Ah, to travel! Experiencing everything our world has to offer, chasing adventure, and creating memories somehow makes complete sense. To leave home, if just for a few days, is incredibly freeing and revitalizing, along with the excitement of exploration helping you forget your troubles and gain perspective. But what do you do as a vegan when going off into the world without the comfy accoutrements of home? Here’s what I never leave home without:
1. Water bottle. One of my biggest tips is to stay properly hydrated when traveling. Changing time zones, flying, and shaken-up schedules take a toll, and remaining hydrated is key in fighting fatigue as well as staving off hunger. I never leave home without my glass water bottle by LifeFactory. Healthy for me, my wallet, and the environment? Winning!
2. Drinkable veggies. Eating 100-percent pure when on the go is no easy feat. Traveling partners, tour times, and lack of options cause all of us to eat a less than ideal diet while we’re away from home, not to mention we want to indulge every now and again. However, it’s important to still get our veggies in to get our vitamins, minerals, and boost our immune system. One of my favorite travel goodies is GoGreen—mixed with eight ounces of water, this organic, sugar- and gluten-free powder equals six servings of green veggies!
3. Reusable utensils. Having your own utensils on your person at all times is not only convenient, but kind to Mother Earth. Plus, they double as cooking utensils for some easy hotel cooking! My To-Go Ware is always snug in my purse.
4. Nausea bands. If you’re prone to motion sickness on boat or road trips, steer clear of meds and opt for something like Psi Bands. Cool bands that put pressure on a point in your wrist that helps regulate your equilibrium, these bands are a cute, healthy, and drug-free way to keep from hurling!
5. Travel-friendly probiotics. Let’s face it, travel can really mess with your “regularity.” Of course it’s important to make sure you get enough fiber and healthy food in you when traveling, but an added boost to help with your topsy-turvy schedule and your anxiety about going in a bathroom that isn’t yours, should be welcomed. Healthy Belly is my top pick.
6. Comfortable walking shoes. It’s always good to fit in fitness when away from home, so don’t forget your sneakers. Whether it’s for the hotel gym or that haunted walking tour, make sure you have the appropriate footwear. Ladies, I know we need cute kicks for our even more cute outfits, but do yourself a favor and pack smart. Your feet, back, neck, and head will thank you!
7. Flexible cutting board and small knife. If your destination is somewhere that might not be the most vegan-friendly of places, pack a small knife along with a thin, flexible cutting board in your checked bags (just remember to put these in your checked bag!). Hit up a local grocery store or farmers’ market, stock up on fresh produce and easy sandwich stuff, and make some meals in your room. You can also get creative and use your coffee pot as a saucepan, hot plate, and griddle and your iron as a toaster. Use leftovers, sauce packets, and stuff you buy at the store to whip up cheap, vegan meals in room as well as snacks to pack for long sight-seeing days.
8. Emergency food. This one might go without saying, but try to pack an emergency snack or two for each day that you’ll be away. A healthy protein bar, nuts, or dehydrated foods that can be quickly prepped in your room are all smart options to make sure you have something in a pinch.
9. Nesting food containers. Containers that fit in to each other like Russian nesting dolls are smart to save space in your suitcase, and they give you a variety of sizes so you have lots of snacking options. I am a big fan of the nesting trio by Kids Konserve.
10. Select Wisely cards. For international travel, language barriers can present challenges for ordering veg-friendly grub. Select Wisely cards fit nicely in your wallet and come as individual cards for each language. One side has the written translation to show your server what you need to avoid (they make gluten-free ones as well as low sodium and other special diet cards too) as well as illustrations that show what you need to avoid, making dining out foolproof.
Whether you’re taking a quick overnight camping trip or heading out into the great blue yonder for weeks, be sure to pack wisely and enjoy the voyage! And make sure to tell us your vegan travel essentials in the comments!
Carolyn Scott-Hamilton (aka the Healthy Voyager) is a holistic nutritionist and best-selling cookbook author enjoying the healthy, green life all over the world.