8 Essentials For Vegan Travellers

I’m heading to Dublin for the weekend and it had me thinking about the items I usually pack specifically because I’m vegan; essential things I’d miss if I forgot them! If you’re thinking of travelling soon, even if it’s only a few hours away in another county, these tips might help you out!

Travel bottles for dairy-free milk

Most places have dairy free milk these days, but you still find the odd place that doesn’t even have almond milk on offer, let alone soy. When you’re in an unfamiliar town or city, particularly if you’re somewhere rural, it’s best to pour a little vegan milk into a small bottle and pop it in your handbag. Or if you’re a guy who doesn’t use a bag, ask your girlfriend to carry it for you!

Vegan Passportvegan travel essentials

This is really useful if you’re going abroad, rather than heading somewhere in Ireland, but I thought I’d mention it anyway in case you haven’t heard of it. It’s an app you can download that contains common phrases in lots of different languages so you can let waiters and vendors know what you can and can’t eat. If you need to know how to say “Can you make something for me that doesn’t contain eggs, meat, fish or dairy?” this has you covered.


This is a big one. Never leave the house without a Nakd bar or a flapjack or an apple in your pocket or bag. Not everywhere has items that are suitable for vegans, and in fact it’s usually the exception rather than the rule, so be prepared. Few things are worse than being a starving vegan in a place with no vegan options.

vegan travel essentials

Dry shampoo

I use Lush’s vegan-friendly dry shampoo, which is a decent sized bottle of what looks like baby powder. You just pop a few sprinkles in your hair and comb it through, and voila! Hair that doesn’t look like a big grease ball. Not only is it better for your hair to wash it every other day instead of every day, it’s also better for the environment as you’re not using as much water. Win-win! There are several VF dry shampoo sprays out there as well, but I don’t use aerosol tins so I have none to recommend.

vegan travel essentialsFace mist

Travelling can really dry out your skin, especially if you’re spending a long time on a plane or a bus (it’s 4 hours from Donegal to Dublin on a bus… yeah), so you might want to rejuvenate your skin afterwards. I don’t really wear makeup anymore and especially not while I’m traveling, and the Facial Mist by Sukin is an absolute life saver after a long haul journey. However, if you don’t want to buy something expensive, you can get yourself a little spray bottle and fill it with water and a few drops of tea tree oil. Just as good!

Sleeping mask

If you’re staying in hotels while traveling, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the blinds or the curtains may not block out the light entirely. You may want to pack a sleeping mask so that if you’re faced with cracks of light keeping you awake, you can sleep soundly under your mask. As someone who is scared of the dark, this isn’t a major problem for me personally, but my boyfriend can’t sleep if there’s even a tiny bit of light in the room, so he loves his mask.

Probioticsvegan travel essentials

Traveling can really upset the tummy. This is due to a number of factors, but mostly because you may not eat regularly, you might be trying different kinds of foods your tummy isn’t used to, or because you’re in a country that has untreated water. I use a probiotic from Optibac that has worked wonders for me in times of need.

Comfy shoes

This is super important for walking around a city or exploring woods and green areas. I recently came across shoes on Nae that are made of Pinatex (vegan leather made from pineapple leaves). I bought a pair of boots recently myself, but I think I’m going to save up for these gold beauties.

vegan travel essentials
Source: nae-vegan.com

They’re incredibly eco-friendly; they’re a by-product of pineapple farming and it takes no extra water or land to create the leather. It’s a fantastic product.

What are your vegan travel essentials? Let me know in the comments!


Make Your Own Garlic Dip – Vegan Tip #8

Sometimes you just really crave a pizza; whether it’s when you’re with friends on a night-in or you’re having a Netflix marathon and you can’t be bothered cooking. You can’t go too wrong with pizza!

I was over the moon when I found out that Dominoes’ tomato sauce and base is accidentally vegan and I’ve ordered many veggie pizzas minus the cheese over the last year. Unfortunately, I can’t use the garlic dip, which was something I used to LOVE when I was an omni.

If you’re missing that garlic goodness as well, fear not! You can just make your own VERY easily! All you need is a few teaspoons of vegan mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise cos it’s THE BEST), a sprinkle of oregano and parsley and some garlic purée.

I always have these ingredients in the house for daily meals anyway, so I didn’t even have to run to the shops. Chances are, if you’re a vegan, you’ll probably have these in your cupboard, and if not you can invest in them and always have garlic dip on hand!

All you do is combine them until it looks like the garlic dip you know and love – it couldn’t be simpler! Plus you can add more or less garlic depending on your taste – it’s almost better than the real thing!

Dealing With Unsupportive Family Members – Vegan Tip #7

Thankfully I am in a position where my family members are supportive of my vegan lifestyle, but that isn’t to say that my journey hasn’t been free of snide comments, ‘Did you know…’ statements and concerns for my health. We’re all going to deal with this to some degree, but some families really don’t make things easy for a budding vegan.

