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While it’s not too hard to travel the world as a vegan, there are some places and destinations which are more difficult than others. If you’re running into any trouble, here are 10 life-changing vegan travel tips that’ll change the way you travel as a vegan!

Vegan Travel Tips: 10+ Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: eating vegan while traveling isn’t hard.

While some destinations are more difficult than others, like Vietnam due to fish sauce being in everything, there’s always various tips and helpful advice you can utilize to find vegan food anywhere.

Especially in this day in age, where technology rules and a simple Google search is at your fingertips.

For example, when Dan and I were planning our backpacking trip around Eastern Europe, everyone and anyone told us vegan travel food would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

To our pleasant surprise, everywhere we visited, even a small Hungarian town, we found it more than easy to find mouthwatering vegan dishes! 

While places like Poland have a lot of traditional meals that focus on meat and potatoes, there’s also tons of vegan options. In fact, Warsaw was named one of the best vegan cities in the world! Cool, right?

Case in point — finding vegan food while traveling is becoming easier and easier everyday, as more and more people are adopting a plant-based diet!

So, whether you’re heading to a lush, Southeast Asian country or a fairytale Polish town, finding delicious vegan meals won’t be too hard. If you find yourself in a rut, just take a look at these helpful vegan travel tips that’ll get you going down the right compassionate path.

10+ Life-Changing Vegan Travel Tips to Help You Stay a Happy Herbivore:

Pack Ahead

If you think you’re traveling somewhere with limited vegan options, pack along some hearty snacks or pre-made meals. My favorite vegan travel snacks to pack that’ll keep me full are nuts, seeds, Cliff bars, Lara bars, KIND bars, bananas, and other vegan granola bars.

(Preferably, you’ll pack something that’s plastic-free, like some fruit with natural packaging, like a banana or orange. Additionally, pack along some nuts and seeds that you can buy in bulk from a grocery store, filling up these biodegradable bulk bags that I personally have and looooove.)

Or if you’re heading out on a road trip, pack some pre-made vegan soups, pastas, rice, and more. My favorite pre-made vegan meals include the 90-second rice packets, some delicious vegetable soups (make sure they’re not made with chicken or beef broth!), packaged noodles, and packaged pasta.

Because we can both agree, there’s nothing worse than having a long travel day and getting hungry, right? Then pack ahead! Bring your fav vegan snacks and meals with you to keep your stomach happy.

Pack ahead to stay happy. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

Plan in Advance

If you’re unsure where you can find a vegan meal, it helps to plan in advance. For example, before you arrive to a destination, research your options. Check out if there are any vegan or vegetarian restaurants on HappyCow, or just places that offer plant-based options.

Additionally, if there’s nothing, plan to cook your own meals. Before traveling to your destination, plan in advance and book an accommodation with a kitchen you can utilize. Then after you’ve arrived to your location, head to a local market to pick up some fresh ingredients.

Also, here are some other ways to plan in advance when traveling as a vegan:

  • Book a vegan meal on the flight if you get a meal (under special meals or you can call the airline).
  • Contact your hosts if you’re staying with someone and let them know of your dietary preferences.
  • If you’re heading to a restaurant with friends, call the restaurant or get in touch with the workers and ask if they have any vegan meals. If not, ask if they can make one special for you. This is definitely always easier if you call ahead, rather than asking when you arrive at the restaurant.
  • Bring a couple little spice jars with you in case you cook for yourself. I always always always carry a small little jar of nutritional yeast with me because (1) that stuff is addicting and (2) it literally goes on everything and anything!
  • Pack along reusable utensils — like these bamboo ones that Dan and I love to use! — to make it easy to slurp up some soup, chow down on a few noodles, or eat a salad anywhere and everywhere.

Book Accommodations with Kitchens

As mentioned above, planning in advance sometimes means planning for cooking your own meals. With that said, try to book somewhere with a kitchen so you can cook your own vegan dishes when there are limited options in a city.

