Roadtrips are a blast! You have your bags packed, your playlist ready and your first destination plugged into Google Maps, and now you’re good to go. But as a vegan, there are a few extra things that you’ll want to consider before you head out to make your road trip more enjoyable and less stressful.
Here are some of our top tips for having the best vegan road trip ever:
1. Pack plenty of snacks
Ideally, you don’t want to have to waste time preparing food on the road. Stocking up on some vegan goodies will ensure you’re kept fed and energized for the drive, and any activities you will do along the way. We recommend snacks that are high in fiber, since they will help keep you full for longer, so you won’t need to make as many rest stops during longer stretches of your journey.
Some great vegan snack options include:
- Vegan jerky
- Vegan bacon
- Protein bars
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Trail mix
- Vegan muffins
- Vegan pate with crackers
- Chips and salsa
- Banana or zucchini bread
These are just a few great options that have high fiber and are high in nutrients, plus easy to eat as you drive without making a huge mess. You’re likely to be sitting for long periods, so you don’t want to load yourself up on highly processed, high-calorie snacks like chips and chocolate which will weigh you down.
You can purchase most of these snacks locally, at a grocery store, vegan bakery, or health food store. Or you can order items like vegan jerky online in advance so you can pack up the car with snacks at home before you leave. Alternatively, if you like to bake, you can whip up some muffins, cookies, or loaves yourself.
2. Find restaurants using HappyCow
Regardless of your road trip destination, you’re going to need to eat more than road snacks. No matter where you are in the world you can easily find vegan food options using HappyCow. HappyCow is the world’s ultimate online vegan food guide, covering 180 countries.
HappyCow combines everything you need to find delicious vegan food on your road trip in one place. You can search for the city you will be going through and apply a variety of different filters based on what you’re looking for. You can also browse the map view to see where each spot is located in relation to your road trip route.
You’ll find a full description of each venue, including photos and reviews uploaded by other users. You can also see their opening hours and contact information in case you want to call ahead. You can pin your favorites for future reference and access them via browser or their mobile app, which is very user-friendly and convenient to use.
Make sure to also upload your own reviews and photos when you visit vegan restaurants on your trip to gain points and help other vegans find great food! If your get enough, you could even become a Happy Cow ambassador and receive special perks like HappyCow swag, invites to events, and a badge on your profile page.
3. Use Instagram to find local hotspots
Instagram is a great place to find local vegan hotspots in the places you’re visiting on your road trip. People are always posting their delicious meals on social media, so it’s worth doing a quick hashtag or location search in the areas you plan ongoing.
The best way to find vegan hotspots is by searching for hashtags of your chosen city followed by the word “vegan”. For example, if you’re going through Denver, you can search #denvervegan and #vegandenver. You can also do more broad searches, such as #vegantexas, to see the best spots in a wider area. This will give you drool-worthy pictures of users’ vegan meals and you can scroll through to see if anything strikes your fancy.
4. Research/book vegan-friendly accommodation in advance
Staying in vegan-friendly accommodation will help make your road trip less stressful. If you’re planning on staying somewhere different every night, then doing your research in advance and finding vegan-friendly accommodation will make your trip much more pleasant. We’ve all been in the situation where we’re staying at a local motel and wake up to a continental breakfast where all you can have is black coffee and an apple. Luckily, it’s easier now more than ever to find accommodation that will cater to a plant-based diet, such as offering soy milk for your coffee or vegan breakfast/room service items.
Some countries are more vegan-friendly than others, but generally, you will be able to find places that will have at least an option or two. Check out VeggieHotels, where you can search based on the location you’re going to and find hundreds of vegan-friendly accommodation options all in one place. It includes information about the special features of the accommodation, as well as amenities, price per room and photos.
After a long day on the road, it will be nice to hop into bed and order up a hearty vegetable soup than to heat your hotel room kettle and make dry noodles.
5. Travelling abroad? Learn some vegan phrases
If you plan on going on a road trip abroad it’s essential to learn some basic vegan phrases. The most important ones you should learn include:
- I am vegan
- No meat
- No dairy
- No eggs
It also helps to have Google Translate at the ready so you can type in phrases and just show them directly to your server, or a clerk at a grocery store. This is especially useful in countries where the language is very complex. You can also use the Google Translate camera feature to read menus or ingredient lists.
If you’re in a Western country then people will likely understand you when you say you’re vegan. But veganism isn’t common everywhere. Even if you tell your server you don’t eat meat or eggs, they may still offer you food with butter or gelatin. Google Translate will be your best friend in places like this.
6. Don’t forget water
Whether vegan or not, we all need water. Keeping hydrated is super important when you’re on long drives.
As vegans, we need to put a little extra thought and planning into our trips. But a little goes a long way. By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re as prepared as you can be so you can have a smooth and fulfilling road trip!