Researching specifically vegan or vegetarian restaurants before you travel can take you to some amazing places. But what if you don’t have time? What if you forget? What if you’re with people who want other options? Or best of all: what if you wind up somewhere completely unexpected?
Food should be part of the adventure. Below are ten tips to help you keep a vegan diet while traveling. No restaurant searching required.
How to Eat Vegan While Traveling Without Researching Restaurants
Learning a few phrases in the language of the place you are traveling to is always a good idea. It demonstrates your interest in others’ cultures and positions you to remain polite even if you are lost and confused (both on the streets and in a menu).
A simple “thank you” goes a long way wherever you travel and to the list of phrases you would typically learn ahead of time, add: “I am vegan,” “I am vegetarian,” “I cannot/do not eat milk/dairy products, eggs, or meat.” You can find some useful translations here.
If you have the time and ability, learning the words for individual types of meat and dairy is also helpful. This way, you might be able to scan a menu and pick something out on your own.
Research the traditional breads of the places you’re visiting. While not all breads require milk and eggs, some do. Knowing what you’ll see at markets and/or as a side with a meal ahead of time can remove some guesswork.
Check the sides at restaurants that aren’t abundant with vegan options. Ordering several sides can make a meal.
4. Pack Snacks
There is no shame in traveling with a box of granola bars from your supermarket back home. You’ll want plenty of vegan snacks on the plane and will be so happy to have some on hand for long days exploring.
Farmers markets make a day trip around a city even more fun. A quart of blackberries while strolling historic Geneva? Yes, please!
6. International Options
When traveling to cities especially, you can often find a variety of districts with food other than the local cuisine. If the typical menu in the place you’re visiting isn’t very vegan-friendly, hunt down an Indian, Thai, Indonesian, etc. place instead.
Going to a grocery store abroad can be a ton of fun, and cooking for your hosts or new friends is a wonderful way to get to know other people. Have a few go-to recipes before you head out of the country if you’re cooking for others and if you’re just cooking for yourself then see where the grocery store takes you!
8. Cultural Differences—Study Some More!
Before you go somewhere new, take a moment to research how veganism is rooted there. Understanding how locals might react to your requests is important. There is a big difference between telling a waiter/waitress that you’re vegan and asking if there are dairy products in a dish that you know is vegetarian. Both options work, but the second takes more language skills—something you might want to be ready for ahead of time.
9. Be A Good Guest
Always tell your hosts and/or the people that you are traveling with that you are vegan. Food is such a large part of our cultures and travels. Better to lay everything on the table so that your adventures can be as enriching and enjoyable as possible. Plus, your hosts might even have some local vegan friends with fantastic favorite restaurants!
10. Be Flexible
No matter what, be kind, be flexible, and enjoy learning what it means to eat vegan somewhere new.
Author: Stella Rae