A funny question (well, to me, anyway) rolled into my inbox the other day: “What do vegans eat when they travel?” My gut response was, well, almost anything! Everything but animal products?
Traveling as a vegan is something I do in my sleep; I don’t even think twice about it, but I know that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. Especially if you’re a newbie vegan or maybe you’re not vegan but someone you love is, and you’re trying to support their journey (super cool, by the way, if that is you).
Wherever you are in your vegan journey, I am here to support you, including recommending the best vegan travel snacks no matter if you’re camping, taking a road trip, or traveling by plane! Years ago, when the vegan landscape was a little more barren, I used to pack a massive snack bag (seriously, it was so hefty that security had to scan it separately)! Today, I don’t pack my entire pantry, but I usually bring at least a few things, just in case!
Even if I know that the destination that I am visiting has excellent options, I always want to have a few snacks on hand in case my flight gets delayed, my special vegan plane meal is missed, or we’re driving and hit a massive back up — it’s always good to be prepared.
So, if you’re looking for a few recommendations for tasty vegan treats and snacks to slip into your bag, you’ve come to the right place! Oh, and I’ve also included a lineup of items that I always pack to help avoid digestive upset — travel can really throw things off!
Oh, and if you’re curious, the chips and soda in the main image are from a fun weekend I spent in Madison, Wi!
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The Best Vegan Travel Snacks to Slip into Your Bag
Vegan Protein & Granola Bars
Highlights: All of the bars are organic, vegan & gluten-free; there are also soy-free, nut-free, and FODMAP-friendly options.
These bars are a regular in our pantry and are terrific for travel because they are compact — no worries about them getting smashed and turning into a pile of crumbs. They come in many delicious flavors (the sunflower butter and oatmeal chocolate chip are my favorites) and types like protein bars, kid’s bars, and minibars.
#2 Munk Pack
Highlights: All of the bars and protein cookies are vegan and gluten-free.
I love grabbing a Munk Pack cookie for a long plane ride, they’re one of my favorite vegan travel snacks. They are a heartier treat packed with plant-based protein and fiber to help keep you fuller longer. Generally, plane breakfasts aren’t great (especially if you’re vegan and gluten-free, like me), so I always try and hold out eating my Munk Pack cookie until then.
#3 Misfits Bars
Highlights: All of the bars are vegan and gluten-free
For a little pick-me-up, check out these sweet-themed protein bars — Dark Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Cookie Butter, and more!
Highlights: All of the bars are organic, vegan, and gluten-free
If you enjoy the superpowers of mushrooms, you’ve got to check out these adaptogenic bars! There are four flavors, each enhanced with a different shroom — Lion’s Mane (focus), Chaga (immunity), Reishi (balance), and Cordyceps (energy) — each enhancement can all be beneficial when traveling!
#5 LUPii Bars
Highlights: All of the bars are vegan, gluten-free, and enhanced with Lupini beans.
These little bars are packed with 3x the protein of eggs, 3x the fiber of oats, and all nine amino acids thanks to the Lupini bean! The bars are made with minimal ingredients; I promise they don’t taste like beans!
Highlights: All of the bars are nut-free, vegan, and gluten-free
If you need to skip nuts, check out these seed-packed bars! They have a variety of seed and oat bars and protein bars in tasty flavors like oatmeal chocolate chip and dark chocolate sea salt. In addition to bars, they also have Seed’nola — a seedy granola that is great for road trips (but beware, it’s hard not to eat the whole bag in one sitting).
Highlights: Vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free protein powder.
If I am doing a lot of running or think breakfast in the morning might be tough, I will pack protein powder and a shaker bottle. In addition to Sunwarrior, I also really like the shroom enhanced protein blend from OM, and it’s not terrible with just water (tasty tip: get cold coffee, either make it in your room and leave it in the fridge or go get one and mix it with the powder — It tastes so much better).
Vegan Travel Snacks & Treats
Now that you’re covered on the protein and granola bar front let’s talk about other snacks and TREATS! You can’t travel without a treat, can you? All of these treats are perfect no matter if you’re camping or taking a long flight.
