Current Location: Guatemala

Vegan Travel, Is it Possible?

Are you a vegetarian dreaming of seeing the world?

A wandering vegan with an urge to get out there even more than you already are?

Are you already a world traveler thinking about the switch to an animal friendly diet?

Worried how your food choices are going to affect your travels, or your potential travels will affect your diet?

I’m here to tell you that traveling as a veggie can be difficult at times, as all things that are worth doing are, but it is not impossible. Do not let your vegetarianism/veganism hold you back, nor your travel affect your own independent choice to eat healthier and more compassionately. With a bit of patience and a bit of adventure, traveling and veganism/vegetarianism can work together and in my opinion, be better and more adventurous than regular travel.

When I first became a vegan, I saw my veganism in terms of what I could not eat, not in terms of the new opportunities to get creative with my food, to eat better, to invent, to introduce new flavors and foods to my diet. By changing this mindset, and embracing everything that I could eat, becoming a travelling, wandering, volunteering vegan became that much easier. I urge you to live your morals. Traveling veg-friendly is only as difficult as you let it be. In this day and age, despite what any negative nellies may say, maintaining your veganism is not only possible, but can be quite enjoyable and even I daresay, delicious.

Honestly, it only becomes truly problematic if you get on your plane seeing your diet as a restriction, a limiting factor constraining choice and ruining your vacation or travels.

My favorite advice to traveling vegan – use it to explore even more.  Being vegan or vegetarian can be a blessing while traveling if you let it. My three biggest pieces of advice:

  1. Use HappyCow or blogs like mine to find local places to visit and eat at. Turn eating out into an adventure to see the town you’re in, and to meet locals who believe in the same thing as you. Eating out becomes an exploration of your new surroundings and culture rather than a trap into whatever local overdone touristy spot that looks okay.
    1. Bonus Points – order the “local item” on the menu. They will have the common veggie items or something you can find back home, but ordering the local mainstay diet “veganized” will get you closer to the culture, and allow you to explore new flavors to bring home with you.
  2. Go to the market or grocery store and buy the weird looking fruit or vegetable. Ask what it is, then you can later google how to eat it. It’s the inspiration behind the “Fruit Chronicles” here on this site. Exploring food is exciting. Being vegan made me explore more foods, why not take advantage of being in new places around the world?
  3. Ask ask ask. If you see a tour that you think can’t be done vegan, ask and explain yourself. You’d be surprised at what people are willing to do or able to do. I have not missed out on a single tour, trip, or opportunity with my non vegan friends all around the world mainly because I’ve asked.
    1. Bolivian Salt Flats, Climbing Volcanoes in Guatemala, Patagonia Hikes – I’ve done them all vegan. All I did was ask.
      1. Also, don’t be afraid to bring your own food. If they won’t feed you, but you need a guide – offer for a tour without food included and bring your own bars and snacks. See posts here on grocery stores in different countries and what you could bring.
    2. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find a tour right away. I’d recommend TripAdvisor and a quick search for “veg” or “vegan” in the comments on the tour companies. I know I’ve posted a few times now saying they will do it vegan.
  4. Don’t forget to give back to the vegan community. Write on HappyCow, post on TripAdvisor. We’re a community. Support vegans and vegetarians who travel.

Ultimately, being vegan and traveling hasn’t been restrictive. It’s made me better. I feel more a part of the vegan world effort than ever before traveling, come join me. 

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