Vegan Travel – Easier Than Ever!

Vegan Travel – Easier Than Ever!

Posted on 05. Jan, 2010 by Yvonne Smith in Blog, Travel

One of the excuses I hear a lot when people explain to me why they’re no longer vegan or think they could never go vegan is that they travel a lot and it’s too hard.  I realize that not everyone is as obsessed with vegan travel as I am, but there are so many resources out there that make it easier than ever.  Below I outline some of the main points.

Do your research

Sites like,,, etc. make it easy to find restaurants and health food stores on the road and at your destination. has a huge list of vegan menu items at chain restaurants, including fast food.  They have a Restaurant of the Month feature, as well as a whole “Vegan Eating while on the Road” page and a “Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant Guide.”


Healthy Highways is helpful to have around, but the problem with books like these is that they go out of date pretty quickly.

One book though, that I have found to be absolutely essential is Vegan Passport.  I bought this at Food Fight Grocery when I was buying some other vegan groceries and I absolutely love it!  (It appears that Food Fight no longer carries it, but maybe if we ask nicely they’ll order more!)


Even better than books is, of course, the internet and your phone.  There are quite a few sites out there that you can rely on for great info about vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants.

iPhone apps:  Veggie Passport (translator like Vegan Passport that has many phrases in 33 languages – costs $1.99)’s app is called VegOut and it’s $2.99.  Highly recommend this one!  I’ve used it in some pretty obscure places (like Joplin, MO) and found some great restaurants.

VeganXpress is $1.99 and has over 110 common restaurants and their menu items that are suitable for vegans.  It also includes a full list of vegan and vegetarian beers, wines, snacks and junk foods that are vegan-friendly.  Definitely worth $1.99!

There is a ton of info on the web about other vegan/vegetarian phone applications.  Just put google to work and have fun!

Car travel

Road trips are great because you can completely control everything that you eat.  You can bring a cooler and keep all kinds of things with you like fresh fruit and veggies, baked tofu, Tofurky slices, tofu jerky, condiments, vegan cheeses.  You can make sandwiches before hand or even at a rest stop.  If you’re camping, you can prepare all your meals easily.

Chain restaurants

Boston Market, Bucca di Beppo, California Pizza Kitchen, Carrabba’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s, The Melting Pot, Old Chicago, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Olive Garden, On the Border, P.F. Chang’s, The Palm, Panera, Papa John’s, Pei Wei, Pizza Hut, Ruby Tuesday, Quiznos, Starbuck’s, UNO, etc. all have vegan food.  Be sure to ask your server, or better yet, do your research ahead of time as servers are not always familiar with vegan requirements.

Ethnic/International restaurants

If you’re in a city or town without vegetarian restaurants, there will usually be at least one Indian, Thai, Mexican, Ethiopian, Japanese, etc. place.   As with any other restaurant, you’ll want to ask questions about how the food is prepared, is chicken broth or fish sauce, etc., used, but chances are you can get a pretty decent vegan meal at one of these places.

Fast Food

Taco Bell, Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Q’doba, Jamba Juice, Wendy’s, etc all have vegan options, and you can at least get a salad without animal products at most fast food places.

Vegan travel doesn’t have to be hard.  Sure, I make it my business to navigate the issues I could potentially run into, but with a little pre-planning, so can you!

Happy travels!

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8 Responses to “Vegan Travel – Easier Than Ever!”

  1. Fateh Bolivar

    01. May, 2010

    In Costa Rica, try Waterfall Villas a totally vegan, vegetarian and raw vegan – an eco retreat in the tropical Bali style in the Baru rain forest. Private waterfalls and luxury villas next to Dominical Beach in the exotic tropical South Pacific of Costa Rica. Not like the dry north of the country – this side is incredibly lush! Weddings and honeymoons – try my Vegan wedding cake – it is the best!

  2. Wendy Strebe

    11. Nov, 2010

    We have opened a new vegan / vegetarian / raw B&B with food vacations, cooking classes, or just relaxation in the mountains of Costa Rica.

    Our sister site:

  3. Jill @ Vegan Backpacker

    22. Feb, 2011

    Hey Yvonne!

    I miss reading about your vegan adventures. I hope you’ll post some new ones soon :)


  4. Joel

    28. Sep, 2011

    I work as a flight attendant, and while I’m vegan at home, on the road sometimes I become (and this phrase is not yet copyrighted) an “appearance vegan”.

    I try my best to get vegan food, which IS much easier than people think. But sometimes I eat the bread or the noodles or the yams without asking about eggs or broth or butter, especially in countries where I have no idea how to speak the language.

    For me, there is value is not having the vegan be a pain in the ass. A lot of folks hear the word “vegan” and think that it is a crazy lifestyle only possible in Malibu. So I kind of try hard to make it look easy, haha.

    If someone was thoughtful enough to buy veggie burgers for his BBQ just because I’m there, I am not going to read the label and look for whey; I’m going to chow down. And in my rural Georgia community, where you have to drive an hour to find organic apples, I’ll just politely move aside the pork chunks as I’m eating the collard greens prepared by a sweet octogenarian relative.

    I avoid temptation by avoiding hunger — keeping nuts or dried fruit or whatever handy. For a hungry me, the smell of a cooking hamburger is incredibly tempting. For a just-snacked me, it is an artery-clogging slab of cruelty.

    Anyway, thanks for your blog. Sorry I missed you at Burning Man. Hope to bump into you at Alchemy.

  5. Rebekah

    14. Feb, 2012

    Hello, I just wanted to say that I love your site and videos. But im just curious as to why its called the traveling vegetarian when the majority of your posts is about eating “vegan” rather than “vegetarian” when their is a bit of a difference? just curious!


  6. Cara

    04. Oct, 2012

    If you’re traveling to South Florida, please check out Haskell’s House, an environmentally responsible vegetarian self-catering accommodation. No dead animals allowed! We recycle, compost, conserve water & energy and use solar for some power needs. Many amenities within walking distance and we have landscaping for wildlife.


  7. Dayna

    10. Feb, 2013

    As a fellow Nashvillian, I was pleasantly surprised to find this site (first one listed through google search) when I typed in traveling vegan. I am very new to this lifestyle (I am ashamed to admit I am a reformed lifelong low carb dieter) and you have given me hope that I can maintain a better choice for my health and life while being on the road.

  8. 666vegan666

    10. Mar, 2013

    Joel, you are a disgrace to vegans everywhere.

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