Learn easy ways to continue eating plant-based diet while travelling. I’ll give you suggestions for travelling by car and by air as well as general tips for staying healthy during your journey.
Travelling is exciting. Even for plant-based eaters! You get to meet new people, experience different cultures and most of all: try interesting foods. Maintaining a whole foods plant-based diet while eating on the road can be challenging but I have had a lot of practice and know ways to make it easier for you.
So, who am I to give you advice? 🙂 We’ve had some real-life practice as I sent my husband on a road trip from Tallinn to Barcelona to take our car there with most of the stuff for the winter. He is back in one piece, managed to maintain his diet, and did not have to starve either.
Table of contents
- Easy Tips for Eating Plant-Based Diet While Travelling
- General Tips for Easy Plant-Based Travelling
- Eating a Plant-Based Diet While Travelling by Car
- Eating a Plant-Based Diet While Travelling by Plane
Easy Tips for Eating Plant-Based Diet While Travelling
General Tips for Easy Plant-Based Travelling
1. Do not Over-Think!
Stressing about your food will only make you grumpy and you won’t enjoy your trip. As well, being worried might make you sick so give yourself some meal leeway. You can’t expect to eat exactly the way you do at home. Instead, rely on fruits, canned foods, nuts or seeds and vegetables that you can eat raw and you’ll be fine.
2. Research Your Destination Beforehand
Doing your research before you travel will come in handy if you’re arriving late or travelling with kids and need something quick. But you can take things day-by-day too. A great online resource is Happy Cow (happycow.net), a free online vegetarian and vegan restaurants guide. I use it often when navigating my family’s meals in a new place.
3. Learn Food Names in Local Language
When travelling abroad make sure to learn food names in the local language, especially the foods you’re trying to avoid such as meat, dairy, oil, cheese, poultry, eggs, butter, milk and sugar to avoid any confusion.
4. Choose an Accommodation with a Kitchen
Having access to a cooking area helps you to have control over your meals. So whenever possible, choose an accommodation with a kitchen. That way you’ll have access to a fridge, a stove-top and possibly an oven. With these amenities you’ll be able to stock up on healthy food and cook your own tasty meals.
5. Make Use of Your Hotel Room
When you’re stuck in a hotel room without a kitchen, you’ll at least have a kettle. Pour hot water over your rolled oats and you’ve got a quick and easy oatmeal breakfast if you can’t find anything at the breakfast bar.
Use the mini-fridge in your room to store food that you buy from the supermarket. Empty the fridge first and put the speciality items back when you leave.
Here’s an interesting tip. If you are dying to have a warm sandwich in a hotel room, use an iron.
6. Drink Water!
Don’t forget to drink water, a lot of water. This will help keep you hydrated. You can always splurge a little and have some wine with your pre-packed meal if you’re feeling decadent when travelling by air.
7. Stay Active!
While on a short trip, don’t let it become an excuse to let exercise slip: stay active! One of the best ways to keep in shape and see a city is to walk. Find maps online or go to a tourist centre for a paper one. Also, many hotels these days have fitness centres. Make sure to pack your sneakers and plan a time to hit the gym.
Eating a Plant-Based Diet While Travelling by Car
1. Pack as Much as You Can
If you’re travelling by car, make sure you pack as much as you can before leaving home. Recently for a six-day road trip I packed enough food to last a couple of days. The fresh and delicious list included slices of buckwheat bread, chocolate muffins, jarred soups, pure grapefruit juice, bananas, pears, apples, dark chocolate, iceberg salad, canned beans, dried fruit and tomato-basil sauce. Now doesn’t that sound better than a bag of chips and a bottle or two of sugary pop?
2. Check Gas Stations and Grocery Stores
Along your route, visit grocery stores and even farmers markets. You can always get fruits, salads and canned beans from a store. You can make a simple meal without cooking a thing. As well, check gas stations. Some service stations will surprise you at what they sell. Once I found lentil salad at a gas station in a small town in Germany. Every gas station has some fruits at least.
3. Consider Special Equipment
For longer road trips, consider buying a pressure cooker and electric mini-travel freezer or portable cooler. Also, bring along some cooking utensils so you can create meals for yourself. Don’t forget a knife, chopping board, can opener, spatula, a bowl, spoons and forks.
- Travelling Plant-Based: Valencia, Spain
- Plant-Based Travelling: Kaunas, Poznan, Nürnberg, Zürich, and Orange
- Plant-Based Road Trip Barcelona-Tallinn
Eating a Plant-Based Diet While Travelling by Plane
1. Pack Your Meals and Snacks
If you’re travelling by airplane, some airlines will let you pre-order a vegan meal. However, these are often expensive, small and packed with oil, salt and sugar. To avoid the extra cost to your wallet and waistline, cook and pack meals at home prior to take-off. I packed oven baked vegetables (cauliflower, turnips, beets, potatoes, squash and carrots) and black rice for my family and me on our last flight. At the airport, we enjoyed tahini muffins with chocolate as a snack.
2. Check Out the Cafes in Airport
You might not have room to pack food so remember most airports have plenty of cafés and restaurants. You should be able to find at least some plant-based options such as vegetarian sushi, salad, a vegetarian pizza without cheese or pasta with vegetables. Furthermore, you can always ask to have a plant-based sandwich prepared or collect bits of your meal from different places around the airport. Buy your bread from one place, your vegetables from another and then a salad from a third. Voila! You just created your own meal.