How to pack a vegan suitcase (dog not included)

Packing Your Vegan Suitcase

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It’s time to hit the road!  At least for me…  I’m off to Santorini, Greece tomorrow and naturally I haven’t finished packing!  I have, however, started packing my ‘vegan essentials’.  A good vegan traveller always brings nutritional yeast with them, right?  Or maybe that’s just me…  Here’s what’s in my vegan suitcase!  What are your must-haves?


Yep, this is totally going in my bag.  We’re renting a small studio apartment with a little kitchen, so we have the option of cooking if a) everything shuts on Sunday (I suspect it might) b) we’re hungry between 2 and 6pm (apparently this is siesta time and literally everything is shut) c) we don’t feel like eating out and want something cheaper and/or healthier.  Naturally, a staple of my vegan kitchen is nutritional yeast.  For toast, pasta, in soups, on popcorn…the list could never end.  Well, except for cereal. I don’t put it on my cereal, even if the back of the carton suggests it (seriously, it does!).  My boyfriend, despite not being vegan and therefore being outside the usual nooch target market, has developed such a love for the stuff that I often catch him eating it by the teaspoonful straight out of the jar.  So it’s a big must have for our holiday kitchen, too!  I’ve ordered a jar for our trip.  Just hope he doesn’t eat it all in the first day!


Soy milk

I have a feeling this is going to be hard to come by in Santorini (although I could be wrong).  At any rate I always find it helpful to have a ‘starter carton’ for that first day when you arrive jetlagged to the apartment and really want a coffee but are feeling too exhausted to go to the supermarket.  I’ve packed two, just in case there aren’t any shops selling it in Santorini.  Although I have a feeling the two cartons (they’re just one liter) might not last long, which brings me to the next thing…


Powdered soy creamer

I picked this up in Prague at Bioobchod, a health food shop, for under a Euro per packet, and it’s come with me on all my travels since.  It seems like it will last forever until 2016 so I’ll just have to go back to Prague when I run out (or in 2016).  Perfect for taking to cafes with you, or when you run out of soy milk (see above).


Spice mix

Okay, so this one’s a little weird but I like to bring spice mix with me when I go on holiday.  If I’m only staying in an apartment for a couple of weeks, I don’t want to go all out stocking the kitchen, so usually I bring a spice mix with me (and just buy a bottle of olive oil when I get there and I’m ready to start cooking!).  Last year in Sicily I brought an Italian spice mix, and I’m doing the same even though I’m going to Greece because I’m hoping the Mediterranean flavours will still work, plus I always have Italian spice mix in the kitchen… Of course, if I find good, cheap spices there I might pick some more up!


Vegan sunscreen

I read that a bottle of sunscreen/sun cream costs 20 Euros on Santorini!  But I’m not worried because I was planning to bring some vegan sunscreen anyway.  Here’s my guide to the best vegan sunscreens.



I may have done a big chocolate order as soon as I found this new vegan chocolate shop the other day…  But it was also timely because I don’t expect I’ll encounter a lot of vegan desserts in Santorini and now I’ll have some vegan sweets to have after dinner if I fancy it. :)

What’s in your vegan suitcase?

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17 thoughts on “Packing Your Vegan Suitcase”

  1. If I’m staying in hostels I bring spices too! I really need to get some more powdered creamer, if not just for plane rides. I’ve taken to bringing tiny jars of alpro cream and it can get a little messy with the expansion and compression of air (but I guess I get to live up to the messy aspect of my blog title even at 30,000 feet).

  2. Perfect timing! I’m going to a small town in Texas for a couple days, and I’ve been contemplating what I can bring with me that will survive without a fridge yet still be healthy. I don’t normally travel with worries about food, but this town is ridiculously un-vegan so anything I bring has to sustain me as well.

    I’m definitely including chocolate though. Brilliant idea :)

    • That sounds tough Hannah, good luck! Will you have a kitchen where you’re staying or are you in a hotel? If you’ve got a kitchen there are these Indian spice mixes (I can’t remember the name) that you can buy in a lot of supermarkets, you could buy it before you go down and then make it there. It’s basically just a mix of different dried spices so you could totally make it yourself too! And it has instructions on the back of what ingredients you need to cook the spice mix with to make the dish; all the ingredients are pretty common ones, I think it’s just chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, cilantro (if you can’t find it then you could leave it out!), and lemon juice!

