Zero waste & Vegan Traveling
My husband and I travel around the Czech Republic a lot, both for work reasons and to visit our families as much as we can. Most of the time we stay with our relatives, but sometimes we stay in small guest houses or apartments.
When we are not staying with relatives, we have more freedom to bring the food and items we want to use, because after we started thinking more about what we eat, use, and how we care for the planet, we also began following these practices while traveling.
Of course, what you bring depends on what your demands and interests are as a traveler.
If you don’t mind drinking bagged tea for the convenience, or eating plain dry rolls for the price, then this article might not be for you. On the other hand, if you love quality food, you enjoy drinking tea, and want some ideas about how to keep up your lifestyle while traveling, then keep reading; we are on the same path!
My husband and I mostly travel in our car, so we have the advantage of shopping ahead of time and packing the supplies we want.
Three of our absolute travel staples are fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Among our other essentials are:
We bring a fork, knife, and spoon for each of us. Because we bring our own utensils everywhere we go, we can avoid the single-use, plastic cutlery that many places offer. You can also easily bring your regular cutlery from home.
Our favorite kind to use at home or on the go is wooden cutlery. We have learned through our travels to always prepare for unexpected situations, and sometimes we don’t know where we’ll be eating one meal to the next. By packing our cutlery along with us, I can even prepare bread and jam right in the car.
2. Container with a lid.
We always bring a container or two with us so we can fill them with food when we have a chance to prepare some, or to fill up with a meal in a local vegan shop or restaurant. Additionally, we always bring tortillas (my favorite snack!) in a container when we start the journey, then use the containers as we travel.
We absolutely cannot leave the house without a thermos. We each bring one when we travel, accompanied by a package of loose tea. Loose tea is preferable to bagged tea, because it’s usually much better quality and it is low or zero waste. In the winter we also bring ginger root and simply chop a piece off for tea when we want it.
4. Rice cooker.
I’ve written it before, I’ve written it in my e-book, and I’ll write it again. A Rice Cooker is the best helper! Whether you stay at a friend’s house or a guesthouse/apartment, you can simply throw some ingredients in, and the rice cooker takes care of everything. The best part is that the food cooking inside never burns!
It’s also not only for cooking rice, as the names suggests. We use it for soups and cooking lentils or grains as well. Some of the things I put in the rice cooker most often are buckwheat, red lentils, vegetables, whole grain rice, millet, and even oatmeal. All of which are easy things to pack while traveling, or readily available at most bulk shops.
While traveling, it’s really handy to have a few of your favorite spices, especially if you don’t know where or what you’ll be eating next. In our case, the most important travel spices are provencal herbs, turmeric, black salt, and nutritional yeast. When we go on a longer trip, I bring more spices so we have variety.
6. Tote bags & jars.
We always prepare for shopping trips when we’re traveling, and when we can go shopping, we look for bulk shops. If we’re unlucky finding bulk shops, we choose local organic shops or farmer’s markets and use our own totes and jars.
One final tip:
I have never had a problem getting hot water for my thermos, even in a gas station or restaurant. I always ask politely, and people are usually fine with it. My trick is to mix water of different temperatures in the thermoses, so you have one that you can drink right away and one that is still hot when you want it later.
I hope you find this useful!
Have many pleasant gastronomic travel experiences,
Translation with the help of Ellie Farrier