I’ve always loved the beach more as an idea than in actual reality, and my latest trip to the beach has just solidified my belief. While I enjoyed having family and friends around, relaxing and having a good time, it was almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to eat vegan. We visited Outerbanks, NC, where it seemed like iceberg lettuce was the healthiest item on the menu. Needless to say I was sick most of the trip from the seafood or starve atmosphere, and I can’t be the only vegan out there struggling, so here’s what to know before you go or your loved ones and/or friends take your next vegan trip to a southern beach!

  1. Bring your staple items from home
    1. There is no guarantee that the grocery store near your favorite southern beach will have the plant-based items you are looking for, mostly based on the shoppers demographic. For this reason, be extra cautious and bring with you your favorite must-have foods/condiments.
  2. Grocery shop immediately
    1. This seems like a no-brainer and usual beach protocol, but we always forget something, just human nature, and the last thing you want to do is worry about nothing having something to make your tasty vegan meal or snack, so be sure to hit the grocery store as soon as you’ve put your bags down and groceries in the fridge. This way the rest of your stay will be comfortable and food-stress free!
  3. Bring pre-made meals
    1. Bringing a few pre-made meals will save you a lot of stress and stomach aches. Breakfast was not very difficult to accommodate for due to everyday vegan items like syrup, oatmeal, grits, pancake/waffle mixes, toast, fruit, etc. Lunch and dinner, however, a lot more difficult!
    2. You can choose to eat slightly before everyone leaves for the restaurant and just grab a drink and a side while you’re there, to still be a part of the experience. Or, if you’re feeling bold, you can pack your meal and take it right with you to the restaurant
  4. Research vegan friendly options in the area you plan to vacation
    1. This was my NUMBER ONE MISTAKE! I did not properly research my area before I arrived and ended up having to unhappily “cheat” a lot. I usually am very easy going about restaurant choices because I can typically modify or find a least one item on the menu, but boy was I wrong here. I thought the first time was a fluke, but after the second visit I began to know better and really menu surf before eating out!
  5. Lastly, Take a sigh of relief for desserts!!!
    1. I found lots of non-dairy ice cream options! Other desserts, not so much, but there were lots of sorbets and simple fruit-based dishes, so breathe easy because an ice cream trip with the fam does not have to be anxiety provoking!

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