Traveling as a Vegan: Do’s and Don’ts

DO plan ahead by making a list of quick and easy meals you’d like to eat on your trip. Pack snacks for your plane, car, or bus ride. My favorites are Larabars, air popped popcorn, and homemade trailmix made of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and of course dark chocolate. If you’re eating in a way that most people are not, you need to take responsibility for your own food.

DO embrace the local cuisine of wherever you travel. Trying new foods is one of my favorite parts of travel. I literally chose my honeymoon destination based on it being one of the most vegan-friendly cities in America. You don’t have to miss out just because you’re a vegan, you just might have to do a little research before your trip about what options you may have. I just traveled to the Caribbean, and while most people think seafood, I gorged myself happily on fresh local produce. Plus you get to feel good about supporting local farmers and helping the environment by not eating as much food that had to be driven hundreds of miles.

DON’T be afraid to ask for a customized meal at restaurants. Sometimes they won’t have anything explicitly vegan, so you may have to get creative. You can ask whether or not a dish can be made vegan, or my trick in a pinch is to piece together side dishes and build my own meal. For example, when I get Mexican food I might just ask for a big plate of rice, beans, salsa, peppers and onions, and guacamole. If you’re going to pay for it and you treat the staff with kindness and respect, they will usually happily accommodate you.

DON’T give up your booze if you don’t want to. Most alcohol is vegan although some is not due to animal products used in the filtration processes. I use a site called Barnivore to check if the drink I want is vegan friendly. But remember how I just said I was in the Caribbean? Yeah, I was the rummy drink Queen.

DON’T succumb to pressure. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “but you’re on vacation!” or “but you used to like this!” or “*someone’s* feelings will be hurt!” I’d be a very rich woman . Your health comes first, and only you own your body, so you need to do what you think is right. Other people can make their own choices, they don’t need to make yours. Your body belongs to you and nobody else gets a say as to what you put in it.

DO be food positive. Try to eat things you enjoy. There are more innovative and delicious foods out there for vegans every day, because we’re a growing population. Every time you order a vegan meal at a restaurant, thank you. You are using your dollar to cast a vote for what kind of food you want available. Plant based food is exploding and even meat giants like Tyson are taking note and investing in the plant based food industry. I truly appreciate anyone who casts a vote with their dollar by ordering plant foods. Remember why you are choosing veganism and try to think about all the amazing food you DO want eat, not what you DON’T want to eat. Love yourself and your body by giving it the best nourishment possible.

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