travel vegan101

everything travelling vegans need to know

21 February 2019 | By Cassell

aka the ultimate list of travel tips for vegan travellers!

It’s easy to forget how good we have it in the UK, as each year, more products and services appear to accommodate the growing vegan population. Chefs, shop assistants, baristas, bartenders and more understand the needs of their ever growing vegan client base, and it’s ever easier to request “the vegan option”.

That’s all well and good when you’re at home, but what happens when you want to go beyond the watery border?  I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories of vegans being served a plate of peas or the same meal as the meat-eaters with the flesh picked out.  I mean, come on!

So what do you do to make your travels vegan-friendly and appetisingly enjoyable? If you only remember one thing, remember the military mantra:

Prior preparation prevents piss-poor performance

(Isn’t that just the ultimate in awesome alliteration?! :))

So, don’t assume that you can wing it.  After all, you don’t want to be in a distant land or at the airport at 4am with nothing to eat and wondering, what you’re gonna do?

chris rock gif "so what you gonna do?"

I can’t say or hear “so what you gonna do?” without thinking of that Chris Rock stand up!

gif source: https://tenor.com/

Having been to places across Europe, Africa and Asia as a vegetarian and vegan, I’m sharing my set of fail-safe tips of how to best travel as a vegan!

If you want some tips on how to choose where to go, check out “Choosing a Vegan Holiday Destination“.

Let’s get started!

1. Choose your accommodation with care

Location, location, location

If you have a choice of where to stay, ensure that you’re within walking distance or a short journey of suitable cafes, restaurants and shops.  Busy tourist dominated areas are not always best for this. In larger cities vegan places seem to be spread out wide, whereas in smaller cities they’re often in a sort of ‘hub’. But don’t worry if you don’t have control over where you’ll stay, and keep reading for tips that should help.

Just remember to always be safe wherever you go.  After all, you’ll likely be walking around unfamiliar areas and potentially in the dark after a few drinks at dinner.  So try to stick to well reputed and busier areas, and don’t ignore your intuition.  If in doubt, ask your hotel to order you a taxi to take you there and pre-book a taxi back.

Consider apartments or hostels with kitchens in less vegan friendly countries

We certainly prefer to let someone else do the cooking when we’re on holiday.  However, it makes sense to book a place with a kitchen if your options to dine out are seriously limited.  See if your travelling companion/group would be happy to stay in an Airbnb, an apartment style suite in a hotel, or a decent hostel with a communal kitchen to make life easier, and potentially reduce costs.

Get your bed made right!

geese in light

Ducks and geese have their feathers ripped away multiple times during their lives and upon death to make down products.

To avoid nasty surprises of feather bedding or woolly blankets, ensure that you ask for hypo-allergenic bedding in advance where possible. If that means letting them assume that you are allergic to natural fibres, then so be it, as they should be prepared for that.

If you are booking a room at a large, budget chain or resort complex, then you are less likely to run into this issue.  However, we had to have our bedding changed on arrival in places as diverse as the small, eco-friendly, Conscious Hotel in Amsterdam, to the huge Hotel Jen by Shangri-La in Manila, Philippines, so you can’t always assume.

Let the hotel/accommodation know your dietary needs in advance…

If you have booked on a bed & breakfast, half board or full board basis, it is essential to let your hotel know about your dietary requirements ahead of time.  Check that they are aware of your needs when you check in too.  If they are unable to cater for you and have not advised you of such despite giving plenty of prior warning, you should see if you can amend your package and get a refund or some other benefit.

Always remember that most hotels want to make their guests happy, so try not to feel awkward about asking for what you need, and give them as much written notice as possible.

…but don’t assume that the hotel will be able to cater to your every need

Most hoteliers will try their best, but they can’t necessarily change established practices.  They can’t rip out a wool blend carpet, and are unlikely to meet demands for special items from room service at 3am. Check their ethical policies, menus and reviews wherever possible in advance and make your choices accordingly.  That way you know what to expect, and any special service or effort made is a pleasant bonus.

