How to stay vegan while traveling?

How to stay vegan while traveling?

You are a fresh vegan and you love to travel, but you have no clue if you will be able to find any vegan options while traveling. Have no fear, I got you covered. I will tell you how to stay vegan while traveling.

Vegan travelers are growing in numbers, which is great news! With more and more globetrotting vegans on the go, the offering grows as well.

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If you asked yourself this very question about 30 years ago, the likelihood of having a lavish vegan feast (or a humble vegan snack) abroad with little effort would most likely be very small.

In fact, if you asked a traditional pub owner in England this question at the time, they would most likely think there was something not right with you. Luckily for vegans, the world has changed so much in the last years.

Finding good plant-based meals and snacks while traveling is becoming more and more a normality. Are you just starting your vegan journey and will be traveling soon? Here are some useful pointers on how to stay vegan while traveling.

Which countries are the most vegan friendly? Top 10 vegan friendly countries

Countries in general are opening up to the concept of vegan or plant-based food more and more. Rest assured, you should be able to find fruit and vegetables nearly everywhere in the world (unless you decide to trek over a desolate area), but which countries do it best? Which countries are the most vegan friendly?

Below is a list of those where being vegan is a true culinary delight.

India

If you’re a fan of magnificent flavors and like experimenting with food whilst embracing the local culture, India is the place for you.

Tantalizing the senses with magnificence is what they do best. The majority of the country is vegetarian and there are some dishes which are already vegan and most can also be adapted.

Try and get some local translations or phrases written down, such as ‘vegan food only, please’, or ‘I am vegan’ and it could be helpful for you and the person serving food.

Best cities in India for vegan food? Current trends point to Mumbai, Bengalûru, and Chennai.

United States of America

The US is big, and now also big for vegan food. The trend is on the rise and, as vegans, it is easy to get tasty food in many places.

Use the Happy Cow app – I can’t recommend it enough, and you will be on your way.

Best cities for best vegan offering? Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, and New York.

United Kingdom

Long gone are the days when vegans in the UK would complain about the lack of choice. Now, it’s hard to make one! It’s a whirlwind of different ethnic food – Jamaican, Indian, Chinese, Lebanese – you name it.

Also, the traditional English food is pioneering some very desirable foods, so do go and explore.

Where to go for most choice? London, Bristol, and  Manchester.

Poland

How many vegan restaurants in Poland? Apparently nearly a thousand! That alone is worth a visit, if the beauty of the country isn’t cause enough for travel.

When in Prague, seek out their vegan burger. Rumor has it, their vegan burgers are some of the best ones in the world.

Pack your passport and suitcase. Poland is beauty and culinary delights await! Head to Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, and Rod for the most choice.

Thailand

This country hardly needs an introduction when it comes to vegan food. You can get lost exploring open markets and street food and peruse the fresh food.

Try and communicate about vegan food when ordering any street food – perhaps a translator app will come in handy.

Most vegan-friendly towns in Thailand are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui.

Taiwan

We’re still heading East! A country with beautiful scenery and food choices should give you plenty of healthy and tasty vegan food experiences.

Taiwan’s most vegan-friendly cities are New Taipei City, Taichung, and Kaohsiung.

Germany

Contrary to popular belief, Germans do eat other food than sausages and drink beer. They have really progressed in the vegan world when it comes to food, so go forth and explore what the country has to offer.

The food brand Veganz was born in Berlin – this should be reason enough to head there first! Other great vegan-friendly cities are Munich, Hamburg, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt.

Israel

Our list wouldn’t be complete without this gem. It is, after all, titled the ‘’vegan capital of the world’’ for a reason.

In general, you should be able to order delicious food nearly everywhere. Head to Tel Aviv for the best experience, or to the ancient city of Jerusalem, closely followed by Kibbutzim.

Australia

PETA did a recent study which placed Australia as the third biggest developing vegan nation in the world, with about 5000 places to choose from.

