21 Vegan Travelers Share How They Pack , Travel and Eat on the Road

Vegan travel might be easier than you think, but it’s still not a walk in the park.

Can you really trust the airlines to serve vegan food? How do you find proper vegan food on the road? – and what cabout those vegan snacks that you might be tempted to pack?

To improve how we pack and travel, we have talked with 21 experienced vegan travelers and asked them to share their best advice.

Read on and learn from their best tips and tricks (all 21 have years of travel experience, so they know what they are talking about!).

The 21 Vegan Travelers

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton
  • Based in Los Angeles
  • Vegan 20 years
  • Vegan chef, nutritionist, travel and cooking show host/media personality

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

Glass water bottle, green veggie powder, vitamins/probiotics – all to keep me healthy no matter where I roam ; )

What I never pack is a hairdryer. I think it’s silly to pack a hairdryer because every hotel has one!

How do you bring things with you?

I travel with a Travelon sling purse (it’s anti theft and full of great compartments!) and an awesome backpack for all my camera gear, computer and other electronics.

I also check a bag with my clothes and toiletries and I swear by packing cubes! I always bring an empty cube for souvenirs!

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

I say pack whatever makes you feel comfortable. I’m not an overpacker but I’m also not an underpacker. I do plan out my clothes and shoes for a trip since every destination and climate is so different and may throw in an extra garment or two for some variety. I do try to stick to a color scheme to limit my shoe options as those take up so much space.

When I’m traveling for a long period of time, I’m sure to bring enough clothes to last 7-8 days so I can wash once a week and not be left in the lurch. ; )

Save, plan and go…repeat!

Visit Carolyn Scott-Hamilton’s website

Sam Wood
I grew up in London, UK, and now live in Berlin, Germany. I’ve been vegan for four years, and my main motivation was (and largely is) environmental. I lived with a vegan for a while when I was still an omnivore, and learned a lot about vegan cooking from her, and while I was travelling in South America with my husband in 2013, I became more and more interested in it and realised I was almost never eating meat anyway, so the transition was pretty easy.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

It’s funny, I don’t really think about what I pack anymore, because it’s such a routine thing to do, that I almost do it on auto-pilot! But, I guess three unusual things I pretty much always bring with me (even for short trips) are a portable phone battery, a water-tight sleeve to keep my passport in, and a headphone splitter.

The portable phone battery is super useful if you can’t find an outlet in an airport or on a train, for example; the water-tight sleeve is pretty self explanatory (getting your passport wet is really something you want to avoid!); and the headphone splitter is perfect if you want to watch or listen to something while in transit together with someone else from the same device while both being able to have headphones in both ears.

As for useless things, I am still guilty myself of bringing things with me that I don’t use, but these are almost always clothes. And I guess, I don’t really pay too much attention to what other people I see travelling have packed that might seem useless to me: it’s not really my place to judge what might or might not be useless to someone else!

How do you bring things with you?

I always only travel with carry-on luggage, so I never pay for hold luggage when flying and this is because I find it pretty easy to travel light and I’m too cheap to pay extra on flights anyway! On longer trips, I take my 30 litre Deuter backpack, but only if I’m going away for more than a couple of weeks. Otherwise, I actually just use my regular day-to-day backpack and find it generally to always be big enough. In general, I find that for a trip of two weeks and two months, I don’t actually need a different amount of stuff (assuming I’m travelling in regions with similar climates), so this pretty much always works out for me. Also, I’m not an extremely fashion conscious person, so don’t really care about wearing the same clothes over and over again, between washing them, of course!

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Vegan travel is much easier than you think. Do some research, like finding out specific places to eat, what dishes in your destination happen to be vegan or are easy to veganise, and maybe learn a bit of the local language to communicate your needs.

Visit Sam Wood’s website

Amanda Burger
I’m American and I’m currently traveling in Mexico. I’m vegan for the animals and I’ve been vegan for over 25 years.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

Being an extreme minimalist, I live and travel with very few belongings. So besides common things like clothes and essentials, I also bring an international drivers license so that I’m able to drive anywhere in the world. It comes in very handy for me since I petsit and am often left cars to use while housesitting in different countries.

Second, I always bring a global data sim card to use in my phone or pad, so that I can easily use and refill data anywhere I need it around the world.

And third, I bring my MacBook, so that I can run my travel blog Burger Abroad from any location.

How do you bring things with you?

I currently carry a Cabin Zero cabin mini backpack as my one personal item. It’s easy to use because it opens up flat so you can easily access everything without unpacking. When filled with everything I own, it all totals about 11 pounds (or 5kgs) in weight. The backpack organizes everything with internal compartments so I don’t have to do much, but I do I roll my clothes to easily stack and see them. Then I use the compression straps to condense it down so it easily fits underneath airplane seats, with lots of room to spare.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

My top tip is to pack light! It’s easier on yourself, your back, your wallet and your peace of mind. My second tip would be don’t stress about packing food. Vegan travelers often needlessly fret about not being able to find plant-based eats. But, speaking from many years of full-time travel experience, you can easily find vegan food anywhere around the word. (Because vegan food is just food!) You don’t have to carry snacks with you for fear of going hungry. So feel free to leave the gross processed food bars at home because with vegan airplane meals, fresh local foods, tasty street snacks, markets, cafes and restaurants, you can always find great vegan food anywhere you want.

Visit Amanda Burger’s website

Chris Oldfield
Ahoy! My name is Chris and I’m from Canada (though I’ve spent the past few years living in Sweden). I became vegan 13 years ago, for a few reasons. At the time, I was a terribly unhealthy eater and I wanted to put more attention on my personal health. More importantly, though, it was clear to me that killing animals was not only morally questionably but entirely unnecessary when it comes to living a healthy life. Top it all off with a lower carbon footprint, and it just seemed like a no-brainer to me!

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

(Here are 4 tips: take your fav 3!)

  • Snacks. I always travel with some extra snacks, no matter where I am going. Maybe you get delayed (which is inevitable when you travel often!) and need a quick bite, or maybe you can’t find something vegan to eat and are getting hungry. In either case, having some trail mix or granola bars will help keep you fed until you have the time to find some food. I legit never go anywhere without snacks on hand.
  • Google Maps (either with data or a downloaded offline map). One of the only things I like to splurge on is food, so when I travel I like to map out all the places I want to go before hand. That way, I can see how close they are to my accommodation or to other attractions, plan out walking routes, and make sure I get my fill of delicious food without wasting time. If I have data, I can do this as I travel, but if I’m going somewhere and won’t have a SIM card, I’ll map out and save all the locations in advance.
  • The Couchsurfing App. I like to use this app even if I’m not Couchsurfing, as there is a great community there and you can go to them when you need advice. I’ll just lookup locals in the place I am visiting and filter for “vegan” or “vegetarian.” That will bring up all the locals who are veg, and then I can just shoot them a quick message to say hi and ask for their personal suggestions (and maybe even see if they want to join me for a bite). Not only is it a great way to get insider information about a place, but it’s a great way to meet locals and build community.
  • Darn Tough socks. The only socks I own these days are Darn Tough socks. They make a few vegan pairs, and they are the absolute best sock for traveling and hiking. I’ve taken mine on month-long hikes, up Mount Fuji and Kilimanjaro, and around the entire world — and they still are in good shape! Definitely a low-key purchase that will make your travels a bit easier (and less smelly!)