#8 Nut Mix
This feels pretty self-explanatory — you can make it yourself or purchase a mix. If you’re traveling during the summer, I would be careful adding chocolate to the mix; you could end up with a tasty mess. In addition to a nutty mix, I also really like the salt and vinegar pistachios from Wonderful.
#9 Crunchy Chickpeas
You could make these yourself, but mine are never as crunchy or delicious as the ones from Saffron Road. They have a variety of flavors, but I think the Korean BBQ is pretty top-notch.
While I like chickpeas, I love Fava Beans, especially crunchy ones! These beans are such a crowd-pleaser that I used to bring a box to share with co-workers (back in the day when I had a regular 9 to 5). I suggest trying all of the flavors — there wasn’t one that I didn’t like.
Popcorn is always a solid snacking choice, and Lesser Evil makes one of my favorite kinds — Himalayan Gold. If you miss movie theatre-style buttered popcorn, you must try this! You can also create a snack box (for variety) or get them in snacking sizes!
We used to be a part of their jerky of the month club, which made it handy to grab a bag for the road, but they discontinued it! Thankfully, you can still buy a variety pack online. Jerky makes a great snack that isn’t messy and travels well. My favorite flavor is the Smoky Carolina BBQ.
If you have a sweet tooth, these are for you! This lineup of cookies and brownies is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and free of the top 11 allergens (in addition to traveling, they’re also ideal for school lunches). You can get a treat variety pack or get a bunch of just one kind!
These oat-based bars are great for long travel days, hiking, or any high-energy activity. The original oat bars are tasty and filling, but I really love their newer stuff’d bars — specifically the chocolate chip peanut butter bar.
If it’s not always easy to take whole fruit with you, That’s It Bars are a great replacement. The dehydrated fruit bars are made only with a mix of different fruit like mango, apples, blueberries, and more. Also, it’s a good hiking or running snack.
These veggie chips are made with chickpeas, rice, peas, and black beans and are great out of the bag or dipped in hummus. They are a better road trip snack than a plane snack because they could get smashed into smithereens in your bag.
Heartier Travel Vegan Snacks or Light Meals — Perfect for Camping
Snacks are great and all, but what if you need something a little more substantial? These three items travel very well and will keep you going!
There are a mountain of oatmeal options that are perfect in the morning or if you’re in a pinch (it’s been my lunch before too). I really like the Gluten Free Bar’s oatmeal line because they add seeds and Fava Bean protein powder to it, and it comes in an easy-to-use pop-up container. This is really handy when you’re on the run and can’t find a cup or bowl to mix it in.
#18 Peanut Butter & Jelly
It doesn’t matter if it’s for a school lunch or on an airplane; a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is tasty, healthy, and convenient! I’d recommend making these before you hit the road and wrapping them up or putting them in Tupperware (the Tupperware can prevent them from being smooshed). It’s also an ideal sandwich option because it doesn’t require refrigeration.
#19 Walking Tamales
The tamale lineup from Filo’s is a new addition to my travel arsenal! While they are best warmed up, the individually wrapped tamales are perfectly tasty right out of the container. They also don’t require refrigeration and aren’t messy.
Important Beverages & Beverage Accessories
I really like coffee, and it’s always a bummer if my hotel room doesn’t have a coffee maker or a café isn’t within easy access. On top of that, there’s the bigger bummer of no oat milk! Well, not anymore! These are all especially great if you’re on a road trip or camping.
#20 Coffee Creamer
I stayed at an Airbnb in LA, and the host left me powdered vegan coffee creamer — I was blown away because I had never had a host provide a plant-based option, and I didn’t know powdered creamer options existed! A stellar oat-based option is JOI — they have a sweetened creamer and an oat milk powder!
#21 Instant Coffee Powder
Ok, now that we’ve got the creamer taken care of, we’ve got to talk about coffee! Instant coffee isn’t my favorite thing, but it works when you’re in a jam! Nescafe has a decent instant espresso that is pretty smooth; I’ve had it with oat milk and without and didn’t hate every minute of it.