This should give you enough confidence to travel there worry-free about food. Best vegan-friendly cities? Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth.

Canada

Last but not least on the list is the country where many of the young people are converting to veganism at great speed. The speed and increase in demand has sparked a great and diverse offering which will delight any foodie.

You can now enjoy the wonders of the country, as well as its food.  The most vegan-friendly cities in Canada are British Columbia, Ontario, Montreal, and Vancouver.

How to pack vegan food for traveling?

Prep is king! Packing your food and prepping very much depends on the type and length of your travel. Prepare in advance for situations when food might not be readily available, if you are traveling at night or spending time in nature, away from regular commodities.

Here is how to pack vegan food for traveling.

Aim for snacks which are easy to pack and won’t make a big mess in your bag or suitcase if squished. Use resealable bags and, if space allows you to, plastic containers which can be used for both storage and an impromptu food bowl.

Best vegan travel food?

While traveling you can’t always eat like king, so you have to pick the best choices which are practical and still tasty. Let me tell you which are the best vegan travel foods.

A simple solution are protein snack bars (try and avoid the very processed and sugary ones), jars or bags of nuts and dried fruit (either pack some in a bag at home or purchase ready-made bags), simple sandwiches on wholegrain bread with a nut butter of your choice, or a few apples, oranges, and bananas.

Have you tried roasted chickpeas yet? If not, this is the time to learn about this inexpensive, highly nutritious and utterly delicious snack you can easily pack while you travel.

If you are traveling overnight and hot water is available, a simple breakfast of oats and some nuts and dried fruit will make a delicious snack. You can either buy a sachet of oats to bring with you or make up a few at home. Nothing like hot porridge to start your day!

Try and combine your prep with the weather – if you’re going somewhere quite wet, adapt the choice of food to the climate and protect your snacks accordingly. Nobody likes a wet sandwich!

If your travel includes airports, they will highly likely have a shop or a takeaway offering featuring small packets of vegan snacks. Do get a few, just in case your journey gets delayed, it’s always good to have extra.

Nowadays, most airports have a list of shops and eateries available online. Do a little research on the food providers and it might save you having to pack if you’re short on time. If you’re on a budget, then most definitely take as many own snacks as you can-airport food can get quite pricey.

Do you have a favorite plant-based milk and are worried your destination might not? Pack a small bottle up to the legal liquid limit (or a large one if you have checked in luggage), so you will have a few hot drinks you love.

Arrived at your destination? Go native and creative!

Once you and your luggage are safely settled in, familiarize yourself with the local food offering. If you can, book a place with a basic kitchen at least, where you can warm up leftovers or prepare a simple meal.

Markets, local shops and stalls are what you need for fresh produce. It’s great to also experience local flavors. If you’re staying in a hotel, perhaps try and get one with a little fridge where you can store some fruit.

Staying somewhere long term? Connect with local vegans via social media or make some friends at vegan eateries.

When at home planning your trip or when resting after the journey, take some time to research nearby restaurants and cafés.

Use Happy Cow to help you navigate restaurants, as well as Trip Advisor.

If stuck, ring or go old school and pop in to ask the staff what the kitchen could do for you. My experience has always been very positive – most chefs like a creative challenge!

If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb – use your connection! Ask the host or reception about good spots to eat. Chances are, they are local people and will happily share some tips and they could be hidden gems not advertised online.

Conclusion

We can prepare and plan as much as we can, but it’s always good to be open-minded and be ready for when things go super well and not so well.

As vegans, we try and do what is right for us, animals, and the planet, and we try and live by that every day. In case things don’t go as planned, try and stay positive and know you are doing the best you can.

Enjoy the experience, of discovering new places paired with new flavors savored along the way. Food is most often what makes the journey very special. Here’s to many memorable moments on your next adventure!

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Gregory Knox
Gregory Knox

I'm Gregory, a father and animal lover. Ex vegan store owner and a foodie. My fascination in researching and pushing the limits of vegan nutrition takes me to new heights.