Traveling as a vegan may seem like a daunting task since you don’t have the same control that you do in your own house. But I love to travel, so that was motivation enough to make my vegan travel adventures as enjoyable as possible. With the following tips and tricks, you’ll find that it’s easier than you think!
- Always research your destination. Use the HappyCow app to find all the local vegan and vegan-friendly places near your destination. Get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the many hidden treasures that you’ll find.
2. Inform your hosts. If you’re planning to stay with friends or relatives, kindly let them know ahead of time about your dietary preferences. This will save them from going through the trouble of cooking animal-based foods that you won’t eat and may even get them interested in a vegan lifestyle. As long as you’re cool and respectful about it, other people usually will be, too.
3. Call ahead on planes. For super-long flights, call the airline at least 72 hours prior to your flight to request vegan options.
4. Pack your own food! Even if the travel destination or mode of transportation (such as your flight) guarantees vegan food, do yourself a favor by packing snacks just in case. Although vegan dining is on the verge of going mainstream, it’s still better to plan ahead and be prepared. Veggie sticks with dip, dried fruit, trail mix, bars, nuts, etc., all make great snack options while you’re on the go or at the airport.
5. Be creative at restaurants! Plant-based restaurants are, of course, the ideal thing to aim for, but let’s face it: They’re not everywhere (yet). If you find yourself in a restaurant that lacks vegan options, get creative. Replace the meat in burritos with rice, potatoes, guac, and extra veggies. (The same can be done with fajitas.) Order pasta dishes with marinara sauce or grilled veggies tossed in olive oil. And almost every place has veggie burgers and fries these days. If you can’t be 100 percent sure about whether the pasta or bun you’re ordering contains eggs, don’t fret over it. This isn’t about purity. It’s about doing your best to minimize suffering.
6. Offer to cook one night. If I’m staying with relatives, I love taking at least one night to serve them a delicious vegan dinner. It’s a win-win situation because they don’t have to cook for a night and I get to show them how easy it is to whip up a meal that’s cruelty-free!
7. Get a vegan passport! Traveling out of the country? You can try to use Google Translate to explain what a “vegan” is in different languages, or you can just carry around one of these bad boys.
8. Stock up on cruelty-free essentials. Saving animals goes beyond what we eat, right? Be sure to keep your toiletries on hand. Health-food stores such as Whole Foods have a great selection of travel-sized products that aren’t tested on animals. Or you can just take whatever you already have at home and fill up empty containers with it.
Traveling internationally? Check out our Vegan Around The World guide!