When I started the New Year of 2020 in Peru I was so sick of all the meat dishes that we got served in the past weeks that I decided I want to seriously try a vegan lifestyle for a longer period. Even though I cooked more and more vegetarian dishes in the last few years, I´ve never been totally vegan before for longer than a 30-day challenge and never on travel. But 2020 was supposed to be the year of my big world trip and I wanted to give it a try. I asked myself which preparations I could do to make it easier and if it would be even possible to stick with it for a long period of time.Is it possible to stay vegan on a world trip? Klick um zu Tweeten
Staying vegan while travelling can be pretty tough and depending on where you are travelling to it´s sometimes even hard to find a vegetarian alternative. As I couldn’t find much help myself, when I was looking for vegan travel tips, I decided to share my new knowledge with you guys.
It Starts On The Plane
When you are travelling by train you can obviously take a prepared home meal with you, the same goes for a car trip, but when it comes to taking a plane it starts getting trickier. Depending on how long your plane ride is, I highly recommend you plan ahead and coordinate a vegan menu in advance. Most airlines allow you to choose a vegan meal option for free and you can choose it on their website or app in just a few minutes. Give it a try! I did this a couple of times, always had good meals and even got my meal before everyone else, which is also nice.
Take A Snack
Never leave anywhere without some vegan snacks. Even when you planned the vegan meal on your plane, better take one or two snacks for the ride anyway, as you never know how good the meals are. When you are exploring a new place you will also be thankful for your little snacks when you get hungry, but don’t have any plant-based restaurants nearby.
So be prepared for little hunger attacks and buy some snacks before your journey. I mainly take cereal bars, as they don’t take up much space and fit in every little purse. But there are so many other great options. I also recommend you to check out the local supermarkets. They often have some great little packages, but depending on the country they might be more expensive and are often packed in a ton of unnecessary plastic.
Plan Your Meals Ahead
The more you plan your meals ahead the easier it will be for you to stick to your plant-based diet. Let’s look at the different difficulties of meal planning.
Might be the easiest, there are often lots of choices on a buffet and in a restaurant you can ask if they do a little change to the dish you want, to make it vegan. From what I experienced restaurants have always been really friendly when I asked them to leave one ingredient out to make it vegan.
Lunch and Dinner
On Tripadivisor you can filter for vegan / vegetarian restaurants and often you can even look at the menus (which I highly recommend making sure you will not end up with three falafel burgers in just one week like me). Another amazing way to find vegan restaurants is the page Happy Cow, which recommends lots of vegan restaurants and also gives some other great vegan travel tips. And lastly, I recommend you get some vegan food inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram before your travel. You can look for a destination there and find lots of pictures of the dishes, which will make it easier for you to decide if you will like to go there.
If you prefer a plant-based diet you might feel more comfortable in a hostel or airbnb apartment, where you have a kitchen and can prepare your own meals.
If you are looking for a hotel I can really recommend Veggie Hotels.
Connect With Locals And Share Your Experiences
If you know that you will spend a longer while in a place than connect with some vegan locals. You can write them in advance over Instagram or you can meet up when you are there. You could write vegan travellers, that you know have been to the place and ask for their recommendations. The best is if you share your own experiences on the pages I recommended to you like HappyCow and Tripadvisor to make it easier for others to find good vegan options.
Make Sure There Is No Language Barrier
Even though most people speak English nowadays, it is better to not expect everyone to know what „vegan“ means. Better learn some phrases in advance like „I am not eating meat, fish, eggs, cheese, butter“ / „no animal products“ / „plant-based only“. If you learn some easy phrases it will be easier for you to communicate with locals and they also often react way more friendlier, when they see that you try to connect with them
My Travel Experiences
Last but not least I want to share some of my own experiences. Because of our current pandemic, I only travelled for a few weeks instead of half a year that I planned originally. Nevertheless, even in those few weeks, I struggled way more than I thought on finding vegan options. We often looked up vegan/vegetarian restaurants in advance, but there were not so many options in the places we visited (Central America). Finding a vegetarian option was not hard, but vegan didn’t really exist. One thing that really started to bother me was that in almost every single restaurant the only vegetarian option was a falafel burger. I mean they tasted good, but you don’t want to eat a burger every single day right? And for all of you who say: Hey just eat a salad. Just because I want to eat vegan doesn’t mean that I’m on a diet, okay?
I’m just as hungry as you are and especially on a travel journey I need energy. We were travelling with a backpack and hiking in national parks, so when it finally came to lunch or dinner time I was starving for food. Vegan dishes can be so delicious, but on our trip, the plates have been tiny and didn’t fill me up enough. I found it pretty hard to only eat vegan and had mainly vegetarian dishes. I guess that’s also good, as I’ve not been completely vegetarian before our trip. So my eating habits changed for the better, but I wish I could have accomplished my own challenge. I still hope that in the new future it will be easier to find vegan options so that more people can see the benefits of them and try them out.
Now let me know: Are you eating vegan?
Which struggles did you experience travelling and most importantly which tips can you give me for my next trip so that I can really stick to a plant-based diet?