Traveling and Whole Plant-Based Food

How difficult is Whole Plant-Based Traveling?

Being on the road for several days isn’t easy. Eating all your meals in restaurants for several days can compromise your nutritional goals. To have a few whole food, plant-based, clean meals while on the road, try packing some plant-based, whole food bars. If you’re staying in the same place for a few days, try to get a place with a kitchenette or take over the mini-bar fridge (and grocery shop when you get there).  Take along some Real Food or buy it at the destination.  Tubs of organic salad, spinach or kale is reasonable at Costco.  At home and often, dining out, we squeeze a little lemon juice onto salads.

Look on Happy Cow for vegan  or vegan friendly places enroute or at your destination.

What to Take

Pack some fruits,

Homemade granola bars,

Organic Crackers and homemade hummus,

Wraps or sandwiches on organic sprouted grain bread,

Energy bites and bars,

Make your own Trail Mix,

Homemade healthful cookies,

Roasted Chickpeas.

  From Happy Herbivore:   How to Travel on a Plant-Based Diet (What to Pack, Snacks, and More!)

 Here are some of the items we pack:MEDITERRANEAN-DIET-BRAIN

That’s It Fruit bars
Dr. McDougall Soups
Dr. McDougall Oatmeal
Pre-Cooked Quinoa
Shelf-Stable Tofu (Trader Joe’s recently started selling this)
Hot Sauce
Hummus Mix
Refried Bean Mix
Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables 
NuturMe Baby Food (pugs LOVE this) 

Here are some items we haven’t tried, but would also work:                       

Tofu Scramble Mix

Soy Milk Powder
Vegetable Soup (this company has many freeze-dried veggie options)
Hummus (*contains oil)
Peanut Butter packets
Soy Sauce packets 
“Meal” bars like Luna, Clif, Probar

I’ve also seen these “Go Picnic” to-go meals in most airports and at many 7-11s (or the equivalent). At least two of them are vegan (though not necessarily oil-free or healthy). The Hummus & Crackers one is all vegan, same for the Black Bean & Plantains one (that I couldn’t find on Amazon but saw at the Charlotte airport recently). These “meals” aren’t the healthiest, but sometimes you have to do the best you can. After all, it’s still far better than McDonalds!

Whole Plant-Based Traveling

Oil-free and as heathy as a meal plan meal; Whole Plant-Based Traveling

First, look at the menu for dishes that sound like they could be low fat (oil-free) and healthy, which means skipping past anything that’s fried. I specifically look for things that can be steamed or are not cooked (i.e. fresh spring rolls in a Thai restaurant). I’ll also inquire whether my meal can be made without oil. Most often it can, if not, I’ll ask if there is another dish that could. If I end up with a salad (or that’s just what I want) I skip the dressing, and ask for salsa (if they have it) or vinegar.

 I’m also not embarrassed about getting creative with the menu — blending items from different dishes to create my own dish. I did this once and the waitress and chef liked my “creation” so much that they decided to add it to the menu. I have also never encountered a waiter or waitress that wasn’t happy to help. I think with so many dietary restrictions these days, it’s not “weird” to inquire or ask for adaptions. Plus, as my husband says, we’re paying to have our meal cooked to order. (Note: we always tip generously and leave positive reviews online when places accomodate us). ~ HH

The Plant-Based Dietitian also includes these items on her list–

Travel-Friendly Foods, Cooler-Dependent Foods:

– Salads in disposable containers with dressing in a separate container

– Fruits: whole, cut, salad, dried, dehydrated

– Baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams

– Hummus with chopped veggies and whole-grain crackers to dip

– Wraps or sandwiches made on whole-grain breads or tortillas with hummus or bean spread and veggies or nut or seed butter and whole-fruit jam or sliced fruits

– Edamame

– Veggie sushi

– Bean, rice, and veggie burritos with salsa and guacamole on the side and separate

– Whole-grain pasta with sauce

Easy Foods With No Refrigeration Necesary:

– Dried oatmeal in separate baggies with seeds (chia, flax, hemp) and/or nuts (simply add hot water when ready to eat)

– Kale chips

– Whole-fruit and nut bars

– Baked bars, whole-food cookies, muffins, and whole-grain breads

– Whole-grain or raw crackers, breads, tortillas, bagels

– Dehydrated bean and veggie soups

– Nut butters

– Trail mix

– Jarred bean dips

– Nutritional yeast and other spices in individually wrapped baggies to bring to restaurants

– Dehydrated green juice powders (for times when you don’t know when you’ll find your next greens

– Dissolvable whole-food powders to fill up on, if no other healthy options

Whole Plant-Based isn’t always easy when traveling… though we can still come close.. When buying treats, check the nutrition data carefully.  Many undesirables may be hidden inside, no matter how Great the front label looks.  It may have saturated fat in the form of palm or coconut oil.


Make your road trip a healthy one! With a little preparation, a lot of music, road trips can be a fun and enjoyable experience without the need to break your healthy eating habits.  Happy Whole Plant-Based Traveling!


One thought on “Traveling and Whole Plant-Based Food

  1. michellefrog

    I find it easier to eat vegan while traveling, it probably has a lot to do with me being the only vegan in my family. I’ll never give up trying to convert them. They do love everything I feed them :))) Nice blog Gary!

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