Monday 28 January 2019

Vegan Road Trip, USA

vegan road trip

Planning a road trip is exciting and, more often than not, feels freer than planning a trip without a car - no need to book trains in advance or be restricted by strange, early bus times. Like in many areas of life, being vegan can add another layer of complications - it's one thing to eat vegan at home but what if you're in the middle of nowhere and there are no vegan friendly places? I've got you covered with this vegan road trip USA guide!

Are Road Trips Even Vegan?

First things first, are road trips even vegan? Is having a car even vegan? Two reasons stand out as to whether owning a car is vegan or not: firstly, cars tend to come clad in leather (leather is not vegan), but don't worry, there are a few non-leather cars out there for vegans.

vegan road trip usa

Secondly, I kind of feel like driving a car and polluting the environment generally isn't very vegan. Many people become vegan for environmental reasons (e.g. livestock farming contributes 18% of greenhouse emissions worldwide), so driving a car seems like a step backwards, but, as veganism is defined as "a person who does not eat or use animal products", vegans are off the hook.

top vegan friendly cities in us

If you want my opinion (and as I'm a leo moon I've no doubt that you do), the most we can do is try our best. Many find veganism is like opening pandora's box and it can be overwhelming to try and fight animal agriculture, global warming, plastic pollution and more all at once. You can find yourself stood in a supermarket not able to buy anything - sure this thing is labelled vegan but it's covered in plastic, contains palm oil and has been fossil fuel flown over from God knows where. Give yourself a break, literally, go on the vegan road trip. Maybe just opt for an eco-friendly car, not a gas-guzzler:

Hot Tips for Vegan Road Trips

Many of these vegan road trip tips are pretty much useful worldwide:

#1. Plan your meals ahead of time

Work out which vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants you'd like to go to and for which meals. Personally, I plan my days around my meals because I'm a gannet, but this is a useful skill for a vegan - don't be caught out and start to get hangry when you've just started looking for food, that's not going to end well.

#2. Pack snacks

You have a car, utilise it and fill it with your favourite vegan snacks (I recommend at least one seat of snacks per 5 miles but, again, I'm a gannet).

#3. Pack your kitchen

Working on that car-space track, fill your vehicle with handy kitchen utensils. There aren't many meals you can make in a hotel that just has a kettle, but if you bring along a knife and plate - boom you can make sandwiches. Extra points if you pack your food processor and make your own hummus.

#4. Boss out at breakfast

If you're staying in hotels, opt for ones that advertise vegan breakfasts - support those unsung heroes. But that's not going to be possible all the time, either because budget won't allow it or simply there are no vegan friendly breakfast hotels around. For these, I recommend inquiring about vegan options at check-in (not actually at breakfast when it'll be too late for them to cater to you if it's a possibility). Ask if they can switch butter for olive oil and milk for non-dairy milks (if they're not willing to provide this, bring your own).

Vegan Road Trip: Top Vegan-friendly Cities in the US

Vegan San Francisco

top vegan friendly cities in us

San Francisco is a vegan's dream with many vegan restaurants to chose from. I had the best mock tuna sandwich of my entire life there. I also found the custom service in restaurants to be impeccable. When I mentioned in a non-vegan restaurant that I was vegan, they bent over backwards to find things I could eat.

Vegan Los Angeles

vegan friendly cities in usa

Los Angeles has over 80 vegan restaurants. 80! It's also the perfect pit stop between San Francisco and Las Vegas:

Vegan Las Vegas

best cities for vegans usa

What Vegas lacks in culture and class, it more than makes up for with good vegan food. I had the most incredible vegan sushi here, it was actually better than fishy sushi (obvs), and it was better than the vegan sushi I found in Japan! Yey Vegas.

Vegan New York

New York, one of the best places for foodies on the planet (and one of the only places in the world where you can find authentic cuisine from all corners of the planet). New York is a must stop on any vegan road trip USA. 

Vegan Portland

If I had a dollar for every time someone had recommended Portland to me I'd have like, five dollars. Seriously though, Portland has a reputation as a vegan haven and what can you expect from a city that's ruled by environmentalists and hipsters?

Vegan Road Trip Routes

With no language barrier for English speaking people and freedom to cross great stretches of land without an extra visa (aka you can cross state lines easily unlike in Asia/ South America/ Africa / some places in Europe), the possibility of road trip routes are almost endless, here are a few helpful websites to help you plan:

Vegan Road Trip Essentials

It's extremely important to have AAA or some other form of roadside assistance in case of emergencies, this kind of thing is not my thing, but luckily someone else wrote a blog post for us: roadside assistance or AAA. If you're stuck looking for a vegan restaurant in the USA (or indeed, anywhere worldwide) Happy Cow is your saviour. You can find vegan or vegan friendly restaurants everywhere with them.

  • Car cooler: essential for keeping your vegan products cool on the road - yes, even though we don't have to worry about dairy/meat products going bad, if you're travelling to some of the hot-hot destinations in the USA, you'll still want to keep your stuff cold. 
  • Jumper cables: something that's so easy to forget but so essential when you need it! And takes no space at all.  
  • Car kits: if, like me, you like to be prepared for the worst, take a car kit. You may want to extend this to having an emergency kit for yourself too (bandages etc).

Wrap Up: Vegan Road Trip, USA

So there you have it, I hope these tips for a vegan road trip in the USA were useful, let me know in the comments below or on Facebook/Instagram if you have any more tips you think I should add. Here's a video we made of our road trip in the USA, enjoy :)

P.S.: If you're interested in an app designed for vegans & wanna support the vegan movement and us, veganvstravel as well, use this link plz to download Abillionveg. When registering, please use our referral code: TRAVELLINGWEASELS. If you wanna know why we think this is a great app, read here.

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