You’re probably here because you’ve had one too many extended layovers in an airport that wasn’t vegan-friendly, or listened to your stomach growls as your train ride soundtrack one too many times. Whatever your reason may be, let’s get you right with some simple vegan travel snack tips.
I’m not here with breaking news when I say that you can pack your own snacks, buy some specific vegan snacks in advance, or buy some on the road. Although our options on how to stock up are obvious, we all need a little reminder from time to time.
I’ve also listed out some of my favorite vegan snacks to purchase as well as some snacks that I avoid to make my travel snacking easier.
Pack Your Own
Maybe you have some fruit and veggies that will go bad while you’re out of town. Or maybe you’re just not trying to spend any more money after already breaking the bank for your trip ahead.
Whatever your reason may be, don’t knock packing your own snacks that you already have in your fridge! I won’t belabor the point and go into detail as if you don’t know what’s vegan in your own cabinets and refrigerator.
However, I will just point out a few of my favorite things to pack because they’re actually filling and travel well as well as some of my least favorite things to pack because they just don’t mix well with traveling.
- Items you can eat in whole – I just prefer to not have waste left over in my glassware after finishing my snacks. Who wants to have an avocado pit clanking around in their glassware and they transfer from airport to airport, then forget in their bag for 2 days
- Examples: Carrots and Hummus, Grapes, Nuts and Seeds
- Pre-cut fruits and veggies – Really, just cut up anything that your heart desires. Also not trying to have avocado remains rollin’ with you throughout your trip? Just cut it up in advance and toss it into your travel container. If you can cut it up and properly contain it, why not? I just wouldn’t recommend an extra juicy watermelon or something of the sort that could leak a lot of fluid into your bag.
- Items with juicy condiments – Saving a few dollars on snacks is not worth ruining your electronics, or fancy travel bags, for those of you that have checked out my Vegan Weekender Bag post (wink, wink if you haven’t). Therefore, I avoid juicy melons, as I mentioned above, and items like chips and salsa. Poutine fries might sound like a great idea until your keyboard is drowning in gravy. We all think it won’t happen to us… until it does. So in the words of Drake, “No, don’t do it. Please don’t do it.”
- Whole fruits with a pit or peelable skin – As I mentioned above, I just don’t like carrying a fruit and veggie graveyard around with me. I’ll either be clank-clankin’ around town, or even worse, forget about it just to smell it a day or two later decomposing in my bag.
- Examples: Whole avocado, mango, banana, etc.
- Extra crumby foods that inevitably leave a trail – I’m half joking, half serious with this category. It can be inconvenient to have a cluster of crumbs resting on your chest or in your lap as you travel, but at the end of the day, we gotta eat!
- Examples: Nature Valley Bars, pistachios, etc.
- Examples: Nature Valley Bars, pistachios, etc.
Purchase in Advance
I’m very much so that person that throws whatever they can fit into their carry-on 30 minutes before calling for a ride to the airport. From time to time though, I too dabble in the planned life of intentionally buying snacks in advance for my trips.
Some of My Favorites
Note: I currently live in the United States, so most of these items are typically available in the continental US, but might not be available elsewhere.
Also, before you come for me sayings “That’s not healthy!”, remember that I never said I was a health nut. I mean, just look at the types of food I post on my blog. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
- Hippeas White Cheddar Puffs
These definitely cost more than I’d usually like to pay for a snack, but whenever I buy them, I got no chill. I literally run right through them. I’ve started to see these at more locations, including some airport convenience stores.
Keep in mind that since I’m saying that they’re costly at a grocery store/market, you KNOW they cost an arm and a leg at the airport.
- Harvest Snaps
I also can’t help but eat a whole bag of these in one sitting. Although these are baked, I feel that they’re just as “greezy’ as potato chips.
So if you’re looking for a healthy snack check the nutritional value to confirm that these are right for you. As for me though, I’m gon buy them and they gon get ate!
- Sun Chips
An oldie, but goodie. Slightly sweet, slightly salty, all the way bomb! I feel like I can never go wrong with the original Sun Chips.
As I’m writing this though, I’ve realized that I’m more of a snacker than I realized. I can run through a bag of these in one sitting as well!
- Lara Bars
When it comes to snacks that have helped me survive without meals for long stretches of time, Lara Bars are the OG snack for me. They’re basically just a simple mixture of dates with some kind of nut blended in with them, so I guess they technically should go in the sweets section.
I’m just going to sit this right here though because as Auntie Tab would say, “because that’s my business”!
- Clif Bars
Eating Clif Bars have always made me feel like a legit backpacker or rock climber. While I’m neither of those, they’ve come in handy as a snack that can help bridge a long gap between meals
Maybe it’s just me, but I always have to have water handy when I eat these because they dry my mouth right on out! That being said, maybe consider another snack if you have a limited supply of water or if you’re not able to get to a bathroom as easily as usual.
- Belvita Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits
I’ve never been a big breakfast person, but apparently, Belvita Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits are a good way to start your day. Or at least they’re marketed as such. When I’m feelin’ fancy, I have paired them with coffee or tea, so I guess I may buy into the breakfast marketing.
