Finding healthy food options while travelling is hard. And it gets much tougher for a vegan. Locating the right restaurant or hotel can turn out to be a daunting task.
Some countries have embraced the vegan lifestyle and will make sticking to your dietary restrictions easier. But the case is different in other countries. They could see your special diet request as an insult to their culture.
Although vegetarianism is growing and spreading worldwide, you need to take an extra step to have healthy meals always, whether you are on a plane or land.
How to Travel as a Vegan?
Here are some tips to ensure that you always stick to your dietary restrictions as you travel.
1) Carry You Own Coffee Creamer
If you cannot stand having black coffee, consider bringing dairy-free milk with you. You can find travel-sized options in the store. Since most planes do not provide plant-based creamers or milk, having your own will make things easier. It could also come in handy in your hotel room.
2) Always Have Some Healthy Snacks with You
As a vegan, you can’t always pop into the nearby fast food joint when hungry. You need to have high-protein snacks or fruits with you to satisfy sudden hunger pangs. Apples, oranges, and unshelled almonds can stay fresh in your carry bag.
3) Connect with Local Vegans
Talking with vegans in the area you are visiting could make things easier. Find a Facebook page for local vegans and connect with a few. You can ask for tips, best vegan restaurants, or local cuisines that are plant-based.
4) Read the Experiences of Other Travelling Vegans
Learning from the experiences of others could save you a lot of frustrations. Read the blogs from other travelers who have been to the country you are headed to. Pay attention to the tips given, and if you can, ask questions.
What Type of Vegan Are You?
Identifying yourself as a vegan is not enough. You need to know which category you belong. It will make it easier when booking your flight or requesting meals in restaurants.
If you are not sure which category you fall into, we will break it down for you.
1) Dietary vegan
If you cannot stand having animal products on your plate but are okay with having them on other items such as clothing, you are a dietary vegan.
2) Ethical vegan
As an ethical vegan, your opposition to animal suffering is not just in food. You avoid any product that was derived from an animal such as clothes made from leather.
3) Plant-based vegan
If you are a plant-based vegan, your diet comprises of whole foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Any food that comes to your mouth must be grown in the ground.
4) Raw vegans
A raw vegan does not eat cooked food. Their diet consists mainly of fruit, nuts, grains, and some vegetables.
5) High carb low-fat vegans
If you are an HCLF vegan, you prefer eating more carbohydrates than fat. HCLF vegans can have carbohydrates from whole foods such as fruit and vegetables or include processed food such as rice and pasta. The low fat could be from avocados and nuts.
The eating patterns of a vegan revolve around whole-food, raw food, and low fat. You can assess what type of vegan you are base on your dietary habits and philosophy.
How to Book an Airline as a Vegan?
When booking your flight, request your vegan meals before making the payment. Find a meal that fits your dietary preferences.
If the option for a vegan meal is not available when booking, you can make a call immediately to make the request.
If you are using a service to book your flight, be sure to follow up with your vegan meal request. You can also ask for a special meal while on the plane, and find something that fits your diet.
How to Book a Hotel or an Airbnb as a Vegan?
With most people turning into the vegan lifestyle, there are apps dedicated to making them have an easier time while travelling. HappyCow, for instance, is an app that will help you find vegan restaurants and cafes near your location.
Find a hotel room with access to a kitchen. This way, you can make your favorite vegan food, and pack some when heading out.
When booking an Airbnb, you need to know how to express your dietary preferences politely. Try not to sound judgmental about their dishes. If there are language barriers, learn the main words that communicate your preferences, such as ‘milk-free.’
Travelling as a vegan can get frustrating. But with the right tips from vegan travel bloggers and local vegans, you are bound to enjoy your trip. Ensure that you always have a milk-free creamer and some healthy snacks with you.
Remember to request for a special meal when booking your flight. Communicate clearly to your Airbnb host on your dietary habits, and if you choose to get a hotel room, get one with the option to make your meals.