Going on holiday always makes me a little nervous, especially when it comes to eating in restaurants. ‘Are they going to understand which products I don’t consume? Do I seem unkind when asking for different options?’ This trip I had to eat in restaurants 3 times a day for 17 days. Fortunately I was well prepared and everything turned out great! Today I want to share with you my tips on how I made it a lot easier to eat vegan on holiday.
Preparation is key, not only because it helps you during the holiday, but for me it also made me a lot more relaxed and confident before even going. Normally I get stressed every time I have to eat in a restaurant when being on holiday. But because this year I was prepared, I was confident enough and I could focus more on other things.
Explain Veganism To Foreigners: I went searching for a way to explain foreigners that I was vegan. I discovered this great website where they have a free printable of an overview of what products a vegan does and doesn’t consume. They have the printable in all different languages. So no matter where you go, you don’t have a problem explaining yourself. This printable helped me so much. The first day we ate in a restaurant where they didn’t speak English very well. I started to panick a little bit because they honestly just didn’t understand a word of what I was saying. I just took out the printable and they served me a delicious vegan meal! From that moment on I was very confident. I knew that if these people who didn’t speak English could make a vegan meal, every other restaurant could too.
Maybe You Have To Put Some Believes On The Sides: Normally I like to eat a whole food, low-fat diet, but I knew that now I had to put some of those believes on the side. There was a big chance that I had to eat some more processed and fatty foods. I did have quite a lot of foods that I personally wouldn’t have chosen, but I didn’t stress about it and just let it go. I am not talking about breaking your believes to be vegan. I could never eat meat or other animal products and I would never put those believes on the side.
Bring your own food: When I go on a trip I always make sure that I bring my own food. This way I can still eat food when there really is no other option.
- Oatmeal: Last year I discovered that they have packaged oatmeal in the supermarkets. You just put the oats in a cup and add boiling water. I always bring these when traveling, they are a lifesaver. They are great for at a breakfast buffet, because you can just get your own boiling water from the tap and add some fruit from the buffet. This year I didn’t need them at all, because all places had rice!
- Fruit: Fruit is my best friend, it is delicious, quick and easy to bring. I made sure that I always had some type of fruit in my hotel room, so I could always bring some when going on adventures. Bananas and apples are great because you just throw them in your back and they give you energy right away.
Tell The Airline: Before we booked out trip, I was pretty worried about eating in the plane. I thought that you couldn’t bring your own food (which fortunately is not the case!) and I was scared that they only had 1 menu. I was so happy to read that our airline had a vegetarian/VEGAN option. We made sure to order that option and I was so happy with all the meals I got!
Search For Vegan Restaurants: Before I went to Thailand I downloaded the HappyCow app and I searched for vegan restaurants in the places that we would visit. What I love about HappyCow is that you can search before hand where the restaurants are or you can see what vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants are closes to you when being at the destination. I found some great places and we visited two while being in Thailand. The first one was a little stand in the MBK shopping centre in Bangkok. This is great for when you are eating with non-vegan people because there is a big room with all kind of stands and there are tables in the middle where you can eat together. However my favourite restaurant was Aum in Chiang Mai. I had seen this place a lot on social media and really wanted to visit it. I was absolutely in love with the place. It was such a peaceful and relaxed place and the food was delicious! Unfortunately there isn’t a place like this near by my house. I would honestly eat there all the time!
Know How To Find Vegan Product In Shops: I don’t know if this is useful for in every country, but in Thailand they have this symbol (looks like a number 17) which stands for vegan. When you see this on products you know that you can eat it. Some products don’t have an English ingredient list so this can be very useful to know.
This trip I learned so much about eating vegan in restaurants. Before going on this trip I always was scared to ask for a vegan option and going to restaurants was just something that scared the crap out of me. I am so happy that I got a lot more relaxed about it, it really feels like a weight fell off my shoulder.
I hope you are all having a beautiful summer. Where are you going on holiday and what are your favourite meals to eat in a foreign country?