travel, veganism

Traveling While Vegan

A long time friend, of almost a decade, was getting married this weekend. Naturally, our high school friend group had to come along to see in person. We were all healthy, most of us were wearing masks when indoors, and we spent a lot of time outside. Now I could write a whole blog post about how I tried to navigate going to a wedding during a pandemic, but what was even more interesting to me at least was figuring out what to eat while on the road.

I tried to tell the bride ahead of time of my dietary needs but at the time of RSVP-ing, I was a vegetarian and not a vegan. And when planning where to eat with friends, I told them I was vegetarian, which was true at the time. I didn’t consider telling them I was vegan; I figured I would just figure it out on my own.

The restaurant we went to was a local Mexican one. Luckily, there was a vegetarian menu! I ordered the flautas that were filled with potatoes instead of meat. The menu did mention there would be a queso sauce, so I asked them to not include it in the meal. I thought that was vegan enough but I didn’t catch that the description said that they put cojita cheese on top. That was a pleasant surprise when the waiter came out with the meal! I tried to avoid it but cojita cheese is crumbly and kind of just goes everywhere. All in all it was a delicious meal but wasn’t exactly vegan.

At the wedding, they served the dinner in a buffet style! The meal consisted of fried chicken, ham, green beans, cheesy potatoes, salad, fruit; pretty standard Midwest wedding food. Now, I mentioned that I had told the bride before hand that I would like a vegetarian option. It was a beyond burger and it was very VERY good! It tasted just like beef to me it was incredible. Although, it was hard to avoid the cheesy potatoes. Cheese is my vegan kryptonite sadly; a byproduct of being born in a Dairy State.

I think the one thing I did not really account for was trying to pick out quick vegan snacks at a gas station or some sort of convenience store. This has been a learning experience for sure! I really want to commit to the vegan lifestyle so I polled on my instagram for some tips about how to travel while vegan! Here are the responses I got from a friend, Liz (@itsjuustliz on Instagram and Twitter):

  • Ask for a specific recipe from your host or ask to cook a vegan meal
  • Share a list of restaurants you can eat at with your travel mates ahead of time
  • Plan ahead! Bring quick snacks
  • Get a hold of menus ahead of time or offer to make your own food if staying with folks
  • Hit up a grocery store once you’re in town and pick up meals and snacks for the day

These are all wonderful tips that I will keep in mind for future trips! If any fellow vegans have additional travel tips, I would love to hear about them! Leave a comment of some helpful tips for this young vegan!

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