2. Book everyday or special meals in advance where needed

It’s certainly common to find great casual vegan dining at food markets and unpretentious bistros.  However, if you don’t want to leave it to chance when celebrating a special occasion, or at a resort without vegan reviews, read on.

But first! Don’t bother paying extra for the hotel breakfast

kalaset brunch

An awesome vegan brunch we found at Kalaset, Copenhagen. (Not at the hotel!)

We don’t eat breakfast at home as a rule, but when on holiday we like to enjoy as many meals as possible.  However, the hotel breakfast is rarely worth the (often steep) extra cost, in our opinion.  After all, croissants, pain au chocolat, egg stations, meats, cheeses and yoghurts tend to make up a typical, and not remotely vegan-friendly, hotel breakfast offering.  Some mega hotels like those in Vegas will offer huge breakfast buffets; as there’ll be tons of choice, book it and enjoy!

Regrettably, it’s often a substantial victory to be offered soy milk. Hot options are frequently limited to mushrooms, hash browns and dry toast, if you’re lucky.

If they provide a clear vegan breakfast or it’s included in the room rate, great! Otherwise, we typically recommend going elsewhere. After all, hotel breakfast prices are usually inflated; you’ll typically pay at least double than at a local cafe or on supermarket provisions. (Don’t forget to keep food fresh in your minibar fridge.)

Not doing a city break and going to a resort? Book half board or all-inclusive, if available

This advice isn’t contradictory to the above tip, I promise!

City breaks tend to be more accommodating by sheer value of catering to a broader population with more diverse preferences. However, package holiday resorts are typically based at remote seafront locations. This typically means a more limited selection of restaurants, and unlikely to offer enough choices to satisfy you over a week or two.

Therefore, if you are holidaying at a resort or find yourself in a similar situation to us in Cap Salou/Salou, then booking half board or all-inclusive could be the difference between eating hot meals each day, or surviving on Oreos and ready salted crisps. (Trust us. We’ve been there!)

via GIPHY

Also, it is typically more economical and a safer bet to book meals in advance, rather than hoping for the best on arrival.

As resort meals are typically buffets, there’ll likely be enough standard options like bread, salads, vegetables, chips, rice and fruit. However, you could have a pleasant surprise depending on the country’s typical cuisine. My best resort experience so far was in Morocco, the land of the tagine! The hotel’s vegetable tagine was naturally vegan and served nightly; though I had a choice of other mains, vegetables, salads and hummus.

If you’ve gone all-inclusive, prepare to miss out on the typical afternoon snacks of burgers, ice cream and crêpes. You’re equally unlikely to enjoy a dessert beyond fruit salad. But having two or three basic meals a day booked and included in your upfront cost, can be a lifesaver. Ultimately, if on arrival you discover better places to go to, you could deservedly take a few nights off the regular buffet!

Book special occasion and restaurant meals ahead online

If you are going away for a special occasion,  find recommendations online and book ahead.  This is particularly helpful if you’re worried about speaking the local lingo.  Use Google Translate to give your requirements both in English and their language.  This is especially necessary when going to a non-vegan restaurant.

Feel free to register with the international versions of OpenTable and country specific restaurant booking services, or book with the restaurant directly.  It’s certainly reassuring and comforting to know that you have something booked before you leave.

If you need to confirm or make a reservation when already abroad, ask for help from your hotel concierge or host.  They should be happy to help you confirm your reservation and ensure that the venue understands your requirements. This can be invaluable if you are not confident speaking another language or unable to dial internationally from your mobile.

3. Prepare for the airport and flight

Know what’s available at the airport, both UK and abroad

UK Airports are easy to prepare for

Having flown from all the London airports as a vegan (except City), I can assure you that if you’re not too fussy, you should find something to eat. Between Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Heathrow there’s Pret, Itsu, Wagamama, Wetherspoon, Comptoir Libanais, Yo! Sushi and more. Though at Southend Airport, the Navigator pub’s vegan breakfast is the only viable option.

