Your Vegan Guide to Flying

Are you going somewhere exotic for spring break? Do you have an upcoming business trip on your schedule? Do you plan on taking a vacation at some point in your life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you’ll have to eat while on a plane.

Planes are not known to be vegan friendly. While it’s possible to request a vegan meal, what you receive may end up looking questionable (lol British Airways). And if your flight doesn’t include a meal, you probably don’t want to pay $10 for some hummus a la carte.

Here's the good news: you don’t have to be at the mercy of an airline when it comes to feeding yourself. You have options. All it takes is a little preparation.

I’ve been on a decent number of flights since going vegan, and I have starved on exactly none of them. I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but I do have some good tricks up my sleeve. So here are my air travel food staples to prevent you from getting hangry.

  • Fruit leathers. Regular fruit can bruise easily and take up a lot of space in your carry-on, which is why fruit leathers are so, so, great. I buy the Whole Foods 365 brand which cost like 60¢ each. Since the ingredients are literally just fruit and "silicon dioxide to prevent caking" it’s like eating a healthy Fruit Roll-Up. And who doesn’t enjoy a little nostalgia while on a flight?
  • Protein bars. These are FANTASTIC for longer flights as protein will satiate you longer than carbs. I make sure to get ones that have 15-20g protein and minimal sugar (like No Cow) to avoid a crash, which is something you definitely don’t want to experience in the air.

  • Oatmeal. Instant oatmeal is great for an early-morning flight since it eliminates the need to have breakfast before you go to the airport, which means you can sleep longer. I keep a packet of it along with some sliced almonds or dried fruit in my bag. When the flight attendants come through with coffee/tea, ask for two cups: one empty, and one with hot water. Put the oatmeal in the empty cup, then pour the hot water on top. Add your fixins and enjoy. Don’t forget to ask for a spoon!

  • Baby food. I don’t care how weird this sounds. If you get the fruit ones (like strawberry-banana), it’s literally a tiny pre-packaged smoothie. Most squeezable packets fall under the 3-oz rule, and you can just put them in a quart-sized bag. TSA won’t care.

  • And always, always invest in a big bottle of water after clearing security. It's way too easy to get dehydrated on a flight. Plus, sometimes our brains trick us into thinking we're hungry when we really just need some good ol' H2O.

There you have it! You don’t need to make a quinoa stir-fry and portion it out and pray that it makes it through security. Unless you want to, of course. And if you’re lucky, you might find something better than Chex Mix via the Hudson News in your terminal.

 Shoutout Chicago O'Hare.

Shoutout Chicago O'Hare.

 What are your favorite travel snacks? Share! 👇

plane oatmeal