Travelling as a vegan is very exciting, but perhaps a little daunting, especially if you’re not staying somewhere where it is self catered. Questions such as- Will I be able to eat out? – Will I be eating salad and chips every day? (not complaining about eating chips everyday!)- Will eating vegan food add on more expense to my holiday? Will language barriers get in the way of staying vegan? Well the answer is no!
Especially for new vegans, please don’t be put off by travelling or going on holiday. With a little pre holiday preparation, you’ll be good to go away and eat lots of exciting delicious foods and treats. For those transitioning, please don’t think of travelling as an excuse to eat animal products as ‘it’ll be too difficult to eat a vegan diet.’ It can be really so very simple! Although the last few of my trips have been based on places with a very good vegan scene, I use the same process for what ever new place I may be visiting or travelling too. Here are some of my top 5 tips for vegan travel:
If you’re only going to do one of these top 5 things, then this is the one to do. Research is key! To cover all basis, you’ll want to look for places to eat at the airport(s) and cafes/delis/ juice shops for breakfasts and lunches, restaurants for dinner and even ice cream or bakery places for mid meal snacks! Another thing I recommend is to look for health food shops or speciality food stores to pick up picnic/ on the go foods. This is also the case if you’re staying at a self catered accommodation and you want some more specialist ingredients. In preference order, my go to sites or platforms when researching are:
- Happy Cow
My absolute go to before travelling anywhere. This site is great for filtering distance from location and type of eatery (vegan, veggie/vegan or vegan option, specialist stores or market/street food stall). You can also download the app so you’re never caught out if you’ve ended up somewhere unexpected.
I just love looking up in both the tagged search and location search on Instagram. There’s been so many restaurants or cafes I’ve gone too just because I’ve seen a good picture on IG. You can see usually an abundance of vegan food and it’s great way to find more smaller or independent places which may not be covered online. Having a visual picture of the food, can also be a good indicator as to whether something is suitable for you or not!
I usually search for ‘vegan in XXXXX’ or ‘vegan XXXXX’. It’s great to see a visual of the food and to hear/see people’s thoughts on different places. From locals to travellers, there’s bound to be a vlog on your chosen destination
- Ask around
Friends, family or on social media.. It’s great getting personal recommendations from those you know
I’ll usually do a quick google search of travel blogs or google ‘top pizza/burger/smoothie bowl/ice cream etc in XXXXX.’ 9/10 times a blogger, article or something has already covered it!
2. VEGAN PASSPORT/LANGUAGE
If only we could speak every language! But, as this is virtually impossible, a little prep before travelling may be a good idea to save any mis-interpretations and mis understandings when buying or ordering food. You can download on your phone or print out a little page or book of essential phrases to cover your back. The original idea behind this is from The Vegan Society which covers a vast number of different languages or there are plenty of other simplified ones hanging around online. The ‘passport’ will have the English and translation explaining that you are vegan, what a vegan is, what a vegan can and cannot eat etc. It may also be a good idea to write a list of words (eg. egg, milk, milk powder, honey, whey powder etc) in the other language so you can check ingredient lists and have this with you if you’re going to be buying store food. These lists are perfect- if you’re uncomfortable speaking in a different language, you can simply show the person your book!
I take my travel journal with me on every trip and I also use it as a planner too. It’s a great way to keep all of your research, translations and maps together and organised..
I am a snack queen. I take a snack everywhere with me- to work, out cycling or when I’m out for the day. A hungry Yaz, isn’t the nicest Yaz! So when travelling, I’ll always pack several energy or protein bars with me. Even though I know I can pick up fruit or a packet of crisps virtually anywhere, and most of the time would be able to find a more ‘specialist’ snack from somewhere, it just takes another worry of the list. Knowing you have some bars in your bag is just a safety net and you can go about your day knowing you won’t get caught out! Travelling can also ‘mess’ up your usually meal times, so it’s great to know you can have something to keep you going before your next meal.
De-cantering or buying over priced travel sized versions of your toiletries to make sure they fit the 100ML allowance or simply just fitting into your suitcase or bag can be annoying when you’re travelling abroad.. BUT.. persist I say! The extra pennies or time spent is nothing than having to find vegan toiletries when you’ve reached your destination. If you have no data, it may be very hard to check if something is cruelty free or even vegan. Just think of the bunnies! Pack your own toiletries- it’s much easier and safer in the long run.
We’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of food options (and the financial means) to eat out for all each meals on holiday and so have always stayed in a hotel (bar family trips). Even so, I always check that the hotel has a mini bar/fridge that we can store fresh goods and breakfast type foods. More and more veggie/vegan accommodations up are popping up and getting a self catering accommodation can be ideal for those who’s budget may not allow them to eat out every day or for those who want a mix of own cooking and eating out!
So there are my top 5 tips. Let me know where you’re going and how your vegan holiday prep is going. I’d just love to know! And remember, a bit of research and you can holiday in ease and create plenty of fun memories!