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.
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
- If you’re planning a road trip this summer, HLife has some advice on what to pack. If your travels involve flying to a different country, their tips for international travel may save you from getting sick while away from home.
- Don’t go hungry! GoMet has a round up of their favourite travel snacks.
- Want to travel but don’t like planning? Maria from Vegan World Trekker has put together a list of vegan-friendly travel agents.
- KansasCity has some general tips for maintaining dietary restrictions on the road.
- Traveling to Germany? Rezeptefuchs is a great resource for vegans living in or visiting Germany. It has a huge database of vegan products you can browse through and includes information about where to find each item.
Vegan Travel Bloggers
- Vegan Eats & Sweets recently visited Spain and reported on her vegan eating adventures in Barcelona and Madrid.
- Glauce from All about (vegan) food is in Brazil and writing about some interesting vegan products and restaurants.
- Four Legs Good vacationed in Portland, Oregon and wrote an entire post about vegan food cart options.
- The Urban Housewife visited NYC and returned with news of new and classic vegan treats.
- The Epicurean Vegan found some beautiful views and tasty looking vegan food during a vacation in Boulder, Colerado.
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.
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?
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?
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!!!
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.
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.
1. Make a List of Places to Eat
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
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
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
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
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.