If Only all Airports Could be as Vegan Friendly as the Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport, Ireland

After two weeks in Ireland, we were ready for our next destination: The Netherlands. We woke up early, said goodbye to Dublin, and headed to the airport. Before taking off, we made sure to have a look around and see what vegan options were available.

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Vegan Tips & Trips: June

Starting right now, once a month, we will publish Tips & Trips, a roundup of vegan travel tips and blog posts by vegans who have recently traveled and documented their food finds. If you have some tips or want to submit a link, please contact us.

Tips for Vegan Travelers

Vegan Travel Bloggers

Vegan Food is Everywhere, Even the West Coast of Ireland

Dingle Coast

Dingle, Ireland

Before our visit to Ireland, friends and family kept insisting we rent a car and drive along the coast. We didn’t rent a car, but managed to make our way west by taking the bus and hitch hiking. We were excited to visit the Dingle Peninsula, located in County Kerry, knowing we’d be treated to some beautiful views and landscapes. We weren’t sure what to expect for vegan food options but found there were more than enough choices to keep us happy.

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Vegan Meats & Sweets in Cork, Ireland

Lentil Burger with Peanut Sauce, Spicy Potato Wedges and Salad

Lunch at the Quay Co-op, Cork, Ireland

We spent two weeks in Ireland and used some of that time to do a short tour along the coast. Heading west from Dublin, our first stop was Cork. It’s a small town, with a nice vibe and some great vegan offerings.

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Interview with The Vegan Police

I’ve been interviewed! Head over to The Vegan Police blog to find out answers to important questions like….

How much preparation have you put into researching destinations before you go? When it comes to places you haven’t been to you, what are your go to resources?

AND

The site has already amassed some great information, I am wondering if this is project is a 2010 thing or will this be an ongoing vegan travel blog?

Kardea Nutrition Bar Giveaway: And the Winner is…

Kardea Nutrition Bar

Congratulations to Abbē Ⓥ Neumann and Abby Paljieg! They are the winners of our Kardea Nutrition Bar giveaway. They both left comments on the blog but their activity on Facebook won them the prize.

I want to send a big thank you to everyone who entered and promoted the giveaway. Thank you!!!

Our Search for Vegan Lunch at Google in Dublin

Google Dublin

Google Lobby, Dublin, Ireland

Normally, I leave the blog writing to Jill, but visiting Google in Dublin was something I couldn’t pass up writing about. A few years ago, I had a chance to visit the campus in San Francisco. When our Couch Surfing host invited us to see where he worked and to indulge at Google’s free, all you can eat cafeteria, I knew we were in for a treat.

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Shopping for Vegan Food in Dublin, Ireland

Greetings from Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

We spent a little over a week in Dublin but only ate at one restaurant, Cornucopia. The rest of the time, we bought food to eat at home. Our shopping trips took us to many places, including several supermarkets and health food stores.

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Vegan Finds at the Temple Bar Food Market & Dublin Food Co-op

Temple Bar Food Market

Temple Bar Food Market, Dublin, Ireland

If you’re in Dublin, Ireland on a weekend, you’re bound to run into a food market. One Saturday afternoon, we went on a long walk around the city, stopping in at the Temple Bar Food Market and Dublin Food Co-op to see what vegan eats we could find.

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Five Tips for Vegan Travel

1. Make a List of Places to Eat

Vegan Reseach

Vegan Research

Before you pack your bags and start traveling, do some research and learn about the local vegan options. One of the best places to start is Happy Cow, a website with a comprehensive list of vegetarian and vegan restaurants for almost any city you can think of. The second place I usually look is the local vegetarian or vegan association’s website, where restaurant and health food shop listings tend to be up to date. To find local associations, do a quick Google search for the city name and “vegan society” or “vegan association.” Don’t be scared away if the content isn’t in English, that’s what Google Translator is for. Between these online resources, you should be able to compile a list of places to find vegan food. 