A few of my favorite hostel or AirBnB vegan travel meals (which are also cheap!) include ramen noodles, pasta with a jar of tomato sauce, fresh veggie stir fry, mashed potatoes with a side of veggies, or just some delicious mixed beans.

Additionally, it may sound weird, but straight up chickpeas with a few spices — like cumin, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder — is super tasty! And super healthy. So, in a pinch, a can of chickpeas can be a delicious, healthy, filling meal when you’re out of options.

Book accommodations with a kitchen. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

Keep an Emergency Snack Stash

Snack stash to the rescue! While you should always prepare yourself with some snacks, you should also carry an emergency snack stash. For example, planning ahead is great if you do your research, but what if time moves too fast and you forget?

This is where an emergency snack stash comes in handy. Grab a reusable container (preferably one that’s stainless-steel!) or a ziplock bag if you have nothing else and fill it with your favorites. The point of this emergency stash is to use it only when you have to!

This way it’s always with you in times of emergencies. 

Psst, want to experience some serious food FOMO? Take a look at my fellow vegan post, Ashley, on eating vegan at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival! (But for real, your mouth will be watering. I’ve warned you.)

Learn the Right Phrases

Time to utilize that beautiful thing we call Google! Google Translate is one of the best tools a vegan has in his or her toolbox. With Google Translate you can learn the right phrases to get you a delicious plant-based meal.

For example, in Indonesian, “tidak ada telur” means “no egg.” And in German, “Ich bin Veganer” means “I am vegan.”

While it’s great if you memorize these sorts of phrases, it’s not necessary when Google Translate is literally just a finger stroke away!

Another super useful tip: download the extensive phrasebook of a language before you arrive to your destination! In case you don’t have WiFi or need the phrasebook immediately when you get there, it’s important to have this ready to go in your phone when the plane lands.

Learn local phrases. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

Read this post on finding vegan food in Edinburgh, Scotland! It’s not just meat-filled haggis up there 😉

Research, Research, Research

Remember, guys, Google is there for you! If you’re planning a trip, Google which cities are the best for vegans and find a destination that looks perfect for. While it’s not necessary to plan your adventure around your vegan lifestyle, it helps to know a city or town has vegan options ready to go.

For example, when I planned my trip to Greece last year, I knew Athens had tons of vegan options ready for me to munch on!

Although, when I was initially planning my overseas trip and checking out destinations, Athens stuck out because I knew I wouldn’t go hungry. I mean, and it’s a super duper cool city so, hello, who wouldn’t want to visit?

Point is, research is your friend. Utilize Google and find destinations that support a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet.

Research for vegan travel. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

Ask Social Media

If you’re ever running out tools to utilize, social media is a great one to turn to. Ask #VeganTwitter what vegan travel options a city has to offer and write down various recommendations you get from people!

Reddit is also a fantastic one to check out. There are specific vegan forums you can read to find out where and what restaurants are serving up delicious vegan meals. Just Google, “{city} vegan food reddit” and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Instagram is another good one. Check out various vegan hashtags with your destination in mind. For example, search “#vegan[city]” like “#VeganBerlin” and you can view various food pics and restaurants.

Another tip is join Facebook groups. In the Facebook search bar, type in “vegan in [city/country/town]“, click on groups, and you’ll come across an array of groups specifically dedicated to finding vegan options in a destination.

Keep an Open Mind

…and get creative! If you’re at a restaurant with no actual vegan options, make your own! Replace the meat with beans or potatoes, order lots of rice with sautéed veggies, order pasta dishes without the butter or cheese, and lots of restaurants offer veggie burgers and fries.

If, by chance, you do come across something that is vegan, like a local dish, keep an open mind and give it a try! Even if it doesn’t sound very tasty.

For example, when Dan and I traveled to Romania, one of their local dishes is mashed beans with onions. While I love beans, it didn’t sound too appetizing but it ended up tasting delicious!

Keep an open mind. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

My first taste of pierogis — and vegan nonetheless! I found this while eating vegan in Warsaw, Poland.

