Surviving Long Plane Flights as a Vegan
Travelling is amazing, there's no doubt about it. Getting on a plane in one place, and stepping off a few hours later on the other side of the world, in a completely different culture, climate and time zone still blows my mind every time!
But long flights are also exhausting, and not only is having enough food to eat important to keep you energised and fuelled, but eating is also a great way to make time fly by just a little quicker (literally)!! At the moment, I'm in beautiful Switzerland on a family holiday. Being from Switzerland, I visit my family there as often as I possibly can, usually every one to two years. Every time that's an 18 hour plane flight and over 30 hours in travel time. One way. So food definitely is a necessity!
As a vegan, sometimes it can be tricky to find plant based food, especially when you're 40 000 feet up in the air and your options are limited. So here I've put together some of the ways I survive these long journeys as a vegan and I hope you'll find them helpful for your next adventure!
1. Order a Vegan Meal
Every airline I've travelled with offer a whole range of different 'special meals' for a whole range of different dietary conditions and preferences, which is really great! Even better is that these special meals are often much better than the normal meals, because let's be honest, plane food isn't the best (bonus point is that you get your food earlier too if you order a special meal)! My whole family ordered vegan meals for the flight and meals included dishes like vegan eggplant parmigiana, ravioli with tomato sauce, crackers, fresh fruit and even soy milk!
You can select your meal preference when you book your flight or when you manage the booking online, just make sure you do this at least 48 hours before your flight to be safe.
2. Bring your own food
This is my favourite thing to do because it ensures that you'll have delicious food on your flight and don't have to worry about finding vegan food. Bringing plenty of snacks is a great way to keep your energy levels up and also pass the time on a long flight!
Thankfully, you can bring food onto the flight, just make sure you eat it all if you're travelling to a country with strict immigration laws, or you'll have to throw it out when you arrive! Also make sure it's not something liquidy, like soup, because you wouldn't be able to take that on the plane. This time around I brought a container filled with homemade bircher muesli and one filled with my Sweet Potato and Bean Chilli, as well as baked Japanese sweet potatoes. Eating was the highlight of my flight, I'm not gonna lie.
Some snack ideas to bring on the plane are baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, dried fruit, nuts or trail mix, dry cereal, oats, homemade banana bread or other baked goods, fruit, veggie sticks or crackers/rice cakes with hummus or nut butter, veggie sushi, rice paper rolls, veggie patties, muesli bars or bliss balls.
3. Drink enough water
So this isn't specific to vegans but I thought I'd include it anyway! I find it makes such a huge difference on long plane flights when you stay hydrated.
Air conditioning on planes and being in a room with so many people for such a long time can really dry out your skin and lead to dehydration, even if you aren't doing much. I used to always get cracked lips, headaches and painfully dry skin on my flights, but since I started to consciously put an effort in to drink more water, I feel so much better!
As you aren't allowed to take more than 100mL of liquid onto most flights, I always take an empty water bottle with me onto the plane, which I just keep filling up at the tap once I'm the plane. I find this also makes your recover from the long journey much quicker!
4. Don't be afraid to ask!
Never be afraid to speak up and ask for something if you need it! You can usually ask for pieces of fresh fruit, water, tea, fruit juice and more at anytime during your flight. Air hostesses are always more than happy to bring you whatever you need to make you feel more comfortable on your flight, so if you'd like some food or a drink, just ask!
I hope you'll find these tips helpful for your next adventures and making those long flights a little more bearable! If you have any other tips of your own on surviving those long plane flights as a vegan, I'd love to hear them!
Happy travels! xx