Today I wanted to share with you mine and Francis’s top tips for travelling as a vegan. It is really important not to be put off from exploring our beautiful planet Earth just because you think finding vegan food will be a struggle. No matter where you go, you will be okay trust me!
This blog isn’t like my other travel posts that actually document where and what to eat in certain parts of the world. I am hoping this one will provide readers with helpful tips to use when planning your holiday and during if you happen to find yourself in a bind. Because we’ve been there and done that, the process is much faster for us now and hopefully it will be for you too!
It seems kind of obvious but when you book your flight – make sure you select the vegan meal option! An extra tip is to call them 2 days beforehand just to make sure they received your request and have time to stock the plane with your meals. Not only will you get it before everybody else (causing envious stares from all) but you can relax knowing you will be well fed during your journey. Some airlines do not offer vegan meals so in this case bring calorie dense foods (dates, rice cakes, nuts etc…). Even on short flights, stock up beforehand and make sure you don’t buy your snacks at the airport lest you go broke! Also, this is more of a general health tip but make sure you drink plenty of water as air travel is incredibly dehydrating.
When you’re booking your hotel – make sure it’s near at least one vegan friendly restaurant (use Happy Cow) just in case you are tired from a long day of exploring, you don’t have to wander aimlessly around a foreign country. In New Orleans, there was a vegan restaurant around the corner from the place we were staying. We ate there several times when we were tired or in a hurry. This is just for peace of mind!
Following on from the last tip – use Happy Cow! It is a lifesaver! Print out Happy Cow guides before you travel just in case your phone doesn’t get a signal when you arrive. If you happen to be in a non-English speaking country, you can show your taxi driver the address on the guide and off you go! Not only does Happy Cow show you every vegan friendly restaurant in the area, it also has heaps of tips from previous visitors. Thanks to H.C, we’ve learnt what dishes to order and even how to find restaurants as some move, close or are hidden down side alleys. Make sure that once you visit a place on Happy Cow you add your own recommendations!
Invest in plenty of Clif Bars! If you don’t know what Clif Bars are, they are ridiculously yummy Oat Bars that are all 100% vegan! They come in so many delicious flavours such as: Coconut Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter (our fave!), Blueberry Crisp, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, White Chocolate Macadamia & Chocolate Almond Fudge! They may not be the healthiest but they are so filling you can have them for breakfast if a tour guide is picking you up really early and you have no time to source other food. Before Francis and I travel anywhere, we stock up on lots of Clif Bars. They’ve kept us satisfied and full of energy during long days of sightseeing, lengthy bus/train rides and even on planes when vegan meals weren’t provided.
Don’t be afraid to eat at restaurants that aren’t listed in Happy Cow or even necessarily vegan. Let me explain what I mean here! There have been plenty of times where Francis and I were lost in a city, hungry and in need of food. We’ve taken the chance and asked the staff if their chef could whip us up a cruelty-free meal and most of them were more than happy to! All restaurants usually cater to dietary requirements so don’t hesitate to take your chances. You never know, you may just plant an idea in their head to release a permanent vegan option on their menu!
This one is super important! If you’re travelling to a non-English speaking country – make sure you print out translated guides. If you read my post ‘Vegan in Vietnam/Cambodia’ you will see that we had paper guides with translations such as ‘No Dairy’ ‘No Eggs’ ‘No Fish Sauce’ and so on. Without these guides, we would’ve had real problems. A lot of the time, the waitstaff did not understand the word vegan so by simply pointing to the guides, we were able to close the language barrier and get some absolutely scrumptious plant-based food!
Look into Airbnb! Not only is it much cheaper than regular accommodation but it also guarantees you a kitchen which means you can cook. Both in Washington DC and New Orleans, we stayed at gorgeous Airbnb homes. Our fridge was stocked full of veggies, plant milks, cereals and snacks. When we woke up in the morning, we didn’t have to worry about finding a place that served vegan breakfast. In the evening, when we were tired, we were able to cook in the comfort of a home. If you don’t want to use Airbnb, stay in a self-contained apartment or at least a hotel room with a mini-fridge! In the past, we’ve even bought disposable plates and cups to hotels that didn’t have a kitchen!
Don’t be afraid to explore! This is when things get really fun! Being a vegan can mean a little extra prep work but it is so incredibly worth it for your health, the animals, the environment and even your travel experience. Anybody can eat at the first restaurant they see but when you’re eating plant based, you’re forced to wander. We have eaten with monks, in yoga studios, with families in their homes and even on the side of the road! These are moments I will never forget and it’s because we took the time to find good, healthy vegan food. Make your trip memorable by seeking out these hidden gems!
Make great use of social media! Follow blogs, Instagram accounts and even YouTube channels to get a sense of the area of you are visiting. Reach out to these people and see what you get back. This is the purpose of their content (as it is mine) so they are here to help you.
Similar to the last tip, if you are staying somewhere for an extended period of time, set up an online forum and connect with other vegans in your area. You may make new friends or receive personal tour guides of the city! These days, so many YouTubers & Instagrammers are organising monthly meet-ups in their home towns. They usually extend the invite on their account & everybody brings a plate of vegan food to share!
I hope these tips were helpful and have provided you with more confidence to get out and explore! Travelling as a vegan is incredibly rewarding, fun and exciting. You may feel like it’s a lot of extra work but once you arm yourself with these tips, the planning is a lot faster and so so worth it. If you have any tips that I may have missed, please comment below!
Thank you for reading.
Peace & Love xoxox
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