Traveling as a vegan can be tricky. Every individual has a reason for adopting a vegan or plant-based diet. Whether for animal rights, health, or environmental reasons, traveling does not have to compromise your values.
If you’re a vegan traveler, you might think, “how do I travel the world while sticking to a vegan diet?”
Vegan travel is no different from other little difficulties you may encounter on any travel adventure. You just have to overcome them, and it would be much easier the next time you’re in a similar situation.
At a glance, Here are some essential tips to make your vegan travel smooth:
- Travel With Other Vegans
- Use Vegan Travel Professionals
- Choose Vegan-Friendly Destinations
- Do Your Research
- Learn Local Phrases
- Choose Your Accommodation
- Contact Your Hotel Or Hostel
- Pack Vegan Toiletries
- Limit Your Expectations
- Bring Vegan Sauce Or Salad Dressing
- Pack A Bunch Of Vegan Snacks
- Take To Pinterest For Inspiration
- Book Your Airplane Meals In Advance
- Be Sure About Your Veganism
- Be Prepared For Mishaps
- Take a Portable Blender
- Sit Near The Front Of The Plane
The 17 Quick Tips For Easy Vegan Travel Planning (Explained)
If you’re a vegan going on a trip abroad. Here are some of the quick and easy-to-follow tips for easy vegan travel:
1. Travel With Other Vegans
The more vegan company you have while traveling, the more likely you are to stay true to veganism.
Finding vegan options can be difficult, but when there’s a whole group of you, you’ll encourage each other to keep going until you find the perfect place. Plus, you’re much less likely to succumb to temptation when other strong-willed vegans or vegetarians surround you.
Traveling with other vegans can also be a lot less stressful. When you travel with a meat eater, they might need more patience to help you find a restaurant or cafe with vegan options.
You might feel pressured to give in and eat somewhere without a single vegan option. That’s when you feel tempted to break your commitment to veganism, and that’s the last thing you want!
2. Use Vegan Travel Professionals
There are some travel agents out there who specialize in arranging travel for vegans and are full-service travel agents.
They’ll know the most vegan-friendly resorts out there and often create a list of resources for you to use when you reach your destination.
Most of the time, this is of no extra cost to you (they work on commissions), or you’ll pay a small service fee.
3. Choose Vegan-Friendly Destinations
If you are strapped for time and don’t want to spend hours researching a destination, then jet off to a well-known, vegan-friendly city for your next vacation.
Cities such as New York, Berlin, Toronto, Melbourne, and Austin are fantastic destinations for vegan travelers. With many delicious vegan restaurants to try, your tastebuds will be on sensory overload!
Places like Russia and Mongolia may be more difficult for a vegan traveler. This is mainly because of their prominent meat diets – on top of the difficult language barrier!
That is not to say you shouldn’t travel to these destinations; they will require more research and planning. Otherwise, you’ll end up surviving on a very bland diet.
4. Do Your Research
Thanks to the internet, researching vegan restaurants has always been challenging!
Here are some notable resources for connecting with other vegans, as well as discovering local food options:
Couchsurfing is a website that connects travelers from all over the world. There are vegan groups you can join and a message asking local vegans for recommendations about where to eat.
Most people are happy to share their favorite vegan restaurant suggestions! Connecting with like-minded individuals and hearing their advice makes vegan traveling a breeze.
ii. Happy Cow:
Happy Cow is the go-to website for finding vegan restaurants abroad. You can read reviews and find information about restaurant locations, hours, and menus. With thousands of listings across six continents, you’re bound to find one no matter where you are!
Consider asking your hotel or hostel staff about local vegan dining choices, too!
5. Learn Local Phrases
Communicating your dietary requirements should be pretty easy if English is spoken while traveling. However, in non-English speaking countries, it’s a good idea to memorize or write down some useful phrases like “I don’t eat meat” and “Is there egg/meat/dairy in this?”