2. Connect with Other Vegans

The Vegan Girls

Vegan Ladies in Dublin, Ireland - Glauce, Aoife and Jill

For major cities, your list of possible places to eat may be so long you’ll need help narrowing it down. For help, ask local vegans for recommendations. They’ll know which bakeries have vegan treats and which cafes serve the best weekend brunch. Online resources can only get you so far. The best knowledge is local knowledge.

To find local vegans, or get recommendations from vegans who have recently visited the city, start with a Google search. You can usually find them by Googling the city name and “vegan.” With this approach, you’re likely to find a blog by a local vegan or reviews by vegan visitors. You can also connect with vegans on Twitter, by searching for the city name and “vegan.” There are also online and offline communities, like the Vegan Around the World Network and Vegan Meetup Groups, that help connect vegans in far away places.

Lastly, I’d recommend looking for vegans on CouchSurfing, a website where people offer up their sofas, air mattresses, floors and spare rooms to travelers. It’s a free service, where no money is exchanged. You can filter your results by including “vegan” or “vegetarian” in the keyword search. There is also a CouchSurfing group for Vegans and Vegetarians members. Some large and vegan-friendly cities, like London, NYC and Berlin, have their own veg groups. If you don’t like the idea of sleeping in a strangers house, you can always ask people from CouchSurfing to meet for a drink or meal.

3. Carry a Food Stash

Picnic at St. Stephen's Green Park -  Homemade Vegan Sandwich

Homemade Vegan Sandwich

At some point during your travels, you’re bound to find yourself in transit, lost or far away from any vegan-friendly restaurants. This is why it’s necessary to always have a small stash of food with you. This isn’t a recommendation, it’s a requirement for vegan travelers. Unless, of course, you don’t mind skipping a meal or eating something that you’re unsure about. There are lots of things you can pack to avoid such problems.

For bus, plane or train rides, as well as outings in the city, pack easy snacks like apples, bananas, nuts, seeds, homemade sandwiches, granola bars, carrot sticks, bread, pitas, peanut butter or hummus. In your large backpack, take along some brown rice, lentils, spices, dry pasta, and vegetable bouillon cubes. These ingredients, along with a few fresh vegetables and tomato sauce, can be used to make a quick pasta, soup, curry or stir fry. A small Tupperware container and a spork go a long way, making it easy to take homemade food or leftovers on the road.

4. Know the Local Lingo

Vegan Passport

Vegan Passport

Reading labels is part of vegan life. Without knowing the local words for things like chicken, milk, eggs, cheese or butter, it will be hard to determine whether or not an item is suitable for vegans. You can look keywords up online, write down some vegan phrases or carry the Vegan Passport, a handy book that can be used to help communicate your dietary needs at restaurants and stores around the world.

5. Make it Easy for Others

Vegetable Burritos

Tacos, No Cheese

Don’t walk into a regular restaurant, cafe, bakery or supermarket and ask a staff member to point you in the direction of their vegan options. Don’t expect people to even know what vegan or vegetarian food is. Make things easy for them by asking if they can customize a menu item that’s almost vegan. For example, ask for cheese to be removed from pizza, pasta or a sandwich. If you’re in a bakery, don’t ask if a loaf of bread is vegan, ask if it contains or has been glazed with milk, butter, eggs, lard or any other animal product.

If you’re cooking with people who don’t have experience making vegan food, give them specific ideas, share recipes, or offer to prepare a dish for them. Often, people get confused about what is okay, and what’s not. They don’t want to offend you by accidentally adding something you can’t eat. Don’t be afraid to help and answer questions. In the end, hopefully everyone will forget about the missing animal ingredients and enjoy the dish as part of a healthy and tasty meal.

Use these tips and you’ll find it’s not hard to keep up a vegan diet while traveling. Chances are, wherever you travel, there will always be vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. The more exciting things may be harder to come by but the healthy, wholefood options are always available.