TRAVELING WHILE VEGAN
Our Tips for an Amazing Trip
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Some destinations are more vegan- friendly than others. There are lots of vegan- friendly places to visit in the world such as various parts of the United States, Asia - India specifically, Israel, and Europe is becoming a lot more vegan- friendly, too. Look up specific places of interest on Instagram and Pinterest to find the best vegan options available.
Be aware that there are many places that have meat and animals as part of the local culture and entertainment. Some cultural events will include animal scarification or exploitation, so avoid these. A few “main attractions” to look out for are bullfighting in Spain, the Yulin festival in China and elephant riding in Thailand.
Before booking a hotel or hostel online, it's a good idea to touch base with the accommodation management or customer service team and ask how vegan- friendly they are. Most places tend to be pretty accommodating, even if they don't offer vegan breakfast options, they'll probably at least get you some non- dairy milk.
Wellness destinations, like spas, are a wonderful option, they generally tend to be knowledgeable of. and cater to, a vegan diet.
There's also the Airbnb route. If you choose an accommodation with its own kitchen, you'll be able to cater to your own dietary needs. You'll also save some money by cooking for yourself as opposed to eating out for every meal.
If you're super adventurous, Couchsurfing is a great option for vegans. A lot of hosts and surfers list their dietary requirements, so when searching for hosts in a particular city you can enter “vegan” as a keyword and filter the results. It's actually a great way to meet local vegans who will give you the inside scoop on where to go and what to see.
NETWORKING & APPS
There are a few great vegan apps available these days, my favorites are HappyCow, Vanilla Bean, AirVegan and The Vegan Passport.
Happy Cow and Vanilla Bean are basically the vegan version of Yelp. They both provide a directory of worldwide vegan and vegetarian restaurants. AirVegan tells you which airport terminals have vegan choices. The Vegan Passport is a multilingual vegan phrasebook app, it's also available in booklet form. This is basically a vegan traveler's Rosetta Stone.
Looking up local vegan facebook groups can also be a wonderful resource for meeting fellow vegans and learning about the local vegan culture and events.
Look up key vegan phrases before you head off to any foreign lands. Not every language has a word for vegan, so be sure to find the most appropriate way to express your dietar y preferences. This is where The Vegan Passport app comes in very handy. If you don't want to go hungry on the plane, train or boat, you should call ahead and order a vegan meal option with your tours, accommodations and transportation.
Pack your own snacks! Even if the travel destination or mode of transportation guarantees vegan food, do yourself a favor by packing snacks just in case. Veggie sticks with dip, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, nuts, etc., are great options for eating on the go, at the airport, or if you find yourself stuck somewhere where there are no vegan restaurants.
Bring your own products, you can't be sure that you're going to find cruelty- free toiletries at your destination. Whole Foods has a great selection of travel- sized products that aren't tested on animals, or you can just buy travel- sized containers and fill them with whatever you use at home. ◆