How do you bring things with you?

I’m a die-hard backpacker and minimalist, so I only travel with carry on. That usually means just my Osprey Talon 44L, though I’ll sometimes bring a day pack as well (usually for work trips, where I need all my tech gear). For that, I have an Arcteryx Pender (20L).

Anyone can travel with their entire wardrobe stuffed in a few suitcases, but for me, minimalist traveling means you need to simplify your life, declutter, and get creative. It’s definitely my favourite way to travel!

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

You’re going to get WAY more questions about being a vegan when you’re abroad than when you’re at home. Just be positive and open and non-judgemental. You’re in THEIR country, remember, so you need to respect their norms and culture, even if they are not how you personally live your life.

That being said, have a few stats memorized to backup the benefits of being vegan. People will see you as a representative of the entire movement, so having some facts on hand that readily illustrate the benefits of being vegan will help people understand WHY you do what you do, and it will help normalize the concept for future travelers to that place. And to me, that’s what travel is about: building understanding.

Visit Chris Oldfield’s website

Jaclyn McCosker
I’m from regional Queensland, Australia where I am today, prepping for a move to the Federated States of Micronesia next month.

I’ve been vegan almost five years after I started looking into the cause of some of my health problems and uncovered a hidden world of shady industry practices that deliberately hide the truth from the public to keep consumers buying animal products.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

  • The first thing I always pack is my B12 spray, which is a vitamin I won’t get through my food and is hard to buy anywhere but by online shopping. This almost goes without saying… But it’s also still worth saying for newbie vegans, don’t forget!
  • I take a pair of Vegetarian Shoes sandals (vegan Birkenstock alternatives) that are perfect for daily wear in most countries. If you want a good pair of walking shoes for places like South East Asia, you can get a pair of these high-quality, animal-friendly and ethically produced sandals from stores like veganstyle.com.au.
  • The third recommendation I have is for people that menstruate. In a lot of countries, the tampons and pads you find won’t be vegan-friendly with all sorts of bleaches and chemicals. I’ve used a Lunette menstrual cup for several years now and it’s the perfect thing for travel. It’s compact to save packing room, healthy and safe compared to buying low-quality products in different countries, and it lasts 12 hours between changes so you don’t need to deal with your period while you’re out and about sightseeing. Plus, it reduces trash which is a really good thing to do when you’re travelling the world and are unsure what methods they have for disposing of waste safely.

Things I advise people not to pack include:

  • Lots of individual-purpose toiletries. It’s easiest to go instead for minimalist products like Dr Bronner’s soap that can be used as face wash, body wash, shampoo and laundry detergent.
  • Jewellery in general because it’s just not an essential and makes you a theft target. The more sentimental, the worse of an idea it is to take it. Plus, if you love jewellery, buying something locally is a great souvenir to take with you.
  • Multiple shoe options instead of investing in a good quality pair of daily shoes that will go with everything. You should only have one type of shoe for each purpose you’ll need them (daily wear, activewear, sometimes even nightlife), otherwise, you’ll be struggling under the weight of shoes you genuinely don’t need.

How do you bring things with you?

I’ve previously used a 65L Osprey Porter Deluxe Pack (2014 ed.) or a 45L Flylite hard shell case in a discontinued model. When travelling somewhere warm like India, I really only need the 45L and prefer to travel carry-on only, only using checked luggage when I have winter gear to pack and it’s so tight I’d be forced to wear my heaviest clothes at all times.

But for this move as I will be based in permanent accommodation for 12 months, I’m taking the maximum luggage allowed but have additionally purchased myself the 40L Osprey Farpoint backpack for carry-on. As I’m moving for 12 months I need one large bag, and a smaller backpack that’s just as functional that can be used for both hiking and local carry-on travel.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

After packing carry-on only, it’s stressful and difficult to go back to checked luggage. You never have to worry about lifting or dragging your bag, finding appropriate transport that can fit your luggage, waiting for it to come out after a flight, worrying about it going missing, or generally just having the huge inconvenience of a giant object to lug around while you’re trying to enjoy yourself. Once you’ve experienced the complete freedom of only carrying what fits in your back, it’s hard to go back!

The worst mistake I see is people choosing to pack on the “just in case” principle, rather than building their packing list on a “what’s guaranteed to happen” principle. The idea of travelling is that you are away from the comforts of home, so you’re not going to have everything you could ever ideally want in every conceivable situation. What you have is what you need. And you’ll quickly learn, what you need is just enough.

The best thing to ask yourself when choosing to pack an item is “What’s the worst-case scenario I can imagine unfolding if I don’t have this item?” If that scenario isn’t actually a problem at all, you can just leave it at home.

Visit Jaclyn McCosker’s website

Megan “the crunchy vegan gal”
I’m born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where I still reside. It’s my home base, and I love this city! I’m vegan, first and foremost, for ethical motivations. I want no part in the cruelty and exploitation of meat, fish, dairy, fashion, entertainment, etc. industries. I’ve been vegan for over 6 years now (vegetarian for 17), and it has become a central part of who I am. So much so that I’ve found a vegan “face” on social media and on my blog, Crunchy Vegan.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

Everyone packs a little differently, so I’ll still note some of my basics. Some of my essentials include a mini backpack, a reusable water bottle, and snacks. I couldn’t get around without these items! As for some less common stuff, I bring a lot of “digital luggage”—by that, I mean that I bring apps and resources that help make my travel as easy as possible. Ahead of my trip, I create a Google map of all the vegan options at my destination (or as many as possible), so I’m never stuck wondering where to eat.

When traveling, I like to see where each day leads, so I don’t always have an agenda—meaning I don’t always know where I’ll end up. Having an easily accessible map of the vegan options means I can find a meal based on where I currently am. I also bring apps and print outs to help me get around (i.e. maps/mapping apps) and to speak the language (Google translate, Duolingo, or a print out of important words), if applicable. If traveling to a place where they speak a different language, I’ll be familiar with some key vegan phrases ahead of time, but a good app can help me translate on the fly. Now, I can’t say if I’ve ever seen something “useless,” but I would imagine things that are ultra extravagant might make me chuckle…furry slippers maybe? I find a minimalist approach is best.

