When booking accommodation as a vegan there are a few things to consider. So, you have booked your train, bus, plane or road trip to your destination, but before you start packing you need to book your accommodation. In order to find the perfect place to stay there are a few things you should think about when booking accommodation as a vegan. This article is full of helpful vegan tips and is the ultimate guide to booking accommodation as a vegan.
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The Ultimate Guide to booking accommodation as a vegan
- What do I need to consider when booking accommodation as a vegan?
- Accommodation options as a vegan
- Staying at 100% Vegan Accommodation
- Considering the location of your accommodation
What do I need to consider when booking accommodation as a vegan?
As a vegan when you are booking accommodation, there are two main things you need to consider.
Firstly, what type of accommodation would you like to stay in? Are you a vegan on a budget who would prefer staying in a hostel or would you like to splurge by treating yourself to a stay at 100% vegan accommodation? Below you will find the pros and cons to all types of accommodation for vegans.
Secondly, you need to plan carefully where your accommodation will be. Do you want to be near all of the vegan restaurants in a city? Do you want to make sure you are near public transport in order to save on transport costs and minimise your carbon footprint by avoiding taxis? Here is the perfect guide to help you decide where to stay in destinations as a vegan.
Staying in a hotel as a vegan
If you would like to stay at a hotel as a vegan, have a good look at the food options before you book.
Staying at a hotel as a vegan can be a wonderful way to spend your holiday but it may be the case that there are not many vegan food options. A hotel stay can be the perfect way to spend a luxurious break. Some hotels have wonderful pools for you to lounge and relax in.
Advantages of staying at a hotel as a vegan
Staying at a hotel is the ultimate treat. Allow yourself to be pampered as you do none of the cooking of cleaning. Enjoy a swim in the hotel pool or spa. As there are no self-catering facilities, open up happycow and check out your local vegan options. What a shame you will have to go and eat out!
Book your stay at a hotel using Booking.com
Disadvantages of staying at a hotel as a vegan
The main cons of staying at a hotel are the lack of self-catering facilities and the sometimes limited vegan options at breakfast. If you are booking the hotel, you can research vegan-friendly hotels to see which ones will provide a vegan breakfast. Yet you may not have a choice which hotel you are staying at if you are going with omnivorous friends or family. If that is the case, ring up to enquire as to what you can have for breakfast. That way they will know in advance. Alternatively see if there will be a miny fridge in your room. You may be able to store some plant-based milk or margarine which you could use at breakfast. Many hotels will be able to provide you with an option yet you may feel you do not get your money’s worth compared to your omnivorous companions.
Another con of staying at a hotel as a vegan is that you are forced to eat out. As there are no self-catering facilities you will have to eat out in the evening and find lunch during the day. Theses meals can soon add up. Furthermore, if you are in a group of omnivores it may cause tension if there are limited vegan options at nearby restaurants.
Also rather than stay at huge international corporate chain, try to support local independent business so you know that your money will stay in the place you are visiting.
Staying at a hotel as a vegan can be a wonderfully relaxing experience or it can be a very frustrating one. Do your research in advance to make your stay as smooth as possible.
Check out our review of staying at a budget luxury boutique hotel in Chiang Mai.
Staying in a Hostel as a vegan
Hostels are great accommodation choices for vegans on a budget. You can find cheap dorm rooms and cook your own vegan meals in the hostel kitchen.
Advantages of staying in a hostel as a vegan
If you stay in a hostel as a vegan there are 2 main advantages. One that you can cook your own vegan meals. Just pop out to the local supermarket and whip up a vegan feast. Make sure you always carry some seasoning with you. Maybe pack some dry herbs or some garlic gloves in your suitcase. If you prefer your food with a bit of heat bring a bottle of siracha or some chilli flakes with you. That way, the most frugal of vegan meals will taste delicious with some seasoning! You can also store your own soy/coconut/cashew/almond/out/pea (yes really!)/hazelnut milk in the hostel fridge meaning you can treat yourself to a vegan breakfast before you head out for a day of site seeing. You could even make a vegan picnic using the utensils in the kitchen. Being able to cook your own vegan meals, make your own vegan breakfast or prepare a vegan picnic is one of the main advantages of staying at a hostel as a vegan.
