Whether opting for a simple city break or an exotic retreat, vegans who travel take their convictions with them. And there’s plenty of ways to enjoy yourself while championing animal welfare. Here are nine things that all vegan travellers will know.
1. Holiday prep doesn’t include fish pedicures
Vegans want their toes to look good in their (non-leather) sandals, too, but we’re not about to stick our extremities into a bath full of fish so that the starving animals can nibble at the flesh on our feet.
A regular pedicure will do the trick – just be sure to check that the salon is using only cruelty-free products.
2. We get our airline food first
Plant-based airline meals are taking off, as most major airlines are now catering to travellers who are looking for humane, healthy, and eco-friendly foods on long-haul flights.
You usually have to request the meal in advance, but you also get your food first – bonus!
Of course, packing hummus, energy bars, crisps, nuts, and other favourite snacks is never a bad idea.
3. ‘Soy vegano’
Expecting a waiter who doesn’t speak English to understand what ‘I’m vegan’ might inadvertently net you the catch of the day, so globetrotting vegans learn the local lingo.
Swotting up on a few key phrases – such as ‘I’m vegan’, ‘no meat’, ‘no fish’, ‘no dairy foods’, ‘no eggs’, and ‘no honey’ (as well as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’) – before you go will certainly come in handy.
4. HappyCow is almost as essential as our passports
Where does a hungry vegan traveller eat?
Just about anywhere.
And the HappyCow app makes finding great food even easier by locating vegan-friendly restaurants in every corner of the globe.
5. Local cuisine is where it’s at
In the Middle East? Eat hummus, falafel, and baba ganoush.
India? Vegetable samosas, pakoras, and chana masala.
Italy? Bruschetta, penne arrabbiata, and lemon sorbet.
And for every local delicacy containing animal-derived ingredients, there’ll be a far more appealing vegan version you can try.
In France, look for faux gras, which you can gorge on safe in the knowledge that no birds were harmed.
In Scotland, you’ll actually find delicious veggie haggis.
6. We suss out the sleeping arrangements
Sleep easy and help ducks and geese by requesting down-free pillows and duvets in your hotel room.
If your hotel doesn’t offer down-free bedding, write a polite note asking the management to stock it in the future.
7. Animals shouldn’t be taxis
Horses can be forced to pull heavy carriages through dangerous traffic in all weather extremes.
That’s why we say neigh to horse-drawn carriages – and to elephant trekking and donkey rides, too.
Pedicabs, rickshaws, Segways, and other human-propelled modes of transport are fun options for people looking to take a load off while exploring.
8. Animals are wild
If we want to observe animals in their natural habitat, we go on a whale-watching tour, volunteer at an accredited wildlife reserve, or take photos of sea lions sunbathing from a respectful distance.
9. Animal advocacy never takes a holiday
There are lots of ways to speak up for animals while away from home.
For example, when you arrive at your hotel, look around the lobby.
If you see brochures for attractions that you believe exploit animals, explain why they’re upsetting to you and ask the manager to stop displaying them.
By taking a few minutes out of your holiday to take a stand, you can make a big difference in animals’ lives.