Sometimes it is easier to say you’re allergic to eggs or butter when ordering vegetarian dishes. This way, the person preparing your food takes extra caution not to cook with these ingredients.
With technology at your fingertips, communicating your dietary needs to chefs and shop owners worldwide has become a lot easier – even if they don’t speak the same language as you!
Check out these two resources to help you do this:
i. Use Google Translate – If you have internet access, the Google Translate app is a great tool for some on-the-spot vegan translations. It can also translate text from a photo, a handy feature for deciphering foreign menus.
ii. The Vegan Passport – This is a must-have app for the traveling vegan. It is a multilingual vegan phrasebook that contains 80 languages. Talk about a handy resource to have when globetrotting!
6. Choose Your Accommodation
If you travel, eating at highly-rated vegan restaurants for every meal won’t be cheap. So, plan and book accommodation with kitchen facilities. It also comes in handy if vegan restaurants are few and far between. A kitchen where you can make your food will ensure you won’t go hungry!
Being able to store your groceries, and prepare your meals, will make vegan travel easier. No doubt, you have some favorite vegan recipes you can whip up.
Why not get experimental and try cooking with some ingredients to add a local flare?
7. Contact Your Hotel Or Hostel
Before booking a hotel or hostel online, contact them to enquire about how vegan-friendly they are. Some places are beginning to offer vegan options at breakfast, such as almond milk for cereal, tea, and coffee – while others do not.
Many places can provide soy milk if you ask nicely, so don’t hesitate to request it.
One thing you might not have thought about is the hotel décor. Chances are you don’t want to share a room with taxidermy animals or have an animal head mounted on the wall above your bed.
Chat to your accommodation, or look through images of the available rooms online, so you’re not caught out.
8. Pack Vegan Toiletries
Finding vegan toiletries and cosmetics is one of the harder challenges of being a vegan on holiday. While you may get lucky and find somewhere you can buy vegan shampoo, soap, or cosmetics, it’s not something you can rely on.
If you don’t want to be in a pinch and have to sacrifice your beliefs for some soap, play it safe and bring your supplies with you on holiday.
9. Limit Your Expectations
Some places will have so many plant-based meal choices that it’ll be like a vegan heaven. But in other places, probably in most places, plant-based living might be an incredible idea for locals.
In these places, vegan options might be hard to come by and appear on menus by chance rather than as strategically planned options for vegans.
Now and then, you’ll probably end up with some makeshift vegan meal that the restaurant or cafe has thrown together. And more often than not, these makeshift meals won’t be great, so do what you can to find somewhere that caters to vegans!
It might take a little searching, but you’ll find something even in places where meals are very meat orientated. Just don’t expect a ton of options. You will likely be disappointed if you’re expecting a whole range of menu options.
So tone down your expectations, that way, if you do manage to come across somewhere that seems to be a plant-based heaven, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.
10. Bring Vegan Sauce Or Salad Dressing
Some might think you are mad about packing your condiments, but any vegan traveler will understand completely.
They’ll probably have done the same; if they haven’t, they’ll soon wish they had!
Often, sauces and dressings that you wouldn’t even think to contain animal products aren’t vegan. And even our plant-based folk don’t want to eat plain old leaves when we order a salad.
So sneak a few bottles or packets of your favorite sauces and salad dressings, and you’ll have your flavor sachets to garnish any salads or sandwiches.
Also, no matter where you go, you can find a supermarket. And if you can find a supermarket, you can always find at least some lettuce, and with your sauces already packed, you’ve got yourself a flavorsome lunch.
11. Pack A Bunch Of Vegan Snacks
Snacks are lifesavers for vegan travelers.
There’s nothing more freeing than ditching your comfort zone for adventure. But as a vegan traveler, you want to maintain a level of preparation, especially in rural areas or long-haul transit. That’s where travel snacks come into play.
Packing vegan snacks is key to making vegan travel easy. The worst part about traveling as a vegan is that even when you’re super hungry, you probably have to wait until you can find somewhere with vegan options.
