Five Tips for the Traveling Vegan
Have you got a holiday coming up that you’re super-excited about, until you realize that staying vegan while traveling could potentially be the hardest thing since high-school trigonometry? Fear not! The following are five simple tips that will help you help animals wherever you go!
1. Do your research.
This may sound boring, but it’s an essential step to ensure that you have a great, problem-free holiday. The last thing that you want is to be stuck at a restaurant or hotel that has limited or no vegan options. Use the Internet! There are hundreds of blogs, Facebook accounts, Instagram accounts, and apps that are dedicated to helping you locate the best vegan food. You can find recommendations about which sites and apps to use here. Two handy apps and websites are Happy Cow and TripAdvisor, both of which are packed with reviews by other travelers of the best restaurants and attractions.
2. Pack the snacks.
Hands up if you’ve ever boarded a plane after having asked for the vegan option, only to receive a meal laced with some form of animal product. I know it’s happened to me in the past, which is why I always carry around a handy little supply of vegan snacks. Most airlines will let you take food on board, too, and if you explain that you’re vegan, they should be totally fine with letting you eat your own food on a flight. Some of my favorites include a bag of trail mix (particularly with walnuts, almonds, and dried fruit), sea-salt popcorn, and, of course, a bar of dark chocolate!
3. Ask questions.
Most of the time, a person who is taking your order will have no problem answering some questions. Simple questions such as “Is this dairy-, egg-, and meat-free?” can go a long way. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative and make your own dish! A lot of restaurants are happy to mix and match items in order to accommodate their patrons. Just be sure to smile and be polite! They won’t be able to resist helping you.
4. Don’t be fussy.
If you’re at a restaurant and some cheese has been sprinkled on your pasta, stay calm! You can scrape it off. Remember: We want to promote the idea that going vegan isn’t hard! Just ask to fill out a feedback form or speak to the manager before you leave. Politely explain that despite the fact that you ordered vegan, the meal came with “x, y, and/or z” and that the establishment should be more careful in the future. That being said, if your meal comes with animal products that are hard to remove, don’t be afraid to request a replacement.
5. Go back to the basics.
Rainbow salad aka throw every type of veggie you have in a bowl.? Top it off with my current go-to salad dressing: blend 2tbsp tahini, 1 peeled zucchini, juice of 1 lime, nub of fresh ginger, dash of coconut aminos (or half the bottle?), and a handful of fresh basil leaves!? Do you guys want me to add my top 5 favorite recipes into the Self Love book that I'm currently working?♥️
Sometimes, it might just happen that there’s really no way around the non-vegan options (because some restaurants are stuck in the Dark Ages or you’re having difficulty communicating your needs). Your best bet at such times is to stick to the basics. Fresh fruit and vegetables are usually on hand at most restaurants, so just ask for a salad with ALL the veggies and top it off with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. What could be healthier than that?
Remember: Going vegan is not hard. And traveling while you’re vegan … well, that’s an adventure in itself! Happy traveling!
Post written by PETA Asia-Pacific intern Avanthi Bulathsinhala