Travelling as a vegan can be a challenge when it comes to finding food options that align with your dietary restrictions, but with some preparation and planning, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience. Veganism is a growing lifestyle trend, and with more and more people embracing the plant-based lifestyle, there has never been a better time to be a vegan traveler. Here are three simple tips for vegans who are traveling to help make your journey as seamless as possible:
1. Research Vegan-Friendly Options Ahead of Time
One of the most important things you can do when traveling as a vegan is to plan ahead and research local vegan restaurants and cafes in your destination using online resources like HappyCow, Vegan Finder, and Google Maps. This will give you a good idea of the options available to you and help you avoid wasting time trying to find food when you arrive. It’s always a good idea to make a list of the places you want to try, so you can easily refer to it when you need to.
Additionally, knowing a few key phrases in the local language, such as “I am a vegan” or “I don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs”, can be very helpful when communicating with restaurant staff or locals. You can also download a language translator app or bring a phrasebook to help you navigate any language barriers.
2. Pack Your Own Vegan Snacks
Bringing your own vegan snacks, such as energy bars, fruit, nuts, or dried fruits, is a smart move when traveling, especially for long journeys or unexpected situations. By packing your own vegan snacks, you can ensure you have something to eat if vegan options are limited or unavailable. This can save you time and money and help prevent any frustration or hunger while you’re on the road.
You can also consider packing your own meals or making food at your hotel. If you’re staying in a hotel or rental with a kitchen, this can be a great option, especially if you’re on a tight budget. You can find local supermarkets and markets to buy fresh produce, and cook your own meals with ease.
3. Embrace New Vegan Experiences
Staying flexible and open-minded can go a long way when traveling as a vegan. If you find yourself in a country where vegan options are limited, try to find unique plant-based ingredients or dishes that are delicious and exciting. This not only expands your taste buds, but it also introduces you to new flavors and cultures.
For example, you can try a vegan version of a traditional dish, such as a vegan pad thai or vegan samosas, or look for restaurants that specialize in international vegan cuisine, such as Thai or Indian. You can also try street food stalls and food markets, where you’ll find a variety of vegan options, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, vegan stir-fries, and vegan desserts.
Don’t be afraid to ask the locals for recommendations, as they may know of some hidden gems or local specialties that are vegan-friendly. In some countries, you might be surprised to find that the majority of their traditional dishes are already vegan, such as Ethiopian cuisine, where lentils, beans, and vegetables are the staple foods.
Finally, be mindful of the local culture and customs. Some countries