Utilize Google Translate

I know, I know, I’ve already mentioned this above! But, while Google Translate is one of my favorite ways to learn the phrases that’ll help my meals stay vegan, there’s also other ways to really get the full power from this handy app.

If you’re shopping in a foreign grocery store or supermarket, it can no doubt be difficult to read the ingredient list of items. Obviously, nobody can speak every single language in the world… which is where Google Translate comes in to play!

Remember when I said to download the language book for your destination before you travel there? This is important when utilizing the Google Translate camera! Wait, wait, wait… you might be asking, “the whaaat?”

I’m talking about the holy grail of the Google Translate app. The camera function that helps to translate anything in words into readable and understandable text.

For example, if you’re in Vietnam and need help reading the menu, you can use the Google Translate camera function to analyze the text and immediately translate it into another language! This is no doubt my favorite vegan travel tip because it can be utilized so so often.

Pack Along Extra Vegan Cosmetics & Toiletries

Don’t stand the chance of running out of all your favorite vegan cosmetics! Pack along enough vegan shampoo, conditioner, face wash, soap, and makeup to last you on your adventure.

Finding vegan cosmetics can be one of the harder challenges in a city because who knows if the brand(s) test on animals or use animal byproducts in their products? Thus, it’s always easier to pack along your favorites to stay prepared!

A few of my favorite vegan cosmetics to travel with are:

  • Shampoo bar (also eco-friendly! I mention more swaps for your regular, everyday products to more eco-friendly products in this post here).
  • Elf waterproof mascara.
  • Environmentally-friendly, chemical-free sunscreen. (Or you can make your own with zinc oxide, a natural mineral that doesn’t harm sea life. Bonus: you’ll save on plastic!)
  • An organic, natural vegan soap bar (that comes in eco-friendly packaging!).

I’m not going to lie, I don’t travel with many cosmetics at the moment!

I have a few vegan cosmetics — like Tarte eyeshadow and foundation, a couple e.l.f. products, and Kat Von D Tattoo Liner — but I’m weaning myself off wearing too much makeup because I’m trying to cut down on my plastic consumption!

Anyhoo, stocking up on vegan cosmetics and toiletries if you’re heading off on a long adventure is key to staying on the compassionate travel path!

Pack along extra vegan cosmetics so you don't run out. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

Stay with Local Vegans

When searching for accommodations, try couchsurfing with local vegans! Couchsurfing is more fun and comfortable than you would think. And, typically, Couchsurfing hosts are extremely welcoming!

Plus, if you have the opportunity to stay with local vegans, you’ll have firsthand insight into the best restaurants, vegan dishes, and local vegan travel tips! Nothing better, amirite?

Also, you can check HappyCow for vegan and vegetarian accommodations around the world! Take a look at this page here.

Trying to be a sustainable traveler? Here’s 20 ways to be more green while wandering! Because the world needs us to make some changes.

Opt for a Vegan Vacation

If you don’t want to stress yourself out with all the vegan planning details, why not opt for a fully planned vegan vacation?

These days companies like Vegan Cruises, Intrepid, and Responsible Vacation are offering awesome vegan trips around the world to help vegan travelers travel easier.

Here’s a helpful list of vegan vacation travel resources to take a look at:

Stay Calm and Travel On

Overall, stay calm and travel on. If you aren’t able to find vegan options and are getting frustrated, just take a breath and utilize your vegan travel tools. There’s bound to be at least one option out there!

And if you ever end up eating something that isn’t actually vegan, don’t stress it! In most cases, you were probably completely unaware or were told it was vegan.

The best way to go about this is to just move on! All you can do is be better in the future 🙂

Keep calm and travel on. • Vegan Travel Tips to Keep You a Happy Herbivore

So, there are my very best vegan travel tips to keep you going down the compassionate path in a simpler way! If you have any questions or want some vegan travel advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Also, make sure to subscribe to my mailing list! That way, you can be notified of any of my future vegan guides and helpful vegan travel tips!

Do you travel as a vegan or opt for a mostly plant-based diet? How do you stay on top of finding vegan options while adventuring? Let me know in the comments!

Sophie xx

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