I just returned from a week-long vacation to Kauai. It was a beautiful place to visit, and we had some great adventures, as well as some wonderfully lazy days at the beach. Before we left, I did a little research and some planning to make sure eating vegan while there wouldn’t be hard. No matter where you’re going, these tips will help you eat vegan while traveling.
Pack snacks for the car or plane. Snacks that are portable and don’t require preparation are the best for the car or plane ride. Crackers, pretzels, pre-cut fruit or veggies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and granola bars are all good options. Single serve pouches of peanut butter are also really nice to have, just remember to put them in a baggie with other liquids and gels if you are traveling by plane. Finding vegan food in an airport isn’t impossible, but it can be hard depending on how big your airport is. Finding vegan breakfast food in the Colorado Springs airport was almost impossible. Finding vegan lunch food in the Denver and Los Angeles airports was easy.
If possible, stay in a place that has a kitchen. We had a full kitchen at our disposal, and two grocery stores right across the street which made eating vegan in Hawaii pretty easy. Some places have a partial kitchen (fridge and stove top, but no oven) which still makes preparing vegan food easy. As much as I like to cook, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so we made simple meals like stir fry, pasta salad and burritos. One of the grocery stores near us was Papaya’s Natural Foods. They had so many vegan products for me to choose from. They also had a hot bar with a few vegan and vegetarian options.
The Happy Cow app for your smart phone can be your best friend. I used this app so many times while we were out and about. It was a really convenient way for me to find vegan-friendly restaurants. The app lists general info about the restaurant, reviews, website and contact info for the restaurant as well as directions to the restaurant. We ate at two places I found via the Happy Cow app, and they were both great. Verde had great Mexican food, and their vegan food was clearly labeled. The vegan tacos were amazing, and Matt wouldn’t stop talking about how amazing the veggie stuffed sopaipilla was. We had Puka Dogs our last day there, and they were really good. Choose the veggie dog and then customize your dog with their huge selection of relishes and condiments. Their garlic lemon secret sauce is not vegan, so skip that topping. Both of these restaurants were places I would never have known about if not for the Happy Cow app.
Don’t be afraid to ask places to make substitutions or leave ingredients out. These days, most places have vegetarian options, some of which can be made vegan if a few ingredients are left out. I had pizza without the mozzarella, tacos without the cheddar and an asparagus salad without the goat cheese. All of the places were happy to leave the cheese out for me.
Do your research before you go. These days, most restaurants have their menu available online. I did a google search for “Kauai vegan food” and was able to find a few promising restaurants before we left. I knew we were going to be eating at the Beach House Restaurant our final night there, so I checked out their menu before we left to make sure there was food I could eat. The grilled mushroom I had turned out to be one of my favorite meals of the entire trip.
With a little research and advanced planning, eating vegan while on vacation can be easy.