Another great thing about staying at hostels are the people! As a vegan you may meet fellow vegans or you could even take part in some sneaky activism. People may see what you are cooking and will ask questions accordingly. How hard is it to travel as a vegan? Answer their questions and who knows, you may have changed that person’s perception on veganism and vegan travel.
Disadvantages of staying in a hostel as a vegan
Some of the cons of staying in a hostel can be judgemental omnivores. Most travellers who choose to stay in hostels are very open-minded and friendly. Most of us love having conversations with fellow travellers. Yet as in all groups of society, there will sometimes be narrow-minded individuals. There may be heated debates which you do not want to take part in during your holiday. Some messy hostel users may not clean their cooking utensils properly after preparing meat dishes. If you live in a vegan household, you may no longer be used to seeing raw meat which means seeing animal products in a hostel kitchen can be upsetting. Yet just bare in mind, that we do not live in a vegan world (YET!) and that the world is changing.
Always remember that if you choose to stay in a hostel, you can afford to treat yourself during the day. As if you save money on your accommodation, you will have more money to spend on vegan waffles, vegan ice cream or vegan cakes to try during your explorations!
Staying at an Airbnb as a vegan
Airbnbs are another great choice for vegans to stay in. Here are the pros and cons of staying in a Airbnb as a vegan.
Advantages of staying at an Airbnb as a vegan
One of the main draws of staying at an Airbnb is the ability to cook for yourself. Just like at a hostel you can prepare your own vegan meals, vegan breakfasts and vegan snacks at an Airbnb. Unlike using a hostel kitchen, you will normally have the luxury of having your own kitchen. There may also be oil, herbs and spices for you to use to season your vegan food. This means that unlike eating out all the time you can also save money by cooking your own vegan meals.
Another advantage of staying at an Airbnb is having a whole place to yourself and experiencing the city ‘like a local’. You can stay in whole apartments and imagine that you live in this destination during your stay. Yet the ability to pretend you are a local is one of the main negatives about supporting Airbnb.
Disadvantages of staying at an Airbnb as a vegan
The main disadvantages of Airbnb are the adverse affects on locals. As vegans, we try to avoid unnecessary harm or suffering to all living creatures and live as ethically as we can. In some cities, the popularity of Airbnb has priced some of the locals out of popular tourist spots as the yield from Airbnb rentals is higher that from normal rents. Make sure you check the impact that Airbnb has had on the city you are visiting before booking. For example, places such as Barcelona have been adversely affected and cities such as Berlin have even banned Airbnb rentals.
Check the local situation before you book an Airbnb rental as an ethical traveller. Try to minimise your social impact on locals who may have benefited from more long-term rental options. Furthermore, staying at an Airbnb does not help support the local economy as much as a stay at a hostel or hotel. There are no receptionists, concierge staff or waiters employed whose salaries you would be contributing to in other accommodation options.
If you are staying somewhere very rural where rent demand is low, then staying at an Airbnb is an excellent choice for vegans looking for private self-catering accommodation.
If you have not signed up to AirBnB yet, use this link to get £25 off your first stay!
Staying in a House Sit as a Vegan
The pros and cons of house sitting as a vegan section was written by the lovely travelling vegans of Alternative Travelers.
House sitting is an amazing option for traveling vegans, especially if you’re on a budget.
Advantages of house sitting as a vegan
As a house sitter, you take care of someone’s home and pets in exchange for accommodation. This is the perfect scenario for vegans as you get to snuggle with adorable animals, save money, and have access to a kitchen to prepare your meals. Traveling vegans know how important kitchen access is!
If you’re not into cooking, all the money that you’re saving can be allocated to eating meals out! We have house sat across the US, the Caribbean, and Europe, including in vegan hot spots like Portland, New York City, Berlin, Madrid, and London. House sitting in these places was truly ideal as we got to eat out much more – and try lots more yummy vegan food – than we would have if we were paying for accommodation.
