Health/ Nutrition/ Travel/ Veganism

HappyCow Community: How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

I travel a lot so I follow these tips to make sure I eat healthy while on the road. We asked our Facebook community for their advice and tips for how to eat healthy while traveling and they gave us so many great suggestions!

Research and Plan

android2016Before I leave for my trip I get on HappyCow to see what vegan-friendly restaurant options I have available in each destination. I also use the HappyCow smartphone application so I don’t have to print and carry papers around with me. I literally plan my whole trip around all the great restaurants I can visit. And if you find one with really good ratings that looks good to you find a hotel within walking distance. If you are going somewhere that doesn’t have vegetarian restaurants the next set of tips will help ensure you are eating healthy while away from home.


Call the Restaurant Before You Arrive

If your choices for eating out are very slim, then find a restaurant near you and call them up the day before you are going to dine there and speak directly to the chef or manager. Tell them your dietary needs and see if they can accommodate you. I often stick with ethnic food like Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Ethiopian, and Mediterranean. Those types of restaurants are  more veg-friendly by default. Don’t be afraid to be “that guy” and ask a ton of questions about what is going into the food. It’s their job to be accommodating and make sure their customers are satisfied.

Seek out Natural Food Stores and Co-ops

Natural food stores and co-ops can be a haven of healthy food, for produce, packaged foods and most of them have prepared food options. These are listed on the HappyCow site along with restaurants. Driving across country I have found many small towns that have the most wonderful co-ops. They are your best friends! And usually the people working there can tell you the best restaurants for veg-friendly food.

Pack Snacks

Always have nutritious snacks on you when traveling. Trial mix, nuts, raw nut/date bars like Larabars are one of my favorite, Clif bars, whole grain crackers with nut butter, edamame, and any other portable snack food. You don’t want to live off these your whole trip, but have them available if you have to miss a meal. I always take small packets of protein powder and superfood greens powder that easily mix with water everywhere with me.

Take Your Own Cookware

If you are going to stay in a hotel for an extended amount of time, you could always bring a small rice cooker or slow cooker with you to make rice, beans, and soups in. You can bring a small blender to make green smoothies every morning. There are many hotels out there that have small kitchenettes with a refrigerator so look into those as well.


Take a Cooler if Going on Road Trip

If you are going on a road trip and will have a car with you take a small cooler. That way you can pack more snacks like fresh fruit, veggies, and hummus, Tofurky slices, non-dairy milk, and frozen dinners in case of emergencies where you can’t find a good restaurant or want to save money. Places like gas stations, grocery stores, and coffeehouses will have a microwave if you need to warm something up quickly on the road.

Bring Supplements and a Good Multivitamin

Sometimes we just can’t get all the healthy food we need or we are tempted by all the wonderful restaurants that we just don’t eat as healthy as we should (guilty!!). So be sure to bring some superfoods (chlorella, spirulina, etc), a good multivitamin, and other immune boosting supplements while traveling like echinacea, astragulus, oil of oregano, and b-12. If you are traveling in a foreign country grapefruit seed extract pills are great to take daily to protect against stomach viruses.

What advice do YOU have for us on how to eat healthy while traveling? Please share with the community!

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  • Reply
    Chia (324 comments)
    March 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    This is useful, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Robin Tierney (1 comments)
    March 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Good post — and here’s another great article on traveling while vegan:

  • Reply
    robinhood (18 comments)
    March 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Being healthier on a vegetarian diet means spending less on health care. Food costs. Vegetarian foods tend to cost less than meat based item.Be vegetarian live more.Have a look of vegan making receipe dvd

  • Reply
    SarahRooney (1 comments)
    March 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Great suggestions. I had never thought of bringing a cooker with me to a hotel- thanks!

    Have you heard of SoyGo? (vegan travel sized creamer)? Just discovered it- and I love it. Might want to keep it in mind for next time – as it can be hard to find soymilk options aat hotels and gas station coffee stops.

  • Reply
    CLRtraveller (1 comments)
    March 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I travel a lot and always pack: a plastic bowl, knife-fork-spoon set, instant miso soup packets, instant oatmeal packets, bag of raisins and almonds…. Accommodations nowadays all seem to provide kettles, so I don’t bring my water immersion heater anymore.

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