There is no better way to broaden your horizons than by traveling the world, exploring new places and meeting interesting people and cultures. If you fear you’d have to miss out on that just because you’re vegan then you’re sorely mistaken. Sure there might be things such as language and/or cultural barriers, being stuck in a place with no shops or restaurants,… but there’s no need to compromise either- not your trip nor your beliefs. As someone who suffers from many allergies, I know what I’m talking about, so here are a few of my easy tips that always allow me to enjoy my traveling without starvation.
- Always find a hostel with a kitchen or rent a flat.
When your travel involves staying at a hostel always make sure you pick one with a kitchen. Many hostels have them and it’s really the best way to make sure you eat what you want and even adjust everything to your taste buds. It’s also a lot cheaper than eating outside and since love goes through stomach you can make new friends, and show everyone how easy and delicious vegan food can be. If you can’t find a hostel or simply don’t like them, you can always rent a flat or use Airbnb.
- When you’re staying with your host.
Sometimes it happens that you end up living with a host, be it your family, friends or people you don’t know but are friendly enough to have you over. In this case, my advice is to be straight open and let them know of your eating habits. Explain them exactly what you eat and what you don’t, and if time allows (and they, obviously) offer to cook some meals for everyone or at least for yourself. From my experiences strangers are more willing to help you out than people who know you, e.g. friends or family.
- Stock up.
Stock up on goodies and little snacks that will save you from possible starvation. Buy some dried fruits, add some seeds and nuts to them and keep everything in a little bag or a container. Rely on oats. Have a vegan chocolate on hand and get some raw or oat bars which are great for getting instant fuel and will keep you going for a while. You can also get some crackers and then either make or buy hummus. When going on longer trips, plan ahead- there’s nothing worse than running out of food and water and not be able to get them.
- Make Happy Cow your friend and connect to the locals
There’s a joke that nothing makes a vegan happier than meeting another. Well, hopefully we’re not that rare of a breed, but still- it’s always nice to meet fellow veggie lovers. So connect- Facebook is the perfect tool. Look for FB groups from the area as local people are the best guides. Also do your research before traveling. There are many websites with plenty of useful information that will help you find little gems where you’ll make your belly very happy.
- Get your vegan passport.
It comes in many languages and helps explain to others what being vegan is all about or at least makes it clear what you eat and what you don’t. If you’re still uncertain that you’ll be catered properly say you’re allergic. Unfortunately sometimes that’s the only way.
- Ideas for easy meals/breakfasts (mainly when staying in hostel)
My staple breakfast food when I’m traveling are my beloved oats. In the morning I just pour boiling water over them, then add LSA (ground linseed-sunflower-almond mix), some fruit (usually from a sugar free compote) and a tablespoon or two of a preservative free coconut milk from a can. Makes a big and satisfying batch. If you travel somewhere where there’s an abundance of fresh fruit, make the best of it and devour. For lunch/dinner keep it simple. Cook rice or other grain separately and do not over salt it (this way you can use leftovers for sweet breakfast), then cook beans and other vegetables in tomato sauce, add some avocado and there’s your easy, quick, good, nutritious and cheap meal.