Whether you're traveling by plane or taking a road trip, here I show you how to prepare Vegan Travel Food in advance to make it easy!
Traveling can be hard as a vegan. Even harder when you are also gluten-free. I will show that if you prepare your Vegan Travel Food in advance, your life will be much easier!
In the middle of nowhere, there are only fast food options. (vegan French fries, fresh fruit, and a side salad - can you say nap in an hour?)
Flying abroad can be even more difficult. I recently went to Milan, Italy.
The vegan choices I saw were salad, salad, and more salad. Maybe I just didn't go to the right places.
I was hoping to find a vegan meal at a Thai restaurant or other vegan restaurant that serves savory tofu, so I could get in some protein.
At least the grocery store had some gluten-free vegan options, and some really good olives. Those will fill you up.
Luckily, I planned for the lack of protein options - too much so in fact. I brought enough of my own vegan food for about another 5-8 days.
🧳 Plan Ahead
To make your life a little easier, I am going to share with you my favorite Vegan Travel Food and how I travel to make your next trip more enjoyable.
Before I realized that I needed to plan ahead for a lack of foods that I could eat, I was a miserable traveler. It is no fun watching your companions fill up on a satisfying meal while you are eating a plate full of lettuce, vegetables, and vinegar.
I am going to focus on filling vegan proteins, since those are the hardest to find in the middle of nowhere. Also, depending on your destination, it may be cheaper to bring your own vegan travel food.
I will go over vegan road trip snacks and meals, as well as vegan airplane snacks and foods that travel well.
🚙 Road Trip
Road trips are much easier than vacations where you fly somewhere, so let's take a look at those first. When I search for a hotel, I look for one that has at the very least, a microwave so that I can have some hot meals.
If the hotel room also has a fridge, even better. If the room has a full kitchen, I am in heaven.
Trips where you fly to a destination with a kitchen in your room, make your stay easier as well. I always travel with a cooler and dry storage on road trips. That way I can pack refrigerated vegan food as well as dry goods.
I also pack utensils, plates, etc. I usually camp at a campsite between hotel stays, so I have a camp stove as well.
I have been known to use the stove on my truck's tailgate in a hotel parking lot. (Whatever gets the job done.)
Alternatively, you could bring a hot plate. I always bring some premade soup, or other premade meals so that I can easily heat them up in the room's microwave.
The foods on this list work well for day trips as well. Instead of packing food into a large cooler, you can use an insulated bag and ice pack.
1. Beans - Beans are great for vegan road trip meals because you are not taking up valuable cooler space. If you some vegan restaurants that serve vegan food, you may not get to a cooler item. This way if you don't get around to eating something, it doesn't go to waste.
I love beans of all varieties because you can easily throw together a meal with little preparation. Bring some tortillas and salsa, and you have a refried bean burrito.
Add beans to tortilla chips with some vegan cheese, throw them in the microwave, and you have nachos.
Make some beans with tomato sauce and seasonings ahead of time to put in vegan refried bean tacos.
2. Nuts - Another great dry storage food and the perfect vegan road trip snack. Add to coconut yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal, and you have a filling meal.
Add some dried fruit, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, coconut granola, and seeds, and you have a filling trail mix.
3. Tofu and tempeh - These are great if you have access to a stove, keeping in mind they will take up some of that precious cooler space. I like to limit my cooler options because I always have a large supply of fruit and vegetables with me.
With tofu and tempeh, you have a huge variety of meal options. You can make a tofu pepper stir fry, a spinach tofu scramble, vegan tofu tacos, a tempeh avocado wrap - you name it. If you cook them ahead of time, even better.
You can easily make vegan vegetable spring rolls on the road. If your room only has a coffee pot, you can heat up water, dip the rice wrappers in the hot water, and roll together your favorite veggies and tofu.
Bring along some sweet chili sauce for dipping, and you have a restaurant-style meal.
4. Veggie burgers and other analogues - Veggie burgers along with other analogues (Tofurki, vegan hot dogs, etc.) are great because some don't have to be heated and you can make a sandwich. Others you can heat up quickly in the microwave and throw together a sandwich.
You can also make some veggie burgers ahead of time. You can freeze them and pack them in the cooler frozen.
5. Avocados and mushrooms - These are always great to have around. They are both filling and can be thrown into a sandwich or salad. I love to spread a smashed avocado on toast with some lime juice and salt for a quick meal.
Make some homemade guacamole ahead of time to eat in a bean burrito. I also like to eat an avocado by itself, with some salt and lime juice.
Either cook mushrooms ahead of time, or fry them up with some peppers and onion, and make vegan fajitas.
5 Secrets to Vegan Cooking
Free 5 Part Email Series to Elevate Your Vegan Cooking
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
Photo: Cashew Cranberry Bars
🛩 Traveling By Plane
For air travel think lightweight! All of the items that I list here I travel with on a road trip as well.
I look for vegan airplane snacks that are filling, compact, and again - lightweight. It's good to be prepared for a long flight.
1. Protein powders - Protein powders can be found in single-serving packets. Bring a shaker cup (a cup that has a spring coil in it for better mixing), an aseptic container of nut milk, and you have a protein shake. Alternatively, you can mix it with water in a water bottle for less baggage.
2. Nut butter packets - These are some of my favorite vegan travel snacks.
They come in almond butter, peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, mixed with maple syrup, etc. I love Justin's, but there are other brands as well. You can even buy a variety pack.
I always have a couple of nut butters in my purse. When I go to a concert, I don't like to bring my purse so I have one of these in my pocket.
I eat one of these by itself, but you could bring crackers or a sliced apple for a light snack.
3. Vegan protein bars, energy bars, and trail mix - These are probably one of the most popular vegan travel snacks. There are many options of vegan snack bars; from high protein to a glorified candy bar.
The same goes with trail mix. You can get a trail mix with chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth. You could also make your own so that you can customize it.
You could make your own Chocolate Almond Energy Bites instead of buying protein bars.
4. Soy curls - These are made from whole soybeans. They are the lightest thing on this list. They just need to be soaked in water, seasoned, then cooked on a skillet.
The drawback is you need access to a stove. Put them in a wrap with some BBQ sauce, or add them to a salad. You could order vegan vegetable soup take-out and add the soy curls to it for a filling meal.
5. Tofu - I have traveled with an aseptic container of tofu (found on shelves). It is not too heavy, but a warning - it shows as a black object on the X-ray machine at the airport.
Take this bad boy out, so that airport security can see what it is. I did not know this when I traveled with a shelf-stable box of tofu, and security searched my whole suitcase. If you are in a hurry, that can be no fun.
6. Hummus - Hummus is great for a vegan road trip as well. For traveling by plane, I like to buy single-serving packets.
Many grocery stores sell single-serving packs with gluten-free rice crackers. You can also buy a single serving of hummus in many airports, just bring your favorite crackers, carrot sticks or cherry tomatoes, and you have a filling snack.
Or make your own favorite hummus. One of mine is red pepper hummus.
7. Soy Jerky - If you are gluten-free there are quite a few options to choose from but read the labels, many are made with seitan and soy sauce.
They are a great snack because they are filling, protein-rich, and portable. My favorite brand is Primal Strips.
Several of their flavors are gluten-free. You could also make your own vegan soy curls jerky.
8. Chia Seeds - These fiber-rich seeds are sold in single-serving packets. They come in ground and whole seed. Add them to a smoothie, cereal, salad, vegetables, or rice.
Or you could buy some non-dairy milk and a banana and make chia pudding.
Make some chia seed crackers ahead of time. These are perfect if you are gluten-free and want an alternative to rice crackers.