Veganism provides for an immensely rewarding lifestyle... but let's face it, it does come with a certain degree of hassle here and there. And arguably, it's when traveling that we notice this extra layer of complexity a bit more, especially when you don't know the language of the country you're visiting!
Whether travelling to a foreign country or taking a cross-country road trip, we all have been in the situation where we feel limited with our food options. But that's when technology can come to the rescue! Hopefully, the following apps will provide you with some guiding resources on your next adventure!
1. VegVisits - a vegan version of Airbnb
Most of us understand the struggle of not having a kitchen while traveling. Until Airbnb came along, your accommodation rarely came with a kitchen so traveling pretty much meant eating out. This can leave us vegans with a shortage of healthy options. Luckily, new ideas to solve this problem are sprouting.
VegVisits is the Airbnb of the vegan world. The website allows you to find local vegan hosts across 80 countries! It operates similar to Airbnb, except.. well... it's vegan!
You can rent a room, the whole house or even just a kitchen for a few hours! Having vegan hosts will ensure that this local knowledge allows you to find the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants, markets, nature spots, local attractions and more.
2. HappyCow - find restaurants all over the world
This app might be a no brainer for longtime vegans but for those new to veganism, HappyCow can be your saving grace while traveling. HappyCow serves as your personal food guide, allowing you to find the best veggie options near you. Their listings grow every day and it's becoming increasingly hard to find a destination that's not supported! Once you enter your location -- or alternatively the app can search based on your current location -- you'll be presented with a selection of restaurants that are either vegan, vegetarian or vegan-friendly. Do skim through the reviews as you'll learn which dishes are available and which ones are worth the detour! Other than by restaurant and cuisine-type, you can also filter your searches by shops bakery, services and even accommodation. This is a must-have app, and it's worth paying for it to simply support this amazing service!
3. MeetUp - a platform to find people in real life
If you are solo-traveling or just looking to make some new friends in a new city, MeetUp can be a helpful resource. MeetUp is a service that brings together people with similar interests. The groups then create events which are available to the public. Click on “Explore”, type in “Vegan” and you’ll find a plethora of upcoming events in your area. Have fun!
4. Google Translate - translate vegan in to every language
The days of stress-learning the phrases you need to know in a different language are over. No more need to learn "does this dish contain meat" in seventeen different languages! And although Google Translate doesn't always provide for the most perfect translation, it's still an indispensable tool for travelers. Plus it's free!
You can even have a conversation with someone who speaks a different language by using the “conversation” feature. This tool transcribes and translates your speech into the language of whomever you're speaking with. Perfect when ordering at a local restaurant!
The app also has the ability to translate text from photos into your native language. This is an incredibly useful tool for translating a menu or an ingredient list on packaging. Isn't technology cool!?
5. AirVegan - airport food
How much time have you spent aimlessly walking around the airport looking for something to eat? If you're a vegan traveler, my guess is a lot.
Luckily there is a new app on the market called AirVegan, which rates how vegan-friendly an airport is and tells you where to go to get the best vegan food while you await your flight. No more frantically running around looking for food between layovers! We could only find the app on IOS but their Instagram account mentions it's available on Android as well.
Get it for IOS.
6. A BillionVeg - find the closest vegan meal to you
A BillionVeg provides listings for local restaurants, beauty & fashion shops and more, More and more spots are added every day, and while there's certainly overlap with the above-mentioned Happy Cow app, it's worth having both to ensure you have all the known listings in your location!
7. Is It Vegan?
Finally, we thought we'd group the following few apps into one category. Not just for travel, these apps will help you determine if a product is -- or isn't -- vegan.
Is It Vegan let you simply scan the UPC bar code on the package of any food or beverage product, and you'll see whether the product is vegan or not. This may not work with every product overseas, but it's still worth a try when at the supermarket. Get it for Android. Get it for IOS.
Finally, no meal goes without a nice drink, and that's where Barnivore comes in. This will let you search to make sure that your wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage is vegan or not! The search is only through their website for now.
We'd love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Ideas? Have you tried any of these apps? Which one feels like the best fit for you? Any other vegan travel apps out there we might have missed? We might add them to a future article update!
Let's have a discussion in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!