At Birmingham, check out All Bar One, Pret, Wetherspoon and WrapChic.  Manchester has a Pret too, as well vegan options at Mi Casa Burritos and Joe’s Kitchen. The Grain Loft and The Spinning Jenny both have a sole falafel burger.

Further north, vegan options at Edinburgh airport can be found at All Bar One, Bar Burrito, Eat, Pret, Yo! Sushi and Wetherspoon.

Remember that airport menus may differ from the regular ones.  Wherever you fly from, it’s easy to check the airport restaurant’s menus in advance through their official websites.

Airports abroad are trickier

On the other hand, it’s noticeably harder with airports abroad in general.  We have struggled to: 1) find out in advance what food options are available at airports abroad, and 2) find anything to eat when we’re there.

This goes for the large continental hub airports, as well as small city airports.  So remember to pack snacks for the home-bound journey as well.  (I brought my beloved falafel pitta from Hummus Bar back from Budapest once; the perfect plane snack!)

Order your airplane meals well in advance

Travelling mid/long-haul?  The quality of airplane food is hardly renowned, but you’ll still want to be able to eat what you’re given!

VGML meal Cathay Pacific

My VGML meal on a long-haul Cathay Pacific flight

The special companies that make airline meals use specific meal codes to cater for dietary needs. Book your meal under one of the following 5 vegan meal options (as described by Emirates):

Vegetarian Meal (VGML) – VEGAN

Also known as Vegan, this meal is totally free of any animal products or by-products such as eggs or dairy products. It contains one or more of these ingredients: all types of vegetables and fresh fruit.

It does NOT contain any type of meat, fish, or animal products or by-products.

Vegetarian Jain Meal (VJML) – VEGAN

This meal is for members of the Jain community who are pure vegetarians. It is prepared with a selection of Indian condiments. It contains one or more of these ingredients: fresh fruit and stem vegetables that grow above the ground.

It does NOT contain: animal products and by-products, and any root vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, etc.

Vegetarian Oriental Meal (VOML) – VEGAN

This is a Vegetarian Meal (VGML) that is also prepared Chinese or Oriental-style.

Raw Vegetable Meal (RVML) – VEGAN

This meal consists exclusively of raw vegetables and salads.

Fruit Platter (FPML) – VEGAN

This meal may be ordered for dietary reasons. It may also be ordered by members of certain communities who eat only fruit while fasting. It contains one or more of these ingredients: seasonal fresh fruit.

It does NOT contain canned fruit.

We usually order VGML. (“Vegetarian meal” makes more sense when remembering that veganism is called “strict” or “pure” vegetarian in some parts of the world).

… and double check the airline knows your meal code before departure

If you booked with a travel agent and instructed them regarding your meal, do not forget to check it yourself either online or with a phone call within 2 weeks of departure. It may be too late to rectify if you realise that the meal is missing at check in or after boarding.

After all, you don’t want to be left with just peanuts to eat on a 10 hour flight.  This actually happened to my vegetarian and lactose-intolerant sister-in-law a few years ago. On a flight from London to Florida with Virgin Atlantic, a non-veggie passenger took her meal and she had nothing to eat except an apology.  If that happens, complain profusely to their customer services.

This is a rarer “problem” to have, but you”ll still be served the pre-booked economy meal if you’re lucky enough to be bumped up from economy to a higher seat class.  As I’ve illustrated, they don’t carry all versions of meals on board as standard.

Obviously, if you are travelling short-haul with a budget airline like easyJet or Ryanair, don’t expect any significant, or tempting, vegan meal options in-flight!