Disadvantages of house sitting as a vegan
Keep in mind that house sitting isn’t for everyone, and there are some cons of which potential house sitters should be aware. You must accept the huge responsibility of taking care of someone else’s home and precious animals. You won’t be able to do long day trips, and if something goes wrong at the house or with the pets, you’ll need to address the situation. That’s what you’re there for, after all! While we have only had a couple of emergency situations occur in our three years of house sitting, they do happen. House sitting is not the worry-free vacation that comes when you pay to stay in a hotel. Likewise, you’ll have trouble finding house sits if you have a specific dates and/or a specific location in mind. House sits appear when pet owners have a need, so you must be flexible in when and where you go. We find all of our house sits on TrustedHousesitters, which you can read more about in our TrustedHousesitters Review.
Staying at an all-inclusive resort as a vegan
All inclusive resorts are accommodation options which cover your lodging and food. Many of these resorts include all 3 meals, all drinks as well as alcoholic drinks. These resorts can be excellent for those who do not want to budget any extra spending money for food as they know that is covered. However, for those of us who cannot eat everything and are conscious about our impact on the local economy an all-inclusive resort may not be the best accommodation option for vegans.
Advantage of staying at an all-inclusive resort as a vegan
The main advantage of staying in an all-inclusive resort is that you have paid most of your costs of your holiday upfront. You do not need to worry too much about spending money. Also if you are just looking for some sun and a place to relax an all-inclusive resort could be exactly what you need. For vegans looking for a fairly relaxed holiday, an all-inclusive resort could be a good option for you.
The disadvantages of staying at an all-inclusive resort as a vegan
There are a few disadvantages to staying at all-inclusive accommodation as a vegan. Firstly, you may not get your money’s worth if you cannot try all of the food and drink on offer. Yet more importantly, we need to consider the social impact of all-inclusive resorts and the impact on the locals.
As an all-inclusive requires guests to pay upfront, it could be argued that there is little incentive to go leave the resort. This means that guests may not be inclined to hire local guides, eat in local restaurants or pay entry fees to see the surrounding sites. One consequence of staying within the all-inclusive bubble is that the resort, which is often owned by an overseas company, keeps most of the tourists’ money. Whilst tourism can be used by communities to obtain extra funds, this is not always the case if the tourist never leaves the resort. Furthermore, guests at these resorts can use huge amounts of energy and leave considerable amount of waste which seems an unfair trade for locals.
Over the years all-inclusive resorts have been known to exploit local communities. In a few all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, beaches were fenced off from locals and protected by security guards. These guards helped to enhance the idea that the locals were dangerous which led to guests staying within the resort and thus spending more money with the resort rather than the country they are visiting.
The unfair economic trade off of all-inclusive resorts demonstrates that all-inclusive resorts may not be the most ethical accommodation options for vegans. There are of course resorts which do not harm the local economy. Just make sure you do your research before booking your stay at an all-inclusive resort.
Staying at a B&B as a vegan
The word ‘B&B’ stands for ‘bed and breakfast’. You can find B&Bs around the world, but they are particularly popular in the UK. In the UK, there are over 25000 B&Bs. Guests may prefer the small-scale individualised personal service as a reason behind the higher guest satisfaction achieved by B&Bs compared to hotels. Yet for others, it is that luxury of a cooked breakfast that entices them. However, a full English is a very meaty dish meaning that this may not be the best accommodation choice for vegans.
Advantages of staying in a B&B as a vegan
There are a few advantages of staying in a B&B as a vegan. The highly personal service means they may be able to provide to your dietry requests. Many B&Bs across the UK now serve vegan options. In fact there are even over a dozen 100% vegan B&Bs in the UK you can stay at. Furthermore, you do not need to worry about breakfast as that is taken care of for you.
Disadvantages of staying in a B&B as a vegan
The main disadvantage of staying in a B&B is that they may not be able to provide a vegan breakfast for you. The breakfast is such an important part of any stay at a B&B so it would be a shame not to be able to have a breakfast. Furthermore, there may be an overwhelming smell of cooked bacon in the breakfast room which is enough to turn any vegan’s stomach.
B&Bs can be a lovely accommodation choice with a highly personal level of service. There are plenty of incredible vegan B&Bs to stay at in the UK but not all B&Bs are able to cater for vegans.
