Trying to plan a healthy spring break (or at the very least, a healthier one) this year? Spring break might conjure up images of unfettered hedonism, but you can have a healthy spring break. And here are some ideas how!
Healthy spring break: plane snacks
Whether you’re flying to Orlando or Cancun, order your meal from the airline at least 48 hours in advance. It’s best to book special meals at the same time you book your flight, and call 48 hours before your flight to double check it’s booked. Ask for VGML – it’s airline code for vegan vegetarian meal. You can ignore the sides – they’re usually not vegan. If your flight doesn’t include a meal, pack some healthy, portable snacks. Apples, nuts, carrots, or grapes make great options for plane food.
Think about drinks
It’s spring break – you’ll probably want a cocktail on the beach. But try getting the cocktail with fresh fruit, or alternating drinks with fresh-squeezed juice or a smoothie? This time of year fresh fruit is starting to come into season (especially the further south you go).
Don’t forget to check the listings on Barnivore.com to check whether your drink of choice is vegan-friendly (beer, wine and even some spirits may be filtered using animal products). You could also download an app that lists vegan drinks: Vegaholic ($1.99, iOS) or VegeTipple ($1.49, Android).
Most importantly, be sure to find vegan-friendly restaurants before you go. Happycow is a great site for finding vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants anywhere. Also try the Happycow app, $3.99, iOS and Android.
If you can’t find listings for your destination on Happycow (or just want extra tips), my book, The Essential Vegan Travel Guide, is here to help, showing you how to find vegan food anywhere in the world, no matter where you end up. Enter the giveaway before February 26th to win a copy.
On the road
Going on a road trip this spring break? Before you leave, look on Happycow and see what vegetarian and vegan restaurants you can hit up on your journey, but also look up vegan options at chain restaurants before you head off! That way, you won’t get caught out, even if you’re in the middle of nowhere. Download the app Vegan Xpress ($1.99, iOS), which lists vegan options at fast food and casual restaurant chains across the US.
Non-vegan travel companions
What if your travel partners aren’t interested in meat-free food? How can you still have a healthy spring break? Introduce them to plant-based dishes before you hit the road. Make them a delicious meal or take them to your favorite vegan restaurant. That way, when you’re on your trip, they’ll be more interested in trying out veggie places with you.
If they’re completely against even trying a vegetarian meal, just make sure to choose restaurants that cater to both of you and have plenty of vegan or easy-to-veganize dishes. For example, Indian (ask them to leave out ghee/dairy) or Chinese (make sure they leave out oyster sauce and animal-based broth) Indian (ask them to leave out the ghee/dairy) or pizza without cheese are all great options. For more advice on travel with non-vegans, check out The Essential Vegan Travel Guide. Enter the giveaway to win a free copy here.
Finally, if you want a healthy spring break that’s also a treat, consider spending your spring break at a vegan spa or retreat. Check out The Farm Retreat, a relaxing vegan retreat in the Philppines, Olive Retreat, a health and detox retreat in Spain and Thailand, or Yoga Detox Retreats, yoga, raw food and juice fast detox retreats in Portugal, Italy, Morocco and Turkey.