When it comes to traveling either for business or pleasure there are a lot of questions to think about. What are you going to take? Where are we going to stay? How are we getting there? When you are a vegan or eat a plant-based diet there is another question that comes to mind. Where am I going to eat?
Traveling for a vegan or a someone who eats a plant-based diet may seem to be difficult or impossible but it really isn’t. True some travel destinations may have more vegan and plant-based friendly restaurants than others but it is possible to stick to your healthy eating habits even if your restaurant options are limited. The key is to be prepared and plan ahead. Just like you take the time to plan out what you are going to do on your trip you need to do the same when it comes to what you are going to eat during the trip.
Here are some tips to follow when eating a vegan and plant-based diet while traveling.
Pack your own food
Whether you are traveling by plane, train or car bringing your own food is not only cheaper but guarantees that you are going to eat the right food. Airports, train and gas stations don’t always offer healthy selections let alone vegan options. Don’t take the chance on not having anything to eat and pack your own to go meals and snacks for you and your family. Remember that if you are flying and taking any liquids (this includes liquid foods) you cannot have it in a container bigger than 3 ounces. If you are driving there are no limits and you can take as much food and liquids as you want.
Pack a reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated is important especially if you are flying. Pack an empty refillable water bottle in your carryon luggage and as soon as you pass through the security checkpoint, fill it up at a water fountain. It will save you the $4-5 they charge at the airport and you can refill the bottle as many times as you want.
Bring your own hard to find ingredients
Ingredients such as edible seeds, vegan condiments, supplements, coffee creamer and sweeteners are not available at many hotels and restaurants. If you use any of these ingredients it is best to pack your own supply in small containers that are easy to travel with and use them when you need to.
Research local restaurants
Before traveling, research the restaurants that are close to where you will be staying. You can go to happycow.net to find a listing of all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants by city. If they are no vegan restaurants close by still look at the menus of local restaurants. You may be able to create your own plant-based meal out of their side dishes or salad options. Call the restaurant ahead of time to check if they will be able to accommodate your dietary needs before going.
Find the nearest supermarket and farmers markets
Once you arrive at your travel destination and settle in, head over to the closest supermarket or health food store to stock up on plant-based foods. Buy foods that you will use on a daily basis such as non-dairy milk, fruits, cut up raw vegetables and salads. If you are lucky enough to find a local farmers market, then get your fresh fruits and veggies there and go to the supermarket for the items you couldn’t get at the farmers market.
Stay at a hotel that has a refrigerator and/or kitchenette in the room
After shopping for fruits and vegetables you need to store them in a refrigerator. That’s why staying at a hotel that has a refrigerator in the room is important since it gives you the option to store your fresh food in the room. If your hotel offers a kitchenette that comes with a stove, microwave and a refrigerator that’s even better! You can just make your own meals and avoid eating out altogether. Extended Stay America, Mainstay Suites and Candlewood Suites are just a few hotels that not only have kitchenettes in the room but also allows guests to borrow cookware, utensils and dishes so they can make home cooked meals while on vacation.
Keep these tips in mind when you are planning your next vacation and you will not have any problems sticking to your vegan and plant-based diet.