Being a vegan has its fair share of joys and nuisances. The most notable factor in the latter group would be living in the predominantly non-vegan world. This should not pose too much of a problem once you establish yourself a common daily routine, but you will at some point want to travel abroad, and that is the moment when things get complicated. It is not that the rest of the world has not caught up with the whole vegan idea, it is just that some cultures and some countries are not too compatible with it. That is why we are going to give you a few guidelines that should help make your travels much easier.
Vegan-Friendly vs. Vegan-Exhausting Countries
First and foremost, the choice of the country where you will travel can make or break your entire vacation, so let us look at some popular tourist locations:
- France – Vegan-Exhausting: It should really not be a surprise to anyone that French cuisine is very butter-heavy. If you order vegan food, chances are that it will have butter or at least eggs in it.
- India – Vegan-Friendly: One of the safest bets for all the vegans around the world. As a matter of fact, the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the UN ranked India the lowest meat consumer.
- Brazil – Vegan-Exhausting: One of the most popular types of restaurant in Brazil – the churrascaria – has waiters walking around with huge chunks of meat, offering to slice you a piece.
- Israel – Vegan-Friendly – With 200.000 vegans within a general population of 8 million, it is safe to say that you will have no trouble finding vegan restaurants in Israel.
Choosing Vegan-Friendly Accommodation
We covered these countries only in broad strokes, of course. If you want to visit some of them, local eating habits should not discourage you from traveling. But you could always look for tips from expert vegan globetrotters to truly prep for a stress-free trip. Here are two most popular websites that will help you find vegan-friendly accommodation:
- Veggie-Hotels.com – Featuring a list of 552 vegan-friendly hotels throughout the world and ton of other useful things, it is well recommended to visit this website before you pack your bags.
- Happycow.net – This website is another great option if you want to harness information before deciding on any travel-related factors. The HappyCow smartphone app works for both Android and iOS systems, and will keep you informed even abroad.
Another thing you should take into consideration is that you are probably dependent on cruelty-free cosmetics and hygienic products at this point, and that is something most hotels, hostels, and such don’t pay much mind to. Be sure to bring your own 100 Percent Pure gels and washes with you in travel-sized bottles. Note that if you visit a sunny country, or snow-clad mountain resorts, your skin will need additional care, so pack those vegan-friendly SPF moisturizers with you.
Finding Vegan Food
We already mentioned how to find vegan hotels, but what about vegan restaurants? If the restaurant you want to eat in is not vegan-friendly, the safest way to go is to order salads. You could also ask the restaurant staff of your place of accommodation to prepare a personalized vegan menu for you prior to your arrival – saves everybody involved a lot of face. Also, if you are going to stay somewhere for a period longer than a couple of days, you could go scouting for local grocery stores and farmers’ markets where you can buy organic food.
When there is a will, there is a way, and being vegan should not prevent you from having just as much fun on a trip as anybody. Simply put in just a little extra time in the preparation phase, learn how to work around problematic local customs, and you should be just fine.