Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Preparing for an Overseas Trip

Today I need to ask for your help!  I need suggestions for all things travel.  I will be going to these places:




I will be bringing with me some foods that are not too heavy for a suitcase. These are some items I plan on packing:

A small container of nutritional yeast
A few packets of dry soups (miso, etc.) to add hot water to
Maybe a Mrs. Dash (because I love the lemon pepper and it goes on everything!)
Perhaps a little dry quick oats in a container for breakfast (for the plane ride over), with some dried fruit and nuts.
SoyGo packets for when I'm absolutely in need of coffee and have zero access to soymilk.

As for non food items, I will bring a travel coffee mug.  What else should I bring?
I'd like a smallish container to carry around soymilk, etc...to keep cold AND that's really leak proof! If you know of one, please let me know. And I mean, really leak proof, as in...if it's on its side...it won't even leak out.

I will have a full kitchen to work with while in Switzerland, so I can shop at the local grocery. I'm sure I can find soymilk in the grocery...but does anyone know if almond milk is at all available yet?

Does anyone know what the airlines offer (American Airlines really) for breakfast?  I will be asking for the vegan option, but I'm not sure they have one for breakfast.  And I know they don't have soymilk on planes (don't know why), so will I be successful when I go to the Starbucks past security, purchase soymilk for my travel container, and bring it on the plane and ask the flight attendants to keep it in the fridge overnight?

Is soymilk a standard at all yet in cafes in Europe? Or will I always have to have a container with me? I asked, and at least the hotel in Belgium has soymilk in their restaurant.  However, in Belgium, it will be more about the beer :)

Traveling through Chicago ORD and London Heathrow. Good food suggestions for those airports are much appreciated. Also if you happen to know if there's a good beer store in the Brussels airport (so I can bring some on the plane, home with me)

If you have suggestions for food items to bring or any other suggestions at all (places to eat, eating in airports, etc...), please leave a comment! Tell your friends...I want as much feedback as possible. I've not been to Europe, while eating a vegan diet, so I don't know how difficult it will be.  

Eat smart,


  1. That is exciting that you will be traveling! If you get a chance, even for a day trip, go to Prague-Czech Republic :-)
    I was in Europe last year and didn't have a problem eating vegan, however, the soy milk was way too over-priced there and it was not available at every store. They have rice, orzo, corn, coconut, almond, millet, spelt and oat milks available in Europe, which is a bigger selection than what I find here :-) You can usually find vegan options, including soy milk and soy puddings and yogurts at Tesco (similar to Walmart),and in smaller heath food stores around major cities. A lot of foods are cooked on butter and use hidden animal ingredients so ask detailed questions about the food. I witnessed "vegetarian" dishes being made with pieced of ham or lard, not to mention chicken broth. If you don't speak the language don't rely on everyone speaking perfect English and write down few important sentences about what vegan food is and what you cannot have in your food. Translate that to the languages you will need and carry it with you anywhere you go.
    When I flew to Europe I used Delta and specifically ordered vegan meal. Make sure you call them 24 hours prior to your trip to make sure that you will get the vegan meal and that they didn't forget about it.
    I prepared few sandwiches with Tofurky deli slices for the trip, and packed tons of Clif, Odwalla and Lara bars, Tofurky jerky and Clif Builder's bar (20g protein), few Go Max Go candy bars (Jokerz and Twilight), and few vegan cookies. Dried fruit and nuts is a good idea, too. Bring your own vegan hand sanitizer, they use mostly animal glycerine based hand sanitizer and soaps.
    My "vegan" meal on Delta plane was a bit disappointing, because the margarine that they served me had milk ingredients, the granola bar had honey and I found a little fly in my salad. I basically ended up eating only the fruit bowl, bread and banana and some of the goodies I brought with me.
    Check out these websites for more vegan traveling info:
    Melisser Elliott @ http://www.theurbanhousewife.com/ has some good traveling tips for vegans and an awesome vegan travel guide @ http://veganbackpacker.com/travel-guide/

  2. Thank you Elisabeth! Unfortunately, there won't be time for Prague...although I was there several years ago and loved it. I'd love to go back. We stayed in Dobris, southwest of Prague (a music festival). I've read the veganbackpacker..I'll check out the other site. Thanks for the awesome tips :)

  3. OMG! I used to stay in Dobris for weekends because my ex-boyfriend lived there. He lived in that castle, his father worked there, I am sure you saw it and the beautiful garden. I am glad you liked Prague and I am sure that as a musician you enjoyed it even more. Have a great trip! Did you see Karlstej castle or Pribram city?

  4. [[[correction Karlstejn castle :-)

  5. So funny! We stayed in the castle! We slept, rehearsed, and ate there for about a week. It WAS beautiful. We were so busy rehearsing that we didn't really have time to see much :(

  6. Eee, how exciting! I've been to Europe quite a few times, but never to any of those places.

    I'm all about the Larabars when I'm traveling. I also like to bring oranges (or even grapefruits!) for the first leg of the trip, although they can get a little messy. And I always bring oats but never actually end up using them... :( I'd also recommend some sort of trail mix type thing; dried fruit and nuts are great for quick energy bursts or when you need to take the edge off your hunger.

    As far as eating in airports, I know that O'Hare has a shop with pre-made vegan sandwiches, salads, etc (I posted about it here: http://vegga.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/vegan-on-the-go-ohappy-at-ohare/). So you could easily purchase a couple pre-made options there and then eat them later on if the airline's food doesn't meet your needs!

    I can't wait to hear more about your trip!

  7. Well the only one of these 3 places I've never been is Belgium. Should be exciting! I'll definitely do my best to blog from there...if not, I'll have a lot of blogging to do when I get back :)

    I'll check out the link....thanks so much!

  8. I've been to France since being vegan (and gluten-free) and didn't starve (although there was one day I lived off dark chocolate). My suggestion would be to learn the words of the offending ingredients so you can be savy at reading labels in stores and ask properly at restaurants. In France I noticed things were sometimes labeled "biologique" or "vegetal" or "vegetalian" for organic and vegan. So knowing the words for those things in the language are important.

    I didnt notice soymilk at any cafes, if that's important to you maybe bring some soy creamer along that's dried. I just did it black with sugar back then.

    I see someone also mentioned vegan backpacker, I agree, check their site out.

    thanks for staying vegan on the trip! I know you can do it!

  9. Ah, so jealous, I just love traveling! I'm not much help with most of your questions, but when I did my brief European road trip over the summer, I must say that I didn't see a soymilk option in a single cafe, so best to prepare for the worst there.

    Happy travels!

  10. I'm kind of sad that the cafes don't have a nondairy option...but I'm guessing it's because most people don't put milk in their coffee there (except kids). That's how I remember it when I used to go to Italy in the summers. They'd kind of make fun of us for ordering coffee with milk! Who knows, maybe I'll try black coffee again :)

  11. Did you try just checking out the Let's Go Guide? http://www.letsgo.com/12221-europe-travel-guides-belgium-beyond_tourism-c
    Click on an individual city, then click on Food. It won't answer your soymilk question but might give a clue as to which restaurants would be vegan-friendly.



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