VEGAN TRAVEL TIPS: YES WE HAVE NO BANANAS!
Travelling as a vegan isn’t always easy. There are those times when all you can bag is a tin of fruit and a flip flop. On those occasions most of the time the place I’m in far outweighs any inconvenience on the food foraging front and I normally manage to get some strange ensemble together. To be fair ‘those’ places are few and far between these days and vegan options/restaurants are literally springing up all over! I will be posting finds from around the globe and here my top vegan travel tips:
- The Happy Cow app or website is invaluable at home and away for finding vegan options nearby and really comes up with some gems. I love how it takes you to areas you probably wouldn’t have headed to otherwise.
- If you are going to be travelling somewhere with a language barrier its a good idea to carry a ‘passport’ with you. A card written in the local language which explains you are vegan or strict vegetarian and cannot eat any eggs, dairy, meat nor any animal products whatsoever, you will need to state this as many places will not understand what vegan means, strict vegetarian might be easier for them to get their head around.
- Better still download the free google translator app. If you download the language for the place you will be visiting also you’ll be able to use it offline.
- Vegetarian doesn’t mean vegan, or even vegetarian in some instances. Be careful of hidden ingredients. In Japan they will list a vegetarian dish such as ramen noodles but the broth will usually be made from meat or fish stock. In India they do amazing veggie curries but will be cooked with ghee and in South East Asia they use a lot of fish sauce in curries and dishes.
- Check with local customs (a quick google) as to what you can bring in to wherever it is you are travelling to. Most places won’t allow fresh produce but dried fruits, cereal/protein bars, non-dairy chocolate bars and non-dairy instant porridge/oatmeal pots are ok. Take some emergency rations with you. I always have an emergency protein bar or 2 and some chocolate in my rucksack. When you arrive find a supermarket/shop/market and grab some fruit, nuts or something local and more adventurous and always have something on hand for those moments!
- Worst case scenario most restaurants/cafes can rustle up a plate of chips and a salad, get some bread on the side and make yourself a glorious chip butty (thats a sandwich if you’re not from the UK) or get a plate of steamed or sautéed veggies, just make sure they use oil not butter.
- Take some small tupperware with you so when you find a nice place to eat with vegan options you can take your leftovers or an extra meal to go for later. You’ll be so glad of that picnic when you’re at the top of Huayna Picchu, speeding across Japan in the bullet train or watching the sun go down on the beach in Rio.
- Finally, don’t do it alone! Get online and connect with local vegans through facebook groups, vegan meet ups or couchsurfers.com
I hope you find these vegan travel tips useful and please let me know if you have any tips to share!