This year I’ve been traveling, a lot. Business adventures, camping in Colorado and family road trips across the country. After a few I realized my packing became more and more efficient. Only taking what I truly needed and really making an effort to only invest in quality items that I can use and reuse for a longer period of time. Which plays a big part in my new found minimalist approach to life this past year. I find that less stuff generally equals less stress. It’s humbling, really.
So I’ve compiled a quick guide of a few things I’m loving for travel, the essentials I pack and a few suggestions on traveling as a vegan. This is the time to make use of your smart phone, and when I say “quick” I actually mean I’ve been working on this post for months and it’s kind of embarrassing how long it took me to finally edit it.
I found it challenging finding content on this topic. Most posts focused on the types of food to bring. I really wanted to share actual brands that create vegan-friendly products and the value behind investing in quality as opposed to convenience.
Now I understand if you’re not able to purchase $200 bags, or you have no interest in doing so ever. My main point with this is to spread the message of buying ethically sourced/higher quality products and living simpler by reducing the excess of repurchasing cheaper alternatives, i.e. – sustainably sourced materials and less plastic. Quality not quantity, I’d rather save and invest in a few products that can last me a lifetime as opposed to repurchasing cheaper alternatives that wear out faster. Which is something very common when it comes to traveling. It’s a very plastic-heavy system that can be remedied with a few alternatives and some planning ahead.
I am very privileged, I acknowledge that I have access to things that many may never have. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to try new things and share my thoughts with all of you on here. Please know it’s never my intention to show off or brag about my possessions. This is merely a guide for inspiration.
I by no means am perfect. Trust me. Not everything I have or use in my life is all recyclable or biodegradable, but I’m always pushing myself to find new ways to cut things out or replace with a sustainable solution. I urge you to do the same. This is coming from someone that use to wrap each individual piece of fruit at the supermarket with a plastic bag and went through tampons like they were batteries. I’m happy to share that I now use reusable produce bags made of a mesh cloth and my Diva Cup is the greatest reusable menstrual product I’ve ever introduced into my life. Seriously, it’s life changing. I swear by it and have for over two years now. Talk about saving serious cash and cutting down on tons of landfill pollution. Check it out if you’re curious! It’s an essential for me when traveling, but if you’re not ready for a cup just yet – might I suggest organic over conventional? At least you’re removing the harsh chemicals, no one needs that on their parts. Alas, I digress as usual.
Tips For Vegan Travel
1. Always Bring a Snack
Maybe you’re passing through states, on the way to more vegan-friendly cities or you’re flying to a new airport that’s not accommodating. Keep a protein bar on hand! Always have enough food with you to get you through a day of traveling. Bars, nuts, seeds, bananas, quinoa, you name it. Refrain from liquids if you’re flying though. Opt for a reusable water bottle and fill up after passing through security. On the plane you can ask for a refill in place of a single use plastic cup as well. It’s worth including that packing a set of bamboo utensils and a reusable straw comes in handy too! I highly recommend To-go Ware & CocoStraws.
2. Cruelty-Free Toiletries in Carry On
When packing, make sure to follow the TSA guidelines and stick to small bottled products. I believe under 3.4 ounces is still the limit. Pack them in your carry on so you’re able to get to things easier. Gum, cosmetics, hand sanitizer, facial mist, etc. You want to have your vegan alternatives close by to avoid having to use animal-based options. I personally use a smaller bag for easy grabbing on the go. Loving my Pixie Mood cork cosmetic cases, they go along with my luggage nicely and they’re easy to find so I don’t have to dig around forever looking for what I need.
3. Download Apps
If you have a smartphone, I highly recommend downloading the following apps: HappyCow, VeganXpress & Is This Vegan? – all will help you navigate through new and/or unfamiliar items, to find vegan restaurants, products and more. It’s an easy way to get pertinent information as quickly as possible and you’re bound to find something wherever you go/are.
4. Social Media Research
Instagram is a great resource for connecting with other vegans and exploring vegan restaurants in the area you’re visiting. Take advantage of it! Scope out the menu ahead of time, message local vegans to meet-up and/or browse pages to get an idea of what they have to offer. I love discovering interesting new restaurants and creeping on their IG to see what, if any, daily specials they’re offering. Sometimes you’ll get a great deal if you plan ahead and at the very least you can meet an online friend in person. Some of my very best friends were made on IG. It’s a great resource or learning and connecting with like-minded individuals.
I’m one of those people that never ever checks a bag. Blame it on losing luggage in the past, but if I can avoid it I will always opt for a carry-on. Which does make traveling more difficult if you’re using two large bags (personal & carry on), however it usually saves money depending on the airline you’re flying and a little piece of mind knowing it’s not being tossed around and possibly lost in transit to your final destination(s).
Luckily I have my gorgeous cork luggage bags for any trip away. They’re incredibly durable, water-resistant and naturally dyed using plant-based ingredients. I have to include that because I’m seriously blown away by the quality of Eve’s products. I scored a huge deal buying during a 40% off sale. People always compliment them too, so it’s an exciting conversation starter. I’ll link below the bags I’ve purchased, as well as all of the other items I mention in this post. Leave any questions if you’re curious on learning more about something specific I’ve shared.
I personally don’t travel for more than a couple of weeks so it’s manageable to only pack within the two allowed bags most airlines grant you. You can of course pack standard sized bottles when checking your luggage though. It’s personal preference if you decide to go that route.
My essentials in my personal carry on fluctuate between seasons and where I’m going. But the base is always the same. I use the largest size allowed for a bag, which is the Eve Cork Tote and it usually leaves enough room to add items later on if desired. Like airport snacks. Inside I pack a smaller bag, purse or my Canopy Verde Backpack to use day to day for holding my wallet, glasses, water bottle and/or anything I’m purchasing. I always carry a spray to mist my face with and a facial oil. My skin gets really dry when flying or leaving the state in general. Definitely recommend carrying something close to you to help keep hydrated internally and externally – chapped lips are no fun!
I need to have something to do if it’s going to be a long flight, so I give myself options. Grabbing a book I’m currently reading, headphones to listen to my favorite Spotify playlist (offline), a mini iPad loaded with a few favorite movies and a notebook for any writing or brainstorming. I know that’s high maintenance, I get really anxious flying and traveling in general so it helps me stay calm having options. Which is also why I bring along my calming essential oils and a homeopathic stress relieving tablet from Genexa. If you also struggle with anxiety and it’s worse when traveling, I can’t recommend that combo enough. Give yourself a few safe options, practice your breathing and when in doubt – close your eyes. You know when I’m really stressed if I opt for wearing my sunglasses. But that’s my way of “hiding” and it’s been a security blanket of mine for as long as I can remember.
What’s in my Bag!
Eve Products Preston Duffle (Black), Eve Cork Terra Duffle (Red), Pixie Mood Daisy Cosmetic Case (Geometric Tribal, large & small), Canopy Verde Convertible Backpack Tote (Olive Green), LSTN Wireless Headphones (Zebra Wood), Well Scent Essential Oils (Watch Your Mouth & Protect), Monq Personal Essential Oil Diffuser (Healthy, Vibrant & Zen), Genexa Stress Relief, Diva Cup, Travel-Friendly Snacks (GoMacro & Square Bars), Reusable Water Bottle, Cocoon Grid-It Organizer, iPad Mini, Macbook Laptop, Cruelty-Free Vegan Makeup (Juice Beauty, Pacifica, Meow Meow Tweet, E.L.F Cosmetics, Cocokind Skincare).