Last updated August 14, 2023
Over the last few years, the plant-based diet and lifestyle has grown exponentially with diverse dishes now being offered in more restaurants and stores.
If you’re just starting this new diet, understanding your “why” for embracing a plant-based diet is important. When traveling, it may still appear difficult to find healthy, wholesome plant-based meals—especially in meat-loving countries and regions.
Here are eight tips every plant-based traveler should know:
1. Travel with Snacks
One of the best ways to deal with hunger “on the road,” is to bring snacks. Snacks will keep you full between meals, especially when you’re out exploring and are uncertain when your next meal will be.
If you follow a plant-based diet and travel somewhere where there aren’t many plant-based options, snacks can be a lifesaver.
Some healthy, delicious and filling snacks include mixed nuts, popcorn, trail mix, individual servings of almond or peanut butter and fruit that travels well like bananas and apples. Here are Vacayou’s top tips for packing healthy travel snacks.
2. Choose Plant-Based Diet Friendly Destinations
Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to the quality of plant-based options. While this is changing and more destinations are starting to cater to plant-based eaters, it is important to choose your travel destination wisely.
If you are a foodie and food is a big part of your travels, you may want to choose a destination where plant-based dishes are readily available.
Consider picking large cities like New York instead of rural areas. Chances are, there will be more diverse food options.
When selecting your accommodations, choose resorts and wellness destinations that focus on wellness and offer plant-based menus.
3. Use Restaurant Apps
When traveling and searching for plant-based food, you have all the information you need at the ease of your fingertips!
All plant-based travelers should check out apps that encourage healthy dieting. Happy Cow is an app that shows you all the plant-based options. Trip Advisor also gives you reviews on local and plant-based food at various destinations.
4. Do Your Research
Before departing for your next destination, do a little research about various dishes that each country is known for.
While sampling and trying new items are encouraged, doing a little research can help you narrow down and optimize your time. Discover which restaurants and dishes offer naturally plant-based dishes and which do not.
Research on the dishes also allows you to appreciate the culture and pushes you to fully immerse in your travels.
As a result, you’ll be prepared and know which dishes to go for and which to steer clear when it comes to restaurants and street food.
5. Find Housing with a Kitchen
If you are traveling to a rural destination or an area with not many restaurants nearby, consider booking housing with a kitchen. This way, you can cook your own meals rather than rely on local restaurants.
By purchasing groceries from a local store or market, you will be given a wide array of options to cook and prepare. This is another unique way to fully immerse in your destination.
Cooking for yourself is also a healthier alternative and great if you’re on a budget.
6. Consider Bringing Plant-Based Essentials With You
It is always good to pack a little extra to make your stay more comfortable. Depending on where you’re traveling and the type of trip, it may be a good idea to bring some plant-based supplies with you.
When traveling, you never know if getting a plant-based meal may be an issue or what problems may arise when trying to do so.
Packing a tub of almond butter, dried apples or powdered plant-mix is an easy way to ease the stressors when traveling and a nice reminder of home.
7. Learn a Few Words in the Local Language
A language barrier is one of the most challenging things travelers face when going abroad. Learning a few basic words in your destination’s language will make all the difference in your stay abroad.
In adopting a plant-based diet and traveling abroad, it’s beneficial to learn phrases that help you inquire about your dietary needs.
Consider learning phrases like “what do you have that is ____” or “I do not like ____.” Learning these phrases go a long way and the locals will also appreciate the effort you make.
8. Enjoy Your Trip
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all the planning, researching and making sure you are selecting the best food options.
It’s important to remind yourself why you are embarking on this trip in the first place. Take a step back and remember that traveling is about being flexible and embracing new cultures.
That may be having to compromise and not eating the same way you do if you were at home—but this is all part of the spontaneity and fun of travel!
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