The Thanksgiving holiday heralds the beginning of Holiday Pig-Out season; but before many of us can sink into the warm bosom of our dysfunctional families, noshing relentlessly on one decadent morsel after another, many will have to navigate airports…and vegans and airports generally do NOT get along.
Airports are loaded with lousy food choices, but it can be especially frustrating for vegans. Finding vegan food options in the normal hustle and bustle of our daily lives can seem like a game of “Where’s Waldo”; but for the Travelling Vegan it can seem like the search for the Holy Grail.
And you thought getting past the TSA screener without a full body cavity search was rough!
The good news for vegans is that there are things we can control: like making sure to pack bags of nuts or figs to tide us over when we feel the blood sugar running low. You know, right about the time the Dad with the three screaming kids with runny noses sits down next to you and asks if he can share your power port while you wait to board.
Yet another option is to load carry-on bags or attaches with yummy vegan snacks that will have fellow passengers giving you the stink-eye in envy.
If it’s for the flight, or you are travelling on business and don’t know what corporate buffet is going to be lavished on you when you arrive, then it’s always fun to pack two sandwiches made of meatless chicken nuggets on vegan whole wheat bread or hummus and tomato slices.
Simply wrap them in aluminum foil (the TSA will thank you), chill overnight, and then slip the belly bomb into a baggie to keep them fresh en route. Still another idea that will keep you from chewing on your seatback on the flight is to carry a small tote with a insulated compartment. They are easy to transport, and can hold apples, oranges, bananas, and a variety of vegan puddings.
Attaches, fanny packs and purses can be cleverly loaded down with raw veggie snacks such as broccoli, carrots or cauliflower. If it’s baked goods you crave, think ahead and be prepared with vegan cookies or cupcakes.
For even the best prepared vegans, all bets are off if you’ve chowed all of your best planned snacks before you arrive at the terminal. Airports are merciless and respect not your health. One need only take in the artery-busting offerings from McDonalds, Chilis, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Starbucks, Aunt Annies and Cinnabon to know you’re a stranger in a strange land.
And don’t forget to stay hydrated! Thankfully there are a variety of beverage offerrings throughout airports that can tide you over when you fill up on them out of desperation if there is nothing else.
So if you happen to be the type of traveler who likes to pack light and carry lean, then it might be wise to have a good, enjoyable vegan meal before heading out the door to the airport. Either way, with forethought, planning and a limitless reserve of patience, you’ll be able to keep your vegan on while heading home for the holidays.
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