It’s vacation season and people all around are making their travel plans. When you are committed to eating healthy it is important to include what and where you will eat in your planning. This is even more important if you have recently changed you diet. It is all too easy to fall back on old patterns and revert to unhealthy choices if you aren’t prepared. These ten tips can help you find vegetarian and vegan food while you travel.
First consider how you will be traveling and what transportation will be available while you are there.
- If you are driving you can take your blender or juicer along so you can start your day with a smoothie or fresh juice. You can bring a supply of your favorite healthy foods along with you if needed.
- If you can’t bring much with you take time before you go to research the area online. Find out where there is a Whole Foods or other health food market that sells organic produce. Maybe there is a local farmers market. Look for sources that are easy to reach from where you will be staying.
- Bring food on with you on the plane. Airport and airline food is rarely healthy. Bring snacks, fruit, nuts, salad etc. with you. Just avoid liquids as they wont make it past security. (I once had a my pear inspected because it looked like liquid on the x-ray but they let it through.)
Second consider where and how long you will be staying.
- If you will be visiting someone’s home, talk to your host about your eating habits. Find out how much they are able to accommodate you and how much you will need to fend for yourself.
- Be helpful in the kitchen (more-so than usual) and plan to make dishes that you can eat to supplement the host’s menu if necessary. (Be sure to make enough to share.) Before you leave home choose several easy-to-make dishes and bring the recipe with you if needed.
- Once you arrive, take a trip to the local grocery store to stock up on items you will need. Fresh fruit, nuts, pre-washed salad mixes, avocados, and carrot sticks make for fast easy meals or snacks.
- If you will be in a hotel choose a hotel that is near the grocery store if you wont have a car. Ask for a refrigerator to be brought to your room or choose accommodations that offer a kitchenette. This way you can eat a healthy breakfast before you head out for the day. Or have lunch in the room when you come back for a rest. Stock your room with healthy snacks to avoid the vending machine/gift shop options.
Third consider where there are healthy restaurants.
- Chances are good you will be eating out at least some of the time. Once again go to the Internet before you leave home and identify options available and print out a list to take with you. Google "vegetarian (or vegan or raw) and the name of the city you will be visiting. Or visit www.happycow.net and type in the city you will be visiting. They list vegetarian, vegan, raw and vegi-friendly restaurants and markets.
- If you have a smart phone with you use Yelp.com. to search for “vegan restaurant” or “vegetarian Thai food” or whatever near where you are at the time. Read the reviews to find one that meets your needs. We have discovered many gems this way.
- Don’t forget to put some of those healthy snacks in your purse or daypack when you go out for the day. Often times the snack options available at tourist attractions are dismal.
Taking time to consider how you will feed yourself before you leave can make a big difference in helping you stick to your commitments to yourself.