If you have the travel bug like I do, you may have encountered the challenge of eating vegan while traveling outside of the U.S. Fortunately, many other countries are on the vegan bandwagon too, and I have yet to starve while on vacation. Here is a robust collection of simple, fast travel tips to make your life easier.
Learn the language
Learn how to say “I am vegan” in the various languages of the places you are visiting. If you cannot find the phrase in your traveler’s phrase book, ask a local. Here are a few to get you started (masculine noun where applicable):
French – Végétalien
Welsh – Fegan
Italian – Vegano
German – Veganer
Finnish – Vegaani
Polish – Weganinem
Swedish – Vegan
Through his website, Max Learning offers free educational resources, including a multitude of vegan links. Learning has composed printable vegan phrase cards in nearly 100 languages.
It is an adventure to live like the locals and grocery shop. It can also be a money saver if you are cooking your own foods. Beware of label reading if you have a language barrier, and stick to fruits, vegetables and dried goods if you do not have access to refrigeration or a kitchen.
Pack dried goods
I have stayed in many hotels that offer tea kettles, which double as dehydrated food hydrators and soup warmers. I like to pack dried peanut butter, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, granola, and oats (and you can throw them in your carry-on luggage).
This is where language skills come in handy; you can ask for a dish without the non-vegan ingredients. Or, my personal favorite, speak with the chef and let them know you are vegan and enjoy whatever vegan creation they whip up.
Back to basics
Fresh fruits, vegetables, cereal and bread are usually vegan-friendly. If all else fails, seek out these staples.
On a typical five-day excursion, I pack a jar of dried peanut butter, five packages of dried fruit, five packages of dried kale, five packages of oatmeal and ten granola bars. I scope out a grocery store and purchase bread, soy milk (sometimes labeled as soya milk), fresh fruits and vegetables (if available), and any other snack that catches my eye that I am able to ascertain is vegan. It is also helpful to learn the words for eggs and milk.
To save time and money, I eat packaged oatmeal, soya milk and fruits for breakfast. I pack myself a lunch of a peanut butter sandwich, vegetables and granola. Later, I treat myself for dinner at one of the previously researched vegan-friendly restaurants in the area.
Have these tips helped you prepare for an upcoming trip? Still have questions about a certain country or culture? Any pleasantly surprising experiences you have come across? Comment below and tell us about it!
Photos by Lorilei Richardson