Travelling vegan is often seen as a big difficulty. Even though the amount of vegan options varies from country to country, with these few tips travelling vegan isn’t just possible but also delicious and fulfilling.
Yes, finding vegan places might take you some extra time since you can’t just walk in any restaurant on the street. On the other hand, if you wanted to find delicious places to eat at, you would invest some time into research anyway.
My go to website is happycow.net. You can specifically search for vegan and vegetarian places wherever you’re travelling to, read the feedback of others and find the links to the restaurant’s website if available. When you’ve decided on you favorite place, I would recommend to double check the address on google maps or similar since sometimes the address can be wrong or the restaurant has moved and their entry on happycow hasn’t been updated yet.
In addittoin, check out the places vegan people you follow on social media recommend.
Know “vegan” in other languages
Knowing what “vegan” means in the language of the country you’re travelling to is very much recommended. Sometimes you haven’t planned on going to a specific place and just want to stroll through the streets and get something to eat when you get hungry. So in case that they don’t speak English or not that well, it’s best to be able to tell them what you want in their own language. In addition, you might want to learn words like “no meat”, “no dairy”, “no eggs” to be able to explain what exactly you mean. Searching for the regional dishes and the ingredients that are very typical can help as well, eg. in Thailand knowing “no fishsauce” can be essential.
Pro Tip: Ask a local to tell you how to pronounce the words correctly or you might end up saying something completely different than intended. Another helpful thing is asking them to write it all down in the script used in that country. Being able to have it all explained on a paper helped a lot when travelling Thailand.
Research the local specialties
Especially in Asia, there are many dishes that come vegan by accident. Having a look at the ingredients of the local specialties will tell you what you can eat anyway. Or, if there is only one additional ingredient that’s no vegan, you can ask whether they could prepare the dish without it if it’s easy to leave out.
Cook on your own
Many tend to eat out all the time when travelling. Cooking on your own from time to time will not only save you some money but is a nice way to maybe have a healthier meal between all the not-always-that-healthy pleasures.
You don’t have a kitchen? No problem! Maybe get some fruit while visiting the local market, buy bread and enjoy a light picnic in the park.
Vegan cooking class
In foreign countries, I love to get inspiration for cooking at home. A cooking class is the best way to learn how to cook the local dishes, discover new ingredients and get to know the food culture. Search online for vegan cooking classes. This is also a very easy way to get to talk to a local who knows what and where you can get vegan food!