Vegan Travel Guide
To All The Veggie Vagabonds…
The vegan lifestyle has grown dramatically within the past few years and now has quite a large following. As a vegan myself, I completely understand the conviction to live a more environmentally-friendly and animal-friendly life. But, as I am also a travel-enthusiast, I love going to new places and trying new foods. Maintaining your vegan diet can become challenging during travel. The good news is, you do not have to compromise your passion for veganism or your passion for travel. They can, and do, co-exist and I am here to share with you my tips and tricks on how to make that happen.
I cannot stress enough the importance of communication when it comes to your diet restrictions. If you are staying with others during your journey or at your destination, give them the courtesy of knowing what you do and do not eat. I know there is a stigma that “if you ever meet a vegan, you’ll know because they’ll tell you”, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. It is something that effects you at least three times a day. From experience I know that the people I visit appreciate knowing I am a vegan so they can adjust the meals they were preparing instead of feeling like a bad host for not having food for their guest. Often times they can also let you know yummy restaurants around their town that offer vegan options. It is for everyone’s best interest to be open about your diet. And how cool is it that your host might get to try some delicious vegan food while you are staying with them?!
Know Your Staples
As a vegan, you already know how important staple foods are. It is even more important to have these locked down while you are traveling. There are some food items you can find anywhere you go, examples being rice, beans, bread, fruits, and veggies. If worst comes to worst and your destination doesn’t have many options for you, there is always a grocery store or market that you can stop by and pick up these items and cook a basic meal for yourself. In fact it can be really fun to check out the local markets and grocery stores of the places you are staying and see what funky food items thy have to offer.
As with any restrictive diet, it is necessary to plan ahead and research places you can eat in advance. I highly recommend an App called Happy Cow. It is basically a Yelp for vegans and vegetarians. It will show you all the complying restaurants in your area, that way you can check out the menu ahead of time and contribute some great options when your friends want to go out to eat. If you do find yourself at a non-vegan restaurant though, there is always a way to make it work. Of course salad and french fries are always on your side, but often you can find some vegetarian dishes and turn them vegan just by asking for no cheese. Be creative. Sometimes I even look at the side menu and mix together a few things to create my own meal. Think outside the box.
Above all else, learn to be flexible. That may not be new news for you, but it is so important to remember while you are traveling, especially with other people. If you can practice flexibility people will be so much more open to accommodating your dietary needs and not feel like it’s a huge strain. Often when you go with the flow, you will stumble upon the best places that you may have never expected to have veggie options. It’s up to you to give vegans a good name and show others that you don’t have to just eat rabbit food.