4. Always take some food with you

Snacks are indispensable

Snacks will always come in handy.  We usually pack some Nak’d and Trek bars in our hand luggage in different flavours. Consider taking crisps, nuts, seeds or dried fruit, and stocking up again whilst you’re away. It’s not only during the flight you need to think about. Fully consider how to manage if you end up exploring during the siesta and everything is shut, or if you end up on a quiet, restaurant-free beach. It’s always wise to be adequately prepared with nutritious and tasty snacks (along with a bottle of water).

Don’t be afraid to take a more substantial meal with you

A few years back, I flew alone to visit friends in Cyprus with no idea if I’d be able to eat at the airport. So of course, I took curry and rice in a big ol’ tupperware container.  I planned to eat it before I landed in Cyprus to ensure that I’d have no problems with Customs.  I wouldn’t want to have transported food improperly between countries!

The airline (the now-defunct Monarch, so sad!) didn’t use online check-in, so I had to speak to a lovely check in desk attendant.  He seemed mildly amused that this huge curry was one of the reasons my bag was overweight.  I explained my dietary requirements and he let me go through with my too-heavy bag but warned that anyone else checking at the gate might not be so kind.

So, you should certainly feel free to take a packed lunch or something homemade with you.

Remember that the liquids rule applies to food too

I was however concerned that my curry was too saucy and would count as a liquid.  Whether I just got lucky that day or if the rules were different I don’t know.  Perhaps slightly wet food is generally acceptable.  However, we had to leave a gift of local jam behind at Jersey airport once, and that’s hardly a ‘proper’ liquid, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So pack your vegan mayo and pesto in the hold if you can, and only take very solid food through security.

Take food for self catering or extra dietary requirements

Ah yes, the pesto.  I did actually take a jar of vegan pesto to Norway along with gluten-free pasta as I was eliminating gluten at the time.  After all we were staying in some really small places outside the cities, and knew we’d struggle to find options throughout our trip from Bergen to Oslo.  So we booked made sure some of our accommodation had kitchen facilities.  It turned out that whilst Norway isn’t remotely vegan-friendly, they have the gluten-free thing down.  Wherever you go, there’s always a free-from section in the local supermarket/mini-mart!

So, if you’re unsure of what to expect as a vegan or have other needs, take extra provisions that you think you’ll need.  It’s better to end up bringing things back home that you didn’t need, than stuck abroad with nothing.

Take food for just in case

This especially applies to long-haul flights.  In case there is a problem with your pre-ordered meal, or it simply is not filling enough, always take food with you on the plane.  Though we got our pre-booked meals when flying from London to Hong Kong, we were unable to eat the free snacks. Except ready salted crisps, of course.  The smell of instant noodles wafted through the air, but we couldn’t have any.  So take extra supplies with you.  I bought a bunch of things at Pret and had our handy nak’d and Trek bars with us so we were comfortable throughout the flight.

5. Don’t forget your toiletries

Toiletries can hide a whole world of horrible ingredients.  For example, lanolin (grease from sheep’s wool) and various forms of animal fat.  Nasty.  Whilst most hotels provide soap and shampoo, you can’t be sure they’ll be free of animal products or have evaded animal testing.

For a start, it is not likely that all the ingredients will be listed, and those that are may not be in a language you understand.  Most of the brandless, minature hotel toiletries that I’ve seen state that they are made in China.  This implies that animal testing has likely occurred.  Unless you are going to a vegan establishment, always take your own.

Also, be prepared in advance. Boots is the main place to buy toiletries at UK airports and typically doesn’t have plentiful vegan-friendly or natural items like sunscreen, toothpaste or feminine hygiene products.  There is also no guarantee that you will find appropriate items to buy at your destination, so don’t leave it to chance and take your favourite items with you.

6. Get familiar with the local cuisine and drinks

What’s the local specialty and what’s naturally vegan?

It’s handy to know in advance what of the local cuisine is typically vegan-friendly or can be veganised easily. Many cultures are have significant vegetarian/vegan populations and traditions, and their cuisine reflects that.  In many countries with strong religious, avoiding meat on specific days or for a length of time is a normality of life, depending on their religion.  Such cuisines include Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Israeli and Ethiopian.  Falafel is naturally vegan and several countries fight over who can claim it for their own!