Having vegan snacks with you makes searching for vegan food in a new place more bearable. You can munch on some of your favorite treats to keep you going.
They also make day trips a whole lot easier. Suppose you’re heading out on a hike or even to a tourist attraction like a national park. In that case, you won’t stumble across any vegan-friendly food options. With your packed snacks, you’ll be fully prepared for a long day trip with your picnic ready.
As long as you’ve come prepared with snacks, you’ll have the energy to keep you going all day, and you shouldn’t need to turn back in search of food.
So, whether you’re an international traveler or hiker or want to find more travel-friendly vegan snacks – here’s the list of some of the vegan snacks for traveling:
- Fresh Fruit
- Hummus & Crackers
- Trail Mix
- Crispy Seaweed
- Granola Bars
12. Take To Pinterest For Inspiration
Pinterest can be just as useful for finding vegan inspiration as Instagram.
Search on Pinterest for vegan options in your destination, and you’ll find restaurants and cafes you’d never have found otherwise.
Like you would on Instagram, search ‘(your destination) vegan’ or ‘(your destination) vegan restaurants,’ and you should be met with some delicious-looking search results.
13. Book Your Airplane Meals In Advance
As well as finding suitable food at your destination, you must consider what you will eat on the plane, especially if you’re on a long-haul flight.
Airplanes can cater to vegans, but they sometimes need to know beforehand if you require a special meal. If you want to play it safe, book your airplane meal before you fly, and you’ll avoid the risk of them selling out of vegan options.
On a slightly unrelated side note, if you’re hoping to be upgraded, you might want to wave goodbye to this possibility if you order a vegan meal. Airlines often won’t upgrade those with special diet requirements because they’re not sure they can cater to them.
14. Be Sure About Your Veganism
Suppose you set off on your travels with doubts about your commitment to veganism. In that case, the chances are you’ll be very easily swayed to eat something that’s not vegan.
Before you start your travels, remind yourself of why you became vegan. If you’re serious about this lifestyle choice, be firm in the face of temptation!
15. Be Prepared For Mishaps
Sometimes, miscommunications happen.
Even if you triple-check everything, you eat. So you might end up with a vegan burger that’s not entirely vegan, but it’s not the end of the world.
Suppose you’re not having full-on hot dogs or cheese fondues. In that case, you can still class yourself as a dedicated vegan, even if you slip up occasionally.
What matters is that you’re doing your bit, whether, for the animals, the planet, or yourself (we all have different reasons for turning vegan), and you’re actively doing your best to make a change.
To learn more, I invite you to read my previous article about some unexpected travel expenses you must know and some common travel mistakes to avoid as a beginner traveler.
16. Take a Portable Blender
Traveling with a portable blender can change your travel experience. This is because a blender is an extremely versatile cooking item. Why not start your day with a homemade fruit smoothie?
It tastes delicious, is made only from fresh local fruit, and is a true treat.
You can make your dreams’ obvious shakes and smoothie bowls and make various raw energy bars, cookies, spreads, dips, sauces, and more.
17. Sit Near The Front Of The Plane
Often vegan snacks and meals are more popular with omnivores than the options with animal byproducts.
Airlines don’t always pack enough for every passenger, so you can miss out on snacks or meals altogether if they run out of vegan options before they get to you.
Choose a seat near the front to ensure you’ll be among the first passengers to make your food selection.
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To summarize, the thought of traveling as a vegan can sometimes be scary. Finding vegan options in your hometown can be difficult, so it makes sense that you might be a bit nervous about traveling somewhere where the term ‘vegan’ isn’t even understood.
But the main thing to remember is to be confident in going for it and starting your travels!
Once you’ve set off and hit a few different destinations, you’ll realize it’s not difficult or different to travel normally. All you need is a bit of research before you go and some self-restraint regarding non-vegan temptations.
Trust me, travel can be an important part of the vegan lifestyle, and you won’t regret taking a leap and going for it.
Thanks for reading.