Looking for tips on how to have the best vegan trip? Whether you are a new vegan who is looking to make their first vegan holiday as stress-free as possible or a seasoned vegan here are 20 insanely useful tips for vegan travel. From vegan accommodation tips to learning local phrases there is a wealth of knowledge gathered from over 3 years of travelling as a vegan!
20 Vegan Travel Hacks
- Carry vegan treats
- Learn local phrases
- Join local Facebook Groups
- Learn about the local food
- Carry a few seasonings with you
- Stay at vegan or vegan-friendly accommodation
- Pack vegan toiletries
- Make a vegan picnic
- Health Shops
- Stay with local vegans – couchsurfing
- Check out an airbnb and cook yourselves!
- Vegan travel blogs
- Research – pinterest, google, Instagram
- Fresh Food Markets
- Pick an area which is vegan-friendly
- Vegan Passport
- Planes – be prepared
- Mental health
- You can ask for something not on the menu
- Do not feel bad if you eat 3 vegan ice creams in one day…
What is vegan travel?
Vegan travel is exploring the earth whilst avoiding to contribute to animal cruelty. This includes avoiding using and eating animal products as well as taking part in activities which exploit animals such as zoos and elephant riding.
Wendy from the Nomadic Vegan describes Veganism as “living in a way that avoids contributing to any exploitation of animals or cruelty to animals, as far as is possible and practicable.”
Vegan travel is a great way to experience our planet in an ethical and sustainable way. By avoiding to contribute to animal cruelty you are voting with your wallet and helping to make the world a better place. Yet being vegan in a non-vegan world does come with its own set of challenges. Here are 22 insanely useful vegan travel hacks to help make your vegan trip as epic as possible!
22 Vegan Travel tips!
Vegan Travel Hack #1
Carry vegan treats
One way to avoid getting hangry is to carry your own vegan treats with you!
Travel can sometimes be stressful. Things can go wrong; you may get lost or miss a bus. Then to top it off, it has been hours since your last vegan meal. This increases the likelihood of hangryness (I think that is a word…). As someone who travels with a vegan partner who is prone to hangryness, I have learnt the hard way that it is best to try and avoid these hangry episodes!
You may struggle to find vegan food in some places, therefore by being prepared with a few snacks you can curb the hunger for a while! There are plenty of vegan treats you can find in most countries such as nuts, fruit, bread, seeds, cereal bars and biscuits. If you are hiking check out this guide to the best vegan snacks for hiking!
Vegan Travel Hack #2
Learn local phrases
By learning a few local phrases, you will have a smoother trip as a vegan.
You do not need to learn the whole language, but learning the names of things you can’t eat is a good idea. Oh, the irony.
Learn the phrase “I cannot eat…” in whatever country you are visiting and the name of typical animal products in that country (ie: egg, milk, beef, chicken, fish etc.) You can also learn how to say I am vegan in that language. Just make sure you follow this sentence up with what you cannot eat. Veganism is not a term which is know everywhere. For example, when we were in Belgrade in Serbia, we asked for a dish without meat to which the waitress replied “so just chicken then?”. Similarly learn the names of common sauces which may not be vegan such as fish sauce in South East Asia.
Vegan Travel Hack #3
Join local vegan Facebook groups
Local vegan Facebook groups can be a gold mine of vegan travel hacks for that area! Simply by searching the name of your destination and the word vegan should bring up some results. Within the groups you can ask for recommendations or be inspired by some of the epic vegan food available when you get there!
Click here to join our vegan Facebook group Vegan Uk Travel.
Vegan Travel Hack #4
Learn about the local food
As part of your vegan travel planning you should learn about the local food of the area. Are there any accidental vegan dishes you can rely on? Is fish sauce or butter a common ingredient you need to watch out for? Similarly, if you know more about typical local dishes, you should be able to ask how they can be veganised for you. For example, in Italy, much is made from scratch so you know you will be able to ask for a pizza without cheese.
Learning about the local food will help you prepare for your upcoming vegan trip!
Vegan Travel Hack #5
Carry a few seasonings with you
Another vegan travel hack is to carry some seasonings with you!
This may seem random to pack some dried herbs, a Tabasco sauce or another seasoning of your choice, but by having these little bottles with you, you can turn the blandest dish into a flavoursome meal. Especially if you will be staying in self-catering accommodation or in hostels where you will be cooking your own vegan meals, having some seasonings can be really helpful. We carried garlic around Eastern Europe to flavour our meals – this may have also been to avoid meeting Dracula whilst we were in Romania haha! Just make sure that you check the entry requirements for the country you are visiting. It would be sad to be stopped at the border for some rosemary…
Vegan Travel Hack #6
Stay at Vegan Accommodation
Another way to have an epic trip as a vegan is to stay at 100% vegan accommodation! There has been a positive trend of vegan hotels, vegan apartments and vegan B&Bs popping up across the globe. For example, there are many 100% vegan B&Bs in the UK to stay at. You can stay at a luxury vegan hotel in Spain. Vegan couples looking for a romantic weekend away will enjoy staying at a stylish, cruelty-free apartment in the English city of York. You can use the booking.com form by typing in ‘vegan’ to see if there is any vegan accommodation at your next travel destination!
