In the two years we’ve been vegan raw foodists we’ve travel quite often and have been able to eat what we are used to eating at home and not struggle finding food during the trip.
How do we do it? This is a very common question we get asked all the time. In the last trip we took, to DC for the RSF, I was in the plane and decided it was time to write about it. So here are my top ten tips to travel raw!
First, check the rules for traveling with foods, liquids, etc as they are constantly changing. If you travel internationally chances are it’s a bit more difficult to bring some vegetables and fruits with you are on the plane. Second, check to find the closest organic markets, local farmers markets, and raw food or vegan restaurants around the area you are staying. We love HappyCow.com because it helps us plan ahead where we will be dining once we arrive at the location. It also shows me all local markets and their contact information. Using this information, we map the places we want to go to and decide where to eat or shop for food.
Helpful tip: Write down the phone numbers and hours of operation of the places you want to visit.
Bring Your Own Food
We always carry Avocados, lettuce, and cucumbers with us for the plane ride. I also include enough fruits, nuts, and seeds for the ride. So far, we haven’t had any issues at security. We have a lunch bag that qualifies as a carry-on where we put all our food for the plan ride. Yes! You do have to run it through the x-ray but it’s better than the “glow-in-the-dark” food at the airport.
Helpful tip: carry extra bags for compost such peels, seeds, etc.
We loved our olive oil and can’t live without it. So we’ve emptied and old vanilla extract bottle that is about 2 oz and washed and filled it up with Bariani’s Olive Oil to carry with us in the plane ride. Using the foods we bring and the olive oil, we make ourselves a nice meal sometimes in the plane or at the airport while connecting.
Helpful tip: Go to any food court and ask for a plate or container to use for making your food.
This is a topic that is very delicate with most people who are healthy. Salt… we like it and we need it. We use Real Salt and carry it with us everywhere. We have it in the car, at work, in my purse, everywhere. So when we fly or travel, it’s always with us.
Helpful tip: Real Salt has a small container that can be refilled.
Water, Green Powder and pH Drops
Water is possibly the most important part of traveling. Since we can’t carry liquids anymore, the first thing we do after the security check is get water. If you are lucky, some airports carry water with a high pH that will help you keep hydrated during your trip. If you are driving, I suggest taking your own water with you in a cooler. We also use a green powder and pH drops to add to the water. This helps us stay hydrated and get all the vitamins our bodies need while traveling. We even carry lemons or limes to squeeze into the water to that it stay fresh… yes that’s more complicated, but we now carry our lemon squeezer!
Helpful tip: if you carry your lemon squeezer (like we do), take it out of the bag during security check and set it on top of your jacket so that they don’t go through your lunch bag.
We always do desserts because if you pass the cinnamon bun stand at the airport, chances are you would be tempted to have one. If a fruit serves as dessert, bring apples and bananas as they are the easiest to carry. If you don’t consider a fruit dessert, then bring something sweet for the trip. We like to make nut and dried fruit bags for the trip. Sometimes we carry raw chocolate bars, not good if you are planning to sleep in the plane. Also, we recently discover raw cookies in a package by Go Raw and they are perfect for traveling.
We carry two to four tea bags to drink in the plane and ask for hot water to brew the tea. We like the Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals the best. Why we drink tea? Most time in planes people are sick and we don’t want to run the risk of getting sick, especially if you are not getting the food your body is used to eating while traveling.
Helpful tip: ask for two cups of hot water to brew one tea bag, they usually server the water in small cups.
Utensils and napkins
We used to ask for plastic utensils at the airport and then put them in a zip lock bag to re-use. We also shared one napkin as we like to conserve and travel as green as we possibly can. We now travel with a small kitchen towel, the size of a face cloth, and keep in the lunch bag during the trip. In our last trip to San Francisco, purchase traveling re usable utensils at Café Gratitude, but you can also buy them at Bamboo Utensil Set To-Go . Ok so you don’t need to buy anything, simply get utensils at the airport and re-use them throughout the trip.
Helpful tip: Carry your salt, utensils, and napkins in the same zip lock bag inside your lunch bag, that way when is time to make your food in the plane, everything is accessible.
So last year we flew on Christmas day and arrived in California at close to midnight and we had run out of the food we carried with us. All there was open in San Fran were Chinese restaurants, and we didn’t think they would carry a salad! So here’s what we did, we ran to a 24-hour drug store and looked for snacks. They actually carried some vegetables rolls and fruits as well as some nuts and seeds. We bought some bananas, water, and pecans and that was our meal. Basically, don’t get depressed, there is always something raw somewhere. Don’t give up!
If everything else fails, buy at the airport
So if you had a last minute trip and didn’t get a chance to pack your lunch bag, buy a salad at the airport. Yes, the “glow-in-the-dark” salads and fruits that have been transported there by so many hands and trucks. We’ve done it once or twice when traveling overseas and brought an avocado to complement the depressing lettuce they sell you at the airports, and we are not proud of it.
Helpful tip: carry your salt and oil and make a nice little meal.
When traveling overseas, the rules may be a little different. You may have to eat all your food before you get to the other country. I also heard a tip from Sergei Boutenko on how to travel to other countries, make a powder of dehydrated vegetables and pack it in your carry on. Ask for a cup of hot water and mix in the powder, with some salt and oil and you have a nice soup. Our local raw vegan farmers market actually sells the powder of a veggie mix that can be used for traveling. Nut bars and other raw treats help hold you until you land but will most likely dehydrate you.
As we continue to travel, we learn more tips on how to continue our lifestyle and enjoy traveling to new places. The best part of traveling raw is the faces of the people sitting next to you watching you eat! 😉