How do you bring things with you?

Whenever I can, I avoid checking any bags when flying. I’ve gone on solo camping trips before during, which I wanted to bring a knife, some gas for a fire, and other items which can’t be carried on; otherwise, I’ll carry all my gear with me. The way I see it: if I can’t manage it alone, I shouldn’t be traveling with it. So I’ll bring a travel pack (a duffel, large backpack, or small roll-on luggage) and then a personal bag. I’ve yet to find a brand/model that really speaks to me—I’m still on the hunt—but, for now I just stick to whatever’s durable and the right size. I’ll also try to pack with my travel in mind. Typically, I have to carry my luggage for a decent way. So heavy items on the bottom, clothes rolled into one or two rolls (prevents wrinkling), and frequently-used items kept in accessible locations. I tend to cram my bags, but I keep a little room in case (A) I want to bring anything home, or (B) I’m feeling lazy and therefore am less efficient when packing on the way back.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

My top tip: don’t let fear prevent you from traveling and seeing the world! A lot of anxieties can get in the way, such as a fear or traveling alone, to an unfamiliar place, to a destination where you can’t speak the language, to a place with a reputation for being vegan UN-friendly…but don’t let any of that stop you! It’s a huge privilege to be able to travel, so we ought to take advantage of it and be appreciative. A little bit of research ahead of time will help you feel prepared, especially if you’re concerned about what you’ll eat.

Pack a few snacks for emergencies, have a map of options available, and be ready to communicate what you do and do not eat. Another fear is possibly money. To that I’ll say that there are so many ways to travel for cheap, and many resources to help you do that. I’ve typically found that trips cost a lot less than what I expect when I really get down to plan it…but you’ll never know until you start making the arrangements!

Visit Megan’s website

Emily De Conto
I’m italian and I currently live in Italy. I’m a vegan for the animals, I’ve been a vegan for the last 4-5 years, and before that a vegetarian for 15 years. I’m related both to vegan activists around the world and vegan travellers.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

I bring olive oil, it helps me cook my favorite dishes! A hair-drier: you can use it for your hair or your clothes, and an external hard disk.

The most useless things are clothes.

How do you bring things with you?

I use a backpack, I usually organize things in small plastic bags: one for underwear, one for beach clothes, one for city clothes, one for body products, and one for medicines.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

I recommend booking a place with a kitchen! You can save so much money and time! I spent a week in Cuba last summer and I brought my own pasta, rice, lentils and biscuits with me, I only had to buy fresh products and it was super cheap.

I also brought my own food with me in Stockholm, everything is so expensive there!

Visit Emily De Conto’s website

Jess O’Neill
I’m Aussie and currently live on the beach in NSW’s mid north coast. My husband and I have lived in Canada, America, Thailand, and various parts of Australia.

I’ve been vegan for six years now, and was veggie for years before that. I’m a very pragmatic vegan and firmly believe in Science, law, reasoning and evidence, so at times I’m at odds with some of the more boho vegan community members!

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

Ignore everyone’s travel tips. Only you can know what’s important to you and what you really need. For me, I get hungry AF, so it’s important I have snacks that are quick and easy, and that get through customs with no hassle. In Australia and Thailand, I used Leda bars. In Canada and America, I used Vega bars. Definite hunger crushers!

How do you bring things with you?

Our large Samsonite luggage has held up exceedingly well for six years of constant international travel, and some serious luggage handler abuse (I’m looking at you, United Airlines…) It’s expensive but I can’t recommend it enough.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

If you’re moving to or visiting a country where English is not the first language, or may not be spoken widely, learn useful phrases like “I eat vegan food”, “no egg”, “no meat”, “no fish sauce” etc. These helped me immensely when we moved to provincial Thailand.

Visit Jess O’Neill’s website

Marsha Derevianko
I am Russian, born in Lithuania and moved to London at the age of 12, however, I am now living in sunny Australia! I have been vegan for nearly four years, and initially it was for health reasons. I was tired of being sick and always having digestion problems, so I cut out all foods which were acidic and that included meat, diary, alcohol and the rest! I am now vegan for everything – the animals, the planet, our future and my health!

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

  • Reusable filtering water bottle – this makes such a massive difference! Lots of airports and hotels these days have water fountains where you can fill your own bottle, which is so much better for everyone and you always stay hydrated! Just imagine how much less plastic we would use, if we all had a reusable water bottle?
  • Superfoods – I always bring my superfoods with me, for the reason that I know I can get a big dose of my goodness with my morning smoothie, which I even ask the hotel kitchen to make me. I either have convenient sachets of them, or my own mix that I bring. It makes a huge difference to how I feel, even if I do have bread for the rest of the day, as certainly in Italy I find that I eat wheat products all day long!
  • Reusable straw – we all have mouths for a reason, so use it. But in cases that you do like your smoothie with a straw, save the planet and op out of a plastic straw and use your own bamboo/glass/metal one which is so much more eco-friendly and sustainable.

How do you bring things with you?

I am not a backpacker, and I hardly ever travel light haha, unless it is for a long weekend! I travel with my Samsonite suitcases, yep two. I also love to use packing cubes to organise my clothes, and leave some room for new local purchases!

Lately I also have my ethically made bag from Thailand (with elephants on it, obv), which I bought during my trip in Thailand. It fits my laptop, camera and expensive stuff that I have on me at all times. You hear way too many stories these days how people get robbed whilst flying – be careful, and always have your valuable on you, even when you go to the toilet!

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

I am not the best example on how to pack light, but being an ex-personal shopper I can say this – bring things which you know you will feel comfortable in! Stick to a ‘capsule wardrobe’ type of packing. It is hard to say what to pack, as it all depends on the duration of the travels, destinations, climate and so on.

I am a massive action taker, so most times I book a sweet deal for flights, and then figure out how to make the trip happen. It gives me something to look forward to, and work towards if I know I am off to Bali in three months time!

Visit Marsha Derevianko’s website

Klaudia Kondorosi
I am a former Economist, Marketing Manager and Travel/Tourism Professional according to my academic degrees and to my previous 9-5 jobs, but 6 years ago I decided to take the courage to work deeply on issues that are important to me. I created Do Less Get More Done where I started to express my thoughts, inspirations and search for ingredients of a meaningful life through photo stories. I wanted to have a visual platform to organize my sustainable travel and lifestyle experiences.

Although I don’t like labels but I guess you can call me a conscious consumer, who prefers the eco-friendly version of everything. A minimalism fan. Idealist with a vision for a greener, fairer, kinder world. Dreamer. Critical, but nonjudgmental. Imperfect. Always looking for inspiration and new challenges.

World citizen, who was born in Hungary and currently based in Vienna, Austria.

