Vegan Vacation Guide
When you’re travelling, it’s a great idea to earmark some good eateries before you go, so you know where you can get the best vegan food in the city. Planning a trip? Looking forward to exploring new sites & tasting local, ethnic vegan food? Here you’ll find vegan travel tips, information on vegan, vegetarian guesthouses, directions to the best veggie eats, and other tales and discoveries. Happy trails.
Where To Travel As A Vegan?
Is it difficult to travel as a vegan? It's straightforward for the majority of people. But it all depends on where you're going and how well you've prepared. Most North America and Western Europe understand what you mean when you say you're vegan or vegetarian. More than 10% of Taiwanese are vegetarian, and the government promotes vegetarianism as a healthy option.
Unsurprisingly, vegetarian food is easy to find, and there are thousands of vegetarian restaurants – including very inexpensive vegetarian buffets. Dairy is not widely used and is easily identified when it is. There will be plenty of healthy vegetable and beancurd dishes and mock meat dishes made from gluten or soya. Look for fish in sauces as a hidden danger. Vegetarian heaven, with menus frequently distinguishing between veg and non-veg options (eggs fall into the non-veg category).
To be sure, they love their dairy in the north, so the vegetarian option in some of the posher restaurants may include paneer, but they can always make you a curry without it if you ask. Dairy is rarely an issue in the south, and coconut milk is widely available. Masala dosa (rice pancake served around a potato or other vegetable filling) and idli are typical Southern Indian dishes (steamed rice cake served with curry or chutneys).
Ghee, which is clarified butter and is commonly used in many cooked dishes, is a hidden danger. Sri Lanka has a wide variety of vegetarian curries, which are typically served with rice. Look for jackfruit curry, which has such a meaty texture that you may wonder if it is actually meat or not. Breadfruit, gourds, murunga, and plantain are other common vegetables you may not be familiar with.
However, be wary of the spicy sambals frequently served on the side, as these may contain dried fish. Other dishes include hoppers, bowl-shaped pancakes made from a coconut milk batter – check to see if they are served plain or with filling. String hoppers are rice noodles that are traditionally served with dahl or curry. Just a heads up… they do like their curry. Even if it thinks it is, it is not a country.
However, in much of California, particularly in Los Angeles, healthy food is readily available, including vegan food. Indeed, it is often the trendy and high-end restaurants and the food markets that make use of the excellent produce that pave the way. Smoothies in every colour of the rainbow, abundant salads, and intriguing pan-Global combinations are on the menu. Hidden danger: ingredient lists that are so long and exotic that you have no idea what they are!
What Preparations Should Vegans Make Before Travelling?
“Be prepared to spend a little more money and to make your schedule more flexible.” – TripSavvy. Vegans should make sure they have lots of calcium because not eating dairy means that calcium is premium. “You can take calcium in plant forms, for instance, B-vitamins, but it’s usually taken in supplement form, which isn’t good for vegans, as there are other natural sources available. “Get in a lot of calcium when you travel, for obvious reasons. “Vegans can be good, or even excellent, at skincare, so make sure you bring a ton of beauty products with you.” – Life is to Lovely.
It's never been easier to travel the world. Cheaper flights are easier to find, accommodation pricing has become more affordable with the arrival of more affordable options, and borders to previously restricted countries have begun to open. For some people who want to travel the world, one stumbling block keeps them from doing so – their diet. In reality, travelling as a vegan is simple.
All it takes is a simple process of preparation and following the tried-and-true tips of people who have been there (literally), done that, and are more than willing to open up and share what they've learned with vegans who want to explore the world, whether it's during a two-week trip to the tropics or a difficult hike along the Camino de Santiago. Connecting with other vegan travellers and hearing their advice helped me realize that veganism isn't a burden; it's a way of life.
One of the most useful tools I've discovered during my year of travel has been social media, specifically the visually appealing websites Pinterest and Instagram. With Instagram, you can search for anything you want by using a #hashtag (a word preceded by the # symbol to allow easy searching). It could be #wanderlust, #glutenfree, or #cats – but when I want to find great vegan spots worldwide or in our next planned destination, I usually search for #vegantravel.
There are incredible dishes from all over the world, not just Western Europe and North America. The same is true for Pinterest. For example, a quick search of “vegan, restaurant, berlin” yields over a hundred different pins that make my mouth water – including this one for vegan pizza – and it makes my feet itchy to return to Berlin to stuff my face.
Using the two together has provided travellers with dozens of different vegan-friendly options that they would not have found on some more popular vegan restaurant directories. “When preparing for a trip, whether short or long term, we always make sure that we know how to ask the important questions.”
