Travel tips

'It’s easy to be Vegan!' #itseasy2bvegan when staying away and enjoying varied leisure activities! It just needs a little bit of know-how and a tiny bit of planning. But with growing awareness of (and respect for) this lifestyle, many establishments are making the effort to operate more ethically. It also makes good business sense, because the number of vegans in the UK, and globally, is rising at an unprecedented rate.

Our top tips for staying away:

  • As with eating out – a little bit of research beforehand can make life much easier for you once you set off – so get online, ask the vegan community for recommendations or get talking to a good travel agent.
  • If you have a choice over where to go and where to stay, then you might like to opt for a vegan B&B or hotel – there are quite a few in the UK and indeed all over the world! Here is a handy site.
  • If you can’t find vegan accommodation then don’t worry, as there are many things that you can do to continue with your lifestyle while away. For example, try phoning ahead to see what food they have on their menus for breakfast etc. and how they might be able to cater for you.
  • Many hotels now offer toiletries that are either organic and/or more environmentally friendly and cruelty-free. You may find that they are vegan friendly – but just in case, always travel with your own bag of handy vegan toiletries and products that you prefer to use at home.
  • Whilst some breakfast buffets unwittingly offer plenty of vegan choices, it can be handy to take some small cartons or decanted bottles of your favourite plant milks and also items such as margarine and spreads like peanut butter. This is useful in case the hotel/B&B cannot reassure you that the brands they use are vegan. (NB Good hotels that care about customer service will always be willing to check product ingredients for you.)
  • If you want to ensure that you have your favourite plant milk to hand for tea and/or coffee when you’re on a flight then you can take a 100ml bottle of your milk with you in your hand luggage.
  • Don’t be scared to ask staff at your accommodation about the products they’re using – you’re the customer and have every right to know! This also helps to raise awareness of catering for all customers’ needs and will increase their knowledge, ready for when they get asked next time – so in a way you’re helping them to improve their service offering!
  • Feel free to ask for a change of bedding if you find that you’re in a hotel with feather/down pillows or duvets and don’t wish to sleep on them. This level of hotel should provide an alternative form of manmade fiber bedding instead – if for no other reason than some people are allergic to feathers. (If you’re travelling by car then you can always take some with you just in case – but this is entirely your choice to do so).
  • Enjoy yourself! Remember that veganism isn’t about achieving perfection. As we’re currently living in a predominantly non-vegan world you’ll always come across some things that you have little control over. However, where you can plan ahead and take control, then doing so can feel reassuringly proactive. It also sets a compassionate example to others. So please don’t think you need to give up the activity of travelling and staying away that you may have previously enjoyed!

 

Our advice on leisure activities: There are some obvious activities that vegans do not participate in – such as hunting, for example. But there are also some far more ‘culturally acceptable’ activities that we also feel very strongly about, avoid and indeed campaign against. Vegans prefer not to visit, support or fund any place that keeps animals in unnatural captivity including: zoos, aquariums, sealife centres or safari parks. We also avoid any ‘entertainment’ scenario or event where animals may be used, such as racing, circuses, animal rides, shows and also films (some films have resulted in the deaths of many animals on-set). Some ‘cultural traditions’ are also avoided, for example bull fighting (Spain), pig wrestling (Wisconsin), dog spinning (Bulgaria) and the running of the bulls (Pamplona, Spain). Please research beforehand, think and consider where it is that you wish to spend your hard earned money and how you will feel either watching or taking part in such activities and events.

A note on keeping pets: You may hear pets referred to as ‘companion’ animals by some vegans. Vegans feel strongly that whilst it's natural and wonderful for people to want to interact with animals and spend their lives with them, that animals should not be bred deliberately for this purpose. This is because, in doing so, breeders see them purely as financial commodities and the industry has subsequently become rife with abhorrent practices that leave millions of animals in terrible circumstances. As there are currently so many animals in need of good homes and care it's always far better to rescue and adopt animals if you wish to share your life with one. There are organisations, rescue centres and homes all over the UK – all desperate for your help and wanting to prevent having to euthanise animals needlessly. Please support the #adoptdontshop campaign and feel free to contact us for further advice.