As a flight attendant, I’m always on the go. You can catch me jet-setting all over the world at any given minute. And as a major foodie, you can catch my IG stories always obsessing over dishes grabbed along for my adventures.
Since becoming vegan 5+ years ago, I’ve become a master at maintaining my plant-based diet while away from home as frequently as I am. I’ve learned the ins and outs of eating out, grocery shopping, and snacking while away from your own kitchen and home country. And I’ve learned how simple it is with these tips. Sometimes you just have to get a little creative…
Use Apps On Your Phone
Download the Happy Cow app. This gem allows users to upload their favorite vegan or vegetarian finds from all kinds of restaurants. There’s an amazing community of fellow vegs on the app and I’ve had great success with it for recommendations in cities all over the world. I’ve even joined the party, uploading my favorite menu finds + restaurants that I’ve discovered on my own. Listings show as much as menu pictures with prices, images of the dishes served, and any tips for ordering.
Look for Keywords On A Menu Or Adjust Menu Items
Nowadays, it’s easier to locate plant-based options on menus when they’re marked with a “v” or “vg” but when in doubt, keep it simple. Most restaurants (even steakhouses) will offer some sort of vegetable or starch on their menus. You can never go wrong with creating your own dish by mixing and matching steamed veggies, a baked potato, or a bowl of rice. Paring side dishes or modifying main entrees can easily be turned into a makeshift macro bowl with everything you need to fuel you on your trip. Depending on the country, you could find chickpeas, beans, tofu, or tempeh for protein. Fresh fruit is usually accessible as well.
It Never Hurts To Ask
Don’t be afraid to throw out the V word. These days, most everyone is aware of the vegan diet and will more likely than not, be more than happy to help provide recommendations. If you’re at a restaurant, the staff will know the menu best and will be able to help you veganize some options.
Head To The Grocery Store
If you’re grocery shopping, you know what you choose to eat or not to eat. If you can’t read the ingredient labels in the foreign language, stick to foods that you can recognize without a nutrition label (things like apples, rice, black beans, spinach, and so on). Whole food, plant-based options are great here. If you’re feeling committed to trying a new goodie, use Google Translate to better understand the ingredients list.
Always Be Prepared
Always have snacks with you, just in case. It’s never fun to feel hangry. If you’re in the middle of nowhere and you can only find hot dogs on a stick, having a few bars, granola, mixed nuts, or dried fruit on hand is never a bad idea. You’ll feel better about what you’re putting into your body and you’ll be as happy as an Australian Quokka knowing that your body will thank you later. My favorite travel-friendly snacks are B.T.R Bars, Nora’s Kitchen Granola, Karma Nuts, and Jali Fruit Co.
If you’re new to traveling plant-based, it can seem tricky, but I promise, with these few tips, you can do it! As someone who’s been everywhere, I’ve yet to have an issue. Instead, I stay creative.
Love from Costa Rica,
Guest post written by Ally Case from Uppercase Media
Edited by Adrian Haskell