The Struggle to Eat Vegetables on Vacation Is Incredibly Real

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A viral Reddit thread reveals solutions to this common travel problem.

Published on 1/23/2024 at 3:15 PM

Get ready for the coldest of ice-cold takes: Vacation is wonderful. Getting away from the daily grind, ignoring any and all work e-mails and Slack messages, and getting a tiny taste of what life would be like if you were independently wealthy. If we’re being honest, when done right, travel is the stuff dreams are made of.

Of course, everything comes with at least some downsides, and a viral thread on the r/Travel Reddit community just surfaced one issue with travel that is more common than you might have thought: How are we supposed to manage to eat all those fiber and nutrient-packed vegetables our bodies need while vacationing, when so many local delicacies tend to center meat, dairy, and carbs?

The question was posed by Reddit user u/ElectronicCress3132 on r/Travel this week, where they pointed out that many restaurants do not offer vegetable-forward dishes on their menus aside from a salad. The lack of greenery, they say, starts to make them feel sick when traveling for one or two weeks at a time.

Of course, the dedicated travelers among the r/Travel faithful had plenty of advice to offer among the hundreds of replies to this question, with two common themes emerging:

1. Go to a local grocery store once you’ve arrived at your destination to stock some healthy fare in your hotel.

2. Book an Airbnb or vacation rental that includes a kitchenette so you can cook during your trip.

“Plan in advance for a supermarket run. Not always possible, but at least every other day. Fruit to go in a pinch,” read the top-rated reply to the thread. “I always stop at a grocery store if I’m going to be in one place for a while. Grab a veggie tray and you’re good to go,” read another top reply.

One popular reply named the mobile app HappyCow as a solution to the problem. The app helps travelers find vegan restaurants near them no matter where in the world they are.

One final tip from another Redditor (u/malepitt) mentioned that they always pick up a grocery haul including whole carrots, canned tuna, tomato juice, and pretzels as their “motel survival meal.” There is one key caveat to this tip working, according to the Redditor: Remembering to pack a can opener in your checked luggage.

Still other Redditors responding on the thread questioned how finding vegetables on vacation could really be such an issue, as many parts of the world are home to restaurants and culinary traditions that are lush with fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Every country I’ve been to worldwide has had substantial entree vegetable options.. and lots of options for veggie sides in addition to entrees,” one Redditor, @Bright_Shower84, noted. “Even in meat-centric places like Argentina, Texas, Australia.. where beef is a huge export.. veggie sides are prolific.”

Is this an issue for you? If so, how do you manage to pack in the greens while vacationing?

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.

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Joe Erbentraut is the Editorial Director of News at Thrillist. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Journalism and his writing and editing has also been featured in Fodor’s, the Village Voice, HuffPost, and Chicagoist. Joe is obsessed with soup, specifically when it involves lentils. Follow Joe on Twitter.

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