Staying in a tent as a vegan
The pros and cons of staying in a tent as a vegan was written by the wonderful vegan travel bloggers over on VeggieVagabonds.com
Though tents may not be the perfect accommodation for vegans, it’s definitely the type we love the most. For us the good points are just so damn good we overlook some of the slightly more frustrating aspects, especially for two vegans in a tent in the woods.
Advantages of staying in a tent as a vegan
The thing we love most about camping is being connected with nature. As vegans and wildlife lovers you can’t beat spending days, weeks or even months completely absorbed in the natural world, waking up with the sounds of birds and drifting off underneath the stary sky. This also means you can have the most beautiful settings for your tasty vegan nom. Who needs expensive restaurants when you can have a picnic in the woods looking at a waterfall?
Camping is also great because it can be free and you can do it almost anywhere. Just find yourself a nice natural setting, away from civilisation, and you’ve got yourself your own private vegan resort. Because of the the flexibility it’s great to tie it in with hiking or cycling trips, spending the day on the move and then finding a nice place to stop for the evening.
Disadvantages of staying in a tent as a vegan
But, camping has its pros and cons for sure. One of the main things for vegans is that it’s hard to keep and store fresh ingredients. I don’t know about you but if we’re spending a week in the woods, I don’t want it to be living off just canned foods. Seen pictures of vegan camping trips with BBQ’d tofu and roasted cauliflower? Well, it ain’t that easy to carry unless you’re going to be driving, and, if you’re in the middle of nowhere it’s unlikely you’ll find a big supermarket or health food shop with vegan goodies. Options can unfortunately become limited.
I don’t know about you but there’s nothing worse than people taking your food, right? Well, in the outdoors you’re constantly surrounded by thousands of furry friends who are dying to get their hands on your grub and they’ll bite through the side of your tent to get it!
Couchsurfing as a vegan
The word couchsurfing seems to bring out polar opposite opinions in people. Some people seem horrified at the idea of staying with a complete stranger yet others love the liberating experience of staying with a local for free. Couchsurfing is a fantastic accommodation option for vegan travellers. There are a few pros and cons with couchsurfing as a vegan. Yet some experiences and people met through couchsurfing can create lifelong friendships!
Advantages of couchsurfing as a vegan
One of the pros of couchsurfing is that it is free! Of course, good couch surfing etiquette is to bring a gift or offer to cook one evening for your host. This is the perfect time to show off how delicious vegan food can be to a non-vegan or to connect with a fellow vegan if they are already! The ability to cook can also bring the costs down meaning you can spend more on eating out in the city!
Another great advantage of couchsurfing is that you get to live with a local and get local tips! For example they may invite you to a local event, tell you where the best urban hike is or where to find the best vegan ice cream.
Disadvantages of couchsurfing as a vegan
There are a few disadvantages of couchsurfing as a vegan. You may be staying with a meat eater meaning that the kitchen may be full of animal products which can be upsetting as a vegan. Also your host may have preconceived of veganism which could result in some tense debates. There are also the obvious safety risks of couchsurfing. Just make sure you read the reviews, let people know where you are and use your gut. If it feels wrong it probably is.
Furthermore, some areas may have few hosts and other areas may be high in demand making it hard to find a host at last minute. For example, cities such as New York or in the Scandanavian countries hosts are in high demand meaning you should make your couch requests as personalised as possible.
Couchsurfing is a fantastic free form of accommodation. You can meet locals, make your own vegan food and save lots of money! Just make sure you read the reviews and have a contingency plan in place.
Staying in vegan accommodation as a vegan!
The dream place for vegans to stay is at 100% vegan accommodation! Luckily, the amount of vegan b&bs, vegan hotels and vegan resorts across the globe are rapidly increasing. There are vegan surf retreats, vegan yoga retreats and vegan self-catering apartments which are perfect for the vegan traveller!
There are of course numerous advantages for vegans staying at 100% vegan accommodation.
Advantages of staying in vegan accommodation
You are supporting a vegan business
By choosing to stay at vegan accommodation you are supporting a vegan business and therefore the vegan movement. As we all know, are wallets do make a difference. What products and services we choose to use and which businesses we choose to support is a direct form of activism. Support these wonderful individuals who are helping create a vegan world. Let’s support vegan b&bs and vegan hostels by choosing to stay at them.
