Thursday 21 January 2016

How to Find and Choose Vegan Accommodation While Travelling

Checking dream destinations off your bucket list can take a little extra work and planning as a vegan. However, finding the right accommodation is an essential part of any memorable trip, and there are a few important considerations when it comes to veganism.

How To Find and Choose Vegan Accommodation While Travelling

The idea of fully vegan hotels is somewhat newer, but as people learn the associated benefits, we’re likely to notice even more options in the future. More recently, larger hotel chains have even begun implementing veganism and sustainability. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help you choose vegan accommodations when travelling.

#1. Review a Local Map!

The best way to ensure you have access to vegan-friendly markets and restaurants is to pinpoint exactly where you’re staying. Many hotel search engines allow you to view your options on a map. You can use the map feature on to choose accommodations nearby attractions you plan on visiting.

You could also choose accommodations near the best vegan restaurants in the city where you’re visiting. Google maps make it easier than ever to search for local restaurants. In addition, food and restaurant apps help you choose specific types of restaurants and even offer filters for vegan or vegetarian options.

#2. Pack Your Own Snacks!

Of course, you could always bring your own favourite snacks to your destination (and especially to airports, in case they don't have much to offer!) Even if local markets and grocery stores sell vegan snacks, there’s no guarantee they’ll have items you enjoy. Some vegan snacks that travel well include trail mix, nuts, and veggie sticks with different dips. Consider bringing along any other items you may use on a daily basis, like condiments and creamers. Travel-size condiments can be a great way to try street food from local vendors while still using the products you prefer.

#3. Opt for a Suite!

Choosing accommodations with a full kitchen allows you to make your own meals when you can’t find anything suitable to your preferences. You can stock up on your favourite vegan snacks and ingredients at a local market. Gather together a few vegan recipes ahead of time for a low-stress vacation. Try to stick to easy dishes so you can enjoy your getaway.

Choosing accommodations with a kitchen can also help you reduce your spending budget when travelling. Save your dollars for the few vegan-friendly restaurants in the area for a cost-effective, budget-friendly trip. Pick up a small blanket and picnic basket, and you can even take your vegan-friendly snacks on the go.

#4. Learn a Few Words in the Native Language!

If you’re travelling somewhere where you don’t speak the native language, consider learning a few important phrases. For example, learn how to say vegan, vegetarian, no meat, and no dairy (like we did in our post about being vegan in Italy). Consider taking it a step further by hiring an online language tutor or a face-to-face language instructor to enhance your language skills. Learning key phrases such as 'vegan' and 'dairy-free' can be crucial. Practice using translation apps before your trip for seamless communication. Being prepared ensures you can navigate language barriers confidently while travelling. So download and practice with a language translation app ahead of time in case you need to ask any additional questions (remember: you can also download an app that translates the language automatically!)

#5. Communicate With Your Host!

Whether you’re staying in a hotel or booking a rental, communicating with your host ahead of time ensures they’ll be able to accommodate you. This is especially important if you plan on traveling to an area where you’re not familiar with the native language.

It can be difficult to explain veganism in your own home country, but it may be near impossible if there is a language barrier. Communicating with your host ahead of time ensures the accommodations meet your travel needs. Reaching out to your host ahead of time also gives them a chance to stock up on any basics you may need, like cruelty-free toiletries or dairy-free milk.

#6. Pack Your Own Toiletries!

Finding accommodations that supply you with cruelty-free, vegan toiletries can also be difficult, depending on where you’re travelling. Most airlines allow you to bring travel-sized toiletries, but double-check your specific airline’s rules before packing, just in case. Also, don’t forget to pack shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotions if you use any products like these (we don't really).

#7. Ask Around!

Asking around and connecting with other vegan travellers can be a great way to learn which accommodations are the best. In addition to choosing vegan-friendly accommodations, other travellers can also help you choose the best local restaurants and attractions to enjoy that meet your standards.

You can also ask around once you reach your destination. The locals often have the best advice on where to shop and dine. You can even turn to social media to find vegan-friendly accommodations. Use search terms like ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ while searching the hashtag of your destination.

#8. Research Reviews!

The internet has made it easier than ever to learn the truth about any accommodations you’re considering. Reviewing previous guest statements about accommodations can help you choose the right one. Also, find out what guests have to say about the on-site restaurants or how the staff accommodates unique requests.

#9. Consider the Available Amenities!

Most accommodations offer some amenities, whether that’s housekeeping or access to an on-site fitness centre. Choosing accommodations with certain amenities can make travelling as a vegan easier. For example, hotels that offer breakfast buffets usually mean you can find some suitable options. On the other hand, hotels with continental breakfasts tend to have less food options, meaning they may not have vegan ones.

Some hotels and resorts may even have on-site vegan cafes and restaurants. Fully vegan restaurants on-site or nearby give you a chance to try out new foods and truly enjoy your vacation without having to worry about ingredients or how the restaurants source different foods.

#10. Ask Your Hotel About Local Cooking Classes!

Local cooking classes are a great way to supplement your local dining options and know exactly what’s in your meals. You can usually substitute any ingredients with your own to make vegan meals that you’ll enjoy. Some destinations may even offer vegan/vegetarian classes incorporating local cuisine without using meat or dairy.

#11. Choose a 100% Vegan-Friendly Accommodation!

While it’s not always easy to find fully vegan or vegan-friendly accommodations, there are more options than ever today. Reach out to your host to find out if they offer any fully vegan rooms or dining options. Even accommodations that aren’t fully vegan may serve vegan-friendly breakfast or lunch options. There is no risk to asking.

The great thing about choosing vegan accommodations is that they typically promote a fully vegan lifestyle. This means they are more likely to use animal-free bedding and vegan cleaning products. You’ll also usually have more eating and drinking options when you stay in a fully vegan accommodation. Vegan accommodations may also be sustainable, with features like solar panels, recycled water, and organic amenities, so you can feel good about your whole trip.

Wrap Up: Getting Creative With Vegan Accommodations

The rental industry is booming, and there are more accommodation options today than ever before. Why not stay in a camper on a farm or a yurt overlooking a freshwater lake? If you cannot find vegan accommodations in your intended destination, try branching out and looking at alternative options. Booking a room with a local host who’s vegan can also be a great way to learn more about the area. Bed and breakfasts can also be a good option, and may be more willing to create customised meals for you. Many local hosts and private rentals may also have tours where you can learn about the area from a local.

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a girls trip, or a family vacation, it’s possible to find vegan accommodations when travelling. Of course, some destinations may be easier than others when it comes to booking vegan accommodations, but with a little research and extra planning, you can achieve all your travel dreams while still sticking to a vegan lifestyle.

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