Is there any egg, fat, or meat in there? Always keep phrases on your iPad that will come in handy. Travellers also inform people that they are allergic to eggs or butter when ordering a simple veg dish, as we're sure some people have thrown a dollop of butter in dishes in the past.”
Local Vegans Can Be Found Through Online Groups – “Travelers should join vegan meetup groups online. They're great if you want to meet vegans from all over the world and have great vegan dinners or meet for drinks, as well as do animal activism.” Carry Vegan Treats – “Travelers should also bring a large ziplock bag of vegan treats with them wherever they go.”
Choosing Vegan-Friendly Hotels And Accommodations
Ok, so you’re not exactly short on options when it comes to hotels, and if you know exactly where you’re going to stay (and when you’re not), finding hotels that are both vegan and vegetarian is no problem. But where should you stay when you’re looking to vegan-proof your vacation?
Booking.com is, for the most part, a wonderful resource. It provides a host of information about every hotel in the world, so it’s a good idea to bookmark it before you plan your holiday. When booking, make sure you click through to read the entire reviews and read more about the hotel’s services, rooms, amenities, and even staff reviews.
The availability of vegan/vegetarian hotels and restaurants varies greatly by country. An increasing number of hotels are recognizing the veggie boom and catering to vegan and vegetarian travellers. VeggieHotels.com has a global list of over 500 vegan/vegetarian hotels and guesthouses. The criteria include more than just the food served, as good vegan-friendly hotels also provide alternatives to down-filled duvets, as well as leather-free furniture and animal-free hygiene products.
Hilton London Bankside is one vegan-friendly hotel. This hotel is a must-see for anyone seeking a truly vegan vacation. Surprisingly, in February 2019, this Hilton hotel debuted the world's first vegan luxury hotel suite. The leather chairs are made from recycled pineapple fibres, the room service dining menu features gourmet plant-based foods, and the carpets are made from sustainably sourced cotton. What a fantastic way to begin a vacation!
Another option is the Mostarlic Vegal Hotel in France. This adorable bed-and-breakfast is not only vegan but also gluten-free. It's in the rural Champagne Ardennes region, ideal for a scenic drive into France. This B&B is both vegan and family-friendly. Bike rentals and nearby hiking trails are two fun activities.
There are vegan-friendly hotels in Germany, including the Almodovar Hotel. This modern German hotel emphasizes sustainable living, organic food, and overall tranquillity. The entire hotel is even run entirely on renewable energy. The room options are extensive, with nine different types of suites ranging from standard to luxury penthouse. It goes without saying that the restaurant's menu is vegetarian and vegan, with organic and scratch-made food.
Minshuku Sanbiki Neko, which is located in Japan, is also vegan. This B&B is tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood of Kyoto and offers a rotating vegan menu that changes almost daily. The decor is a seamless blend of traditional Japanese and contemporary styles.
Because Japanese cuisine is frequently centred on meat and seafood, it can be difficult to find completely vegan restaurants in Japan. This makes Minshuku Sanbiki Neko a must-stay for anyone seeking a peaceful stay in Kyoto. The B&B is also close to many attractions, such as Kiyomizu-Dera, Fushimi Inari, and the Gion district.
Choosing Vegan Restaurants
There are numerous restaurants that serve delicious vegan food. You'll find places worth seeing no matter where you live or visit. Several online tools excel at highlighting the best vegan dining options in your area. The most effective method is to ask Google Assistant for “vegan restaurants” or search for this term on Google Maps. You'll immediately receive a list of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in your area.
You can also use Apple's Maps app to search. However, Google's directory is far more comprehensive, and it includes constructive user reviews. So, if you have an iPhone, download Google Maps and the Google app. They are essential tools for any vegan who is on the road. Visit HappyCow.net and VegDining.com to learn about even more vegan dining options.
These directories don't have the depth of Google, but their reviews are written primarily by vegans and are thus quite useful. If everything else fails, go to TripAdvisor.com. It's yet another international directory compiled by a large group of reviewers. Even though TripAdvisor does not adequately highlight vegan restaurants, it can still provide interesting options. Look for local Loving Hut and Veggie Grill restaurants when travelling. Loving Hut operates over 130 restaurants worldwide.
In the United States, Veggie Grill has over thirty locations. Both restaurants are completely vegan. The Hare Krishna sect also runs dozens of vegetarian restaurants around the world. These locations are commonly referred to as “Govinda's.” Govinda's, like Loving Hut restaurants, is independently owned, so the menus vary by location. Govinda's restaurants are known for serving Indian-style buffets. Many dishes have butter or cheese in them.
