Traveling around the world means indulging in a wide variety of exotic foods. The flavors, spices, aromas, and diversity of the local cuisine tells one a lot about a country. But what if you are a vegan? You might have a difficult time finding things that you want to eat. But don’t worry because the times have changed. Nowadays, even in major seafood/meat eating countries like Japan, Vietnam, or China there are plenty of options available when it comes to vegan diet. That said, being well-prepared is the key to having a great travel experience. Following are some tips that will prove to be helpful.
Do Your Research
Researching the cuisine of your destination country can really make it easier for you when you fly in, particularly if you are traveling for the first time. National dishes should be available in many local restaurants of the country, so be sure to research about them and learn which ones are vegan-friendly. It is also recommended that you install Happy Cow app on your smartphone. It is an excellent app that complies vegetarian and vegan restaurants all over the world, as well as restaurants that serve veggie and vegan meals.
Whether you are putting a huge case in the hold or you are flying with just a carry on, you will be able to bring some snacks with you. This is particularly helpful if you are planning to go on all-day tours or hiking where vegan friendly lunch and snacks may be difficult to come by. Be aware that some countries might not allow you to take fresh produce on the flight with you. So, you should stick to dried fruits, seeds, nuts, granola bars, and other packaged snacks.
Stay Somewhere with a Kitchen
Places where primary diet consists of seafood or meat generally sell cooked vegan food quite expensive. So, it is recommended that you stay in vacation rentals, hostels, or hotels that have a kitchen or provision for an induction or microwave. In this way, you will avoid buying the expensive cooked vegan food as you will be able to prep or cook your own meals that fit your specific dietary restrictions. Hostels generally have a kitchen-use option, as do many Airbnb’s.
Learn About Substitutions
In some places, a simple request for a vegetarian or vegan meal may get lost in translation. Particularly in small towns and countries that don’t have much awareness of veganism, asking for vegan food results in receiving a meal that contains bits of meat. In such situations, simply saying “no meat” when ordering your food is not enough. You may need to specify all the ingredients that you don’t want to have in your meal. It’s may be time consuming, but it is highly recommended that you learn about vegan substitutions of popular foods. This will surely help you stay on vegetarian diet while traveling.
Traveling as a vegan may require a little work but with the right planning and guidelines, it is possible. With so many vegetarian and vegan cuisines and communities to tap into around the globe, vegans are well-positioned to enjoy a great travel experience anywhere they go.
Photos by: Pablo Merchan Montes, Glenn Carstens Peters, Ella Olsson, Mitchell Henderson, Charl Folscher