I have never ever loved to eat meat, so I tried to avoid it in my entire life. Simple like that. But to be honest, five years ago I’ve had a lot of more reasons besides that “Vegan is delicious!”: health benefits, better for the environment, animal rights… when I decided to completely stop eating meat.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

I always make my research before traveling. Local food markets, shops, restaurants, bars with vegan and gluten free options. I always prepare an offline map on my phone with all these information so I don’t have to make big compromises when I get hungry or need something.

Beside my map I always have with me: water, snacks and/or seasonal local fruits, vegetables.

How do you bring things with you?

It depends when, how long and where I’m traveling, I use different types of lightweight bags with different packing organizers.

I prefer to save time and energy so I travel mainly with a hand luggage: a crossbody bag (Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Travel Bag) or a four-wheel cabin-sized suitcase (Samsonite). For my laptop and cameras, I have a waterproof hard case backpack (Cozi CPCB004 City Backpack).

If it is impossible to travel carry-on, I use a medium sized four-wheel suitcase.

I always prefer minimal, practical design, quality and longevity. I’m currently using brands what I’ve already had for a long time, but constantly searching for a vegan and fair trade switch.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Just make your research and you will see in the most of the places in the world you don’t need much.

I always bring only the basics with me, what I already have at home. I buy anything else there, locally. This is also a good way to give something back. By using their products and services I automatically endorse their economy and community.

Visit Klaudia Kondorosi’s website

Wendy Werneth
I grew up in Alabama in the southern US, but I left the States in 1999. Ever since then I’ve been living, working, traveling, studying and exploring in 109 countries on seven continents.

I’m writing this from a cozy vegan B&B in Crossford, Scotland, and when I’m not traveling my home base is in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

I became vegan in September 2014. I’d wanted to make the change several months earlier, once I found out about the horrible things happening to animals in the meat, dairy and egg industries. I’ve always loved animals, and I didn’t want to contribute to all that unnecessary suffering anymore.

One of the biggest things holding me back, though, was the fear that being vegan would ruin travel. But once I finally gave vegan travel a trial run on a three-week trip to Greece, I never looked back. I was amazed at the huge abundance of vegan food that I found while traveling!

While researching Greek cuisine in search of vegan dishes, I learned a lot about the local culture and uncovered local specialty dishes that most tourists have never heard of. To my surprise, being vegan actually enriched my travels and helped me enjoy traveling even more.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

Over the years, I’ve paired done quite a lot and have learned the hard way that less is better. Thankfully, many of the gadgets I used to travel with have now been superseded by my iPhone. It’s a phone, alarm clock, watch, camera, camcorder, flashlight, CD/mp3 player, dictionary, phrasebook, guidebook and library all in one!

I used to travel around with two or three paperback books in the hopes of finding a fellow traveler who was interested in swapping them. I’ll never do that again. I’ve even traveled with a guitar and a bongo drum, even though I didn’t know how to play either of them!

Now I keep it really simple: clothes, laptop, iPhone, sleep sack, toiletries, Crocs, and either a poncho or an umbrella. That’s about it!

One thing I do always bring now that I didn’t before is an emergency food stash, more for peace of mind than anything else. Most of the time, I find too much vegan food in my destination and don’t have the time or the room in my stomach to try everything! Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to bring some snacks along, because you never know when you might get stuck on a bus for hours. With a few nuts, dried fruit, energy bars, etc. in my bag, I know that, no matter what happens, I won’t have to go hungry.

I purchased a Buff when I walked the Camino de Santiago across Spain in the summer of 2017, and the Buff and I have been virtually inseparable ever since. I use it mostly as a headband and as a sleep mask. I even sleep with it at home!

How do you bring things with you?

I travel with roughly a 45-liter Eagle Creek backpack. Eagle Creek seems to keep changing their product line, so I am not sure what my current model is called because I can’t find one like it on their website.

To be honest, I was much happier with my previous Eagle Creek model, which I used for many years until the zipper broke. The one that I have now doesn’t fit nearly as well.

My Eagle Creek Pack-It compression sacs come along with me on every trip. They’re great for saving space in my backpack, which allows me to travel with just a carry-on-size pack. I usually bring two compression sacs – one for clean clothes and the other for dirty laundry.

A relatively new addition to my gear is the Quechua ultra-compact extra backpack, which I use as a daypack. It’s very lightweight and yet sturdy enough to carry all the essentials I want to keep with me throughout the day. And when I’m not using it, it can be compressed into a tiny pouch that’s smaller than the palm of my hand.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Don’t let your vegan lifestyle be a restriction on your travels. With a little advance planning, you really can be vegan anywhere! I actually find that I enjoy my travels even more now than I did before I was vegan. And that includes travel to destinations that are not particularly veg-friendly, such as France or Namibia.

In addition to packing your emergency food stash, there are a couple of apps I recommend downloading before your trip. One is HappyCow, which is a worldwide directory of vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants around the world. The other is the Vegan Passport, which is a multi-lingual phrasebook that explains what vegans do and don’t eat in 79 different languages.

For more vegan travel tips, download my free ebook 9 Steps for Easy Vegan Travel.

Visit Wendy Werneth’s website

Jon Rosario
I was born in Bataan in the Philippines and moved to the US when I was 11. I am currently living in Brooklyn, New York where I work as a designer and do my blog, nooch digest, on the side with my boyfriend. I just recently celebrated my 5th year as a vegan this month.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

I usually have some snacks that I bring, like Clif Bars. They’re vegan and they’re a good go-to food in a pinch whenever you go to a place where the word vegan is not as commonplace. I’ve also started really liked using a Pocket WiFi. It’s relatively inexpensive and it’s super useful because you don’t have to worry about not getting service in a foreign country and it helps you use your phone without having your phone company charge you any unexpected charges.

How do you bring things with you?

I try to pack as light as possible. I usually have one checked baggage that me and my boyfriend would share for all our basic stuff like clothes and shoes and a backpack to carry stuff on the go.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

We’re huge believers of traveling light and just carrying the essentials. The Pocket WiFi, I could not stress enough, is a godsend for me. It helps with navigation, translation, food recommendations, etc. If I had to choose only one thing to bring with me, it would definitely be that. That and maybe an extra battery pack.

Visit Jon Rosario’s website

I’m a born and raised Sydneysider. I’ve been vegetarian for as long as I can remember as I’ve always loved animals and disliked the taste, smell and texture of meat. I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle about 3 years ago for my health, for the animals and for the planet.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

The best thing I’ve taken travelling with me, besides good company and my camera, is a translated letter that outlined the meaning of veganism and asked what veg-friendly options were available. This was SO helpful in Thailand when I travelled around the mountains and had difficulty working around the language barrier. I made some great connections through this letter where a connection would have otherwise been lost, not to mention some great food.