However, in almost all cases, the staff can recommend several delectable vegan options. If you can't find any vegan restaurants nearby, there are many mainstream restaurants that serve delicious vegan food. You'll be able to order with confidence if you're familiar with the most vegan-friendly cuisines. Some cuisines are rich in vegan dishes, whereas others (for example, Colombian, Korean, and French restaurants) have little to offer.
Travelling as a vegan isn't a chore. In fact, discovering fantastic new vegan options is half the fun of travelling. Wherever you go, you'll find sensational menu options, unlike anything you'll find at home. You're likely to come away from your journey with a better understanding of the variety of vegan cooking options. No matter where you go, you can find a plethora of vegan options.
A little forethought can lead to a plethora of exciting restaurants to visit. Because travel is all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, why not make an extra effort to try new foods while on the road? On the menu, look for vegan and vegetarian options. The “Sides” section of the menu is usually the first thing that catches the eye. I can sometimes make a meal out of the sides (and it's often cheaper that way!). Many restaurants will make you a vegetable plate.
Vegetarian beans and rice, vegetable fajitas (ask for this, it's usually not on the menu but is almost always incredible), taco salad with beans in place of the meat, guacamole, salsa, nopales, pico de gallo, papas a la Mexicana, vegetable enchiladas Pasta with marinara sauce, salad, vegetable side dishes, bruschetta (one of my favourites! ), vegetable pizza with no cheese.
Stir-fried vegetables and steamed rice (Gai Lan / Chinese broccoli in garlic sauce is delicious! ), vegetable steamed dumplings, vegetable fried rice without an egg. At Thai or Vietnamese restaurants: These cuisines, like many others, are vegetable-rich, making it simple to avoid the meat. Make sure to request no shrimp paste/powder, as this is a common addition to some dishes.
Vegetable sushi is fantastic in Japanese restaurants! Avocado, cucumber, carrot, sweet potato, pickled radish, sauteed spinach, squash, bell pepper, and other vegetables I've had in sushi. In addition, there are vegetable gyoza, Japanese fried rice, vegetable tempura, and udon soup (ask for no fish flakes). Visit a restaurant that is plant-based, vegan, or vegetarian! If you haven't been to one before, ask around or look online for one near you. Please take a look at the reviews and give it a shot!
Vegan Travel Necessities
Let's face it: the plane ride to your vacation destination isn't always the highlight of your trip. Packing the right items in your carry-on bag, on the other hand, can make your flight that much easier. That's why we've compiled a list of our favourite vegan-friendly carry-on essentials, which will help make your journey more relaxing and stress-free.
The bamboo sleep mask is number one on the list. If you're on a tight budget, you'll gladly spend 14 hours on a train to save one night's lodging. Unfortunately, this usually necessitates foregoing precious sleep. Instead of dreading your long-distance flight, train, or bus ride, invest in a comfortable sleeping mask that will have you dozing off in no time. Ecotools' eco-friendly bamboo sleep mask is one of the best vegan travel products on Amazon.
The organic bamboo material is a natural anti-microbial, has a low environmental impact, blocks out distracting light, and is super soft on the eyes to ensure a restful night's sleep. The second item on the list is a guidebook. What better way to pass the time than planning your next adventure? If you bring a guidebook to your destination, you can seek out the best places to see animals in their natural habitat, locate animal sanctuaries to visit, and plan how to get to the best vegan eats.
Instagram is a great way to find vegan restaurants in the area, but it's also a good idea to plan out a few restaurants ahead of time — you never know when you won't have WiFi, so be prepared. Vegan vitamins are also essential to have on hand when travelling. Flights can be exhausting, and passengers frequently require a pick-me-up to keep them going.
Packing a vegan multivitamin will ensure that you get all of the essential vitamins you require while travelling. Many major brands, including Deva and Holland & Barrett, sell vegan multivitamins. Vegan Snacks are also useful for travelling. Although more and more airlines are offering plant-based meal options, it's always a good idea to be prepared.
Protein bars, dried fruit, snacks, and vegan jerky will all help you stay energized on your trip. You could also bring some gelatin-free sweets with you to eat during takeoff and landing.
Best Vegan Travel Destinations
When you’re exploring a new place, take a stroll down to the local market. Most markets will have shelves stocked with both fresh produce and vegan meats. Chances are the groceries are available in vegan versions and will also often have a small selection of vegan products. You might be as surprised as I was to learn that Scotland is a vegan gem in the rough, given that neighbouring Ireland and nearby Nordic countries are known for their meat-forward cuisine.
