis
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of elastic stockings

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Organizing

I bought some drybags to organize my clothes and keep them together and I highly suggest that if you travel with a backpack otherwise, you won’t find anything.

I also got a belt bag and 2 more bags with me and I would even suggest taking 3 because I use them a lot. I got one for shoes and the other for food shopping and storage (because at the hostel you store your food in the kitchen area / in the fridge and you need to pack it in a bag).

  • 1 drybag 6l (for underwear, socks, bikinis)
  • 2 drybags 12l (one for bottoms & dresses, other for t-shirts & tops)
  • Deuter belt bag
  • 2 eco-bags

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Shoes

I’m probably not going to carry 4 pairs of shoes with me for my whole year. I plan to get rid of my converse when the weather is warmer and I am wearing sandals a lot, but until then 1/3 of my backpack is shoes…

  • Running shoes (that I can wear for hiking and long walks in cities)
  • Converse
  • Sandals (I know, not the sexiest kinds of shoes but they are super comfy and I already got used to them)
  • Flip flops

It’s hard to tell what you will need at the end of the day because you never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do, but I still only packed clothes that I knew I will wear a lot. If I will miss something I’ll just tell my parents to bring it or buy it here. That’s so much better than taking way too much stuff with you and carrying it around without wearing it and I already got used to wearing the same stuff almost every day.

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Toiletries

I got a toiletry bag that you can hang which is super practical for hostels where it can be wet or gross sometimes. My towels are super thin, quickly drying micro phaser towels and I got a small one ( 30 x 50 cm) and a big one ( 75 x 150 cm ).

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For shampoo, shower gel and face wash I decided to skip big plastic bottles that are heavy and used up quickly and bought solid soap bars instead. I find it super practical on one hand and it’s also so much eco-friendlier and better for skin and hair because it is all natural.

My face wash is by The Body Shop and I use the “Duschbrocken” from a small German start-up brand that is shampoo and body soap in one. I already used it three times and I love it – the smell is amazing (I got “Frieda Früchtchen”), it feels super moisturizing to my skin and hair because it contains a lot of natural oils and I can’t even tell that I used it at all because you only need so little product. My hair feels really great using it and it doesn’t gets greasy more quickly than usually.

I decided to only take a come with me and so far it’s been alright. If I miss it too much, I’ll just buy one.

For shaver, period hygiene products, deodorant and body lotion I also went for the eco-friendly version because it lasts so much longer and is more practical in many ways. I’ll talk about that in another blog post about eco-friendly & minimalistic beauty products for travelling soon!

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  • Duschbrocken (shampoo & body wash) (*PR-Sample)
  • Face soap
  • Shaver (plastic free!)
  • Shea butter as body butter (in the Body Shop container)
  • Toothbrush (plastic free!) (*PR-Sample)
  • Toothpaste
  • Wolkenseifen Deo crème
  • Coconut oil (in a little container)
  • Lavera face moisturizer
  • Come
  • Hair ties
  • Menstrual Cup
  • Nail scissors and nail file
  • Eye Brow Pen (only “makeup” I take with me)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream

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Medicine

I only took a few things with me because you don’t have to be prepared for everything. In case you really get sick you can buy whatever you need. Also, I would suggest to not take a whole package with you – it’s just not necessary.

  • Nurofen painkillers
  • antidiarrhoea medicine
  • Eye drops
  • sore throat tablets
  • plaster

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Food

You aren’t allowed to take most food to Australia, but packed food is alright.

  • Many oat and dried fruit bars
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Instant Oats (I didn’t end up taking it with me bc I was afraid they wouldn’t allow me to bring it because it contains nuts, but they didn’t care a lot so I should have brought it…)
  • Chewing gum
  • Cinnamon
  • Veggie Broth
  • Reusable water bottle (1l)
  • 2 food containers (750ml and 450ml)
  • Camping fork-knife-spoon
  • Vitamin B12 drops
  • Vitamin C tablets

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Important Documents

  • Passport
  • Drivers licence & international drivers licence
  • Visa
  • Flight documents
  • vaccination certificate
  • Some Australian dollar
  • important addresses & phone numbers
  • copies of important documents

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Other Stuff

  • Wash paste
  • Locks for lockers at the dorm room
  • plastic zip bags (to store and organize all the small stuff)
  • travel neck pillow (that you can blow up)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Pen & pencil
  • notebook

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Electronics

I tried to minimize my technical gear, but you just need some electronics if you plan to take some pretty pictures and videos.


That’s everything I took with me to Australia! I will for sure make an updated version after a few months to see what I had to buy or what I didn’t need and gave my parents.

What is something you could not travel without?

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* Dies ist ein Affiliate Link. Wenn du etwas über diesen Link kaufst, bekomme ich eine kleine Provision und du unterstützt mich und meine Arbeit. Der Preis ändert sich für dich dabei natürlich nicht. Danke!