      If you’re in a hotel then I’d say bring a lot of stuff like Clif bars/lara bars (or make your own to bring), dried nuts and fruit. Also a weird suggestion – my mom has had some success making soup (you could bring a few cans of healthy soups with you) in a hotel coffee maker in her room!
      Good luck!

  3. Cleos – very, very good choice! I always take a jumbo packet of dry roasted peanuts out with me, because if I ever stuck without food in easy reach, a load of nuts and fruit isn’t the worst way to fill the gap!

  4. If i don’t have a kitchen, l bring nuts, cereal and milk. Usually almonds, Brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds. A few small soy milks so if I don’t have refrigeration I’m not worried about opening it.
    If I have a kitchen I bring the above plus spices N..yeast and gluten to make seitan.

  5. I’m headed towards a little backpack exploration of Patagonia with a friend. The hotel we booked for the first night already told me that they couldn’t provide bread that doesn’t contain eggs/butter/milk/beef fat (yes, in Argentina bread almost always has one or a few of these!). So I plan to pack some survival stuff, especially I’ve been thinking of making lentil-based savory powerhouse bars. Survival we said, yay!
    Nice travels to you all!

    • Good luck in Patagonia, Tamara! Argentina’s tricky but it’s doable, I hear it’s come on in recent years. (I was there in 2010 but people have told me it’s easier there than 5 years ago) Definitely make sure to pack some emergency food! Have a look too at coffeemaker recipes. I have a few in my new book, but there are some around the internet as well. If they have a coffeemaker you might be able to eat more than you think!

      Are you going to Ushaia? I remember reading an article about ‘the southernmost vegetarian restaurant in the world’, you should check it out if you are:

      Enjoy your travels!

  6. Cooking while traveling is definitely one thing ALL vegans must have in common (except for those nights when I eat bread and olives, haha!) I sometimes bring spices… but not always, because I often like to buy spice and tea blends while travelling to take home. I just got back from Bonaire and discovered something called Tropicál it was so good I bought a second jar because the one used over two weeks was almost finished ;-) hahaha! Yes, I always bring my own non-dairy milk, and this time I also brought non-diary cheese (daiya!) which I was correct to guess was not available anywhere on the island ;-) haha!

    • Non-dairy cheese! Now that’s a good one. Did you have trouble keeping it cold enough, or was it a short enough flight it didn’t get warm? I love discovering new spice blends – did you figure out what spices are in the Tropicál blend? Maybe you can recreate it at home…! :)

  7. i don’t bring things with me cause these days you ( I ) get stopped and searched. so i don’t need the hassle. a lot of places like the USA and AUSTRALIA (i’m Canadian) has fruit and veg discard check points if your entering a new state. they have to be careful of bugs, etc. just like when you go hiking in the bush you should brush your boots off so you don’t carry any bad bugs to your next lush place and infect nature. same for boats/surf boards/canoes and carrying firewood for camp to camp. anyways they are good ideas but i would maybe carry a few store bought oat bars so they know its sealed and i didn’t add anything bad. i guess its more international flights i would worry about. i don’t want to be detained for carrying an apple or PB and J sandwich :( so not worth it. maybe that’s me :) i don’t like boarders

    • Great point, Rhonda. It’s definitely good to be careful with fruit and veg when crossing borders! If going abroad it’s best to bring sealed food. I’ve also heard of people having some trouble with cake or vegan cheese when entering a country that doesn’t allow dairy products across the border, because often they don’t believe it’s vegan. So when going abroad it’s always best to make sure the food is sealed and still has a label on it clearly stating it’s vegan!


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Caitlin Galer-Unti

Hi, I’m Caitlin and I’ve been vegan since 2008 and vegetarian my whole life. Since going vegan, I’ve lived in 4 countries and travelled to over 30! I’ve also published two bestselling vegan books (The Essential Vegan Travel Guide and The Barcelona Vegan Guide) and had my work featured in The New York Times, Vegetarian Food & Living and Vegan Life magazine. I’ve veganised my life and I’m here to help you design your life around your vegan values. 


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