4 Tips For The Traveling Vegans Out There
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4 Tips For The Traveling Vegans Out There

How to stay vegan... everywhere you go

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4 Tips For The Traveling Vegans Out There
Zoe James

For the last four and a half months, I’ve been living in Spain and traveling around Europe (and Morocco). If you know anything about the typical Spanish diet, you’d know that it’s full of ham, cheese, potatoes, and eggs. Basically, it’s not exactly a vegan friendly diet. As a vegan and a foodie, I have come up with a few tips to share with other vegans who are looking to travel and maintain their vegan diet.

1. Know the staples and common dishes.

In Spain, there are a lot of traditional foods that will be found across the country and all over every city. I have also found this to be true everywhere else I’ve gone. By knowing the typical dishes, I know which ones are usually vegan, so I can eat at the cheap (not very good) tapas restaurants with all my meat eating friends. Patatas bravas are served at almost every restaurant I’ve been to, and while they don’t constitute a nutritionally well-rounded meal, they’ll fill you up.

This might not always be the most nutritional route to being vegan in another country, but it’s nice to have a back up plan that will apply almost everywhere.

2. Research beforehand

If you don’t have a data plan while you’re traveling and can’t look up restaurants near you when you get hungry, do some research before you head out. Look up the areas near whatever it is you’re doing for the day and get the names and addresses of a few vegan-friendly restaurants. Or, if you’re like me, look up the best vegan restaurants in the city and make your way to one of them first, then find things to do around it.

I recommend using HappyCow to find vegan restaurants, and they have a map feature to help you look in certain areas. Like Yelp, they’ll have dollar signs to let you know which ones are going to be more expensive. Almost all of the best vegan meals/snacks I’ve had in Spain I found via HappyCow. They have an app on the App Store, but there’s also a website.

3. Don’t be afraid to try to customize

Not all restaurants are built for you to be able to change the items on the menu, but in a restaurant where you have an actual waiter, you’re more likely to be able to customize. In the U.S., everyone customizes the crap out of everything. If you’re a paying customer, you’re allowed to change a lot of things about a lot of things—heck, at Red Robin, I get onion straws (a burger topping) instead of fries, and the waiter never bats an eye.

In Spain, if you ask them to alter something on the menu, they’re usually a bit confused and sometimes will not comply with your request. But, sometimes they will, and if you have to get turned down a few times before you get to eat something you actually want, at least you’re eating more than a plate of fries.

4. Cook for yourself

This is probably the last thing you want to do if you’re on vacation. However, if you’re on a budget, are a picky eater, or are in a place for a long time, cooking for yourself is a really easy way to guarantee that your food is vegan. It will be cheap to buy some lentils, veggies, and quinoa from a grocery store and is better for you than eating a plate of patatas bravas or fries for multiple meals in a day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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