I wouldn’t say I’ve seen anything completely useless throughout my travels. When it comes to usefulness I think it’s better safe than sorry!

How do you bring things with you?

The type of baggage I make with me depends on the type of travel I’m doing. Backpacks are easier to get around with in places that would be difficult for wheely suitcases, though suitcases are handy if you expect to go somewhere that has even flooring, escalators and to fit shopping into! I’m not fussy with brand names or models, as long as they do the job.

At the moment, I’m using a suitcase from Delsey and a backpack from Samsonite, chosen for the size and compartments. I’m pretty organised when it comes to packing, before traveling I’m mindful of what I’m going to need while I’m away and if I need to save room to bring anything home. Then while I’m traveling I do an inventory every few days to make sure I have enough room to bring everything home (within weight requirements!). That way I always have enough room!

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Be mindful of the type of trip you’re taking and what YOUR needs are. Your friend might be the type of person to throw a bikini in a suitcase then buy clothing while you’re at your destination but if that doesn’t work for you then work with what you’re comfortable with, and vice versa.

The number one thing I see vegan travellers doing “wrong” would be having difficulty asking about veg-friendly options. Communication is the key! Learn some of the language before you go and make an effort to communicate in that language first. It’s always appreciated when someone try to talk to you in a language you understand.

Turning travel dreams into reality is about setting goals and making them achievable. When you figure out where you want to go and what you want to do then break it down into steps, then anything can happen.

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Ariel and Ronald Ferree
We’re Ariel and Ron, two digital nomads who travel and blog about sustainable living along the way. We’re currently in Seattle on a classic grey day here. It’s 51 degrees outside and the clouds seem to be breaking under the sun’s shine. Ron’s just finished biking Tarzan, our Siberian husky, and I, Ariel, have just finished yoga. We’ve somehow fallen in love with the Pacific Northwest even though both of us are from the East Coast of the United States. Well, I’m actually from The Bahamas, a chain of Caribbean islands just off the East Coast of the United States.

Veganism is far from the culture’s we both grew up in. Ron grew up between Florida and Spain – two areas heavily influenced by seafood and meat. I grew up loving seafood. It was all around me. Our relation to veganism was formed about two years ago, right after we began traveling full time in our camper. We were volunteering on a hobby farm with a veterinarian and his family. One evening, we all happened upon a documentary on the meat industry and quit cold turkey. I began as pescatarian with that love of seafood and cheese holding on. Cheese was also a weak point for Ron but soon after we realized that there were enough vegan cheese options to satisfy that craving. It’s been two years a plant-based living for Ron and one and a half years for me.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

  • The ultimate thing we’ve learned to bring with us as vegan travelers is FOOD! Although it’s getting easier to find vegan options all over the world there is still that chance that the options available will be poor quality or just sound unpalatable. We always have healthy, protein-packed snacks like trail mix, nut bars, oatmeal and then portable fruit like bananas or tangerines with us.

    On a trip to Spain, we were traveling between cities and stopped at a restaurant near the airport exit. Ron is fairly fluent in Spanish so we asked the server for vegan options, which she then listed off a few menu items. We then reclarified whether or not the options we chose had animal products in it and she said they did not. After waiting quite a while in an empty restaurant we were served soup with boiled eggs stirred in and a sandwich with tuna on it. We should have known better and just packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Don’t misunderstand – we were traveling through more remote parts of Spain. Generally, Spain was awesome in its vegan offerings!

  • We primarily travel by campervan so we bring that with us just about everywhere! And, it’s perfect. It’s small enough to fit into most parking spaces and can hold more than backpacking alone would allow. I remember one Spring in Colorado we were exploring a small mountain town near the Rocky Mountains and decided to drive farther up. I was wearing a yellow summer dress and flats because it was a warm, sunny day. Within 30 minutes of driving, we were surrounded by a foot of snow. Luckily, we had the campervan with us that had my snow boots and jacket!
  • Solar powered battery chargers that work for cell phones, Ipads, laptops, and cameras. They’re genius. Great ones are portable and can hang on your backpack or purse while hiking or city exploring and just soak up the sun.

How do you bring things with you?

Since we typically travel with our campervan packing is rarely a huge concern. That gives us the slight luxury of having separate bags for more specific reasons instead of one bag that needs to handle a multitude of functions. Here are the ones that have really helped enhance our traveling experience:

1. Topo Designs backpack, the Klettersack, is made to roam from a mountaintop to the office. It’s perfect for our lifestyle and the vertical design is quite packable! Topo even makes a camera cube to make packing our camera easy! They’re handmade in Colorado and combine style with durability.

2. Ruffwear Dog Backpack – a huge part of our travels is hiking and exploring the outdoors. We travel with our dog Tarzan so having a hiking backpack for him is a must. It frees up space in our hiking bags and gives him the feeling of “working” while hiking.

3. Carry-on bags/ luggage with wheels. If you’re a traveler you’ll know how annoying, challenging, and tiring travel days can be. Having a bag with wheels makes a huge difference! We have a duffel with wheels and a hard case with wheels. We’ve given up the “I’m a traveler I have to struggle with a heavy pack on my back” notion and allowed ourselves this comfort because it can really impact our attitudes and emotions.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Get out there and travel! Being a vegan has enough stereotypes along with it. Don’t add “vegans don’t like to travel because they can’t find food” to the list. We have found it way easier than we anticipated it would be with these steps.

  • Do untraditional research. Sure, Google the best vegan restaurants in your destination city. Also, check Happy Cow for reviews from locals and travelers. Use Instagram to your advantage. Search hashtags for local info like #veganlondon if you were visiting London or #veganomadrid if you’re visiting Madrid.
  • Translate common phrases into the language of the country you’re going like “coffee with soy milk, please” or “do you have nondairy milk?
  • Ask local vegan bloggers what their favorite places are.
  • If you’ll have a kitchen, get familiar with one pot or quick vegan recipes that require a few ingredients.
  • Always find a local grocery store to stock up on snacks! You will definitely need them at some point in the trip.
  • Using Airbnb or a hotel? Don’t be shy. Let your host or concierge know that you’re vegan and would love suggestions. We’ve found amazing local places this way!

Visit Ariel and Ronald Ferree’s website

Inês David
Hi there! My name is Inês and I’m from Lisbon, Portugal. I’m vegan for five years now and it all began in Berlin, one of the most vegan friendly cities in Europe. I’ve come a long way in my veganism and even wrote a vegan cookbook.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

So for the flight/train I always come prepared with my own snacks: raw bars, energy balls, raw veggies, sandwiches, etc. Keep it simple and don’t risk bringing anything even slightly liquid – I already lost a big jar of creamy peanut butter.

I also bring earplugs for the plain and for the trip! You never know if you will end up on a busy street.

