Those new to a plant-based diet may still be inexperienced when it comes to vegan travel. Having to roll with the meal punches after a long day on the road trouble shooting travel problems isnít always easy. Having a few tricks in your repertoire is critical to a successful vegan travel experience. Here are a few of my faves.
Creative use of the coupon vouchers can help maintain vegan dietary preferences.
Itís common for airlines to issue meal coupon vouchers to passengers when scheduling delays caused missed connections. If the airport restaurantsí entrťe selections prove unsuitable, you can still manage to get something to take the edge off while sticking to your vegan travel guns. Use the vouchers to purchase fresh fruit and tea at the sandwich stalls, as well as seeds, nuts and trail mix at the sundries shops. It might not be the meal you were hoping for, but it will get the job done until you get where youíre going.
Vegan airline meals are possible during your flight, provided you order ahead.
Many travelers are unaware that airlines offer the option of ordering a variety of special-circumstance travel food in advance. In addition to vegan airline meals, options include halal, kosher, gluten-free and more. I havenít always ended up with the tastiest meals by using this strategy, but the requirements are met and at least thereís a formal system in place to support vegan travel. Those with milk allergies can also benefit from vegan airline meals.
Restaurant translation cards can be ordered in the languages of the countries youíll be traveling to.
Restaurant translation cards are just as helpful for vegan travel as they are for traveling with food allergies. Order a supply to take with you, as well as a version for your smart phone at Select Wisely. It never hurts to have one you can hand to your server so they can share it with the chef in the kitchen. These are particularly critical for people who may have only previously been vegetarian, but needed to make the full vegan transition due to a newly-discovered dairy intolerance.
Making a few simple meals on the road is a great way supplement your vegan travel needs.
Purchase vegan foods at grocery stores that can easily be prepared in the hotel. While peanut butter and jelly or vegan ramen may first come to mind, the truth is there are other simple options for vegan travel meals when one more night of microwaved noodles just seems like too much to take. Fun vegan foods for the road include hummus, chips and salsa with Amyís vegan grocery store burritos, and a variety of boxed vegan soups to pour into microwavable coffee cup from the complimentary hotel beverage bar.
Research your restaurants for a successful vegan travel experience.
When exploring new territory, thereís the ever-popular Happy Cow. It provides listings for vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly establishments in a variety of cities. For more predictability on the highway however, itís helpful to have a favored list of restaurants for vegan fast food. One of ours is Chipotle Mexican Grill, which offers organic burritos and burrito bowls for both carnivores and vegans alike. Panera Bread also has a few vegan options, along with free Wi Fi and a number of locations that are conveniently close to gas stations.
Donít assume a personal chef is out of financial reach.
The larger your group, the more affordable booking a personal chef for vegan travel is likely to be. A large group restaurant tab is never cheap, and making the kiddos sit still for a formal sit-down dining experience every night of the week is a sure path to vegan travel disaster. If you need something simple, consider booking a personal chef at your destination to drop off easy meals that can be popped into the oven after a day of seeing the sights.
Maintaining your dietary choices during vacation might be challenging, but it is far from impossible. Follow these plant-based dining ideas for your next vegan travel getaway.
Photo Credits: Rusvaplauke