There is an unfortunate misconception that traveling as a vegan is difficult. This makes vegans feel like they’re limited in travel and travelers feel like they can’t go vegan even if they wanted to. However, traveling as a vegan is not at all difficult if you know a few tips and tricks. You will be able to explore a side of the local culture that few people get to see and meet vegans all over the world.
Here are 8 tips to make your vegan journey not only easy, but also enjoyable.
1. Plan ahead
The key to a comfortable vegan holiday is to plan ahead. Search online for local vegan-friendly restaurants. It’s also helpful to find some phrases in the language of the country you’re traveling to ahead of time, such as “I’m a vegan”; “I don’t eat meat/fish/eggs”; “I don’t drink milk, I don’t eat butter and cheese”; “Is there meat/fish/seafood here?” In addition, you can find some common vegan-friendly dishes at your destination – for example, Greece has fava (mashed beans that resemble hummus) and Greek salad without feta cheese.
2. If you don’t like planning, ask for advice.
Do not like to search for information and plan? No problem! Ask your vegan friends if they have been to your destination or if they know anyone who has. Ask for advice on social networks – there will definitely be someone who can help.
3. Have fallbacks
While you shouldn’t have any trouble finding vegan food if you plan ahead, it doesn’t hurt to have a few fallback options, like knowing what vegan options are available at chain restaurants or how to order a vegan option at any restaurant. And in an emergency, it doesn’t hurt to keep a few bars with fruits and nuts in your bag.
4. Think about where to stay
It is worth considering in advance where it would be better for you to stay. Perhaps only a refrigerator will be enough for you so that you can have breakfast in your room. If you’re looking for an apartment with a kitchen, try searching for a room or hostel on Airbnb or VegVisits.
5. Don’t Forget Your Toiletries
First of all, you need to make sure that the toiletries you bring with you are suitable for vegans. If you are traveling on a plane with hand luggage, you will need to make sure that all liquids and gels are in small containers in accordance with the rules of carriage. You can use old bottles and fill them with your own shampoo, soap, lotion, etc. or consider buying toiletries in non-liquid form. Lush, for example, makes a lot of vegan and organic bar soaps, shampoos and toothpastes.
6. Be prepared to cook in unfamiliar conditions
Prepare some simple recipes for dishes that can be easily prepared in an unfamiliar kitchen. Even if you’re staying in a hotel room, you can make soup or couscous with a simple coffee maker!
7. Plan your schedule
Consider local customs! For example, in some countries, most restaurants and businesses close on Sunday or Monday. In such cases, stock up on food in advance that is easy to prepare yourself. Be especially mindful of your first and last meal of the day. Arriving at an unfamiliar place tired and hungry, and then wandering the streets, desperately trying to find somewhere to eat, is definitely not the best prospect. Like going to the airport hungry.
Last – and most importantly – have fun! With a little advance planning, you can have a stress-free vacation. The last thing you need on vacation is worrying about where to find food.