Top 10 Tips for Vegan Travel
1. Research food options before you go: google, HappyCow, local bloggers - Check both airports & destination. Find directions too (you may not be able to access the internet at your destination). Sometimes this information is out of date so try to pick a few options just in case the restaurant you've selected has recently closed. I've traveled with and without researching ahead of time and doing the research ahead means the difference between a delicious vegan meal and something that you're eating just to survive.
Call the airline phone number, or add vegan meal option online through your reservation information.
3. If you're traveling abroad, look up how to say vegan in the language of your destination. Also look up vegetarian, no meat, no chicken, no fish, no dairy, no eggs, etc. because some people will not know what vegan means. Sometimes people even think that vegetarian includes chicken, fish, etc. I have used google in the past, but recently found this site with vegetarian phrases. You could also get a vegan passport which has this information in a handy little guide book for you.
4. Pack your own cruelty-free products. Sometimes the nicer hotels actually have vegan toiletries, but this is pretty rare. You can usually get travel size products at health food stores, Whole Foods, Aveda, Origins. I'm not sure about travel sizes exactly, but I know you can have them cut you tiny pieces of vegan soap bars at Lush. You can also get those little plastic travel containers and fill them with your favorite cruelty-free bath and body products.
9. Consider grocery stores or health food stores when restaurants with veg options are nonexistent or few and far between. Sometimes these health food stores even have decent cafes. While traveling in not very veg-friendly areas of the Southern United States, we have eaten a few meals from the Whole Foods salad bar and hot food bar. It seems weird but one of my favorite memories from Italy was eating a jar of artichoke hearts from a tiny shop while standing in the rain. (They had other options; I just somehow thought this was really fun.) You can usually find health food stores listed on HappyCow.
10. Use the hotel to your advantage and get creative with it's amenities. Usually hotels will allow you to use their microwave even if there is not one in your room. You just have to ask the front desk. They may also let you have a refrigerator in your room if you ask for it. You can do a lot with that tiny coffee maker or tea maker. I used the tea maker in our room in Scotland to heat water to make vegan Ramen noodles I packed for an emergency situation (and being stuck in the room with a sick person without being able to leave was kind of an emergency situation). I have used a coffee maker to heat water for instant soups like Dr. McDougall's and rice noodles which I combined with veggies and those tiny soy sauce packets. When we traveled to Cleveland for one of my husband's work parties and I thought we wouldn't have good vegan options at the dinner party, I microwaved an Amy's soup and ate it before heading to the party.