Traveling with any dietary restrictions can be nerve-wracking, but don’t let this deter you from seeing the world. Nowadays, people around the world are more understanding and accommodating to particular diets. I have never let my veganism hold me back, but I have learned the dos and don’ts of traveling with a vegan diet over the last four years. By following these three simple tips on how to find vegan options, you too can adventure the world without worrying about food options.
Have a backup plan
Like anything else, it is always good to have a backup plan when traveling when it comes to how to find vegan options. My first step when I arrive in a new place is to hit a local grocery store and get some fruits, vegetables and other food items, just in case the local flavor isn’t as accommodating. Even in the most vegan-friendly cities, you might find yourself surrounded by restaurants and food options that won’t suit what you need at that moment.
Have a backup plan to tie you over until you find what you need. This may also mean having a favorite restaurant near your hotel to hit on your way back from a day of exploring. The most important thing is to make sure you are well taken care of. Even if that means heading back to the hotel a little early to grab a snack, or taking a little extra time to find a good place to eat. After all, you won’t enjoy your trip on an empty stomach.
Scope out the area
Within a day or so of being in your new city, you should be aware of what options you have nearby. Even if it means eating the same things a couple times during your trip, it’s better than feeling stuck over your options. There are also apps and Google searches that can be used in a foreign place in order to find options to suit your needs in any location.
For example, the app Happy Cow works just like any other GPS system but narrows the search specifically to vegan-friendly restaurants. This app is perfect for traveling when you aren’t aware of all that the area you are in has to offer. PETA has a compiled list of numerous apps that are vegan-friendly. The concierge of your hotel or the owner of your hostel could also be a helpful resource.
Speak with locals
If your search is still coming up dry, don’t be afraid to talk to the people around you. Some of the best restaurants I’ve tried abroad came at the recommendations of tour guides and locals. Sometimes owners or servers at other vegan-friendly restaurants will point you in the direction of your next treat. Many of these local recommendations come at a much lower cost than well-known brands. Don’t be shy! Many people are proud of their home, so ask around to find the hidden gems of your city.