We like to visit places that make vegan versions of classic local dishes too.  We’ve found vegan ice cream parlours, egg-free tortilla española, meat-free Dutch bitterballen, dim sum… It’s all out there to be found, you just need to look!

Note which local drinks brands are vegan friendly (and watch out for wine)

Sometimes you’ll find special local flavours like Tom’s beloved San Miguel Apple

Use Barnivore to check which locally made beers and wines are vegan friendly in the country you’re visiting.  Just go on “Beer”, “Wine” or “Liquor” and select by country to see which are vegan or not.  It’s best to do this in advance and print or write out a list.

As usual, it’s easy to manage with beers, as the brands are easily identifiable. You’re likely to find something recognisable, as big vegan-friendly brands like Heineken and Budweiser are sold internationally.  Whether it’s Portugal’s Sagres, Argentina’s Quilmes, Japan’s Asahi or something else, you’re always sure to find vegan beer.

However wine drinkers may find it tough.  After all, vegan labelling on wine is not widespread and most people don’t realise wine is not necessarily vegan.  Together with the huge number of wine producers, it may be trickier to find out if your wine is vegan.  Similar rules apply though.  Check out locally produced wines on Barnivore, and arrive prepared with a list of vegan friendly options.

This provides another benefit to seeking out vegan or vegetarian establishments: you can usually be assured that they know that their drinks and wines are suitable.

If all else fails and you don’t like beer, have a cocktail instead!

Check out online reviews for your accommodation and restaurants in the local area

screenshot of HappyCow website showing vegan websites, zoomed in on Toronto

HappyCow is an essential website and app for every vegan and vegetarian.

TripAdvisor can be useful, but I found that a lot of restaurants that “have vegan options” are steakhouses or seafood places that have no clear vegan meals on their menus.  Somewhat bizarre, no?  HappyCow on the other hand is marvellous. You can search by country and narrow down to towns.  Their website and app has saved our butts a fair few times with their listings and reviews.

Also, check for dates of local food markets and events put on by local vegan groups.

7. Avoid potential pitfalls with practical preparation

Doing research is pointless if you forget what you’ve read, lose your notes or can’t remember how to get to that must-visit restaurant!

Map out your choices before you leave

Be sure to save your chosen restaurants, cafes, markets, food trucks etc. to your online map of choice. Also, ensure you’ve stored the map data offline to your phone too.  It’s best to do this before you go to avoid any insane data download costs and avert potential technological glitches.  Also print a list with their addresses or mark their locations in your guidebook.

It is also really handy to make a note of their opening times.  Opening hours abroad have caught us off guard more than once… We’ve arrived to a place to find them closed; reopening in 3 hours or even not until the next day.  So prepare as best you can, and have backups planned close by.  After all, you might decide you don’t like the look of the place or they may have a long wait time.

So always make sure that you have plenty of options so that you can adjust on the fly as necessary.

Print off a list of words and phrases to keep on you at all times

screenshot of vegan365 travel resource vocabulary and phrase translation

I’ve prepared sheets like this in different languages to help you out on your travels

I usually prepare and print a sheet of translations that I may typically need.  That way I don’t have to worry about having no signal or battery on my phone at the wrong time.  It has phrases include “I am vegan” and “I don’t eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs”.  Also, I include words like “milk”, “cheese”, “beef”, “lamb”, “honey” etc.  This sheet has helped us out a number of times in different places for communicating with people and for translating food packaging in shops.

However, if you learn one thing, always learn the translated word for “thank you”.  Most Hungarians I said köszönöm (cuh-suh-neum) to following a conversation in English, smiled broadly with a touch of appreciative surprise!

