This is good advice and is much appreciated as I'm a vegan who is just starting a year of backpacking. I've traveled a bit in the past and been pretty lucky. I've never had a terrible experience where I received a dish laden with animal products that couldn't be fixed. I've always been able to work with restaurant staff or the people hosting me to figure something out. If people aren't familiar with what vegans can and can't eat, give them some ideas. For example, ask if they can make you a salad with no cheese or meat, potatoes cooked in vegetable oil, grilled vegetables, etc. It's also good to start with a dish that's on the menu that would only require a slight alteration to be vegan. I find it's a lot easier to get the results you want if you feed people simple ideas they can work with.
A vegan passport is also a good idea for people traveling to places where they can't speak the local language.
Cliff bars are a life saver! No matter where I go, I always bring SOMETHING and never rely on someone else to feed me. Even if they promise!
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I am jealous! I would love to be off backpacking somewhere in a distant land right about now.
Most of my foreign travel has been to more adventurous locations like Nepal, Indonesia, Bolivia, Iceland, Peru, Thailand, etc. I nearly starved to death in Thailand, back when I was less experienced! Or, at least I thought I was going to. I plan on doing some blogs on that type of travel, soon, but your comments are good advice. The key is to be flexible. Not flexible in eating vegan or non-vegan, but flexible in whether you are going to have salad or pasta, or maybe just boiled vegetables or raw fruit.
It's fun to read about your vegan adventures. I'm lucky to work at an organization with a vegan office policy. My co-workers are at all levels of vegan awareness and it makes for a wonderful learning experience. I, too, pride myself on being able to find something vegan to eat anywhere and have had some incredible vegan dishes at non-vegan retsaurants.
Great timing ! Being a vegan ambassador is a noble goal and one I aspire to . Thanks so much for reminding Us to be courteous . I am transitioning into a vegan ( off of obvious dairy )but am working on omitting the hidden dairy ... That's My challenge . ( I've been a vegetarian since last May and a vegan since Jan 07/10 so this is all very new to Me. I have worked in the restaurant business up until the last couple of years and have had My share of customers with dietary restrictions . The requests were never as challenging to deal with as some of the rude attitudes of the requesters . I cringe at the thought of being a pain to deal with . I like Your idea about talking privately with Your cook or server . Calling ahead is an even better idea because frankly during high peak times , Your server simply does not have the time to read the ingredients of every sauce ,etc. in the place without neglecting the other customers in her care. When going to friend's places , why not have a back up meal with You so that You aren't overly invested in what is available ? Thanks again for covering a very relevant topic . As My mama use to say ...manners never go out of style .
Ah, the adventures of vegan travel. Yep, been there. I still get a little gullable at times when they say "Vegan, no problem!" What would we do without Clif?
Not sure if you tried these, but I always take Tasty Bite meals with me. They don't need refrigeration and keep for 18 month (before opening.) They come in a pouch and are ready to eat. I still always have my stash of Luna, Clif bars and nuts but Tasty bite's are good for those times when you want something other than the 100th Clif bar :o).
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