If you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know I went on a mini-Euro trip last month. I visited Brussels, Luxembourg, Cologne and Bruges. It was my first time travelling as a vegan and to be brutally honest, it was quite difficult. Some places were WAY less vegan friendly than others but in the end I did always manage to find something I could eat.
The thing with being unprepared was that the things I was eating were not the healthiest. And we all know how easy it is to fall into the trap of eating junk food constantly. But just because you’re travelling, you shouldn’t have to compromise your health or food choices. So, if it’s your first time travelling as a vegan, I’ve written my top tips to give you a hand. Here are some of the things I wish I’d known before I travelled..
A stash of snacks is KEY
On our first night in Brussels, we arrived late at night when all the restaurants were starting to close. I didn’t know which places were suitable for vegans as I hadn’t checked in advance. We ended up traipsing around hundreds of food trucks trying to find something quick I could eat. I eventually found vegan friendly churros at one place then they told me they had none left. I almost started crying because my blood sugar was so low but luckily we found a supermarket that was still open. Lesson learned. Next time, I will have a stash of things like protein bars, nuts and dark chocolate on hand for emergencies.
Do your research
Unless you want your trip to revolve around trying to find food, do your research. Travelling as a vegan requires a lot of planning in advance. You need to have an idea of where you’re going to eat before you even step out of your hotel in the morning. I’d advise eating at 100% vegetarian/vegan restaurants to make things easier for yourself, especially if you don’t speak the local language.
Learn the basics
If you’re going to a non-English speaking country, learn to communicate the basics. I quickly learned that “vegan” isn’t something that is understood worldwide. There were times restaurant staff pointed out their vegan dishes out for me but they actually meant vegetarian. The next time I travel I’ll make sure I learn how to communicate in the local language- that I don’t eat any animal products.
Note your facilities
As this was the first trip where I hadn’t stayed in hostels the whole time, I completely forgot about the whole kitchen thing. Having access to a kitchen would’ve been super useful, even just for preparing packed lunches or breakfasts. It would’ve made eating a whole lot easier and I’ll keep that in mind for future trips.
If you’re travelling long haul it’s a good idea to make sure in advance that the airline can prepare a vegan meal. If not, take your own food. Hungry journeys are not fun.
I hope these tips are helpful to anyone travelling as a vegan. If you have any more tips to add please leave a comment and let me know so I can keep it in mind for my next trip!
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