However, the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, in particular, provide vegan options ranging from mile-high nachos and traditional pub fare to mouthwatering gelato-topped waffles (found at Affogato in Edinburgh). Vegans travelling through this lush green country will find it difficult to limit themselves to salads!
New York City – The Big Apple is known for its dairy-heavy cheesecake and pizza, but there is also a proportionate vegetarian cuisine. Because it's New York, you can find vegan food everywhere. There are even a few fine dining establishments to choose from! It's well worth it, especially if you're visiting NYC for the first time, treating yourself to an evening meal at Blossom or Avant Garden (clever, we know).
Vegan Travel In Cambodia
Here you’ll find a comprehensive list of vegan-friendly places to stay, eat and explore in Cambodia. If you’re planning on travelling to this country in the near future, keep this list handy! As well as information on vegan eats in the country, you can find places to stay in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Siem Chhon, Sihanoukville and more. Any vegetarian or vegan knows that finding meat- and dairy-free options while travelling can be difficult.
Fortunately, both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are vegetarian-friendly cities. With a few pointers, you can easily enjoy Cambodia's wide range of meatless and dairy-free delights. Cambodian cuisine is a vibrant fusion of its neighbours' cuisines, namely Vietnam, Thailand, and China. Many traditional “Khmer” dishes, such as Lok Lak, have been influenced by the countries. Because of its proximity to the Mekong tends to be very fish-heavy, making it ideal for flexitarian or pescatarian diets.
Vegans and vegetarians have far more options than in other countries, such as Mongolia, thanks to the country's Buddhist culture. Because Cambodia is a popular tourist destination, cities such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a plethora of vegan-friendly restaurants. Even in the Cambodian countryside, such as Anlong Veng, plenty of vegan options, including street food. Most of the time, this will equate to soupy noodles, but it will suffice to keep you going. And that is how a vegan survives in Cambodia!
Travelling Vegan In Belize
Belize, like most countries, has a long way to go before it can truly be considered a vegan-friendly destination, but getting around as a vegan here isn't difficult if you're led by a vegan travel expert who is familiar with each destination and has a solid track record of sourcing delicious Belizean delicacies that you can have full confidence are vegan through and through.
Much of the food on your plate here is based on staples like rice, beans, steamed vegetables, and heaps of juicy tropical fruits. You won't find much in the way of creativity, but what you do get will almost certainly be tasty. Of course, in Belize, as in most of Central and South America, the food will almost always be organic and locally sourced because that is simply the only real option here.
The ubiquitous banana bread, wonderfully gooey and scrumptious, is one treat to look out for in Belize. Unfortunately, it is not vegan in most cases; however, if you are on a specially crafted vegan tour, it will be, and it makes a perfect accompaniment to rum punch on your boat trips. Treat yourself – after all of your adventures, you're bound to have worked up an appetite.
Vegan Travel In Australia
While every Australian city does have a few vegan options, many places are out of the loop and aren’t very inclusive of vegans, while others are so vegan-friendly that you’d never know it’s vegan! (Just a few examples of this exist: Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Darwin and many others!) According to Chef's Pencil's latest annual index of the world's most popular countries and cities for veganism, Australia is the world's second-most popular nation for vegans, trailing only the United Kingdom.
It is certainly possible to live in Australia as a vegan or vegetarian. While most major cities have plenty of options for Vegans and vegetarians, you may feel limited if you are in a regional town or city.
- Sunshine Coast – With 305 restaurants, 128 cafes, and 167 organic health food shops in a population of just under 350,000 people,
- Queensland's Sunshine Coast is Australia's most vegan-friendly city.
- Gold Coast – Located just south of Brisbane,
- Queensland's Gold Coast came in second place, and, like the Sunshine Coast, boasts a high number of vegan-friendly establishments (per person), with more opening all the time, as well as a relatively high number of residents searching Google for information on veganism (116 per 10,000 people).
- Sydney has by far the most vegan establishments, and it still ranks highly when you consider that it also has around five million people.
Of course, there are many other tips you can get from Travel Vegan for your trips: plan your travel around it instead of the other way around! Vegans, like travellers, experience great joy, solace and knowledge when we all get to share our meat-free, dairy-free and egg-free journeys.
I trust you enjoyed reading the article about the Vegan Vacation Guide. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Would you please leave me your questions, experience, and remarks about the Vegan Vacation Guide in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.