10 Vegan Travel Tips You Didn’t Know You Needed
Kristin | On 06, Aug 2013
NOTE: Pieces of the following post have been shared via Vegan Cuts’ Summer Bash eBook, as well as on a guest blog post that I wrote for them a few weeks back. I’ve been given their permission to share the full, extended version of these travel tips here. Enjoy! :)
You’re packed and ready to go, you’ve taken great advice from jetsetter-type friends which is why you’ve already connected with a few new friends-of-friends at your upcoming destination(s). You did some planning ahead, have a general idea of the stops you wish to make, and even packed a small bag of cashews and dried fruit for the start of your journey. But wait a second, you say… “have I missed anything? What do other vegans do when they travel?”
Wonder no more! I asked some Facebook friends to share a few of their best kept travel tips with the world (I threw in a few of my own too).
Get your notepad or Google Doc ready…
Here we go –
1. Learn how to go “number one” anywhere (for those of us with lady parts): One piece of travel gear I could never do without is my GoGirl. Living out of a vehicle for eighteen months meant improvisation in some key areas, including bathroom amenities. Pick up a cheap canteen, a GoGirl, and some baby wipes, and you’re good to.. well… go! And to answer the next question that typically comes to mind, yes I did wash and reuse the canteen. Waste not, my friends! ;)
2. Invest in travel underwear: Whether an extended camping trip, a day hike, or a jaunt around the world, I highly recommend purchasing at least one pair of travel underwear. One of the best purchases I made, while on the road, was a pair of ExOfficio Women’s Give-N-Go bottoms. You can get away with wearing them several days in a row because they’re breathable, lightweight, quick drying, and odor controlling. Even after your trip is over they’re comfy to wear at home. In fact, I’m wearing mine right now, as I write this post. No joke!
3. Save your leftovers in a super cool way: “I bought a collapsible food container so I don’t have to create more trash! It scrunches down to fit in my backpack and then expands to be gigantic! Made by Aladdin, it has a screw on top so it won’t leak. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe and bpa-free. It shipped in one day with two other sizes from amazon.” – Mike Sisson
4. Make your foodie picture gawking past time work to your advantage: “I research so much before I get there. I literally know exactly where every vegan restaurant/cafe is in relation to where I’m staying, what distance and what public transport will get me there weeks before I arrive. Looking at pictures and menus online is my favourite pre-holiday activity. Haha.” – Phoebee Frost. If you’re not keen on doing the research yourself, consider a vegan planner like yours truly, or Sarah Prager from The Personalized Passport.
5. Carry lemons: “I bring a lemon with me. That way, I can have warm lemon water in the A.M., no matter what hotel or airport I’m stuck in.” – Ashlee Piper
6. Get crafty in your hotel: In an interview with Cyndi Edwards, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton from The Healthy Voyager suggested using hotel coffee pots to steam veggies or cook soup, and the iron to press paninis or heat up sandwiches. Jennifer Mack said that her “sister calls the hotel in advance to ask if she can store soy milk in their fridge and borrow a bowl and spoon so that she can have cereal for breakfast.” Timothy Nyman added, “At hotels where you have to pay for a fridge tell them you need if for medical reasons (let thy food be thy medicine) it will be free and usually no hassle at all.”
7. Chickpeas and emergency hummus: “Carry Goya pull-top chickpeas and plastic baggies with you in your checked bag and rinse and divide up in baggies to add to salads or pastas in non-vegan-friendly hotel catering at conferences and business meetings. Stash them in your pockets or purse,” said Kat Mandelstein. Candice Clemens brings a couple of non-refrigerator-ready hummus packs on her incoming and outgoing flights.
8. International travelers don’t go hungry: Thanks to Vegetarian Guides you won’t have to repeat or frantically gesture “no dairy” louder and with more pizazz until everyone is confused and you end up receiving your meal with dairy in it anyway, left to explore an exciting new place on an empty stomach. No Siree! Pick up a copy of Vegetarian Guides’ Vegan Passport which includes the most helpful vegan lingo, in 73 languages!
9. Spice things up: “I purchased a couple of glass spice bottles. Perfect size for traveling for a few days, which I do for work every month. I’ve put my greens powder in there for my afternoon green juice, my chia seeds for later, add water for mixing, or coconut milk yogurt, or a smoothie. I’m sure there are 10,000 more uses for these nifty travel size glass bottles, too!” – Lizette B. Suxo
10. Don’t let dropped 3G or no wifis hold you down: When I was on the road I never knew if I’d be driving through or stopping/camping out in locations with limited 3G or wifi. Therefore I got into the habit of keeping my list of planned stops (be it restaurants, touristy stuff, or what have you) in the “notes” section of my iPhone. Like Pheobee, I’d include the distance and expected time frame between stops, the address of each stop, some notes about the route (prepare for cold weather, etc.), and even the hours of operations of the places I was headed. Sometimes it would take several hours of planning and writing but I always felt better knowing where I was going and what to expect, just in case I couldn’t reach the outside world with my trusty phone.
It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges of vegan travel. Remember those first few weeks of your veganism, when you were just getting started? Travel might ignite a similar feeling of overwhelm but your resolution to make healthier choices, to be more conscious of your environmental footprint, and to help save the lives of billions of beautiful animals, pulled you through. The message of course is no different but we get comfortable cooking and baking in our homes so when we take it on the road it can definitely be intimidating. The good news is that with a little time and effort the prepping and planning becomes second nature. Whether you’re going camping, flying across the country, or around the world, veganism is totally doable and can even be completely stress-free.
Have a blast this summer exploring your favorite, or perhaps soon-to-be favorite spots around the world!
Do you have unique or fun ways to make vegan travel easy peasy? Leave your best and/or wackiest travel tips in the comments below. :)