I sit in a pile of thick exam review guides as I dream of summer and reminisce about my 3 week adventure to Asia. My high school exams are this week, but instead of studying I want to be on the beach in Boracay (who wouldn’t want to be!?)! To remind myself of the trip, [procrastinate], and to help you when you travel, I put together a nifty travel guide about being vegan on vacation! Here, you will find tips to make traveling more fun (or at least bearable!) and tips about how to stay vegan wherever life takes you! Enjoy!
Tips to make the traveling process more bearable:
- Speed walk around the airport during layovers. It helps prevent blood clots and drives away stiffness.
- Do yoga in the airport. Don’t be afraid to look silly! Stretching after a long flight makes you feel so much better.
- Bring fun things to do at the airport and on the plane. Put books, a notebook and a pen, crayons, an iPod, your computer, knitting, etc. in your carry-on bag. Bring more than one of the above so if you get bored, you can easily switch to another activity.
- Nap in the airport or on the plane. Every little bit helps to prevent jet lag!
- Drink LOTS of water. It drives away jet lag and dehydration. Bring a large water bottle that you can use on the plane and at your final destination.
- Book your meal(s) ahead on the airplane. Most flights serve meals or snacks of some sort during the flight. Call the airline before your flight and request a special meal. If you’re vegan, request a dairy-free and meat-free meal on the plane. If you’re vegetarian, request a meat-free meal. I didn’t pre-request a veggie meal on a Vietnam airlines flight, but I asked a stewardess if they had extra veggie meals and they did! It never hurts to ask for veggie options, and airlines and stewards/stewardesses will be happy to help you if they can! A bonus: the meals are pretty good! Both Delta and Vietnam airlines had healthful meals focused around fresh fruit and vegetables. I even had kale and quinoa on one Delta flight!
How to stay vegan on vacation:
1. Book your meals on the airplane (see above)
2. Pack snacks wherever you go: Snacks save tummies and tempers!
GREAT SNACKS ARE…
- fresh fruit: fruit that you can peel, like oranges and bananas, are best because the fruit is protected.
- crunchy veggies and hummus.
- banana balls
- nut mixes (my fav: almonds, dried cherries, and chocolate chips!)
- hearty + protein-packed granola bars: I love LÄRABARS. Or make your own!
If you can, pack snacks in plastic baggies that you can throw away after eating so you don’t have to haul tupperware around for the rest of your vacay.
3. Happy Cow.net : This website is fantabulous. Simply type in the name of the city you’re in and Happy Cow will find you a list of all the vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly restaurants in the area! Most of the restaurants that Happy Cow suggests have great food! It helped us find restaurants in Hong Kong. It’s also helped me find restaurants that cater to my food needs in my hometown! You can use Happy Cow anywhere (you just need internet)!
4. Remember that every restaurant (well, except McDonalds) has fresh fruit and veggies! If you’re stuck at a place with no vegan options on the menu, you can always ask for a plate of fresh fruit or veggies. Make sure that you know the words for “vegan”, “vegetarian”, “no meat”, “no dairy”, and “vegetable” if you travel to a place where people don’t speak the same language as you! If you talk to your waiter or the chef at a restaurant, they will be able to help you find something to eat. Remember, they want you to be able to eat something from your menu! It doesn’t hurt to ask for something special!
5. Go to local grocery stores or markets to stock up on food. They will have everything you need!
6. Don’t stress about food! Everything happens for a reason, and everything will work out in the end. At the end of the day, you’re on vacation. It’s a time to do fun stuff and try new things! I loved being in Asia because I got to try new foods that I would never ever get fresh here in Michigan! Hopefully you will get to try new foods on vacation! And seriously, don’t stress about what to eat. Do your research, and you’ll be fine. Even if you don’t research, you will find something to eat wherever you go! Well, back to studying! Good luck to anyone else who has exams right now, too!