Heading on holiday as a vegan can bring mixed emotions. You're looking forward to relaxing, exploring, and soaking up some culture, but will there be anything for you to eat? A language barrier adds an extra layer of stress, as communication will be limited.
You might be having visions of eating plates of limp salad while your holiday companions tuck into the local cuisine, but it doesn't need to be that way. With a bit of forward planning you can enjoy a holiday packed with delicious vegan food. You might even pick up some new ideas to try when you're back at home.
Talk to your travelling buddies
The social aspect of eating vegan can be one of the hardest. People may struggle to understand why you don't eat certain foods and think you're just being picky. Making your commitment to a vegan diet completely clear before your holiday will make everything run more smoothly.
Tell you holiday companions how important it is to you to maintain your vegan diet, and suggest you look up some restaurants together. A bit of research usually reveals many places that serve such a wide range of dishes that there'll be something for everyone to enjoy, regardless of dietary preference. If your friends speak the language of the place you're visiting, then having them on board to help with ordering will be a big help.
Use the internet to find restaurants
When it comes to travelling as a vegan, the internet really is your best friend. You can use apps like Happy Cow to look up local vegan-friendly restaurants all around the world. It's also worth posting on forums or social media to see if any other vegans have travelled to the place you're planning to visit. They might be able to tell you about some hidden gems, or let you know which places to avoid!
You can check the menu of local eateries online, or get in touch to ask about vegan options. Many restaurants have a hidden vegan menu that they'll send to you if you ask. Even the most unlikely establishments will often be glad to cook something special for you if given advance notice.
Learn a few phrases
Even if you don't speak the language, learning a few select phrases can be a lifesaver when trying to eat vegan in a new country. In some areas, simply saying, 'I'm vegan', will be enough, but in others you might need to get a bit more creative.
If veganism isn't at all common in the area where you're staying, then there may not be a direct translation. Instead, ask for a meal with no meat, fish, dairy or eggs, or a meal with 'vegetables only'. The best way to communicate will vary from place to place, and getting the advice of a native speaker before you go is ideal.