I definitely buy into the hype of each serving containing 4 hours’ worth of nutrition, so I bring these along as a travel snack regardless of the time of day.
- Annie’s Fruit Snacks
Back in the day, I searched high and low for an organic vegan snack that I could bring to a 3rd-grade class for a volunteer event. I purchased multiple boxes Annie’s Fruit Snacks without even trying them, and those kids tore them thangs up!
Since then, I’ve been hooked and added them to my travel snack rotation when I want something sweet.
Call me an overgrown child. I don’t care. Uncrustables HIT when you’re traveling and need something filling and portable. Especially when you pair them with Lay’s potato chips! Unmatched!
Uncrustables low-key might be my absolute favorite when I know I won’t be able to eat for extended periods of time.
- Justin’s Nut Butter Packs
I personally don’t really like peanut butter by itself. Yes, I did just go off about how much I like Uncrustables, but I need the jelly to go with the peanut butter.
I included Justin’s Nut Butter Packs on this list though because these are very convenient and have definitely carried me through some long hikes when I had limited space to store snacks.
Purchase on the Run (Gas Station/Convenience Store)
As traveling vegans, we far too often find ourselves on the run without a vegan option in sight. In those situations, gas stations and convenience stores can be our best friends.
- Chip’s Fuego (if you’re in Guatemala or Mexico)
Hands down, THEE best chips that I’ve ever had are simply branded as Chip’s. I accidentally stumbled upon Chip’s Fuego during my travels in Guatemala. I even put my buddies from my Spanish class up on game and they started seeking them out too!
As I continued eating my way through Latin America, I realized that they have them in Mexico and Costa Rica too! Check out my Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala posts if you’ll be traveling through those countries and want more than just Chip’s to munch on!
But back to Chip’s though. They’re like Taki’s but on potato chips instead of corn chips. So if you like Takis and you’re in Central America, grab some to bring along for your travels!
- Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili (aka, “Purple Doritos”)
If you’re a vegan AND a Doritos fan, hopefully, you’ve been in the know about the “accidentally” vegan Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili. If not, go ahead and grab yourself a bag!
Typically, the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos are conveniently available at gas stations around the US. That makes it easy to grab a bag during a road trip or while on the way to catch your plane, train, etc.
- Lays Limon (or regular if you got hot sauce in your bag)
Another one of my go-to snacks has always been Lays potato chips, especially with hot sauce. If you like Lays and want to kick the flavor up a notch, try picking up some Lays Limon at a local gas station for your travels.
I won’t say that Lay’s are the most filling snack on the list, but sometimes I just want some flavor if I’m stuck on a flight with bland airline food, or even worse, NO VEGAN MEAL! In that cause, Lay’s Limon always comes through.
When I first went vegan, I shed a little thug tear when I realized that I couldn’t have Hot Cheetos anymore. Years later, some students that I tutored introduced me to Takis. They actually preferred Takis to Hot Cheetos!
I personally think they were trippin’, but Takis are a decent replacement for those that don’t eat Hot Cheetos anymore.
- Traditional Chex Mix
I’ve had many a debate about which components of Traditional Chex Mix are the best (and the worst). I stand by the my opinion that nothing hits like a well seasoned rye chip!
Regardless of whether you agree that the rye chip is the GOAT in this mixture, Traditional Chex Mix makes for a nice vegan travel snack. Gives you a filling snack with a little variety and lots of savory seasoning.
Oreos are literally one of the first “accidentally vegan” items that I learned about when I went vegan. I somehow survived off of dining hall cereal and a my dorm room stash of Oreos and Lays potato chips for a week until I could step my vegan game up!
To this day, I still grab me a pack of oreos for the road when I’m out and about and need a quick sweet vegan snack!
- Sour Patch Kids Watermelon
I specifically call out Sour Patch Kids Watermelon because don’t nobody want a lime Sour Patch Kid! Even though I refuse to buy the original pack specifically to avoid the lime flavor, there is a lime Sour Patch Kid on the front of the watermelon pack waving at you as a reminder that they ain’t goin NOWHERE!
The watermelon pack is all watermelon sour patch with a little sour on the front end, then the sweetness of the watermelon on the back-end. I typically find these pretty easily at gas stations and convenience stores in the US, making them a great fix for my sweet tooth while on the road.
- Swedish Fish
Swedish Fish is a sweet treat that doesn’t over do it, but still hits the spot when you’re looking for something sweet while your out in them streets! Gummy candies often contain gelatin, which is animal derived.
However, Swedish Fish and our beloved Sour Patch Kids are exceptions that allow us vegans to enjoy their treats too!
Conclusion: Faithful Vegan Travel Snacks
Whether you’re flying, driving, taking the train, or teleporting, it’s important to have easy access to vegan snacks. You can plan in advance by stocking up on some snacks from the grocery store/market. Or you can clear out your fridge by preparing your own snacks with the fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. that you have on hand.
If you’re not the “plan ahead” type, there are plenty of snacks that you can grab at a gas station or convenience store while on the run. If you’re the camping type, check out my vegan camping post for food to pack when you’ll be in the wilderness with no refrigeration.