Superfood Siobhan

Healthy Plant Based recipes that make you look and feel great

Travelling On A Plant Based Diet

By Thursday, February 27, 2014

This is probably the main thing that people who eat an alternative diet fear. What am I going to eat when I go on holiday?! Surprisingly enough, it's actually than you think to bring nutritious food with you on long car or plane journeys and it's also quite easy to find food just like you make at home, all around the world.

As a well seasoned plant based foodie and traveller, I thought I might share a bit of wisdom with you all!

At The Airport/On The Plane/In The Car

I once had to leave the house at 4am for a flight, and I obviously didn't want breakfast then, but I also didn't want to be hungry before my 8am flight, so I made up some overnight oats in a jar and took it to the airport with me. Then all I had to do at the airport was eat it at a cafe after we had checked in. It definitely beats the overpriced airport food, and I'd definitely recommend it whenever you have to leave the house too early to eat breakfast.

There are restrictions on liquids you can take onto a plane, but you can take almost every sort of food on a plane as long as you don't take it off again and you don't go over the liquids restriction. I've taken snacks like veggies and hummus (as long as the pot of hummus is less than 100ml), nuts and seeds, medjool dates, dried figs, raw bliss balls, muffins and slices on the plane before and I've never encountered any problems.

I've also taken on full meals with me before, like quinoa salads (make sure the dressing pot is less than 100ml), cold stirfries, cold pasta salads and rice dishes, plus a plastic fork to eat with. As long as your container doesn't leak in your hand luggage and you finish it all on the plane, I've never had an issue with it, but it's wise to check with the airline you're flying with beforehand to make sure their rules aren't different.

At Your Destination

I'm lucky that my family is conscious of my intolerances and when we go on holiday we always select self catering accommodation. That way I'm able to purchase fruit and vegetables and continue to eat as per usual whilst on holiday. I also stock my suitcase with the basics that I know I won't be able to buy abroad, like almond milk, quinoa, brown rice pasta, some snacks and a few little pots of superfoods to scatter on my breakfast, then I just stock up on local produce from the markets and make myself simple quinoa salads or pasta dishes.

It's also a lot easier than you think to eat a plant based diet whilst travelling. I've been to restaurants before and eaten a truly amazing plant based meal just by selecting various starters and side dishes and building up my own meal. You can also ask the waiter/waitress to make minor changes to the meal if you're able to speak the language, so ask for the pasta without the cheese, the noodles without the chicken, etc etc. People are quite helpful if you make it clear what you can or cannot eat. I find the easiest thing to say is "I am allergic to ___" because that way they know that you definitely cannot eat whatever it is that you do not like!

When I was in Seville in Spain I discovered this amazing restaurant with my family that made vegetarian paella and I even discovered locally made hummus at the markets in a tiny village in Portugal! Most cultures traditionally base their diets around fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes and wholegrains and just supplement with small amounts of dairy and meat, so fresh produce will always be available. I definitely recommend checking out the local markets when you go on holiday, it's always an amazing experience!

If you're looking for vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurants I definitely recommend checking out the Happy Cow website before you go on holiday. It has quite a comprehensive list of places to eat, and it'll save a lot of hassle when you're tired and hungry in a foreign city.

If worst gets to worst and I cannot find food in a foreign country, I've always managed to find a green grocer /supermarket and been able to buy a bunch of bananas, and that alongside the snacks of nuts and medjool dates that I keep in my bag is enough to keep me full! I've eaten a whole bunch of bananas for lunch multiple times whilst on holiday, and whilst it's not the ideal thing to do every day, it's always there for emergencies!

The important thing to remember is that you're on holiday, so don't let your food restrictions get in the way, try out new foods and have fun!

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  1. Thanks so much for the great tips Siobhan! Perhaps you could do a photoblog or something like that in the same subject? That would be cool!

    1. Hi! What do you mean by a photoblog? :)

    2. Like, when you're having a long day at school/a trip, you take pictures of your food and meal preppings, so we can all get more inspired! Just because I adore your photos! :)

    3. I do post pictures of my lunchboxes and snacks on Instagram already :)

  2. Thank you so much for this, I'm going to Italy in a few months and I'm in New Zealand, so long plane journey and I was freaking out about what I could eat since I won't be able to eat most things on the plane and at airports. so thankyouuu!!! i now feel a lot better :) i love your blog xx

    1. You're welcome! I actually used to live in New Zealand, so I know how difficult long haul plane journeys are when you can't eat 'normal' food, I did it about 8 times! Enjoy your trip to Italy! :)