And… a rain coat! Even during summer you can’t always count on good weather.

How do you bring things with you?

I always carry a big backpack. For me it’s the easiest way to carry luggage but also the easiest way to pack many clothes in one bag 🙂 I always like to be prepared for cold/hot/rainy weather so I do bring a few different outfits. However, that’s 70% of my bag. Then, I just need chargers, a few bathroom essentials, food snacks and my kindle.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Just think that you really only need a few things to travel. Prioritize comfy clothes and footwear, bring your beauty essentials and leave some place for souvenirs.

Also, take some time to choose your airbnb/hotel. I always try to choose an apartment with a small kitchen, so I can prepare at least breakfast at home. Also, if the apartment is closer to the center, you might not need to use public transportation that much. These two things will make you save a lot of money.

I also like to prepare lists before going anywhere. First I pick all vegan friendly restaurants by area. Then, a list of most-see places.

That’s pretty much it. Buy a map and you are ready to go! If you like to travel, that’s really all you need.

Visit Inês David’s website

Sanna Vegancruiser
Hiya! My name is Sanna Vegancruiser, I’m a vegan cruise and travel blogger from Scotland.

I’m originally from Finland but ended up in Scotland, via Wales, through an EU-sponsored Erasmus exchange programme. Initially, I had planned for a year abroad with a university exchange semester in Cardiff and work experience semester in Glasgow. But at the end of those 12 months, I never moved back having fallen in love with Scotland and its people.

I am just over two years vegan having one night watched Cowspiracy (the film) on Netflix. I immediately went vegetarian that night, mostly for environmental reasons. In the following couple of days, I learned about the cruelty of dairy & egg farming, and animal agriculture as a whole, and went vegan – and I couldn’t be happier with that choice. Life in Glasgow is great, the city is probably the most vegan-friendly of all UK cities – we have so much choice here! That probably makes travel harder as not many places are as vegan savvy as central Scotland, and the UK as a whole, is.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

My favourite recent find is the Trtl travel pillow and I pity all who still carry the big doughnut type pillows for sleeping on the plane. The old travel pillow type, which I persisted with too, takes up far too much space. They normally end up clipped onto top of bags, as they are too large to fit in. And how many times have we dropped one, while transiting through airport terminals? I got my Trtl on the Black Friday sale and been using it on my travels since. I have never slept as well in airline economy seats as I have with my Trtl. In fact, I slept better on my last flight in economy than I did in premium economy with the old style travel pillow. Trtl pillow is much smarter, looks like a scarf and is small enough to fit into a handbag even.

Another favourite of mine are CLIF bars or similar cereal snack bars as vegan options can be sparse/not easy to come by. Plus airline meals get misplaced. They double as dessert when venues fail on vegan dessert provision.

Third travel ‘must have’ for me is a multi-USB charger. I have these for both European and US travel as I don’t want to carry too many chargers or extension leads some people still pack for their cruises (!).

How do you bring things with you?

If only a short weekender type trip, I love my spacious 44l Cabinzero classic backpack. I got one last year to try and after my initial trip I immediately got rid of my trolley case. I found life so much easier having my carry-on on my back – which left my hands free for everything else – like photography.

In addition to the Cabinzero 44l airlines normally allow a small handbag for under the seat in front of you. For that I have a Mini Jen travel handbag by Mia Tui – a great vegan (non-leather) UK handbag brand which I adore. The bags are excellent value, come in a range of colours & bright interior linings which I love. Mini Jen being a travel bag comes with a clear toiletry bag for airline toiletries even. Plus it comes with a matching small clutch ideal for cruise use. All Mia Tui bags have many useful interior pockets for organising paperwork/documents, cooler sleeves for water, clip for keys etc. Gone are the days of messy handbags and digging around for items.. for me.

For longer travel, esp my cruises, I still use my trusted large Samsonite cases. They’re both hardsided two-wheelers of around two decades in age. I am quite nostalgic they’ve lasted me this long. Size has been just right for us – I’ve become quite good at packing Tetris even though I do not roll, fold or use travel cubes – am interested in trying the latter out though. The only travel organiser I have is a hanging Neatpack toiletry organiser which I keep recommending to everyone as it is extremely useful for tall toiletries, sunscreen, deodorant sprays, etc.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

For anyone looking to cruise vegan my tip would be to do some research first. Look online for other vegans who have been onboard to see how your chosen cruise line caters for vegans. Then notify the cruise line of your dietary need (some require up to 90 days notice!) and plan your carry-on snacks & foods accordingly.

I’ve taken vegan cheese, spread and Tofurky deli slices in a chiller bag on my cruises, packed in my suitacase. Cruise lines can offer plant-based options but no specific vegan products except for plant milk in most cases. Bring with you the things that will make a difference to your holiday and keep them in your cabin minibar (should you have one).

Second vegan cruise tip is to install HappyCow app on your smartphone and plan for overseas data use to locate vegan dining options in port to get your dessert fix.

Last cruise tip would be ‘don’t overpack’. Plan a capsule wardrobe, take a pair of smart but comfortable shoes for evening wear, comfortable walking shoes/trainers for port and flip flop or sandals for the lido. Formalwear requirement is slowly disappearing and you won’t need it unless you book a Cunard cruise.

As for cruising… don’t hesitate – just do it. Cruising clearly isn’t just for old people and those with dietary needs can travel too. Regular cruise ships cater for vegans so book yourself a leisurely way of seeing the world – and wake up in a new destination each morning. There even are some specialist fully vegan cruises out there where all the food & drink and all passengers are vegan. So, what’s your excuse not to cruise?

Visit Visit Sanna Vegancruiser’s website

Hey! I’m from a town called Waikanae (we won NZ’s most beautiful large town award in 2015), a 45 minute drive north of Wellington, New Zealand.

As I right this I’m staying in Kuala Lumpur having finished a 10 day silent Vipassana Course at Dhamma Malaya. It was tough, but awesome. If you’re interested in meditation at all, take a look into doing a course.

I’ve been vegan since October 2012. Before that I ate all the things, but wanted to see what eating would do in regards to my health. It only took a week until I was hooked with more sustained energy throughout the day. I’ve now extended my interests into all living beings and the environment and while it’d be cool to see a world of vegans, realistically vegetarism is the way of the future.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

  • Hat Scarf! This is basically a beanie and scarf rolled into one. Everytime I’m on a long bus or plane ride, it comes out and it feels like it puts me to sleep faster. It was a freebie I got in probably 2008 at a rugby game. Best freebie ever. Bonus use: conversation starter.
  • A small basketball. I picked this up randomly for $2 one day a while back, and it’s entertained me quite a few nights when I’m in bed bored. Simply throwing it up and down. Up and down, up and down.
  • My small teddy, Grizz. My cousin gave him to me as a Christmas present when I was probably 5? I only ever see him when I take everything out of m backpack but he is the only thing I have that has been to all 53 countries with me. Always nice to trigger some childhood memories too. He has a squeak when you shake him as well, it’s confused my a couple of times when my bag randomly squeaks. p.s. Grizz is vegan too (bananatarian?).

