Healthy Vegan Road Trip Tips & Hacks

Wondering what to pack to stay healthy for your next road trip? 

This post isn’t just for vegans! Are you a busy person always on the go or with a long commute? Are you a traveler or in college? Would you prefer not to spend all of your budget on food? Do you have limited access to a kitchen but still want healthy, whole food snacks and meals? Since I became vegan a couple of years ago, road trips (and travel in general) have required a bit more food packing and planning. I wanted to share some of my own hacks and tips for a healthy vegan-friendly road trip:

Place an order online. When I know I will be traveling and am low on pantry items, I go ahead and place an order from Vitacost carries all of my favorites at a lower price than if I were to buy them at the store. I usually stock up on meal bars, crackers, nuts and seeds.  

Happy Cow! I always scope out my destination on Happy Cow prior to leaving so I know what kinds of options there will be for eating out. This will dictate how much and what I need to pack. This is the best app for traveling vegans or vegetarians. Their website is free and you can enter in your destination and it will pull all of the vegan/vegetarian/veg-friendly restaurants in that area. This has been so useful for us when we travel.

Own a reliable compact cooler or insulated lunch bag. This way you can pack your own snacks or meals that need to be kept cold.

Bring reusable bags with insulation. This will allow you to shop at a grocery store so you can cook your meals once you reach your destination.

Stay hydrated – bring one or more reusable water bottles.

Pack snacks.

  • DIY trail mix (or store bought if you want)
  • Hummus, cut veggies and Mary’s crackers
  • Fruit! Apples are the most travel-friendly fruit, followed by grapes and oranges and then bananas. Bananas aren’t so great if you will be stuffing them into your backpack, they bruise and squish easily.
  • Homemade energy bites
  • Protein bars
  • Homemade muffins
  • PB, banana, tortilla roll ups
  • Pop Chips or Skinny Pop (especially if you will be driving, something crunchy is nice to help you stay alert!)

Choose an Airbnb with a kitchen. I always look for available Airbnb's with a kitchen. Haven't traveled with Airbnb yet? Read my blog post about why I don't use hotels anymore. 

Bring pre-prepared meals in Tupperware. Don’t forget utensils! If I know I am going to need meals on the road then I go ahead and prep something like Soba Noodle Salad or Mediterranean pasta salad that I can eat cold and will still be healthy, filling and delicious. Something easier than bringing a prepared meal is packing bagel sandwiches with vegan deli meats, avocado and your other favorite toppings!

Fast Food. Budget friendly and quick. Taco Bell is our go-to when we do need to opt for fast food. They have a surprisingly vegan-friendly menu. The magic words you are looking for are “fresco-style”. This will replace all dairy products with pico de gallo. Ask for avocado and you are set! Chipotle is a great option as well.

Whole Foods. Not always budget friendly (but it can be); however, it is always delicious and healthy. Check out the salad bar for on-the-go options!

Instant pot. Traveling for a long time without access to a kitchen? My friend over at Vegan Love Adventure traveled across the country staying in hotels without kitchens. The Instant Pot is heavy and bulky, but would allow you to be in control of what you are eating and also allow you to be very budget-friendly. Mary traveled with her Instant Pot and was able to make meals from cheap and easy to find grocery items like beans and veggies. I think this is a genius idea!