Best vegan travel snacks: How to survive travel days
Hello! If you’re here you probably want to know how to make or buy the best vegan travel snacks! Or, you’ve come to scope out those weirdos who refuse to eat animals and who get kicks out of wobbly Chia seeds and organic minty shower gel. Either way, welcome.
As a full time travelling vegan, I’m now fairly good at predicting where getting hold of vegan food is going to be easy, and where it will be more difficult.
Travel days are always the tricky ones as airports, service stations and aeroplanes are notoriously bad for offering vegan food options. I’ve walked lengths of many airports in search of something other than an apple or plain crisps, and it gets old pretty fast.
I’ve learned to prepare better for travel days and to have a stash of vegan snacks ready so that I don’t end up hangry and stressed in the middle of Timbuktu or wherever we’re traveling through. Having healthy vegan food to hand also means that I feel more nourished and energetic on travel days; I remember feeling so lethargic and ‘yuk’ after flights, snacking on processed rubbish. Nowadays I’m a veritable pillar of health (erm, almost. Did I mention that Oreos are vegan?).
Here are my best vegan travel snacks and tips to help you feel your best on hectic travel days!
Best vegan travel snacks: What you’ll need
I would recommend bringing Tupperware or metal food containers with you when you travel. After eating the home-made snacks inside they are really useful for:
Takeaways: Instead of getting takeout food in containers made of plastic or polystyrene, take your own Tupperware boxes and ask vendors to put your food in them.
Saving money on fruit: instead of buying pre-cut fruit that’s often more expensive and packaged in plastic, stock up on whole fruits (always cheaper at local stalls and markets than convenience stores or supermarkets), cut them up and store them in your containers. It’s cheap, easy and means you have always fresh and healthy snacks to hand.
Days out: Rather than spend day trips and tours wondering if there are going to be any vegan options at lunch, pack your Tupperware with snacks so that you don’t need to worry if there will be anything to eat!
Saving time: We often get extra food at dinner time and store it in tubs in the fridge for lunch the next day- it means we haven’t got to trek out and find a restaurant and we can just chill at home with tasty food. We often do this Saturday nights as lots of places are closed on Sunday.
You’ll also need a good BPA-free drinks bottle (or two!) with you- this way you can snack on smoothies on travel days, get your holiday-smoothies put straight into them instead of taking a disposable plastic cup and straw, and carry water wherever you go in a chemical-free environment (re-using plastic bottles has been linked to ill health including cancer).
Best vegan travel snacks: Home-made ideas
I always recommend packing fresh, whole foods for travel days- the dehydrating effect of aeroplane air, bumpy drives, lots of time sitting down, unusual hours and the change in time zones can make you feel ‘yuck’ and snacking on processed, sugary or salty foods makes this worse.
If you’re going on a short to mid-length journey, you should be able to get by with a packed lunch or two without having to buy food on the road (hurrah for saving money!). Here’s a list of travel snacking inspiration; click the links to each recipe. All these foods travel well in Tupperware and aren’t strong-smelling- you do want to make friends on the plane, don’t you?:
Falafel- try this mix
One of these amazing smoothies (drink before you go through security!)
Best vegan travel snacks: Store bought
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to make up a packed lunch and need to fall back on handy convenient snacks. Bulk-buying snacks before your journey and bringing them with you is far cheaper than picking up food in airports or service stations, where prices are at a premium and the quality is low. Here are my favourite vegan snacks, available to buy online:
Coconut chips– these are my current favourite!
Vegan protein bars- legend has it that I bleed vegan protein bars.
Vegetable crisps- you’ll have to fight me for the beetroot
If possible, buy the snacks in wholesale packs and decant them into your tupperware to cut down on packaging.
I always recommend drinking more water than you would usually, on travel days. The rushing around, often an increase in salt and sugar intake from convenience foods, and time spent in air-conditioned environments makes it all to easy to get dehydrated (I’ve forgotten to drink enough plenty of times, only to be reminded with a haggard reflection in the aeroplane bathroom mirror!) Coconut water is also a great option for hydrating and plenty of mainstream stores are now selling it at airports and service stations.
Best vegan travel snacks: On the road
If you do find yourself hangry at an airport of service station… good luck.
I jest. Some places can be trickier to find hearty vegan meals than others (Thailand, I’m looking at you) but you’ll usually be able to get a rice, noodle or potato dish veganised as you do anywhere in the world.
If you are have various restaurant options to choose from, Middle Eastern or Indian restaurants will often have vegan options (hummus & falafel or vegetable curries and rice), whereas Thai and American restaurants are usually heavily meat-based and use animal products as standard in most dishes. This is something I’ve only realised since becoming vegan and it might shave a couple of minutes off your food search.
In westernised airports there will also be crisps and fruit to purchase; not ideal but you’d be hard pushed to starve. I find there’s nothing worse than traipsing up and down airport restaurants trying to find vegan food, especially having to deal with language barriers, so using my tips above to pre-pack your food is what I’d recommend.
Did I miss anything? What are your best vegan travel snacks to take on the road? Let me know in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links- using them costs you nothing and we make a small commission.