#22 Instant Coffee Mushroom Powder
For my shroomy friends, OM and Four Sigmatic have mushroom-enhanced instant coffee powders that are pretty good. They are nowhere near as strong as the Nescafe espresso but great for an all-around energy boost.
I think this is one of those things that’s often overlooked when we’re packing — you don’t need to be going on an epic hike to need electrolytes! Staying hydrated can help fight jet lag and give you a boost if you’re feeling kinda meh. My favorite brand is Ultima — I’ve liked all of their flavors (especially grape) and they sell it in handy packets or a little tub.
#24 Portable Blender
I know this isn’t a food option, but it can make you something! Someone recently shared with me that they really wanted to travel with their blender, and I said absolutely not, but then I remembered someone I met at a conference had one of these handy, USB/battery-operated portable blenders!
This petite guy is perfect for your own personal smoothie and, when fully charged, can make between 15 – 20 cups. It can crush small ice cubes, but I would be careful to overload it with a ton of frozen fruit and ice; I think it’s best if you stick to fresh fruit and veggies.
One note, I think this is an excellent option for a road trip but not a plane trip unless you’re checking baggage. Because of the blades, I don’t think security would be happy to find this in your carry-on.
Bonus: Digestive Helpers
Let’s face it; travel can really mess up your digestion — time zone changes, richer food consumption, routine disruption — it can all spell disaster. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at finding balance while traveling, but there are still times when things go sideways (or I want to prevent them from going sideways). That’s why I always pack this lineup of digestive helpers (I should probably add the disclaimer that these things can help with normal digestion, and of course, I’m not a doctor — if you have serious digestive issues, please consult a doc).
This one always gets people’s attention! Yes, I really do pack fennel seeds! These little seeds have been used for centuries worldwide and have been praised for a long list of benefits, one of them being digestive support. Fennel has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe irritation in the intestines and even relieve gas, constipation, and acid reflux.
I like to chew the seeds, but some people really don’t love the flavor (it tastes like licorice); if that’s you, try fennel tea!
Digestive enzymes can help break down complex carbs, fats, proteins, and gluten. I am sensitive to gluten and a few other things, so sometimes when I eat out, I will take one of these before my meal just in case there is something in a dish that could cause irritation like gas or bloating.
Probiotics can help balance the good bacteria in your gut, which can help with digestion, immunity, and more. But it’s essential to take them regularly (if you’re at risk of a weakened immune system due or critical injury, talk to your doctor first), not just when you’re going to travel. For a great overview of the benefits of probiotics, check out this article from the Cleveland Clinic.
Ginger has long been hailed for its health benefits, especially with digestion and nausea support. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Gingerol, a natural component of ginger root, benefits gastrointestinal motility ― the rate at which food exits the stomach and continues along the digestive process. Eating ginger encourages efficient digestion, so food doesn’t linger as long in the gut.” Also, I haven’t tried these but am interested in the lemon ginger lozenges from Traditional Medicinals.
There are a ton of herbal teas and tea blends that can help soothe an angry stomach, like peppermint, ginger, fennel, dandelion, and many more. I like the Stomach Ease blend from Yogi and the Traditional Medicinals Gas Relief blend. One note, if you have acid reflux symptoms stay away from peppermint; it can actually make the symptoms worse because it relaxes a muscle in the esophagus, according to the folks at Mount Sinai.
Vegan Snack Wrap Up: Other Travel Help
Now that you know what vegan travel snacks you’re going to pack for your next camping or plane adventure, you might need some some other help! Whether you’re looking for destination guides or trip tips, we’ve got it! Check out these other guides and articles for planning inspiration.
The Best Iceland Vegan Guide: Where to Stay & Eat
The Best Vegan Pizza Spots in NYC
A Vegan’s Guide to One Day in San Francisco
The Ultimate Guide to Vegan-Friendly All Inclusive Resorts
Paris Vegan Guide: Restaurants, Sights, Hotels, & More
The Ultimate LA Vegan Guide: Where to Eat, Shop, & Explore
How to Travel Only with a Carry-On
TrustedHousesitters Review: The Pros and Cons from a Pet Sitter
The Best Vegan Shampoo Bars to Use
Is It Ethical to Swim with Dolphins?