In my opinion, traveling is one of the greatest joys in life. If you’re vegan, though, traveling can pose many challenges that you have to learn to overcome. After living in London for a semester and Los Angeles for a summer and doing lots of traveling while living both places, I had to learn how to eat vegan while also still enjoying myself and not stressing over it. Here are some of my tips for those of you who are trying to eat vegan while traveling.
1. Download some vegan apps.
Free phone apps such as “Happy Cow” can help you find vegan-friendly restaurants near you, which can make your life much easier. Another cool app is “Is It Vegan?,” which lets you scan barcodes of items to see if the ingredients in them are vegan are not. This is not only great for traveling, but for every day life as well! Grocery shopping just got so much easier.
2. Consider staying some place with a kitchen.
While this might not be an optimal choice, if you’re really nervous about eating vegan while traveling, staying in a place with a kitchen that you can cook in can help relieve lots of unnecessary stress.
3. Look up restaurants beforehand.
If you know you’re going to be traveling to a new place, do your research and look up places with vegan options that sound good to you. Having a few places to eat in your arsenal is never a bad idea and can make eating out while traveling so much easier!
4. Carry vegan snacks with you.
I’m a snacker. In my book, few things are worse than being super hungry while out and about and not having anything to tide me over. When you’re traveling, this can be a very common occurrence. Save yourself from being “hangry” by keeping your bag stocked with your favorite vegan treats!
5. Learn useful phrases in the local language, if applicable.
If you’re going to a country that doesn’t speak your language, one of the best things you can do is to Google ways to say that you can’t eat certain things, like eggs or meat. This can make things much easier when you’re at a restaurant struggling to order something that you can eat while in another country!
6. Go with the flow and realize that it’s okay to “fail.”
Don’t beat yourself up if you want to try that cool local dish that’s full of dairy (or even meat). If you really want something, especially something unique or special to that place that you’ll probably never find somewhere else, just have it! Of course, it’s completely up to you, but even though I’m vegan I make sure not to limit myself so much that I’m not enjoying life! There really is no such thing as the perfect vegan, and in my opinion being vegan is really about doing the best you can to help out animals and the earth- it’s not about restricting yourself and being “100 percent perfect” all the time.
Traveling while vegan can be difficult at times, but if you do your research and prepare yourself then it can become so much easier! When I was traveling around Europe last semester I definitely didn’t eat vegan 100 percent of the time, and I have absolutely no regrets! You just have to do what feels best for you and makes you happy.