In the past, travelling as a vegan or with any dietary requirements could have been a little tricky. Many travellers took to bringing their own snacks with them, and cautiously holding up a translation card in order to find out what their meal contained.
Luckily, the world has moved on fairly quickly, and plenty more places offer vegan meals on their standard menu, meaning that there’s no more awkward discussion with your waiter or frantically googling ingredients in a supermarket. Vegans shouldn’t be put off from travelling when there are so many delicious options out there to explore.
Here, we look at why vegan travel is easier today than ever before.
With around 79 million vegans worldwide, hospitality venues are becoming increasingly aware that there’s a customer demand for a plant-based option on the menu. Plant based food, when done right, attracts more than those who follow a vegan diet regularly, as an increasing number of people are choosing to follow a flexitarian diet for health or environmental reasons.
Whilst some restaurants will always stick to traditional meat dishes as their speciality, a rising number are choosing to branch out. Those that offer a variety of dietary options are more attractive to groups, as they can cater to everyone and make sure the whole table enjoys their meal.
Increased focus on local foods
Rather than tourist restaurants trying to cater to Western tastes all the time, there is an increasing appreciation of local dishes, which means that you’re more likely to be able to find a delicious vegan option in a city. From Dublin to Kyoto, travellers can enjoy locally-sourced, fresh food to suit any budget.
There are plenty of places in the world where local cuisine already naturally includes vegan options. Asian cuisines, for example, already use a lot of coconut milk, which is dairy free, and items such as tofu feature more frequently. In Italy, pasta and pizza can both easily be altered to be dairy free, and fresh fruit and sorbet remain the stars of the show when it comes to dessert.
Apps and the internet
As technology advances, it becomes easier to make sure that what you’re eating is actually vegan-friendly or free from allergens. Whilst there’s always the old-fashioned method of noting down the words you need in the local language on paper, that doesn’t make it easier to find a place you can eat in advance.
For finding food whilst you’re on the way to your destination, look out for apps such as Vegan Xpress, Air Vegan, and V-Cards. These help you find vegan-friendly restaurants at airports, and some even allow you to search by ingredient, which is great if you have an allergy.
Tools and websites such as Happy Cow, aBillion and Tripadvisor allow you to search for vegan restaurants by location, whilst Foodsaurus translates food labels to a language of your choice. Foodsaurus is also available offline, which can be really helpful if you don’t have roaming data or are in a remote location. No more eating at the same place every night of your holiday.
Thank you for reading this guest post by Love Holidays.