If you need help with deciding where to stay as a vegan check out this guide to booking accommodation as a vegan.
Vegan Travel Hack #7
Pack vegan toiletries
Vegan travellers should always make sure they pack enough vegan toiletries. Of course, you can pick up toiletries you have forgotten or run out of but you may not be able to read the ingredients on the side of certain products if they are in a different language. Similarly, certain countries such as China, require make up to be tested on animals meaning that no make up in China is cruelty-free. If you have run out of something see if there is a local health shop. They may have some vegan options or if not, use Google Translate Photo option to hover over any ingredients you are not sure about!
Vegan Travel Hack #8
Make a vegan picnic
As well as keeping vegan snacks handy, you could even make a vegan picnic!
Vegan picnic can be made the night before. Hop into your local supermarket and prepare a little vegan feast. By preparing your vegan meal the night before you do not have to worry about finding somewhere to eat and you may also save money. picnics can be particularly good in expensive European countries in the summer months. You can also enjoy a great vegan meal next to a famous land mark.
Vegan Travel Hack #9
If you are staying in a town or city, google to see where your local health shop is. Health shops can be full of yummy vegan spreads, flavoured tofu, dried soy meat and other plant-based treats. By picking up some vegan goodies you can combine them with a shop to a local supermarket to whip up some tasty vegan snacks! For example, vegan spreads mean you can grab some bread from a bakery for yummy sandwiches. Some tofu will be a lovely addition to a stir fry or soy meat to a pasta dish.
Seeking out health shops during your travels is another vegan travel hack!
Vegan Travel Hack #10
Stay with local vegans on couchsurfing
You can find local vegans to stay with on couchsurfing!
Couchsurfing is a great way to meet locals and find free accommodation. You may even be able to find vegan locals to stay with!
Couchsurfing is a wonderful platform full of lovely people but as with everything, make sure you read the reviews first and let someone know where you are.
If you cannot find a local vegan to stay with, couchsurfing is still a great form of accommodation for vegans as you will be able to cook for yourself and or save money on hotels to then spend at vegan restaurants. Who knows, you may even be able to start a conversation about veganism with your host 😊
Vegan Travel Hack #11
Check out an airbnb and cook yourselves!
Sometimes eating out can get a little stressful as a vegan. Travel can cause friction between partners if you are lost or tired from travelling. Then if you add the fact you are struggling to find a vegan-friendly place you may get even more frustrated. One way to avoid that is to stay in an Airbnb where you can cook for yourself! A kitchen means you can prepare your breakfast, sandwiches and/or evening meal. You will not need to worry about eating out and finding a place to eat out at every meal as you can please yourself.
Just make sure you only use Airbnb in destinations which are not pricing locals out of city centres. Avoid using Airbnb in places such as Barcelona and Seville which have increased rent prices for locals.
You can check out this blog by fellow travel blogger who explains how to travel responsibly with Airbnb.
Vegan Travel Hack #12
Vegan travel blogs
Checking out vegan travel blogs before your trip as a vegan can be a great way to find vegan eats in cities or be inspired on where to visit!
Vegan travel bloggers share their favourite vegan adventures so you know where to find the most delicious vegan goodies! There are certain vegan meccas such as Chiang Mai, London and Berlin. Many travel bloggers will write city guides or there are even entire blogs dedicated to vegan food in one city such as Veggie in Chiang Mai. Checking out vegan travel blogs is another vegan hack every vegan should know about!
There are many amazing vegan travel bloggers to discover and follow.
Also check out these vegan travel quotes by fellow vegans to be inspired to pack your bags!
Vegan Travel Hack #13
Research – Pinterest, Google, Instagram…
‘Google it’ (or ‘Bing it’ if you are currently living in China without a VPN) to find what you need to know. After you have booked your trip get excited and prepare yourself for all the vegan food you can eat by researching on the internet.
Sometimes, simply typing in “vegan guide to …” will land you with your perfect guide. you will be able to prepare yourself for your trip. For example, vegan travel guides tend to list accidentally vegan foods in that destination or what sneaky ingredients to watch out for.
Googling all the amazing things you can eat will not only make sure you are prepared but will help you get very excited about your trip!
Check out some of the vegan travel guides on our blog such as a vegan guide to oxford, the best vegan restaurants in Paris, vegan guide to Cardiff, vegan eats in Saltaire and a vegan guide to Chiang Rai!
Vegan Travel Hack #14
Fresh food markets
Fresh food markets can be great places to find cheap, locally-sourced vegan food!
