Wendy shares her tips on how to travel the world on a vegan diet.
In the United States alone, there are close to 8-million people that are vegetarian. The estimated population that is vegan is just under 3-million. This may explain why there are more vegan and vegetarian selections on restaurant menus.
We will give you some helpful hints for eating vegan no matter where you travel. But first, let us explain what a vegan is.
Vegan vs Vegetarian
A person who practices the vegan lifestyle avoids all products that come from animals. This includes:
- Fish and other seafood
A vegetarian eats a diet that is primarily made of plants. However, some will eat seafood, poultry, and products like cheese and eggs.
It is important to note that many people do not know the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian. If you are not very specific with a server, especially in other countries, they may think a dish you are asking about is vegan, because it is meatless. However, it could have milk, cheese, or eggs in the sauce.
It is easy to tell that certain dishes are vegan. Approach others as if you have an allergy. Specifically say, I do not eat cheese, eggs, or milk. This makes it much easier for a server to understand and accommodate. It is also a good idea to ask the server to write on the order, “Vegan only”. Chefs absolutely know what that means.
Depending on where you travel, there are usually options on the menu that will accommodate your dietary needs. However, if you travel to the more sophisticated cities in the United States, you will find much more than a few second-thought options.
Travels to a resort in a popular destination will ensure there will be a good variety of restaurants. Also, you can have it noted in your room service orders that you request vegan meals.
If you want to avoid the crowds, long lines, and the discomfort of a commercial flight, and you are somewhat flexible with your travels, keep an eye out for deadhead flights. This is a flight on a private jet charter, that was hired for a one-way trip. If they have no one traveling back to their home base, you can get that luxury flight at a very cheap price. This is a great way to travel and it is safe.
A quick online search will show you where big-name restaurants are that offer vegan selections. These include:
- Denny’s Restaurant
- Red Robin
- Johnny Rockets
- Chipotle Mexican Grill
- P.F. Chang’s
If you are in a city or country that you are not familiar with there are safe selections. If you stop by a restaurant that serves Mexican food, order the veggie burrito which is served with rice and beans. A veggie taco with lettuce, tomato, salsa, guacamole, and beans is another great choice.
Italian restaurants always have pasta selections which are topped with spicy tomato sauce and spices. Pizza is also a good selection. Simply order your pie with vegetarian toppings and no cheese or soy cheese.
Chinese restaurants are super-easy. Most Chinese restaurants will allow you to substitute tofu in any entrees they serve. They often have meatless meats and vegan cheeses and butter made from soy milk. You will have to request that no eggs be added to your food.
Vegans are taking full advantage of free or low-cost apps that the vegan traveler must have. There are apps that will guide you to vegan restaurants and give you suggestions on what to order. There are apps for wonderful recipes you can make yourself and apps that help you create shopping lists. There are online shopping apps to help make your life easier for your kitchen and for Vegan Food Gifts for the holidays.
When you are traveling around the world, sometimes the language barrier makes it difficult to order foods. Of course, you can download apps that will say words for you in other languages but sometimes you are in for a surprise when the food is served. You are usually able to order salads, baked potatoes, and pasta. However, it is wise to have a backup plan.
Order a fruit and nut basket to be delivered to your suite at the hotel. If you are going to a social event and you must take a dish, take something you can eat. If it is one of your favorites, place a “Vegan” label on the dish which will scare away any carnivores that are in the room.
Sending your luggage
If you are going abroad, the fear of you arriving and you luggage being dropped off somewhere near the Bermuda Triangle, do yourself a favor by shipping luggage with a professional company. Your luggage will be handled properly and you can rest easy that you will not have to tour Europe in a tank top and sweatpants.
You can feel comfortable knowing you can travel this wonderful world and enjoy all of the natures bounty. Don’t hesitate traveling to a new destination, you will easily find food that fits your lifestyle.
Sample foods that are local to the area
Do a little research before you choose a destination. Every region has foods that are specific to their area. Most towns (especially in Europe) have a farmers market. Arrange your schedule to take advantage of them. Fresh plums, grapes, olives, and veggies will ignite your senses. Look for fresh truffles and sample the raw foods. If you want a treat, order dairy-free gelato. Do not forget to indulge in fresh bread with honey or jam.
You do not have to sacrifice while traveling. There are many options available to you. With a little planning and a sense of adventure, the food you eat will add luster to your trip and enhance your experience. Make your adventure a memory of a lifetime.