My advice for anyone dealing with a worried or defensive family is to avoid being too emotional and angry; it just makes you seem hysterical and non-vegans tend to use that for their ‘All vegans are extreme’ shtick.

We as vegans do want others to give up meat and start thinking critically about what we put in our bodies, of course we do, but that’s not always possible. All of us would love if our families/friends/partners adopted a vegan lifestyle, and there are things you can do to make that possible. However, there are also things you can do and say that will make that kind of change almost impossible.

vegan unsupportive family

Calling meat eaters murderers, constant preaching and angry outbursts aren’t the way to get through to meat eaters, in my opinion.

To assure family members that are concerned for your health, gently inform them and be patient with them. Yes, you’ve probably heard the protein and calcium questions many times before, but that’s just our lot in life. We will continue to hear these kind of questions for a long time, questions we may consider silly or stupid, because many people do not know anything about nutrition short of ‘a banana has potassium’. And most people certainly don’t know much about veganism.

Educate the people in your life who care about you, but don’t do it with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

What you can do is sit down with your family members and explain to them that it is your choice to be a vegan, that you are vegan because you don’t believe in eating animals/ you want to improve your health/ you care for the environment or, most likely, all three. If you’re asked to provide proof that the vegan diet helps all of those things, you can offer to send them some links on facts about veganism or you can start a discussion on it there and then. Arm yourself with facts and knowledge and you will be fine. People argue against facts, but they can’t realistically do it forever without realising they’re wrong. Something will eventually get through and they will accept that what you’re saying is true, particularly if they look into it themselves. Patience is key.

vegan unsupportive family

Another thing you can do is offer to cook a vegan meal for the people in your family. This will help as many people have the misguided notion that vegans have a very pitiful choice of food. As vegans, we know this is absolutely untrue and I personally have never had such food variety in my life, having stuck to the basic Irish meal of spuds + meat + gravy for most of my life.

For those of you who are teenagers living with parents who don’t ‘allow’ you to be vegan, there aren’t a lot of options, I’m afraid. I’ve seen a few comments from teens on other forums and blogs where this is the case, and I feel very sorry for the people who have to deal with angry parents who don’t want to understand. What you can do is talk to them like I suggested above, but if that doesn’t work you can slowly phase things out. You could say things like ‘I’m not really a fan of red meat’ or ‘Dairy makes me bloated’ or ‘I’m cutting down my meat consumption to lose some weight’ or ‘Last time I ate chicken I got quite sick and I’ve gone off the taste’.

It’s sad that some people have to bend the truth just to pursue something they strongly believe in, but this kind of approach does work. If your parents think that you’re not eating something because you don’t like it or because it makes you feel unwell, they’re more likely to accept you omitting it from your plate. If you don’t feel like doing this, you can just do whatever you can until you move out. Every little helps; things like buying cruelty free makeup and skincare products, signing petitions against animal cruelty, and buying vegan snacks with pocket money. You’re still making a difference.

How do you deal with unsupportive families? Let me know in the comments!

Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail – Vegan Tip #5

Many people who choose a vegan lifestyle who then give up and go back to eating meat often do so because of a lack of dietary information and the environment most of us unfortunately live in. I’d be the first one to say that it’s not easy being vegan when you’re hungry and faced with nothing to eat. And this can happen more times than you’d think.

Before, if you were peckish you could just pop into a shop and pick up a snack or a treat and it would do you until you can get diner somewhere. However, it’s not that easy now. You may find yourself googling on your phone to make sure whatever product you’ve picked up doesn’t have animal derivatives in it, or you might be faced with the horrible realisation that you can’t buy anything but a bottle of water and a bruised looking piece of fruit.


That’s why you must always be prepared. In years to come, there will be much more vegan options in stores and corner shops as it becomes more mainstream, but unfortunately that’s just not the case right now, and you can’t expect to find food you can eat everywhere. I always have a bag of nuts and a bar of some sort in my bag, whether that’s a treat from Naked, or Choices, or Natasha’s or something of my own making.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

Use Sauerkraut As Pulled Pork Substitute – Vegan Tip #4

If you’ve already gathered for a barbecue with your friends and family this summer, you may have noticed a particular gaping absence – pulled pork. Before I was vegan, I for one would’ve eaten pulled pork for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could have as it was one of my all time favourite foods.

If you’re looking to recreate that taste and texture and the mess of eating it in a big sloppy joe burger – look no further! Sauerkraut is your best friend as it almost exactly mimics the texture of pulled pork. You may not have tried it before, or you might have just dabbled with it on salads, but get familiar with this pot of goodness because it’s not only versatile, but also very good for you.

Sauerkraut is very good at sticking together so it’s easy to mould into burger shapes. If you have some trouble, however, just pour a little agave nectar into a bowl of sauerkraut with vegan barbecue sauce and mix before moulding. You’ll end up with sweet, succulent bbq bites that are perfect sandwiched between two fresh baps!