You know that everything is vegan
An obvious advantage of staying in vegan accommodation is that you can be sure that everything is vegan. There will be no dead antlers on the wall or feathers in your pillows. The toiletries will be cruelty-free and most importantly – you can eat everything!
Check out our stay at I Should Cocoa in York which is a vegan apartment! Everything from the paint and carpet to the toiletries and coffee are cruelty-free!
You know you will be able to eat everything
The best thing about staying in vegan accommodation is that you will be able to eat everything! No more awkward conversations with the chef or being jealous that everyone else can stuff their faces whilst you are making do with a measly salad. Enjoy delicious vegan cooked breakfasts, vegan continental breakfasts, soy milk on tap and other vegan goodies! Just be careful, as you may just want to stay in your vegan accommodation rather than explore the place you have actually come to see!
You know you are getting your money’s worth
One of the great things of staying in vegan accommodation is that you know you are getting good value for money. Compared to staying at an all you can eat resort which may not have many vegan options you know you can enjoy all the food meaning you get your money’s worth.
You will get to know other vegans!
Another great advantage of staying in 100% vegan accommodation is that you get to meet other vegans 😀 The owners of the vegan accommodation will be vegan. We loved meeting the owners of Little Sansook a vegan B&B in the Lake district in the UK. It was so nice chatting with them about their vegan businesses!
If you meet some of the other guests, they may be vegan too! Vegans will take over eventually!
Disadvantages of Vegan Accommodation
Vegan accommodation can be more expensive
In order not to be biased towards vegan accommodation there are of course a few disadvantages. Running a vegan business is more expensive than standard accommodation. Things such as sustainable toilet roll cost more than a supermarket alternative. Soy milk is sadly still more expensive than cow milk. This extra cost is passed on to guests. Most of us are happy to pay that little extra, but long-term vegan travellers on a budget may not be able to afford this luxury.
There are far fewer vegan hotels than standard hotels
Whilst more vegan hotels, vegan B&Bs, vegan self-catering studios and vegan hostels are popping up across the globe, they are still vastly outnumbered. This means that not every destination has a vegan B&B. even if they do have a vegan hotel, it may be fully booked forcing you to look elsewhere. Furthermore, vegan venues are often off the beaten path and are difficult to reach by public transport.
Even if you only want to stay in vegan accommodation you may not be able to logistically be able to.
Check out our review of our stay at the Zero-Waste Little Sansook Vegan B&B in the Lake District!
Location of your accommodation
One of the most important things when booking accommodation as a vegan is the location. You may book the most wonderful hotel/Airbnb/B&B/house sit/hostel etc, but if it not near a supermarket, the main sites or the vegan restaurants you may regret your booking.
Firstly, consider what you want to do when you are visiting. If you are a vegan visiting Paris, what parts of the city do you want to see? If you are happy to spend some time on the underground you will have no problem getting around but for those who want to be close to a few particular sites consider that when you are booking.
Secondly, if you are planning on cooking, are you near a supermarket or a market? It is no fun carrying shopping for miles so make sure there are amenities near your accommodation.
Thirdly, is it near the vegan restaurants? For most vegans, the most fun part of planning a trip is finding all the vegan venues in the city! Using Happy Cow have a look at some of the places you most definitely want to visit. Does there seem to be a cluster of vegan places? Sometimes, some parts of a city can be more vegan friendly than others. Alternatively, if you are going to somewhere like Busan in South Korea, there are very few vegan options meaning you may want to base yourself close to one of them. Of course, make sure this aligns with your site seeing itinerary as sometimes hippy, student areas full of vegan restaurants may be far from the city centre.
Other aspects to consider are public transport stops, how easy it is to get to the accommodation from the rail station or airport for example as well as how quiet the neighbourhood is for light sleepers. For the perfect stay as a vegan consider the type of accommodation as well as the location and you will have a perfect holiday!
Also make sure you leave a review after staying there to let other vegans know how vegan-friendly that accommodation was.
Do you have any more tips for booking accommodation as a vegan?
Do you have any more tips for booking accommodation as a vegan? Let us know in the comments below if you found this useful or if you have any more tips for vegans about to embark on their next trip!