6 Tips for Scoring Plant-Based Eats While Traveling
1. Before Takeoff
While planning your getaway — whether it’s a road trip or longer vacation — scope out the city before you arrive. Do some digging to find vegan or vegetarian restaurant options, local health food stores or even farmers’ markets, around your destination. Michelle of Simplify Live Love Blog, one of the bloggers from our OMD Earth Day Challenge, recommends HappyCow.Net — a database of plant-forward restaurants that also has a handy app. When in doubt, chat up the locals for some recommendations.
2. Explore More
One of the great things about travel is discovering the local cuisine and what grows in the region, from veggies to fruit trees to spices. Being open minded might lead you to discover vegan jambalaya in the South, or black eyed pea soup at the Texas State Fair. If you’re venturing out of the country, many international foods boast a heavy vegetable emphasis, from Indian to to Indonesian to Ethiopian. Every language has a word for delicious.
3. Pack Munchies
We always like to have some healthy (and filling) snacks on hand— especially for long travel days. We recommend swinging by your local market to grab some fresh snacks for your stay. That way, you aren’t caught with a growling belly with no options to turn to. You can also try making your own trail mix with roasted and salted macadamia nuts, raisins, and your favorite dried fruits or nuts. Make a few servings in reusable snack bags (when possible), and keep some on you while on the go. We also love these triple almond energy balls. Just prep before your trip, and enjoy when cravings strike.
4. Book an Airbnb or a Hotel With a Mini Fridge
Live (and cook) like a local! Try to book lodging with access to a kitchen, or at least a mini fridge, so you can prepare some snacks and store fresh produce. Camping? Not to worry. Research your campsite beforehand to get a glimpse at what cooking options are available. If you’re working with an open flame, you can easily make black bean burgers, plant-based hot dogs, pasta, and grilled veggies, to name a few ideas.
5. When in a Pinch, Try Appetizers and Sides
If you can’t find a plant-based option on a restaurant menu — and don’t worry, we’re working on getting more options across the country – consider ordering a few sides and appetizers. Most restaurants are happy to substitute or leave out ingredients, and you can even ask the server if they have any recommendations for menu items that can be made plant-based.
6. Airport Eats
Airports may seem like a deadzone for plant-based dishes, but with a little creativity there are ways to make it work. If you find yourself stuck on a long layover, head to a coffee stand — most sell packaged salads and fruits. Not feeling it? Many airports offer Japanese, Mexican or Thai cuisines — many of which offer dishes without meat or dairy. Grab a veggie roll from one of the sushi spots, or if available, create your own burrito bowl at a fast food spot like Chipotle. You can also pack your own meal for the flight— our Campaign Manager will sometimes bring almond butter and jelly sandwiches and sliced veggies to nosh on for her family while en route.