You can find more on that here and print off sheets that I’ve prepared for you for free!  I hope they help you out!  If you need help with pronunciation, ask the hotel reception or your host to help you out.  (A kind taxi driver taught me köszönöm!)

Know the local laws and customs

Of course, this applies to everyone, not just vegans!

Just a gentle reminder to be a gracious tourist and find out any necessary rules or customs before you go.  For example: are you supposed to tip, how much, and when; are government taxes included or added at the end?  Will crossing the street other than at a designated crossing, (aka jaywalking) get you a fine?

Also if you are driving abroad, be sure to know of local drink driving laws which may differ from home.  Whilst it’s ok to have a drink or two and drive here; elsewhere it’s forbidden.

8. Whilst you’re away use “inconveniences” as an opportunity to have new experiences

Embrace local supermarkets and health food shops

Wherever you are, you can always put together a breakfast or lunch from a supermarket. We typically buy a fresh stick of bread or rolls, hummus and check out what local vegan deli/substitute options they have. This is a great way to get a sneak peek into what everyday life could look like somewhere new too.

In European cities, we often find loads of vegan options in supermarket fridges that we’ve never seen before. Budapest and Barcelona stand out especially for this, and we were sure to stock up on stuff to take home.  Even when in a Norwegian ski town (Geilo) we stumbled across a health food shop, in which we found vegan ice creams to enjoy on a walk around the fjord!

tofuline ice cream

Vegan ice-cream to walk around Ustedalsfjorden!

Aside from the food, it’s interesting to people watch and see how life is different.  We had to go through a metal detector and have our bags checked for guns in the Philippines to get into a supermarket.  You don’t forget that sort of experience in a hurry…

Just because it’s vegan here, doesn’t mean it’s vegan there!

It’s best not to take it for granted that items you recognise are the same as back home.  For example, in some countries, bread may include milk and baked beans are often cooked with pork.  In Paris, our innocent-looking pot of hummus had cheese in it!  No matter how familiar you think you are with a given item, it is worth double checking the ingredients.  Remember your handy translation checklist to help you.

Be brave and talk to the staff and locals

The kitchen and wait staff are usually willing to help paying customers.  You might get lucky with a special dish if there is nothing suitable on the menu.  If you are with non-vegans they may be more willing to accommodate you for the whole group’s business.

If you’re in a resort or eating regularly at your hotel, this can work in your favour.  As you’re there night after night, and checking your options with them, the restaurant staff will start to recognise you.  As such, they’ll likely end up pointing out what you can have without you having to ask by the end of your trip.  There is often a high number of staff around, restocking and monitoring the dishes; so it’s usually easy to ask someone about the nature of the food.  That is assuming it has not been clearly marked already.

Just always remember, you are not the first person to have dietary requirements. It is perfectly alright to break through the typical British reserve and strike up a short conversation.  Certainly in these situations a little bit of the local language, a big smile and a gracious ‘thank you’ always go a long way.  Thanks to our long chats at the buffet I was asked out to the local “discotheque” by a handsome waiter back in my single days.  I didn’t accept the invite, but you never know what doors may inadvertently open thanks to being an awkward vegan!

9. Choose activities and souvenirs that don’t exploit or harm animals

I understand that reputable zoos are needed for conservation efforts and helping endangered species.  However, training animals to do tricks for us or exploiting them for money is categorically wrong and against the vegan ethos.

Thankfully, people know to avoid Sea World and similar attractions.  Unfortunately, in some countries exploited animals will be in your face.  The Medina in Marrakesh holds the most vivid memory of that for me.  There, men push monkeys and snakes onto tourists for pictures, which they then charge for.  This can be distressing to witness because there isn’t much you can do about it.  However, you can actively say no and encourage your travel companions and tourists you meet to not participate either.

We took it one step further when researching for a visit to Santorini.  We subsequently discovered that donkeys and mules carry tourists up the steep cobbled streets.

