Traveling Raw: The Survival Kit!

by Julie Kalivretenos on June 4, 2008

They are questions I frequently hear around the raw community: “What should I pack? Are there any good suggestions for keeping raw on the road?” Well, here I hope to provide some comprehensive tips for packing your next survival kit, especially if you’re new to raw. This should come at a good time as many of us are embarking on our summer holidays, and coincidentally I’m planning my own kits for two very different upcoming excursions. First we’ll begin with a suggested master inventory list:

  • Magic Bullet – for making blended juices, smoothies, nut milks
  • Any dry or dehydrated snacks – such as flax crackers, veggie chips, and raw chocolate treats
  • Portable seasonal fruits – such as oranges, apples, bananas, cherries, grapes
  • Sea vegetables – such as laver, dulse, nori, wakame (to be eaten as snack or added to salads)
  • Goji berries
  • Dry raw nuts – almonds, brazil
  • Mesh nut bag – for straining if making nut milk in Magic Bullet
  • Non-perishable supplements – Green Vibrance or other probiotics, crystal manna, maca
  • Condiments – Extra virgin olive oil, nut butters, sea salt, nama shoyu, agave, stevia
  • Miscellaneous additives – vanilla beans, coconut butter and honey (for skin AND shakes), cocoa powder, cacao nibs
  • Plastic containers for storing nut milks, juices, liquids.

Straight away, the first factors in determining what to bring are where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone. There’s a big difference between taking a road trip to Uncle Buck’s house for the weekend versus flying internationally for a three week jaunt around the South Pacific. It can quickly become tempting to pack a whole suitcase just for raw supplies, but this isn’t typically the most practical thing to do especially for air travel (neither is lugging around a 50 pound Vita-Mixer).

Consider this:

  • The accommodations.
  • The mode of transportation.
  • The destination city itself.
  • The duration of your stay.

Road trip!

When it comes to packing the survival kit, naturally the most flexibility is within domestic travel by car to accommodations with a refrigerator and ample counter space. In that case, go for it! If you’re staying with friends or family, bring as much as they’ll care to have before thinking you’ve completely gone over the top with your “alternative lifestyle”. But stop along the way at some farmers markets for lovely fresh fruits and veggies for all and pick up a bottle of wine as a kind gesture for them for putting up with you and taking up precious kitchen space.

Airport Mayhem

We all know what a pain in the bum airport security has become. Forget bringing your green shake on-board the flight, but don’t think I haven’t considered smuggling some along in 3 oz. shampoo bottles! If that’s a little too dramatic, carry on a small bag filled with snacks such as fresh fruit, veggies and crackers to carry you through the duration of your flight and beyond to your destination. I suggest putting liquids such as nama shoyu or honey in small air-tight plastic containers, like Tupperware or those you can find at beauty supply stores. Seal them in a ziploc bag to prevent potential leakage.

Hotel Rooms

Hotels often have refrigerated mini bars included in the rooms or suites, but if you haven’t stayed there before there’s no way of knowing if there will be enough space to spare for perishable items. However, once you get to your destination city, shop via markets or room service to get your fresh fruits and veggies and store them by whatever means you have. If you brought along a Magic Bullet, splendid! Order in some juice, add your supplements, and blend away! No matter where we’re staying, I start my day this way. A good, nutrition packed blended juice in the morning starts me off in balance, and I don’t feel as guilty if I indulge a little later in the day.

Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean, the last cruise line I took last year, provided a bar refrigerator in our cabin with ample, ample space for goodies. Unfortunately I had no way of knowing this prior otherwise I would have prepared accordingly by bringing the Magic Bullet to make daily shakes and juices with stockpiled fruit. If you’re cruising outside of the US, including the Bahamas and Caribbean, cruise ships will not allow any produce from any port to be carried on board for agricultural safety reasons. However, since they’re notorious for having an endless flow of nearly every type of food imaginable, you’ll never be without fruits and vegetables. These are good times to utilize your own condiments at meals as well.

Short term travel (2 to 4 days)

Length of travel is a critical decision making factor when packing the survival kit. I’ll use two of my own upcoming itineraries as examples.

This weekend, I’m flying to a resort in the Bahamas for a 4 day stay. So my kit will be minimal and something like this: Because it’s a short time at a beach resort, I want to be able to pack efficiently and carry-on my luggage. This’ll mean leaving the Magic Bullet behind and hand-carrying snacks like flax crackers, fruit, and seaweed. I’ll pack coconut butter, honey, gojis, Green Vibrance capsules, and a few other space-friendly supplements and condiments in my carry-on bag. What I bring should work with whatever food they have at the resort, which I trust will include a reasonable number of healthful choices.

Long term travel (4+ days)

In mid-June, it’s a different story. I’ll be in multiple cities in Europe for over 3 weeks including accommodations on a cruise ship as well as hotels. This is a situation where I definitely want to be prepared and not without the Magic Bullet. I’m going to bring as much as I can smash into my suitcase. Except for my initial departure, I won’t be toting around fresh produce but will rather be enjoying the local, seasonal fare of each destination. During my time on the cruise ship, it should be easy to work with all the choices available and hopefully we’ll have some nice refrigeration space in our cabin. This particular trip will be a unique adventure and I’m satisfied to do the best I can in circumstances that are impossible to be 100% planned out.

Most importantly!

Be realistic when setting dietary parameters while you’re away. Don’t expect perfection, you may only put unnecessary pressure on yourself and set the stage for disappointment. The raw police aren’t going to come ’round and rough you up, either. Just make the best choices you can in whatever social and dining environment you may find yourself. Have FUN! Enjoy your trip!

<3, JMK

  • Zac

    Great post! Thanks for the tips. I guess this means you won’t be posting new recipes anytime soon?

  • Charissa

    Love this post…beautiful tips. Oh my goodness! Europe? Bahamas! You are too blessed! Amazingly lucky girl!

  • Lauren

    Hey Julie!
    Have a wonderful time! The Bahamas hold a special place in my heart since I was married there! What island are you staying on? We were married at the Greycliff in Nassau but we stayed at the Ocean Club on Paradise Island. I hope to go back soon!! Anyway, have a safe trip!

  • Lesley Anne

    GREAT POST! Next time I travel I will do the magic bullet, that’s much better option than bringing the whole blender and kitchen sink! Thanks<3

  • Denine

    Hi Julie, what do you suggest if you go to a city without a lot of raw fruit/veg choices? I’m going to Germany soon on business and they’re not exactly known for raw healthy food. I’ll be eating in restaurants unknown! Yikes!


  • juliesrawambition

    Thanks for the comments!

    Lauren: Greycliffe is beautiful! We’re also staying in Paradise Island/Nassau with our daughter & her friends for her graduation/birthday gift. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Bahama islands since my childhood so it’s special for me too. I plan on blogging my experience when I get home!

    Denine: In that case, you just have to wing it best as possible once you get there, even if that means eating some cooked. It’s either that or starve. You have to make the choices for yourself! ;)

  • Mueller

    Remember, although airlines are very strict about liquids these days they will allow you to bring food through security and onto your plane.

    I had a few apples and bananas, a couple raw food bars and a huge salad in my backpack.

    Nothing better than busting out a great salad when everyone else is getting served their ‘meals.’

  • Goji

    …Über etwas ähnliches habe ich in meinem Blog auch neulich geschrieben. Ich muss aber sagen das sich dein Post wesentlich besser liest.

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