Travelling the world (or even your local area) as a vegan needn’t be complicated.
Sure, there are certain destinations that aren’t quite cut out for vegans – Seville, for example, still has some way to go – but there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your holiday is meat and dairy free.
As someone who has been a full-time vegan for three years (and dipped in and out of veganism and vegetarianism before that), here are my five top tips to take the worry out of you mind – so you can get back to enjoying your trip.
Download a vegan food finder
The easiest thing to do is to download an app like Happy Cow, which helps to locate veggie and vegan restaurants, bakeries, bars and options around the globe. It doesn’t just work in big cities; it directed me on a 90 minute walk through the tiny Amazonian town of Pullcalpa to a tiny vegan oasis, complete with vegan mozzarella and peanut butter smoothies.
Connect with the vegan community online
Another good thing you could do before you’ve even left your house is to head onto Facebook where there are any number of vegan groups. Check out Vegan Travel which has tonnes of tips, videos and recommendations for travelling around the world - from the best plant based croissants in Paris, to roadtripping vegan eclectic cars in Montreal.
Instagram is also a really useful tool for finding what grub’s available; simply hashtag the city and ‘vegan’ - i.e #cuscovegan or #madridvegan - and see what comes up.
Learn the local lingo
Well... you don’t have to learn it necessarily, you could also download a translation app. That way you can explain to your server that you can’t eat meat or dairy products, safe in the knowledge you’ve communicated your dietary requirements.
Book your meal ahead
It’s easy to forget when you’re rushing about packing your bags but if you’re travelling any distance by plane, book your vegan meal ahead of time. Don’t expect them to be carrying spare plant-based dinners just in case a pesky vegan shows up. Equally, if you’re travelling by train and a meal is included in your ticket (for example, Eurostar), then call ahead and confirm that they can provide a vegan option. Don’t ask, don’t get.
And even if they are providing the food, always BYOS (bring your own snacks)
Just because you booked a meal, however, that doesn’t mean it’ll be any good. There are countless horror stories of airlines providing travellers with a bowl of plain pasta or some slices of dry bread - so whether you’re flying, railing, bussing, hiking or cycling, bring your own snacks. Cereal bars, dried fruit, nuts, crisps are all good options.