I get that working animals are essential to people’s survival throughout the third world. However, lugging overweight cruise ship tourists up hills in the heat does not count.  Why should they suffer because people can’t wait for the cable car or bother to walk?  Or because they think it’s “fun” to ride on a helpless animal? Like this ignoramus, who delights in the “hilarious experience” of riding around on a donkey, just for the fun of it and photo ops. It makes me furious.

Anyway, Tom and I agreed, that until we see evidence of significant change from the animal rights groups working there, we refuse to go to any of the Greek Islands that allow this. It is utterly unnecessary. They should invest some of the profits from tourism into creating an infrastructure that can support them. Don’t leave it to donkeys.

The welfare of working animals is an issue I really care about, so I support The Brooke. It’s a charity that works internationally to educate owners and improve their animals’ lives.  Be sure to check them out, and support them if you can.

So make informed decisions wherever you can.

10. Prepare for for the unexpected and the unpleasant; just in case

In some parts of the world, accept that you may see some upsetting things

The whole point of travel is arguably to explore other cultures and widen our horizons.  However, when you care about animal welfare, it can be hard to ignore the sight of working animals or chickens and pigs being raised for slaughter.

When at a hideaway resort in the Philippines, I saw a desolate, lonely cow I saw tied up to a tree.  The poor thing looked so miserable, and though in the shade it looked about to collapse from the 30+ degrees celsius heat.  The cow was used to pull a wide rake along the sand each morning.  This disturbs sandflies so they leave and don’t bite people on the beach.

I complained about it in tears to a member of staff, who could not understand my upset.  Eventually someone casually ambled over, and soon after threw buckets of water over it’s skin.  The sight of this, and reality of that cow’s sad, lonely life hurt me to my core and ruined my visit.

via GIPHY

How could I forget about it and enjoy myself?  I know it’s stuck there, and how long has it been there for, taken away from herd it belongs with?  What kind of a life is that?

Accepting that so much goes on in the world that you cannot control can be an eyeopener.

We went for the beauty of the scenery but also took back scenes that we could not change. (Like the distant screams of a pig being taken out of a boat onto the island…)

So bear that in mind if you are emotional and not able to necessarily move past things. Seeing the way people really live is certainly a point to travelling, but consider whether it’ll ruin your time by having to see it, especially when you can’t do anything about it.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, people just aren’t nice or don’t get it

In the cow story above, when I spoke to the staff member, he expressed bemusement and barely suppressed giggles.  The man genuinely could not understand why I cared.  I understand that animals are not seen with respect for their lives, and that is why I’m a vegan now.

When travelling my ex had a chicken killed in front of him in Ecuador.  A meal was made and naturally he was expected to eat it.  Though it temporarily upset him greatly, he did not change his ways. Hopefully you won’t have to see something so violent.  However, if you are planning on backpacking to small villages and farming communities, you should prepare yourself.

The point is that not everyone will ever truly feel the pain that animals have to go through and what it means for them to be stripped of their very life itself.  Sadly, that is something we all have to accept, but do everything we can to do our part to help them.

It’s more likely that you’ll encounter rude restaurant staff, who aren’t remotely interested in trying to accommodate you.  If you express that “just a little pork in the sauce”, or “only a bit of butter” is still too much and unacceptable, you may not get a positive response or outright nonchalance.  If you’re in omnivorous company at a standard eatery, you may end up with just with a bowl of chips or a plain green salad. Certainly experiences like this can happen in the UK as much as anywhere else.

It is partly for reasons like this that I prefer to go to solidly vegan, or vegan-friendly establishments.  I know I’ll have a pleasant experience and I’m supporting businesses in line with my principles.  I fully encourage you to do the same wherever possible 🙂

That’s it!

via GIPHY

Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this mammoth list!

Hopefully this top 10 list of vegan travel tips has helped you feel more confident about travelling and holidaying abroad.  Did I miss anything?  What are your essential travel tips?

Don’t forget to pin me!

Cassell x

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