How-To: Eat Vegan (and Raw!) While Traveling
If the thought of traveling while eating a vegan diet makes you sweat, relax! A little advance planning can take the stress out of vegan traveling. Try these simple solutions and snack ideas to ensure you have access to vegan (and even some raw!) food options while on the road, in the air, or anywhere else on-the-go.
Pack a “snack sack.”
Save a few square inches in your purse, backpack or carry-on for handheld nibbles. There are tons of healthy snack options that travel well, and can be easily made at home or picked up before your trip. Try:
- Raw fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and grapes make great portable snacks
- Raw vegetables, like celery sticks or baby carrots
- Trail mix made of nuts and dried fruits, plus pretzel sticks, coconut flakes, or even chocolate chips
- Packaged or homemade energy/protein/granola bars
- Granola or other chunky vegan cereal
- Packaged or homemade crackers with a small container of nut or seed butter
- Vegan jerky
- Air-popped popcorn (pre-popped, of course!)
- Homemade vegan muffins
- A few squares of dark chocolate
Eat light at diners and fast food joints.
You don’t have to go hungry at traditionally “non-healthy” eating establishments anymore. At most diners, for example, you can order oatmeal, fresh fruit or a dry English muffin with jam. Many fast food restaurants nowadays have salads; just avoid fatty, creamy dressings. Bean tacos or burritos and veggie subs are also widely available.
Tip: Look to breakfast and side dishes for more vegan-friendly options.
Shop smart at gas stations, convenience stores and vending machines.
If you’re out of snacks and have to grab something on the go, stick to lighter bites like fruit, pretzels, whole-grain crackers, or all-natural granola or energy bars (check the label and avoid anything with animal ingredients and high sugar counts). As for drinks, stick to water to keep hydrated.
Tip: Keep an eye out for the fresh, whole foods. Apples, bananas, baby carrots and nuts can be found at many roadside stops.
Enjoy the free breakfast at your hotel.
Even basic breakfasts at most hotels offer vegan-friendly options such as cereal, wheat toast and jam. You may even get lucky and find bagels, peanut butter and fresh fruit.
Tip: Go early, if possible, to get your pick of the spread. Hotel staff members are usually more amenable to sourcing special options like soymilk (as possible) for you when it’s not in the middle of the breakfast rush. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Don’t panic if you can’t eat right away.
It’s OK to skip a meal occasionally if there’s absolutely no way to get something healthy to eat. Many of us get antsy the moment our tummies feel empty, but the truth is, a few extra hours without food is not a disaster. Remember that our bodies are smart, and know how to take care of us during a brief fast. And just think: the next meal you eat will taste extra delicious!
Tip: If you’re in a pinch, find a snack to tide you over until your next meal. And remember to stay hydrated—it helps ease hunger pangs.
Editor’s Note: What are your tips for healthy eating when you’re on the road? Share your wisdom in the comments!