I’ve been falling off the bandwagon on updating my blog, but that’s because I’ve been traveling for the last six weeks! I spent a month visiting my parents in California, and after that, I took a two week road trip with my husband and in-laws to visit both the Glacier National Park and the Grand Tetons National Park. Now, what does this have to do with veganism? Well, being a vegan on the road can be a bit of a challenge, especially in towns where there are very few stores and eating and raising meat is an integral part of the residents’ lives. Here are a few things I learned over the past few weeks about how to both eat vegan and reasonably healthy when traveling:
1.) Buy a cooler and pack your own food. Before leaving on a road trip, it’s really important to make sure that you purchase enough healthy, plant-based foods that will prevent you from resorting to eating fries from a drive-thru restaurant. Before our road trip from Colorado to Montana, we took a trip to Walmart and stocked up on fruits and vegetables, banana chips, trail mix (only nuts and berries), and some healthy grains. While on our trip, as our food depleted, we also stopped at the grocery stores that we found along the way to make sure that we had enough available to us to avoid resorting to fast food, especially since most of the restaurants on the road didn’t have many vegan friendly offerings, let alone healthy ones.
2.) Download the HappyCow app on your smartphone. One of the biggest challenges of traveling is eating out. When you don’t have a packed meal with you, or a kitchen to cook your own food in, you don’t have much of a choice to either. Instead of coming across a restaurant and reading the menu to only be disappointed, I highly recommend downloading the HappyCow app, which allows you to find the nearest restaurants that are vegan, vegetarian, or with veg-options. I’ve used this app in my hometown and on my travels. For example, when we were in Montana, I found a pizza shop that offered vegan cheeses and meats, and my non-vegan family members were satisfied with the offerings too.
3.) Plan your meals ahead as much as possible. In conjunction with packing your own food and using HappyCow, it’s very helpful to plan what you’ll be eating each day, if possible, the day before. For instance, we went on a lot of hikes during our trip. So, on a hiking day, I would plan to eat my breakfast in my airbnb, pack a meal for my hike during the day, and if we had a long drive back to the airbnb, I might find a vegan restaurant to eat at on the way back. This way, I wouldn’t find myself in a predicament where I had no vegan options, or even nothing substantial, to eat. Especially because I have some health problems that require me to eat regularly, planning ahead is very helpful in preventing me from experiencing problems beyond even hunger.
While some people think it’s impossible to travel while eating a plant-based diet, it isn’t so bad. As long as you plan ahead, take some food with you, and use the sources available to you, you will be just fine eating plant-based on the road even in more remote areas. Have you ever travelled while following a plant-based diet? What do you to make sure that you are eating the food that you need? What challenges have you faced? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.
The featured photo was taken by rawpixel. Find more of their work on unsplash.com.