While fining vegan food on the road, in airports and train stations and rest stops, has become much easier in only the last year or two, traveling while vegan can still be a challenge, especially when traveling with non-vegans or in rural, remote, or not necessarily vegan-friendly areas, and when one is unable to simply prepare and bring along one's own supplies.
I have recently spent some time traveling (some of my experiences can be found on my travel blog, Traveling Catlady), and while most of the time, it was fairly easy to find vegan choices even in chain- and fast food restaurants, I also realized that, when on the road, vegans sometimes have to do the best they can, which might not be what they want. For example, even when ordering a veggie burger without cheese and mayo, it is not always possible to make sure there is no egg or dairy in the patty or the bun. When toast or bread is served at a restaurant, one does not always know whether there is butter in it. And sometimes, even when things are expressly billed and promoted as "vegan", one cannot always be sure that those making these claims know, 100%, what the word "vegan" means. I, for one, have accepted these obstacles as being part of the experience of being vegan in a decidedly non-vegan world, and I was able to decide for myself that, if I was able to avoid clearly non-vegan foods, I would not worry about potentially hidden, impossible to detect non-vegan ingredients when on the road. For me, that is simply a necessity if I am to remain sane and vegan and leave my house at the same time.
However, in order to minimize the potentially non-vegan pitfalls hidden in inconspicuous-looking and -sounding food items, I have found my smart phone to be a great help. Specifically, certain apps geared towards finding vegan food on the road are invaluable for the traveling vegan. While "Happy Cow", the go-to website when trying to find vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, has a tremendously useful app, this might not be a great help when traveling in more remote or rural areas, or stopping at fast food places along the interstate. For these cases, I highly recommend "VeganXpress", an app available for iPhone users, which lists vegan menu items at chain- and fast food restaurants. While many vegans try to stay away from these places for health and ethical reasons, it is tremendously useful on the road, when there may be few options for vegans altogether.
For more useful vegan apps, check out 8 Vegan Apps You Need to Download