Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow
Vegan travel can be tough, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring this planet and all it has to offer. As someone who loves both travel and vegan food, I am always determined to make vegan travel enjoyable. And with these tips for vegan travelers, you can do it, too.
1. Use HappyCow to Find Vegan(-Friendly) Restaurants
HappyCow is a great database that categorizes restaurants according to their status (vegan, vegetarian, or vegan options). You can either check their website or download the app to find out which places exist near you and read their reviews. As a community website, it depends on users adding, reviewing, and updating content so make sure you add that cute little vegan spot you found while strolling through the quaint streets of a Mediterranean village.
2. Pack Vegan Essentials
If your HappyCow search doesn’t return enough results you may want to prepare for your trip by bringing some vegan essentials. Whether that be supplements if you are a long-term traveler or things like nutritional yeast that some of us may not be able to live without, it’s best to be prepared and pack things that may not be available at your destination.
3. Expect to See Animal Cruelty
Here’s the thing: When you travel you may witness more animal cruelty than you are used to. Whether it’s donkey riding in Greece, chained monkeys in Morocco, tiger selfies in Thailand, or any of the numerous other forms of animal cruelty in the world. And while you can never really be prepared for it you need to at least be aware that it may happen.
But there’s more to it: Even if you feel the urge to approach people about this you have to keep in mind that in many countries human lives are not valued either. While I encourage feeding stray animals, before you get into a heated debate with locals ask yourself if you are willing to do the same if you see somebody mistreat a fellow human.
4. Research Local Vegan Dishes
Most cuisines have traditional vegan options. Locals may simply not use the term vegan. Knowing about traditional vegan dishes will make your life so much easier in places where vegan restaurants don’t exist. Look up your destination online and find out which local food is vegan. If you’re heading to Greece, for example, I have an extensive guide to being vegan in Greece.
5. Follow Vegan Travel Bloggers
Whether it’s through social media or via blog posts, vegan travel bloggers have tons of tips for vegan travelers that we share with you for free. I have my own vegan travel section detailing the best and worst (because honesty is key) places to eat in any given location.
6. Book Accommodation with a Kitchen
Newsflash: You don’t always have to go out to eat! I know, it’s shocking. But while I love nothing more than exploring vegan eateries in a new city, if that simply isn’t an option I won’t starve. Booking accommodation with a kitchen is also a great way to save money. Plus, when you cook your own meals you can be sure that the food will be amazing. What’s not to love about that?
7. Join a Vegan Food Tour
These exist in many major cities now and are an exciting way to explore a city’s vegan food scene and meet fellow vegan travelers. Personally, I know that if I ever make it to Australia, I am going to join Sydney Vegan Tours to discover all the delicious vegan choices Sydney has to offer. This is also a great idea for cities with too many vegan options where you don’t even know where to start.
So these are my seven tips for vegan travelers. By following these, you can avoid some of the challenges that traveling as a vegan can bring. Because stressing about finding vegan food will seriously hinder your ability to enjoy your trip.
And here’s one bonus tip: Don’t worry if you accidentally eat something that isn’t vegan. Despite your best efforts to explain what you do and don’t eat this is going to happen. Some people will still not understand you. And that’s okay. You will probably be upset. But know that this has happened to most of us, and you’re not less of a vegan for it.
Do you have any vegan travel tips? Let me know in the comments.