Are you getting ready to go on holiday? Have you got your flights booked and your accommodation sorted? What about your plant-based eating plans? Have you thought about what you’re going to eat while you’re on holiday?
It can be a bit tricky to eat plant-based when you’re visiting a new place, so this week I’m sharing with you 23 Of My Best Plant-Based Travel Tips Just For You.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling by plane, boat, car, bike or some other form of transport, these tips will help you to eat plant-based no matter where you are in the world.
Food is our fuel to keep us going, to nourish us and sustain us throughout the day. Along with sleep and rest it also helps us to recover after a strenuous day sight seeing, hiking, cycling or maybe just frolicking on the beach.
I love traveling to new places, and finding new ingredients, flavourings and spices to eat, but at the same time, I don’t want my holiday spoilt because I’m too tired or sick.
So, if like me you’ve planned your holiday then read on to find out what my top holiday plant-based eating tips are.
Before you travel
- Prepare! I check out the area that I’ll be staying in on Google Maps to see if there are any vegan/vegetarian restaurants nearby. I also check to see if there’s a Farmers Market on while I’m there or if there’s natural food stores or grocery shops nearby. I then print of the map and circle the ones I want to go to.
- For in-between meals, pack some healthy snacks for the road or flight to stave off cravings that could lead you to choosing something unhealthy.
- These healthy nutrient dense foods could include:
- Dried goji berries, as they’re great at supporting your immune system when you’re traveling plus they’re packed with over 20 vitamins and minerals.
- Dried greens like wheat grass powder and chlorella that you mix into water.
- Hemp seeds are great at providing you with protein and can be sprinkled or mixed into most things.
- Chia seeds are they’re perfect for sprinkling on salads, soups, porridge/oatmeal and vegetables as they’re tasteless but pack a huge nutritional punch. Plus they’re great for keeping you hydrated as they absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, so they also keep you feeling fuller for longer. Try adding a few to your water bottle and drinking them.
- Homemade snacks such as kale or vegetable chips. Click here to read my post on snacks to find out more.
- You can also take leftovers from your meal the night before or a cold packed lunch to eat on the plane such as brown rice, lentils, beans with lemon juice and if you like it a bit hot, pack a couple of sachets of hot sauce or soy sauce.
- Pack a small collapsible cooler for use in your hotel room, hire car or down at the beach.
- Obvious I know, but learn how to say ‘no beef, pork, chicken, eggs, cheese or oil’ in the language of the country you’re visiting.
- Ask your friends on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn if they can recommend a plant based/vegan place to eat in the area that you’re visiting.
In the airport
- If you’re in an airport to connect with another flight or you want to eat before boarding then walk around the whole of the food area to check what’s available. You may find an outlet that sells brown rice, another than sells steamed veg another that sells salad, another which sells whole wheat bread, pasta or wraps. Buy bits from them all and create your own meal.
- Sometimes you can find reasonably priced plant food in the unlikeliest places such as the fridges in chemist shops. Boots in the UK has fresh fruit in small travel sized packages for instance and their water is cheaper too.
- Did you know that you can take a packed lunch on the plane with you? As long as you don’t take liquids you’ll be fine. Aeroplane food is much better than it used to be but most of the time they don’t serve plant-based or healthy options. Even the vegan versions can be heavily processed.
- Drink lots of plain water to keep you hydrated. No fizz or sodas here!
In your hotel
- Does your hotel room have a mini fridge? If it does you can store some of your shop bought fruit and veg in it as well as bottled water.
- If you’re heading off the beaten track why don’t you take some porridge/oatmeal packets with you so all you’ll need to do is add hot water?
- Add some of the hemp seeds, chia seeds or goji berries you’ve packed or dried mango and raw almonds to your porridge for some added zing.
Out and about
- No matter where you go in the world you’ll find street stalls, grocery shops, supermarkets and farmers markets. You’ll be able to buy local fruit and veg here as well as snacks such as dried fruit, seeds and nuts. You don’t need to find a veggie or vegan café or restaurant to eat in all the time.
- When you’re out and about take your collapsible cooler containing a selection of whole foods you’ve bought from the local markets or shops.
- If you’ve got a smart phone you’ll find it really easy to find the nearest health food shop and plant based/vegan eateries to where you’re staying. Just go to Google and search for vegan/vegetarian restaurants and cafes.
- Ask the locals for recommendations of where to eat.
In the restaurant café
- If there’s nothing on the main menu why not order a few starters or sides? You can often make a better meal from the sides and starters than what’s on offer on the main menu. Baked potato with green salad, beans and peas is easy to conjure up.
- Tell the cook at the restaurant or hotel that you’re visiting that you don’t eat meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese or oil. You may find that they’re more than happy to prepare something or adapt an existing dish for you. Failing that I often ask them to prepare one of the dishes from the menu but without these items. It’s often easier than asking them to create a dish just for you.
- Know your labels. Just because it says it’s vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean it is!
- Vegetarian/vegan means different things in different parts of the world. I’ve had thin pieces of ham, chicken and even pepperoni in so called vegetarian dishes. Always ask if the dish contains these when you’re ordering or say no meat, no fish, no chicken, no milk, no cheese, and no oil.
- Ask that your vegetables be cooked in vegetable stock or just water. Most restaurants are more than happy to do this.