Are you planning a vacation soon? You’re following a plant-based diet and are unsure how it’s going to work? Traveling vegan is not as big a deal as it may seem if you follow these amazing tips!
In this post, you will learn some key tips which have helped me when traveling abroad.
You’ll also learn about the best places to visit as a vegan. And of course, I will teach you what to look out for when booking accommodations.
You will come out of this knowing exactly how to plan your next vacation as a vegan! Get ready and let’s take off on the helicopter traveling vegan.
7 tips for traveling vegan
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Vacations are so exciting! But as a vegan, they can also be a bit nerve-wracking as you figure out how you can eat plant-based foods while abroad.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Been there, done that.
I’ve traveled 4 times as a vegan and 3 times as a vegetarian so I know what it’s like. These tips will get you back in the excitement of vacation planning.
Pack some non-perishable vegan foods to have as a backup.
This will help you when you’re out on a day trip and need a nutritious snack. Or when you come home late at night and need a midnight snack. It will even save you from eating out for breakfast every morning!
Some examples include:
- Soy milk which doesn’t need to be refrigerated until after opening
- Dry cereals
- Canned beans
- Protein bars
- Trail mixes
2. Vegan restaurants
Research the city you’re traveling to beforehand to look for vegan restaurants. Make a list of all these restaurants, whether they’re 100% plant-based or they have vegan options.
Don’t wait until you’re there on your vacation to begin searching. It will make you more calm knowing how many vegan eateries you have available before you go.
You can even call up the restaurants ahead of time and ask them if they can accommodate your dietary needs.
Sometimes, even if they don’t have any plant-based options on their menu, they would be more than happy to cater to your wishes.
One helpful tip for finding vegan restaurants is using the Happy Cow website/app. You enter the city you’re going to and all the vegan restaurants show up.
Definitely download this app immediately! It’s a vegan lifesaver.
Check out the best accommodations that will cater to your vegan needs.
If you like to cook, it’s best to find an Airbnb that has a kitchen. This will allow you to cook vegan meals and not have to rely on the local cuisine which may not be so vegan-friendly.
If you don’t want to cook while traveling, like me, look for a hotel which either has vegan breakfast foods or an on-site restaurant with plant-based options. The best would be if they have both!
Even if you don’t plan to cook, it’s still important to make sure the hotel you choose comes with a fridge and preferably also a microwave. This way, you can just buy easy microwave meals if you can’t find a restaurant close by.
4. Grocery stores
Before you travel, look at where the closest grocery stores are to where you plan to stay. This way, you can buy some vegan local foods, assuming they have, and stock up your fridge and cabinets.
You can easily make a salad for dinner with tofu cubes, sprinkled with chia seeds. You get a nice boost of protein there and all the ingredients can easily be found in most grocery stores.
As mentioned in #3, this is why it’s important to have a fridge, so you can store the foods you buy.
Also, if you have a microwave in your hotel room, you should definitely buy some quick microwave meals. You will likely need them when you come back exhausted from a long, adventurous day and you’re starving.
When I went to Florida in January 2021, right before covid began, I just found out I was pregnant. I was traveling alone to visit my sister and I was already vegan by then.
Check out this guide if you want to learn more about being vegan while pregnant. Hint: It’s totally healthy and doable!
I stocked up on vegan foods to keep in the fridge and freezer so I wouldn’t have to eat out for every meal.
Here are some of my favorites which I made sure to buy:
- Nature Valley Protein Granola Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate
- Gardein Crabless Cakes
- Gardein BBQ Wings
- Califia Mocha Almond Milk Coffee
I’m already getting hungry just talking about these delicious foods. The Califia coffee is literally the best!
I used to buy this even before I was vegan because it was so easy in the morning. I didn’t have to start making myself a coffee. I just poured a glass of this delicious mocha coffee and sipped it away.
5. “Vegan” in other languages
If you’re going to a non-English speaking country, you may have difficulty in restaurants when you tell the waiters that you’re vegan.
How can you solve this language issue?
Familiarize yourself with the vegan terminology in the language of the country you’re going to.
For example, let’s say you’re traveling vegan and your destination is Italy. You want to learn how to say the following words in Italian:
It may be helpful to print these words in Italian on little cards so you can show people without having to break your teeth, trying to pronounce their words.
Only for them not to even understand what you’re saying because of your accent.
If you’re traveling vegetarian, you should learn to say the following words in the language of the country you’re visiting:
If you’re a social type of person and like to strike up conversations with people wherever you go, this tip is perfect for you!
If not, you can skip this one. I’m not that social, I’m shy when it comes to meeting new people so this one is hard for me.
However, I know many people like to travel and meet new people, especially the locals. So if you’re one of them, read on.
Most western countries these days have plenty of vegans. You can search online for local vegan bars or hangout places.
Maybe they have a little vegan shop. Or a vegan meetup available while you’re there.
This can help you get to know vegans local to the city you’re visiting. Who knows? Maybe they’ll share with you the best vegan burger in town. Or the tastiest vegan ice cream to try.
I suggest you go to one of these vegan social groups at the beginning of your trip. This way, you can learn some local tips for traveling vegan in the city.
There are also many Facebook groups you can join beforehand. A good idea is to post in one of these groups asking if anyone is from the city you plan to visit.
Perhaps they can give you a little rundown of the best vegan places to go to.
You may be traveling across the world on a 14-hour flight. In that case, you will be getting a few meals on the plane.
Be sure to contact the airplane at least 48 hours before your flight to ensure you get a vegan meal.
You can usually do it on the airline’s website but if you’re unsure about how to do it, just give them a call and make sure to snag a vegan meal.
You don’t want to be stuck on an overnight flight without any food you can eat. Snacks are essential to pack but they don’t replace meals.
If you have a stopover in the middle, I highly suggest you buy yourself a vegan meal in the airport if it’s available. You can even buy an extra meal to bring on the plane with you for your next flight.
On one of my journeys, I had a stopover in London and they had tons of vegan options. I literally walked through the entire food court to see all my vegan options before choosing.
I got myself vegan scrambled eggs with sausage on the side. It was so delicious!
I almost missed my connecting flight though because I was so obsessed with checking out all the vegan meals they had available.
Also, it was in January when England has the Veganurary challenge so traveling vegan was pretty easy there!
Best cities to visit as a vegan
Traveling vegan can be made simpler if you go to one of these vegan-friendly cities, outlined by The Vegan World:
- Tel Aviv, Israel – I live right nearby and there are tons of amazing vegan restaurants! If you plan to visit Tel Aviv, shoot me a message and I will gladly recommend my favorites.
- Portland, Oregon
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Brighton, UK
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Prague, Czech Republic – I’ve been there and can definitely say that there were lots of vegan restaurants.
To wrap up
You got yourself a checklist of things to do before traveling vegan. I mentioned the best cities to visit as a vegan, which will make your vacation so much easier and more delicious!
Where is your next vacation? Are you having trouble finding vegan options there? Comment below I will be more than happy to help you!
Traveling vegan doesn’t have to be dreadful anymore thinking that you will eat plain veggies all day. You can enjoy the local cuisine like everyone else, just with a vegan twist.
All with the right planning!
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