The most useless people thing I’ve seen people pack, I couldn’t tell you as it’s probably at the bottom of their bag never to be seen. Probably the nice diary they buy before they begin their trip…it’s rare someone actually keeps it up!

How do you bring things with you?

My set up is pretty simple. I’ve got my 55 litre Black Wolf Cuba backpack that I brought in 2014. I’d never heard of the brand but it was cheaper than Osprey bags and the other popular backpack brands. It’s been a great purchase.

My day pack changes as they seem to break more often. I picked up a 10 litre bag from Decathlon in India a few weeks back. It was like $2 and will likely break soon but they are easily replaced. In general I’m not loyal to any brands.

My bag is a mess! I have so much random crap in it that I probably don’t need. Prayer flags from a year ago and a bunch of promotion books I’ll never read, but feel bad about throwing out. I could easily cut 1.5kg from my weight but it’s no major.

Oh, I found 500 grams of lentils the other day. They’ve been in there since November when I was eating them lots in preparation for the marathon. 55 litres is more than enough for me to throw things in without needing to organise everything perfectly. There’s even a small tent I’ve used like twice in the last 18 months.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

In terms of packing, I’ve decided it’s all completely up to you. We are all so different. Some of us like to have lots of options even if we know we won’t want them. Others like to have the precise amount, not too little not to much.

Just don’t start complaining about your baggage. That’s a pet peeve of mine when it’s so easily to mail stuff home, donate things, buy cheap stuff on the road etc.

If you like to fold your clothes cool. If you prefer rolling, also cool. Packing cubes for your OCD tendencies? Also cool.

The one thing I see vegan travellers doing if anything is asking too many (rephrasing) questions at once when enquring about ingredients. When dealing with the language barrier, the vegan questions aren’t questions they reply to often and can respond to without thinking. They might well understand you, but need to take a few seconds to work out the right way to respond.

In terms of trying to get out of the door rather than dreaming about travels I haven’t found a stock answer that works. Like packing, I feel like each persn is different and respond differently. Put a gun to my head? I suggest write down the worst thing that could happen if you did leave to travel (regardless of the time period).

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Lauren Yakiwchuk
I live in Toronto, and I’m currently in Toronto. I have a full time job here, but I travel as much as possible. I was raised vegetarian, so I’ve been vegetarian my entire life. I went vegan about 10 years ago. Initially, I had to give up dairy because it made me feel terrible. I started to read more about the effects of animal products on the body and realized that it’s not healthy to consume them. Then, I learned more about how these industries harm animals and the environment, and it was easy to give them up for good!

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

I always bring lots of snacks on the plane because there’s never a guarantee that the airline will remember to bring a vegan meal on board, even if you request it ahead of time. Also, it’s a great idea to have snacks on hand for those moments where you might not be able to find vegan food (this is becoming easier and easier though!).

I also recently invested in noise-cancelling headphones, which are amazing for overnight flights. They block out lots of sound and make it much easier to sleep.

How do you bring things with you?

It really depends on the trip. If I’m going for only a few days, I’ll bring a backpack as a carry-on only. If I’m going away for a week or more, and depending on the destination, I’ll bring a suitcase. I roll all of my clothing to organize it. I usually bring lots of camera equipment, my laptop, etc with me and that takes up the most space in my carry-on bag!

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

I always recommend that vegan travelers request the “VGML” meal from the airline in advance. Bring snacks with you just in case. Look up restaurants ahead of time and use the Happy Cow app to help you find meals. I always like to book apartments or accommodations with a kitchen so I can make my own food. You can easily make vegan meals abroad and save money, too!

When it comes to travel, just go for it. Follow your dreams! If there are reasons why you can’t travel very far, book a weekend trip somewhere close to home or even explore a new neighbourhood in your own city. There’s so much of the world to explore!

Visit Lauren Yakiwchuk’s website

Hey everyone! I’m Lena 24 years old and from cologne and study law. On the internet everybody knows me as shetravelsvegan. Whenever I have some free time i travel around the world.

I’ve been vegan for four years now and stopped eating meat at the age of 13teen. I’m vegan because of ethical reasons.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

Use a backpack to explore the country.

Take a pillow with you when you’re more than 5 hours on the plane so you can sleep better and be fit for your adventure.

Use compression bags to save space. And rethink about your clothes. Do you really need to bring six dresses with you?

How do you bring things with you?

I always have a little backpack and a normal suitcase with me. When I do short trips I only travel with carry on baggage.

I use the backpack when I walk around the city. And a suitcase with wheels is for me the best thing to transport because I don’t have to carry it.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

I recommend to travel just with carry on baggage when you travel to warmer countries because summer clothes are lighter and you save a lot of time.

I also take a bag of oats with me when I travel to country which is not so vegan friendly or very expensive. Because oats are healthy and satisfy which make them a great breakfast.

To make the best out of my space in the suitcase I roll all my clothes that saves a lot of space and I also use compression bags. Also put your socks in your shoes.

When you really want to visit a country and no one of your friends has the time or the money just book yourself a flight ticket and a nice place to stay! It will be the best experience and you will regret not doing it!

Visit Lena’s website

Caitlin Galer-Unti
I went vegan 10 years ago and started running my vegan travel blog, The Vegan Word, 7 years ago. In that time, I’ve been able to travel to over 30 countries and see the world become more and more vegan friendly, which has been incredible!

I was raised vegetarian, and I always saw it from an ethical perspective. I stopped wearing leather when I was really young and found out where it came from. As a teenager, I made sure to buy beauty products not tested on animals. But I didn’t learn about factory farming until later.

I’d always thought milk and eggs didn’t hurt animals and that I was eating an ethical diet by being vegetarian. Then one day I started reading online about the dairy and egg industries and I was really horrified!

I began my transition to veganism, and went fully vegan 10 years ago. It was the best decision I ever made, and watching the world become more vegan-friendly over the years has been amazing. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings!

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

  • A vegan passport: it’s a book of translations that explains that you’re vegan, and what you do and don’t eat.
  • Nutritional yeast: it sounds weird but it’s a cheesy food from the heavens that I love sprinkling on pasta or popcorn. I don’t bring it on every trip, but if I’m going somewhere I’ll have a kitchen, I usually bring some with me.
  • FitPit: my favourite deodorant (I’m a little obsessed – read on below!)

