I recently was lucky enough to travel to the USA and Mexico for 4 weeks, and was nervous about how I would go – this was the first major trip I’d taken since being Vegan.
The biggest tip I can give anyone prior to travelling anywhere when you want to stay on track with your health goals whilst you’re away, is to prepare, and do your research.
LEADING UP TO YOUR TRIP
Check with your airline:
- Do they offer meals to cater for specific dietary requirements? Most airlines will cater for you; you just have to make sure you put your preferences in prior to departing. You can usually do this either online, or by calling up your airline customer service
- What are you allowed to take on board? For my long haul trip, I prepared a healthy mixt of raw snacks should I need during the flight (listed further below)
Do your research:
- The internet and social media sites these days are such a wonderful wealth of knowledge. Google the places you’re going, find blogs for the local areas and recommendations of best places to eat whilst you’re travelling. If you’re as uber-organised as I was, prepare yourself a health map for the cities you’re spending time in. For New York, we spent a week there over Christmas. I made myself an A3 double sided map of the city and added in a legend and markers to point out all the great vegan foodie spots I could find, along with the closest hot yoga studios to our NY apartment. Day 1 in NY we were out site seeing around Times Square and popped into Beyond Sushi for a healthy warm lunch, rather than getting desperate and grabbing a US$1 super slice of pizza which are on every corner tempting you! Know where you can find healthy food, and you’ll never have to make bad food decisions when you’re ‘fungry’
Prepare your carry on items:
- A reusable large cup/mug and plenty of tea bags – I find the air conditioning on planes really dehydrates me and causes me a lot of respiratory issues. Asking the flight attendants politely to refill your cup of hot water throughout the flight not only keeps you warm and hydrated, but keeps the moisture in the air around you that you’re breathing in. I also found holding the mug underneath my face kept my skin moist and my eyeballs lubricated (especially on those long haul flights – spare yourself the bloodshot eyes!!)
- A hydrating facial mist spray – Also great for keeping the skin moisturised. I found a lavender scented one in my health food store that doubled as a mood relaxant
- A high potency Vitamin C source. Flying subjects you to radiation which can effect your immune system. Keeping your immunity up with potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers will ensure your body is prepared to fight anything. I recommend Gubinge powder, which is the highest natural source of Vitamin C on the planet, and is easily mixed into water and meals, plus the compact container size meets the requirements of most airline carry on limits
- Green sachets – I have serious green smoothie withdrawals when I don’t have access to a juice stall or can’t take my Thermomix somewhere with me! The next best thing to still get my ‘green’ fix are Vital Greens sachets, shaken up with water. A great source of chlorophyll, amino acids, digestive enzymes, probiotics, herbs and fiber for those times when your options are limited
- Snacks – Even though I’d arranged a vegan meal for my long haul flights, I knew it was likely they wouldn’t cater for my raw requirements to keep my energy levels up. I brought on my carry on bag a container of my raw cacao balls, some berries, guacamole and vegetable sticks, apples etc. I found it was a great excuse for my return journey to stock up at Wholefoods in Los Angeles 🙂