Travel is one of the greatest joys of life, and as summertime is at our doorsteps, many of us are booking our vacations with excitement! It’s been a long winter, and if you’re like many people, you’re ready to get out of town. Whether you’re taking a road trip or traveling abroad, you must guard your health on your travels – nothing spoils a vacation like feeling under the weather. And, with jetlag, exposure to germs on planes, and trying new foods that may not agree with you, it’s easy to catch a bug. If you’re traveling with any dietary or lifestyle restrictions, it’s essential that you either come prepared with snacks and foods you can enjoy or have a game plan for when you get to your destination. Let us look at some tips for traveling as a vegan that can make a huge difference, no matter where you’re headed.
Eat A Big Breakfast
If you’re traveling through airports or on long train rides, make sure you get in a big breakfast that day to nourish you the way you’re used to. Sure, you may be able to stow some snacks in your carry-on, but starting your journey with a full belly of healthy food gives you a leg up. Traveling is exhausting for everyone, so the right amount of nutrients to satiate you can go a long way in boosting your energy and your mood. Opt for a healthy smoothie with fruits that are high in antioxidants like acai, fresh berries, and more to supercharge your immune system.
While dining in restaurants as a person who lives a plant-based lifestyle has become increasingly more accessible over the years, traveling isn’t always as easy. Make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks that align with your lifestyle in your carry-on or handbag. You never know if you’re going to get hit with a long layover or anything else that could arise. The last thing you want to do is have to settle on junk food that happens to be vegan from an airport vending machine. Mushroom jerky, trail mix, and non-perishable fruits like bananas and apples all make great carry-on snack options.
Speak Up In Restaurants
When traveling abroad, if you’re an American, you’re privileged that most people in other countries speak English pretty fluently. While you should be making an effort to be able to communicate in the native language of where you are going, you should find it easy to ask important questions in restaurants. While a dish may appear vegan on the menu, the rice could be cooked in chicken stock, or the dressing may contain dairy ingredients. Make sure you’re double-checking with your server at the establishments you choose to dine in to confirm the dishes are 100% vegan. This is critical information, especially if you forego dairy due to an allergy. While you may be used to doing it with ease at home, don’t let insecurity or feeling like you’re an imposition stop you from asking these critical questions.
Don’t Forget The Drinks.
While it’s easy to get swept up in the fun and excitement of traveling, especially if you’re traveling solo or on a romantic getaway, with nights of partying and unwinding with alcohol, it’s important to remember that not all your cocktails are vegan. If you’re relaxing sober on the beach, double check your mocktails. Additionally, you can ask to swap out the dairy components of a mixed drink for plant-based milk, which most resorts and larger establishments have as an option no matter where you are in the world.
Decadent Desserts, But Cruelty-Free
Making sure your desserts are vegan may seem like a no-brainer for you back home, but not all vegans are on the same page. Additionally, while a dessert may appear vegan to your server, if the restaurant isn’t exclusively plant-based, they may be answering your questions well, meaningly, but incorrectly. Say, for instance, you don’t consume honey; you want to make sure your dessert isn’t sweetened with honey, beyond the typical no eggs, milk, or butter.
Fortunately, with veganism being more popular now than ever, your options are more abundant globally than they’ve ever been. Still, language barriers and cultural differences exist – it’s one of the many things that make this world a beautiful place. So, arm yourself with the above tips to make your adherence to your lifestyle more straightforward. Happy Trails!