10 Vegan Travel Tips to Enjoy Your Vacation Like a Pro
Traveling to a new destination is always fun. Getting to experience different cultures, traditions and people is truly an enriching life experience. That is why we all love traveling so much! We don’t want this to change just because of our vegan requirements.
How vegan friendly is your destination? Begin by visiting The Veganary’s Snapshot tab for your intended country to get a better understanding of what to expect when you arrive.
In addition, we have compiled a vegan travel checklist for you to go over as you plan your next vacation. Here are the the 10 vegan travel tips that you should always use, no matter your destination.
Tips for Traveling the World as Vegans
1 – Do Your Research
Our first vegan travel tip is also our most important one. Traveling the world as vegans can be fun, easy and simple IF you arrive properly prepared.
When you are at your home, you know exactly what local dishes are vegan and how to ask for non vegan dishes to be veganized. You also know at least several vegan restaurants and are probably also aware of vegan snacks, milks and meat substitutes.
All this useful info is non-existent when you arrive at a new destination. If you are lucky, you can speak the local language. But most time you will find yourself with added an language barrier, that makes it even harder to explain your vegan needs.
This is why research is the most important and time consuming part of your preparation and why we try to provide our data in the easiest and most efficient way possible.
So to properly prepare yourself we highly recommend going over the tabs that are of interest to you in our country guides. Each country has 9 categories of different vegan related information.
2- Meet Local Vegans
The absolute best way to familiarize yourself with local vegan culture is by connecting with local vegans in the country. They will be able to provide you with the most authentic vegan information and experience. They will also help you better familiarize yourself with the local food culture.
Until now, the best way to do this was by joining local vegan Facebook groups and trying to befriend some local vegans. As you can understand it’s not always an easy task.
Soon we will be launching our vegan tours with local vegans. Be sure to sign up to our site if you are interested in taking a tour with a local vegan or becoming a vegan tour guide yourself.
3 – HappyCow and Google Offline Maps
HappyCow is a great app for finding vegan restaurants in your upcoming destination. This worldwide veg friendly app will show you restaurants depending on your diet preferences. While catering both to vegans and vegetarians.
Our advice is to mark any potential points of interest such as: restaurants and health food store on Google Maps. Then download the offline google map of your destination with all your saved locations so you can later navigate offline through town, or to any vegan restaurant if needs be.
4 – Let Your Hosts Know
No matter where you are planning on staying, whether in a hotel or with a family member, make sure to let your hosts know about your vegan preferences.
Obviously when staying in a large hotel you may not get as much of an empathetic ear as you would wish, but from our experience it has helped us in the past even in these. Hotels try to make their customers happy and you will be surprised at the lengths they can go to fix you up with a tasty vegan meal.
If you are staying with some of your family or a family run hostel, tell them about your vegan preferences. This will probably get a positive result. They might even help you to get some vegan supplies before you arrive. You may also get them interested in your vegan lifestyle. As long as you respect them, others will (usually) respect you as well.
5 – Plan Food for Your Journey
First always book a vegan meal option if your airline carrier offers it. If you forgot, most companies will allow you to call in and change your food preferences at least 3 days prior to your flight.
If your plane does not offer vegan options or food at all, be sure to take enough food from home so you can comfortably reach your destination before going out to find new supplies.
There is no better guarantee that you will have a satisfying vegan meal than packing your very own. Although the vegan lifestyle is becoming more apparent in today’s trends, it not so developed in some countries, so it’s always a good idea to pack some vegan staples and snacks.
For plane food inspiration be sure to go over Cadry’s Kitchen find Vegan Tips for Taking Food on the Plane.
6 – Plan Your Trip in Places With a Kitchen
Finding a place to stay where you have your own kitchen and equipment to make food is an especially smart choice if:
- You are visiting a country that is not considered to be a vegan-friendly one, meaning not very accommodating to vegans.
- You are planning to stay a long time at a certain destination. We all love to eat out, but doing this each day takes its toll. It’s always nice to have at least some control over your food intake and preparation, especially if you are staying long term.
- When you are traveling outside of major cities, you will most likely not find a large variety of vegan restaurants. It is easier to cook for oneself then, instead of constantly stressing over food options.
7 – Learn Vegan Related Vocabulary in the Local Language
When traveling to countries that speak other languages, take some time to go over the vegan related vocabulary tab to learn some useful words. The locals will most likely laugh at your pronunciation, but will be happy with your attempts to learn their language, making them more open to your vegan requests.
It is also recommended to print or do some screenshots of our vegan vocabulary page and take it with you just for backup, in case some of those new words slip your mind.
8 – Use your imagination to Veganize Foods
In an ideal world, we would have endless vegan restaurants, or at least vegan options available as we please. This can be the case if you are traveling in large modern capitals where the vegan culture is well-rooted. Outside of these vegan paradises, it’s more likely that people won’t even know what vegan means.
If you find yourself in a restaurant that offers no vegan options at all, it is time to get creative. Replace meat with tofu, rice, potatoes, or any other vegan-friendly food that you love. Order your pasta dishes with a marinara sauce or ask for grilled vegetables coated in olive oil.
To get some ideas on how to Veganize dishes in your upcoming trip be sure to visit the Local Food tab in your destination country.
Best way to find veganizable dishes
- Take a look at the menu and find the dish that shows the least amount of animal products. Many times dishes are only garnished with cream or meat, and are not the main ingredient in the dish. Ask if this ingredient can be left out from the preparation of your food.
- Try to find foods that are made fresh upon order, rather than ready-made foods that are impossible to alter. This way you can ask waiters to leave out the animal products from your freshly prepared food.
9 – Always have a plan B
For unexpected times, such as when you travel a long distance, just to find that your anticipated vegan restaurant is actually closed, it’s good to have a plan B.
Always take with you an extra supply of bars, snacks and other “munchables” to keep you full until you find an alternative.
10 – If Possible Make Sure to Take With you a Portable Blender
Traveling with a portable blender can literally change your travel experience. This is because a blender is a 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.
Not only can you make the obvious shakes and smoothie bowls of your dreams, you can also make a wide variety of raw energy bars, cookies, spreads, dips, sauces and more.
Use your imagination to its fullest while thinking of the best ways to combine local foods with your small portable blender.
For more ideas about this, be sure to check out our article about Why Every Vegan Should Travel With a Portable Blender.
With these 10 simple vegan travel tips, you can make your journey much more manageable. Remember, you’re heading out of your comfort zone, to have a good time. So, make sure to plan ahead in order to be able to totally relax on your holiday.