It’s no secret that there are many benefits to going vegan. Maintaining a vegan diet of whole and nutrient-rich foods can boost your mood, increase your energy levels, and make a positive impact on the environment. It’s also a great way to make sure you’re eating ethically. But if you love to travel, being vegan can pose some challenges. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan, are new to the diet, or are traveling with someone who keeps a strict vegan diet, there’s no reason why this should stop you from seeing the world. So many destinations today are vegan-friendly and offer tons of options. But, even if you’re going somewhere that isn’t as vegan-friendly, there are still ways you can navigate your travels without going hungry. Fareportal’s Gabby Teaman has listed the ways on how to be vegan when you’re traveling no matter where you are going. Here’s is what Gabby Teaman suggests:
The first order of business is research, research, research. If you’re booking cheap flights in September, start planning as soon as early summer. It will help you immensely to do extensive research on the destination you’re traveling to, as well as the restaurants, accommodations, and grocery stores that you’ll be staying near. Use a planner, notebook, Google doc, whatever you need to make sure you have enough meals and the right accommodations for you.
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Put Your Smart Phone to Work
Spend a lot of time on Instagram? Utilize hashtags to help you on our vegan-friendly ventures. For example, if you’re heading to the Big Apple, search through and follow hashtags like #nycvegan, #vegannyc, or #plantbasednyc and see what people have posted. Not only will you find lots of restaurant options, but you’ll also have a community to fall back on if you have questions or concerns. You can also use search and join Facebook travel groups made for vegans or traveling vegans. If you know where you’re headed, post in the group and ask for suggestions. Many people will want to be helpful and share their own advice. Also, apps like Happy Cow will help you find vegan and vegetarian options all over the world.
Bring Lots of Plant-Based Vegan Snacks
If you’ve been vegan for a while, you may already know which snacks will fill you up while you’re on the go. If you’re still figuring out how to be vegan when traveling, no worries, but now’s the time to start thinking about what backup snacks you should tote along with you in case you get hangry (we’ve all been there). You don’t want to get cranky or feel faint on your three-hour hike or art museum tour. This is especially vital if you’re trying to stay healthy and fit. Snacks like trail mix, raw nuts, roasted almonds are great options, along with celery sticks and peanut butter, hummus and carrots, energy bars, and dried fruit. These items all pack protein so they’ll fill you up, and more importantly, they’re also delicious.
Eating at Non-Vegan Restaurants
If you can’t find any vegan spots and have to make do, look up the menu of the restaurant you’re going to beforehand and scope out the menu for vegan-friendly options. Depending on the location you’re visiting, you may be surprised at the number of restaurants that now have marked vegan and vegetarian options. But if this isn’t the case where you are, check for items on the menu that are baked, grilled, or steamed. If you’re worried about your food being fried in animal fats and oils, you’re less likely to encounter that with baked foods. Just remember to smile and thank your server for accommodating you.
Learn How to Ask in Another Language
If you’re traveling to a non-English speaking country, you might want to memorize some keywords in the local language, carry around a translation guide with you, or use a translating app on your phone. Important words to learn include “vegan”, “vegetarian”, “eggs”, “animal fat”, “dairy”, “meat”, and more. Whether you’re saying “Soy vegano” or “je suis végétalien”, you’ll have less to worry about if you can express your dietary needs to those around you.
Bring Condiments and Creamers With You
You may think condiments are an insignificant item to put on your packing list, but in this case, the little things can make all of the difference. For example, if you’re someone who needs that daily cup of coffee but you’re worried about finding dairy-free milk or creamer, bring your own. You should also bring some of your favorite vegan spices and sauces, especially if you’re lucky enough to get access to a kitchen. Speaking of which…
Try to Find Accommodations With a Kitchen
Rather than opting for that five-star resort, try finding other types of accommodations such as Airbnb’s that provide you with a kitchen. What you sacrifice in luxury, you make up for in convenience … and, not to mention lower prices! If you are lucky enough to land a kitchen, try not to go overboard and pack too much. Remember, you can always go down to your local convenience store, grocery store, or farmer’s market if you need to quickly whip up a meal. Try to keep things simple and filling. Now’s not the time to try out the complicated three-tiered cake you always wanted to make. Instead, try going for something like potatoes and broccoli, Morning Star burgers with hummus, cans of chickpeas and beans, whole wheat bread, and of course, lots of quinoa.