Vegan Trek Prep
Before I detail our vegan eats and adventures in Asheville, let’s pack our bags and get ready to go! I love traveling, but going elsewhere when you’re vegan let alone one that strives for healthful eating, thinks can get pretty complicated pretty fast. Especially if you’re staying with friends are family who are very very NOT vegan, eating becomes a temporary challenge rather than a joy or pleasure. Here are a few simple tips for combatting that challenge and putting the fun back in meal times.
Veganland’s Tips for staying Healthfully Vegan on the Road:
~ Pick your destination well! Word of mouth is a great way to find vegan hotspots, but a quick search through your destination’s chamber of commerce website should also do the trick.
~ If you’re staying with non-vegans, don’t expect to be accommodated. Even if they know you’re vegan, there’s a lot more ambiguity about the term for non vegans than even I thought. Many people aren’t sure what vegans can and cannot eat, and often end up making dishes that are animal product ridden in an attempt to go veg for a meal or two. While these may be well intentioned, they can make a vegan sick to say the least. So offer to prepare meals or purchase food items for cooking. Even offer to take your guests out to dinner at a place you know is vegan friendly.
~ Make sure to have plenty of snacks and drinks for your car/plane ride. You’ll find that healthy options are few and far between especially at gas stations or in rural areas. (Check out the list below for a few items to include on your packing list.)
~ Make sure to have plenty to read, write, craft, or create! I usually toss in at least one book and my latest crochet project so I can keep my hands busy as I travel. I also find that these are among the most therapeutic of my recreational activities so for me there’s no better way to get away…
~ Don’t be afraid of dining out! As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, many Thai restaurants are very vegan friendly, you just have to specify! If you’re in an area with a Whole Foods or a co-op those places almost always have hot and salad bars which can make your trip a whole lot easier!
Now, onto the supplies! Pack a few staples to get you through. Even if you’re staying in a hotel as opposed to someone’s house, there’s no guarantee there will be a friendly neighborhood co-op down the street stocked with your favorite familiar vegan staples. I usually bring along the basics to make sure I’m covered:
- nut, soy, or oat milk product for your coffee or breakfasts
- Bars. I usually bring at least 2 Lara Bars for each day I’ll be away! These can be good meal replacements if need be or can help hold you over if your hosts are on a different eating schedule than you.
- Other food staples: vegan bread, your favorite dip or spread, fruit, and a hearty snack or two! You can easily make a meal out of all of these things if the need arises, and they’re also great snacks to munch on while in the car!
- A refillable water bottle. Be sure to drink lots of water while you’re on the road!
- A stomach soother. Different foods often mean different digestion and not always the comfortable kind. Make sure you bring along your favorite remedy for indigestion whether it’s ginger tea or a few bottles of kombucha.
A great trick for making your luggage smell sweet: just wrap an unused bar of your favorite vegan soap in wax paper, a paper bag, or a paper towel and pack it in the bottom of your bag. Your clothes will smell sweet for your whole trip instead of musty and dusty if you’re like me and have your duffels or suitcases stowed away in a closet or under the bed.
Now, here’s a view of most of the items Maddie and I packed for our recent Asheville extravaganza:
Comfy vegan clothes and shoes, several skeins of vegan yarn for crochet projects, lots of socks and undies, a stainless steel water bottle, 4 Lara Bars, a pile of books, a six pack of local vegan beer, and a block of our favorite tofu. Not pictured, but also packed: coconut almond milk, a deck of cards, a bunch of bananas, and a package of mint Newman-O’s for Maddie.
Happy trails, folks! Bisous!