In Asia, the so-called wet markets are full of delicious green vegetables and juicy fruits. In Europe you can find a huge array of indoor food markets full of fresh food and maybe even vegan goodies. Famous markets such as the Borough Market in London have plenty of vegan options but at tourist prices. See if you can seek out a market where the locals shop. Not only do you know that you are supporting small, local businesses but they will be cheaper too.
Stock up on fresh fruit and veg to take back to your self-catering accommodation to whip up a delicious vegan meal.
We found some tasty vegan cakes at a local market in Seville in Spain!
Vegan Travel Hack #15
Pick an area to stay which is vegan-friendly
If you are staying in a city and do not fancy cooking on your vegan holiday, see if you can stay in a vegan-friendly part of town.
After you have decided which city you are going to visit open up HappyCow. With the help of the app, you can see if any areas have a high density of vegan-friendly restaurants. Imagine not having to stroll far after a delicious vegan meal to get back to your accommodation.
Alternatively, see if you can stay somewhere where there is easy transport to vegan-friendly restaurants. Pick a place to stay which is close to a metro or bus stop in order to avoid expensive and polluting taxis.
Of course, make sure that the location of the place you choose to stay is also close to the things you would like to see!
For more advice click here to read all about booking accommodation as a vegan.
Vegan Travel Hack #16
The vegan passport was created and is continuously updated by the Vegan Society. It was made with globetrotting vegans in mind. It is a multilanguage phrase book and can be easily downloaded to your phone.
The vegan passport covers 96% of the world languages and its latest edition now includes Hausa, Igbo, Xhosa and Zulu.
There are even pictures to ensure that you can communicate that you are vegan wherever you are in the world!
Click here to get the vegan passport to help you on your vegan travels!
Vegan Travel Hack #17
Planes – be prepared
You may have heard that the budget airline Ryanair now does a vegan lasagne. Many airlines have a vegan option. Some do not. Whilst we do not mind not having any options during a short flight, on long distant flights we want to make sure we will have a meal.
Airlines can cater for vegetarians and some cater to vegans. There are some delicious vegan meals yet be aware that they can run out of vegan meals or sometimes your booking request may not have got to the chef. There have been many stories of vegans being given no food except a bag of crisps on long haul flights. Bring some goodies with you just in case! Most of the time there will be food for you but sitting uncomfortably with your tummy grumbling does not make for a fun flight!
Vegan Travel Hack #18
This may seem a strange one to include here but make sure you look after your mental health as well as your physical health on your vegan travels.
You may sometimes see things that make you sad, question what the point is or just make you feel damn angry! It can be overwhelming to see many dead animals sold as street food or how much plastic is being consumed in the world etc. This can get you down.
Being vegan in a non-vegan world is hard! Just remember that you are doing something about it! You are setting an example and making the world a better place by choosing to be a compassionate earthling. No country is perfect and just remember that you are not contributing or are minimising your contribution to the things you see which are making you sad.
Take time out in nature to reconnect with the earth if you can or read a good book. Even keep a little travel journal to note down all the good things you see and do on your trip. These will outweigh the bad!
Look after yourself on your vegan trips.
Vegan Travel Hack #19
You can ask for something not on the menu
Something many of us vegans do not always feel confident doing is by asking for something that is not on the menu.
When we travel, we will have a look at a menu. If there is something we fancy we will go in. sometimes you may be in areas where the restaurants are not very vegan-friendly. Or you are with omnivore travellers who are not prepared to walk around finding somewhere that serves plant-based dishes.
If this is the case, ask the chef to see if they can whip you up some veggies. If they look confused you can even suggest a dish (pasta with veggies or rice, tofu and veggies etc). In rural China, small restaurants often have a refrigerator storing all of their fresh produce. You can literally point at what you want (tofu and pak choi with a bit of soy sauce and garlic is incredible!) and they will be happy to cook it for you. After all, most places want your business and by showing them that there is the demand for vegan dishes, they may add one to their menu one day 😉
Knowing that you are not limited to a menu is another vegan travel hack!
Vegan Travel Hack #20
Do not feel bad if you eat 3 vegan ice creams in one day…
Vegan travel a few years ago meant that you were highly likely to lose weight during your travels. Not anymore! There has been an explosion in vegan restaurants popping up across the globe. Especially vegan junk food has taken off in popularity. As vegans, we want to support these places as much as possible. In shops with vegan options, we can feel compelled to buy that vegan cake so that that place continues to cater to vegans.
This compulsion means that you sometimes end up eating 2 cakes in 1 day or 3 ice creams in one afternoon (this happened to us in Spain…who knew there was so much vegan ice cream in Malaga?). If you are long term travellers this is not a sustainable diet for your health (or wallet). Yet if this is your holiday, just enjoy yourself! Afterall, you are doing your bit to support the vegan movement 😉
Are these vegan travel hacks useful?
Hope you have found these vegan travel hacks useful! Have you been inspired to book your next vegan trip? Let us know in the comments below! Also let us know if you have any vegan travel hacks that we have not included in the list.