It’s no news that we love to travel and enjoy being on the road, but some things always bugged us when travelling: The ridiculously expensive meals at airports and most of all the lack of fresh vegan options, not mentioning that most of them are full of preservatives and nasties.
This will be a several part series and this particular article will be about the journey itself. What can you do on your way to your destination to have all the foods you love, stay full and properly hydrated and save some money? You’ll see that this will be easier than expected. It does require a little bit of prepping time, but you will thank us later.
First thing you need to know: BE PREPARED! You don’t have to survive on airport and airplane foods, you just need to take some precautions. You do have a choice. You always have. You are in control. Don’t let your body be a trash can!
Here are some of our top tips:
Bring your own food
Even though most airlines offer vegan meals, make sure to bring enough snacks to keep you full during the flight. Most airlines (and TSA) allow you to bring your own food, just make sure to check regulations on what to bring (and what not) before entering a new country . If you’re travelling internationally, only bring enough food for your flight, as you will need to throw away any leftover when you arrive at customs at your destination. For domestic flights you can bring food and snacks for your whole trip.
We had an amazing experience ordering the Jain menu beforehand on our flight with Turkish Airlines to Dar es Salaam. It was, by far, one of the best airplane foods we ever had, however it was far from being enough for a high carb vegan. But even if more and more airlines are offering vegan options, don’t be fooled, they can still be full of nasties and preservatives. Most of the time the meals were prepared weeks before, frozen, then thawed and kept warm for several hours. So much for ‘fresh’ food.
Here’s a little list of what you can easily bring on a plane:
- Bring one full meal. It’s as easy as meal prepping for work, just make sure it isn’t to liquid. We like to bring heaps of rice with a light veggie curry and hummus sandwiches or wraps.
- Fruits and veggies. Precut (or not) some veggies and fruits. Bring a dip like almond butter or hummus.
- Oats. Pack some quick cooking oats (with cinnamon and dried fruits as topping) in small bags or in a container and ask for hot water at the airport or airplane. Perfect for an instant and filling hot meal. Top with your fruits.
- Dried fruits and nuts. Make your very own trail mix with all of your favourites.
- Bring some pre-packaged vegan snacks such as fruit bars, crackers and sweet treats. We like Nakd Bars, sweet popcorn and some date power balls.
Here’s another tip: to save yourself some hassle during security check don’t use foil to pack your food as it will set of the alarm in the x-ray machine. Preferably use glass or BPA free plastic containers.
With the cabin pressure being locked at 2000m of altitude (Which means at a low pressure! Imagine yourself at a very high mountain) and the lack of humidity in the cabin air (only at 20% compared to the much preferred 40-60%) you will most likely lose a lot of water during a flight. If you want to prevent dehydration, fatigue, dry skin, scratchy eyes, constipation and reduce jet lag symptoms you need to take some measures:
- Drink up! To fight dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, preferably water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine at all costs, because they aggravate dehydration.
- Fill it up! You can bring a reusable bottle and fill it up after security check. You can also buy a big bottle of water before boarding, but they tend to be very expensive.
- Juice it up! Some airport have juice bars like for instance The Juice Factory at the Vienna International Airport. Load up on a big green juice before boarding, this will give you plenty of electrolytes, minerals and vitamins.
- Ask for 2! Every time the flight attendants pass to offer drinks, ask for two drinks: water and juice.
If you follow these tips you will never leave the plane feeling depleted, hungry or dried out and you are ready right away for your adventure. On our next flight we will make sure to bring you with us and show you how you can easily apply these tips.
What are your favourite snacks to bring on a plane? Are you ready for your next big trip?