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How To Travel The World As A Vegan Or Vegetarian

I did my first big solo international travel right after I graduated from college in 2010. I was 21-years-old, and I went to Ghana for 3 months. 

This experience changed the trajectory of my life, as I was bitten by the travel bug hard. My sole focus became about making enough money to travel for as long and far as possible. 

I spent the next decade living out of a backpack, running around the world. And guess what? 

I was either vegetarian or vegan for all of it!

Trust me when I say that I know how challenging it can be to travel with any sort of dietary restriction. Not only are you dealing with language barriers, but you’re also talking about something that literally dictates your mood and energy. 

Getting hangry is a very real thing, and something that’s best avoided when you’re adventuring, right? 

This post is sharing a roundup of my top tips on how to travel the world as a vegan or vegetarian based on my experience of living and traveling abroad for over a decade in hopes of keeping you nourished throughout your next travel experience. 

How To Travel The World As A Vegan Or Vegetarian

How To Travel The World As A Vegan Or Vegetarian

Here’s the thing, these tips can really apply to anyone with a dietary restriction, which is honestly most people nowadays. With all of the food allergies and food intolerances increasing, most people have some sort of dietary requirement. 

The most important thing to remember is that the trip will be worth it. Don’t let your dietary restriction hold you back from traveling, okay? Trust me on this.

Always Pack Snacks

The first tip is always pack snacks, because this will ensure that you don’t go hungry. Obviously you’ll want to pack snacks that can last through different temperatures, and getting thrown in and out of bags. So they need to be durable. 

A few options for dry food snacks that I love are: GoMacro bars, Biena chickpeas, almonds, cashews, walnuts, homemade granola.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting fiber in there. Fruit is a great way to do that, although not at long-lasting or durable as dry food. Packing fruit for flights and long bus rides are essential to support your digestion. 

My favorite fruits to pack are: apples, oranges or cuties, blueberries, bananas. I find all of these options are less messy than most fruits, and last a bit longer than super soft fruit. You can always pack dried fruit, as well.

pack snacks for travel

Go To Local Markets

Most of the time the local markets are going to be stocked with fresh local produce above all else. I typically have better luck with the outdoor local markets than I do with the supermarkets, because the grocery stores tend to be more packaged food, instead. 

If you’re not sure where the local market is, then ask the host of your hotel or Airbnb to point you in the right direction. Also, keep your eyes peeled for small fruit stands around town. Because those vendors are likely to have all the goods for killer prices. 

Make sure to bring your own bags, because otherwise you’ll get five million plastic bags. I love these net bags, because they’re super produce friendly…and cute!

local market

Look For Protein Rich Snacks

Vegans and vegetarians know the importance of protein like no other. We know how bad it feels to not get enough, which is why we’re really good about finding the best plant based protein that we can. 

Vegetarians definitely have it easier, because you can find eggs just about anywhere you are. Hard boiled eggs are super cheap, nutritious, and easy to travel with as a protein rich snack. 

For my vegan peeps, you’ll want to stick to things like nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. 

Share Your Dietary Restrictions Prior To Arrival

One of the best things you can do to support your dietary needs when you travel is to share your food needs with your host beforehand. I’d suggest doing this before you even book, especially if the place provides the meals for you. 

By sharing your needs beforehand, you’re able to ensure your host is able to prepare for you beforehand, rather than on the spot. Depending on where you’re going, it might not be easy to go to the market or the store. So a little heads up goes a long way. 

As a hotel owner, I can speak from experience on this one 🙂

Plan Ahead

In order to best support your food needs when you’re traveling, please plan ahead. That means having a good understanding of where you’re going, what the culinary scene is like there, looking at restaurants that would suite you, and where your hotel is located in relation to those restaurants. 

We all know that Happy Cow is a vegan and vegetarian’s best friend while traveling. But also remember that not all restaurants are listed there! Google, blogs, and foodies accounts you follow on social media are also great resources to find out more about the food scene wherever you’re headed. 

Before you book that epic Airbnb or bougie hotel, make sure to note how far you are from available food, or what the food provided there is. This will help you to be prepared when you land, rather than scrambling trying to find something when you’re delirious and starving.

Pro tip: make a list of restaurants in your notes app before you even leave for your trip. This is the perfect plane activity that can set you up for success when you arrive. I did this before our recent trip to Cape Town, and it was a lifesaver.

How To Travel The World As A Vegan Or Vegetarian

Pack Supplements

Look, supplements are meant to do just that…supplement our diet, not complete it. When you’re living in a place where you dietary needs are easy to fulfill, hopefully you don’t need as many powders and supplements. 

But when you’re on the go, and you don’t always know how easy you’ll be able to find fresh greens or protein, then supplements can be a really great option to fill in the gaps for a short period of time. 

Plus, when your nutritional needs are met, you’re likely to be in a better mood, and have more energy for your adventure.

I’ve linked all of my favorite supplements here. But I’d like to highlight the importance of fish oil or vegan omegas, as well as the Green Dream powder that has protein and fiber galore. 

If you aren’t opposed to supplements with animal products, then my top recommendation will always be Heart and Soil. My personal fave is the Hair, Skin & Nails blend. 

There you have it, my veggie friends, you’re ready to travel the world now! I can’t wait to hear about your next adventure. 

Share your most recent travel experience in the comments!

xx, 

K

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