Vegan passport: I’ve never actually had to use it, in all the time I’ve been travelling as a vegan. But, I bought it for around £5 years ago and it’s provided SO much peace of mind for just £5. I know that if I do ever end up in a situation where no one speaks English, there aren’t any veggie restaurants and I can’t find vegan food somewhere, I can just whip out the book and show it to a waiter in a restaurant to ask for a vegan meal.

I actually travel with a bit of food when I’m going somewhere with a kitchen! I love cooking, and I love shopping in local markets and trying out new foods. But I miss some of the staples of my kitchen if I can’t find them, so I’ve been known to bring soya milk, nutritional yeast, miso and of course a few bars of vegan chocolate.

Ok, so most people bring deodorant when they travel, but I’m kind of obsessed with this deodorant! Fitpit is a paste, meaning you sometimes can get away with not putting it in your liquids bag for carry-on. And it lasts SO LONG, which is amazing if you’ll be travelling long-haul. Even if you’ve got 48 hours of travel ahead, this stuff will stand by you. You only need to apply it after a shower, and it always lasts me until my next shower. It’s also vegan (of course!), eco-friendly, and comes in a reusable/recyclable glass jar.

I’ve actually written before about some of the more unusual vegan items I pack in my bag like powdered soy creamer and spice mixes. 😉

The most useless thing I’ve seen people bring? Probably appliances that can’t be used! I’m guilty of this myself – I once bought a mini travel hairdryer to take with me to Asia. It immediately blew a fuse and broke. I also know someone who brought a Vitamix (expensive high speed blender) from the US to Europe. The voltage is different and it immediately blew out the motor – and poof, there went $500! It’s best not to bring appliances like hairdryers or blenders – just borrow one when you get there.

How do you bring things with you?

It depends where I’m going and for how long. I prefer to take carry-on only, especially on shorter distances – who wants to pay checked bag fees?

If I’m just going away for the weekend or a week, I’ll take a Swiss Gear backpack I’ve had for years. It’s actually just a standard backpack I bought for school. It’s such good quality it’s lasted ages! It’s embarrassingly hot pink, and I always think I’d like to get one in a colour that would blend in more easily, but I’m waiting until it falls apart.

For longer trips, or when I need to pack a lot of electronic equipment (my camera can take up a lot of space!), I have a wheeled carry-on. I’ve tried “serious” backpacks a few times, but I don’t think I’ve ever found one that fits me properly because they always gave me back ache. I just stick to something with wheels and then my back never hurts!

I used to worry it meant I wasn’t a “real” traveller/backpacker, but now I don’t care. I’d rather be comfortable!

Inside my bag, I like to use packing cubes to arrange my stuff. I have a packing cube or two for clothes, a smaller one for underwear, one for electronics and then a toiletry bag. They’re all by Eagle Creek and have proved really durable! I roll up clothes to put them in the cubes – I find I can fit a little more in that way. You’ll also usually find a spare pair of shoes in my bag. Although it’s rarely a sensible pair. I always seem to end up hiking up mountains in Converse or heeled black boots, rather than proper hiking shoes!

I’m definitely a “too little” room kind of person. You’ll even find me sitting on my bag trying to close it fairly frequently! I wish I could say I was an organised expert packer, but I’m not and I don’t think I ever will be.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

Plan ahead – look up vegan-friendly restaurants and accidentally vegan dishes in the local cuisine before you go. And don’t forget to pack some snacks! I always have dried fruit and nuts or Nakd bars in my bag so even if my flight gets delayed, I have something to eat.

I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask about packing light – I have been known to take a coffee/spice grinder with me! 😉 But I still advocate packing as lightly as possible. Really question if you need everything, and how much you’ll use it – and only bring the things you truly need (I used that coffee grinder every day, by the way!).

I think the biggest mistake I see vegan travelers making is not being prepared! I advise everyone – vegan or not – to bring some snacks in your bag, in case your plane is delayed or they forget your meal. A lot of people don’t bring food with them, and then they get hungry. But it’s such a relief to know you have food in your bag, even if it’s just backup in case the veggie restaurant you’re headed to is closed! Sometimes I won’t even eat my backup snacks, but it makes me feel better knowing they’re there if I need them.

My other advice: just do it, and don’t let fear hold you back! If you really want to go somewhere, go. Even if you’re afraid the destination might not have much in the way of vegan food, go. You can find vegan food anywhere!

Visit Caitlin Galer-Unti’s website

I’m from Panama, a small tropical country in Central America best known for the Panama Canal.

Some of my passions include photography, traveling, learning about cultures from the world, cooking and trying delicious vegan food.

While I was living in England I became more interested in a meat-free lifestyle. I had looked into the idea before but never fully embraced it until 2013 and it was mostly because of my love for animals and learning that I could live this way and get all the nutrients I needed without missing on flavor or options.

I researched a lot about, learned many things about ingredients and developed new recipes. I also discovered vegan groups in my city which made my transition easier.

Now it’s been nearly 4 years and I feel great about my decision and want to help others who are interested and would like to know more about this way of life especially when it comes to travel.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all travelers bring?

I try to bring only the essential things since I like the minimalism and not to be carrying things I won’t be using.

I can’t leave my DSRL behind, some people are fine just with smartphone photos but since I like to develop my photography skills in some occasions it’s very hard to get the same results with a phone camera. I can get good photos for my blog and also share on my social media.

Other things I include are vegan snacks or instant food “just in case” and is very helpful especially when arriving at a new place and I don’t have much time to get food right away. This was so useful on my last trip to Japan as I got a few ready breakfasts for a couple of days.

The third thing would be things to help me sleep, I’m a very light sleeper so I would have with me a face mask and ear plugs and I must say I couldn’t go anywhere without those.

I think the most useless thing to bring are things you won’t even use, like huge amounts of clothes only to use once. But to each, their own and every person is free to travel as they feel more comfortable. 🙂

How do you bring things with you?

Since recent trips, I have decided to pack as lightly as possible.

I prefer to bring carry-on only, especially if I will be moving around a lot.

I have an Osprey Farpoint 40 and also another small carry-on suitcase from an Italian brand.

I chose those items because they are very comfortable to use, the suitcase is very light and easy to move around since it has spinner wheels.

To pack, I got the Ebags packing cubes and they have become my favorite items to get everything in the right place on my bag.

What are your top tips for other vegan travelers?

The most important thing for vegan travelers is to bring things they may need and probably will be hard to find. Such as personal care products or snacks.

So if you can bring your own soap, toothpaste, etc then that is great. Some people like to prepare their own meals as well and maybe bring it as lunch on day trips. Then some light food containers and reusable utensils are a good idea.

Same for reusable straws and water bottles.

What has helped me a lot to improve my packing process is to apply techniques that longtime travelers use and adapt them to my travels.

Pinterest has resulted in a great tool to find information related to that and I’ve been using it more every day.

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