Vegan Meals on Flights

Obviously, different airlines have different standards. On our Chinese flights, there was a little less creativity in the meal. There was no vegan butter and the dessert was a simple fruit salad. On our more recent Singapore Airlines flight, on the other hand, there was not one but two meals with a different fancy dessert each time.

People frequently ask me how I manage to eat vegan food while traveling. It isn’t always easy to find vegan street food and it can be disappointing to not have an opportunity to try a traditional meal. The easiest part of vegan travel is the flight, 1. because the food is delicious and 2. special meals get served first!

Any flight that includes a meal will accommodate to the passengers needs. In the past year and a half of being vegan, we’ve been on dozens of flights and where there was food, there were vegan options! All it takes was a quick phone call a few days in advance and they will provide you with the food you request free of charge.

Obviously, different airlines have different standards. On our Chinese flights, there was a little less creativity in the meal. There was no vegan butter and the dessert was a simple fruit salad. On our more recent Singapore Airlines flight, on the other hand, there was not one but two meals with a different fancy dessert each time.

Earlier, I mentioned that airlines would accommodate your dietary needs which is only slightly misleading. The vegan meal is often also the same one that is served to vegetarians, people with a gluten allergy and sometimes also halal/kosher. On fancier flights, each category will have a different meal but you pay for what you get.

So once you make the call and book your meal, all you need to do is get on the plane and wait for the flight attended to come by before take-off to double check with you about the meal. If you want to be extra sure, you can ask at check in if it is in their system. Sometimes, mistakes happen but if you let them know two hours in advance it can still be salvageable!

Last tip: don’t expect your vegan meal to be particularly healthy. Sometimes you will get fancy steamed veggies but you may also get fried rice, saucy pasta or a perfectly roasted eggplant smothered in oil – which was one of my favorite and most fattening flight meal ever!

Don’t forget, when you get a special meal, they bring it to you first – with the exception of first class. No more waiting hungrily in row 50 after hours of travel with delicious food smells filling the stuffy plane! Prepare for angry stares by hungry meat-eating passengers. But as a vegan, you’re probably already used to it 😉

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Flying a Drone Over a Jet Ski in Bali (Video)

This was one of the first times we flew our DJI Phantom 3 SE over the water. Isaac flew while I did the jet skiing and he only almost decapitated me once!

This was one of the first times we flew our DJI Phantom 3 SE over the water. Isaac flew while I did the jet skiing and he only almost decapitated me once!

Long Weekend Flights: Yay or Nay?

I am one of those restless travelers who mopes until they are in a new place, then starts planning the next trip while on the current one. This is why whenever there’s a long weekend, I’m obsessively searching for places to visit! But the airport hassle for just a day or two in a new place isn’t for everyone… including my husband.

Since the day I convinced him to spend 24 hours on a bus to spend half a romantic day in Venice, he has been vary of my crazy money-saving travel plans. However he caved this month and let me book flights for two long weekend trips just 3 weeks apart. Heaven for me. Hell for him.

Because we don’t live in Shanghai, we need to add an extra 2-3 hours of travel time to the 2 hours of airport waits (which are 100% necessary in China because lines can be ridiculously long), then an hour or two for a flight and finally up to an hour to get to our accommodation… 6-8 hours one way can be quite exhausting! But just as exhilarating.

In our specific situation, we have trouble finding Friday evening flights that we wouldn’t miss because Isaac works until 5 PM. That’s why we go for the earliest flights on Saturday. For our upcoming flight to Inner Mongolia, for example, we need to be at the airport at 6 AM. Since it’s a Chinese holiday, all hotel prices are inflated so we either have to waste money or sleep in the airport. Fun choices, huh?

Speaking of wasting money… flight prices are also slightly inflated during Chinese holidays so the cheaper tickets to local cities cost around $150 for a round-trip flight per person. Three weeks ago we went to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Army and this time we’ll be riding camels in the Gobi desert while admiring the Great Wall of China.

If it weren’t for the high salary that English teachers make in China, these trips would be out of the question. Price aside, these trips are worth it if you want to maximize your time and see as much of the world as possible. As long as the location only has two or three major sights that you want to visit, one or two days is completely manageable!

I have a lot of experience taking looooong journeys for the shortest trips ever. When I lived in Prague, I was so desperate for the beach that I once spent another 24 hours on a bus with my girlfriends to get a sunburn in Italy. Have you ever spent a gross amount of time traveling just to spend a moment in a foreign place? Share your experience in the comment section below!

Anything is Possible at a Chinese Airport

30 minutes from one plane to another? Anything is possible at a Chinese airport!

Isaac and I moved to China in July 2016 in hopes of discovering Asia and traveling as much as possible. During our first 5 months here we visited Shanghai many times, took a train up to Beijing, explored an ancient water village and hiked in a rain forest during a typhoon just to mention a few of our many adventures! Until recently, however, we hadn’t experienced Chinese airports…

We booked our flights with Southern China airline from Shanghai to Phuket and then from Bangkok back to Shanghai way back in August. Using Skyscanner we got a great deal and only spent about $250 on two round-trip flights with one layover each way. It was a bargain!

Leading up to the flight, the agency that we booked with, Vayama, kept changing our flight times every two or three weeks. We didn’t think much of it, until the week before our flight we received an email saying that our flight there was a day before our expected departure! Since Isaac had to work, we had to call and change the flight – unfortunately, the only other option they could offer us was two layovers on our way there.

Reluctantly, we agreed and headed to the airport on the day of our flight. As soon as we checked our luggage, the panic arose – our luggage could only go as far as Wuhan Airport! This meant that during our one hour layover we had to get off the plane, pick up our bags, check them in again within 45 minutes of our flight… this left us 15 minutes from landing to the closing of the gate.

We called Vayama and Southern China but neither was willing to accept responsibility. Their solutions were to take a flight that arrived in Phuket a day later, or we had to risk missing the flight and having to pay for a new one ourselves. Worried and angry, we boarded our plane and hoped for a miracle.

Murphy’s law was taunting us at full blast. The plane was already moving a whopping 20 minutes before expected departure! But then we had to wait in on-ground plane traffic and ended up taking off late. We began descending right on time despite the late take-off, but surprise surprise, we landed late again.

The plane drove right up to those roll-up stairs, near an entrance to the airport but, of course, we were told not to get up yet. That’s when the plane started driving… away from the airport! Frustrated, we watched the airport shrink the distance, jumping up frantically the moment it finally stopped, in the middle of nowhere. The gate was closing in 5 minutes!

Pushing past people while yelling apologies, we ran out of the plane. That’s when we saw a man in a neon vest, holding our checked-in suitcase. No way. He somehow recognized us and shooed us onto a private mini-van. Turns out the plane drove out of the way just for us!

The van took us to a “staff-only” door at the back of the airport. The friendly neon-vested guy ran us through all the check-points, helped us skip the lines to check our bag and sent us off to the security check with half an hour to spare!

Thanks to Southern China, it took less than 30 minutes plane-to-plane! Not only is that outright impressive but they saved us hundreds of dollars in booking a new flight and changing all our reservations.

Some things are only possible in China!!!

SMLXL