Traveling is a lot of fun, there’s so much to see and do all over the world that if you wanted to see and do everything, you’ll need many more lifetimes to achieve it all. However traveling as a vegan can be a little tough, given one’s dietary needs, eating healthy becomes a challenge in many ways. Finding out what is inside each dish is difficult to say the least, purchasing items while trying to converse with someone who does not speak your language is a hurdle as well and finding out if the item in question was a product of any animal by product is almost impossible. These are the challenges of traveling as a vegan among other things, but all is not lost my wanderlust friends, keep your backpack on and read my list of tips for traveling as a vegan.
Research – The internet has made travel loads easier, just before you start your trip take the time to research potential restaurants or hotels that you can stay in, it is ideal to make sure you are prepared as possible to find places that can cater to eating healthy or rooms that are vegan friendly. Additionally when traveling as a vegan, you don’t want to jump in to any place without being prepared, research your trip location for local delicacies that agree with your diet or famous souvenirs and if it is alright for you.
Learn simple lines – Again the internet is your best buddy for this, it is so easy to look up local dialects to ask if: “Is there fish/meat/animal fat in this?” Again when traveling as a vegan it is best to be ready to ask these to local vendors in order to make sure you are getting something that agrees with you. Just make sure you also research their potential yes or no as well, which shouldn’t be at all impossible.
Inform your accommodations of your lifestyle – It is best to reach out to your accommodations before going there and inform them that you are traveling as a vegan. They probably have some protocols set in place and will be able to assist you and there are even some hotels that cater specifically to the vegan lifestyle altogether, it is always best to keep looking and to keep trying.
Find a kitchen – When accommodations become a challenge for the vegan lifestyle, not a problem as well, not all places are used to vegans just yet but someday they will be. In the mean time find a hotel with a kitchen or better yet a bed and breakfast with its own kitchen, allowing you access and the ability to make your own eating healthy meals. Again the internet really helps out in traveling as a vegan when you can find places on Air BnB or such sites that can really help you find the perfect place for your lifestyle.
Ask a local – Turn towards your computer, tablet or smart phones once more and search for local vegan groups, they could happily help you in various inquiries and can help you in keeping your eating healthy habit up, as well as steering clear from items that won’t agree with you as a vegan. Traveling as a vegan is sometimes a challenge indeed, but it really helps that there are so many vegan groups out there and quite usually they will happily assist a fellow vegan in need.
No local vegan group, turn to the government – Sometimes there may not be a vegan group in a certain area, no problem at all, turn towards the tourist board of the country or place you are going to. For sure they should have some information for you but don’t expect an unlimited choice of vegan buffets or anything like that, at the very least they can assist you when traveling as a vegan and that’s all anyone can ask for really.
Study up on souvenirs and snacks – Again if you are looking for a restaurant or place to stay, it is ideal to check the local delicacies or souvenirs that are often bought in whatever country you will go to. Traveling as a vegan can be a lot easier when you are properly prepared for the trip, sure keep the adventure alive but don’t go diving in blind, that will challenge your eating healthy habit and will pretty much make the trip almost difficult for you.
Bring a vegan friendly snack – Some of the vegan restaurants might be a few blocks too far. Make sure to always keep some handy snacks ready when traveling as a vegan. After all not every corner in the world has a vegan friendly and eating healthy menu that is made specifically for us, but no worries, when you have a trusty snack ready and waiting, this won’t matter so much. I prefer to bring something easy to carry and easier to eat, maybe a homemade granola bar or such.
Pack some lunch – This is a step up from a snack, after all a snack is just to tie you over until you reach a vegan restaurant but there are times when a restaurant that caters to the eating healthy habit isn’t readily available, so it is always a smart idea to be prepared. When you are out on tours of certain locations, some don’t have many restaurants to choose from, making it a challenge to keep traveling as a vegan but if you know you’re in for a rather long tour or trip without such restaurants near by, come ready with your packed lunch.
When in doubt go natural – When the trip is rather sudden and the urge of adventure hits you, research might be difficult, no problem at all either, after all everyone deserves to be happy go lucky every so often and sometimes you just have to go for it. If that happens, and you aren’t ready to start eating healthy in unknown places, then go towards the fresh fruit market! There you can find a ton of fruits and vegetables that are perfect for you, maybe even some exotic fruits and vegetables that you have been dying to try. When you are traveling as a vegan, the fresh produce market will always be a great asset to your trip, it is easy to find most of the time all you need to do is ask a local or the concierge of your hotel and they will happily point you in the right direction.
Going on a trip shouldn’t be that difficult. While I agree there are challenges when traveling as a vegan, that should not stop you from going on that grand adventure. Remember that the challenges of being a vegan doesn’t start and end with just eating healthy, the difficulties sometimes is the items used in hotel rooms, souvenirs and others. Be a smart vegan, be a prepared vegan and go on that adventure! Stay healthy!