Book Review: The Vegan Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet

You know when veganism is reaching new heights when a global publishing house decides to publish an all-vegan travel guide. In 2019, undoubtedly the year of the vegan, Lonely Planet has decided to publish The Vegan Travel Handbook.

As a vegan traveller, I’m mindful of the destinations I travel to and I always wonder whether travelling the vegan road will be possible. Thorough research goes into any trip to ensure my travels can be executed effectively without going hungry. Food is just the first consideration, though. Will there be attractions where animals are not being exploited? Will travel companies enact ethical practices? Are my personal vegan ethics going to be compromised?

Sure, we travel to discover new traditions and experience new cultures though travelling the vegan road on a global scale really is possible. The Vegan Travel Handbook shows us how.

It’s the perfect time for The Vegan Travel Handbook to hit the shelves

December is the perfect time for Lonely Planet to publish The Vegan Travel Handbook. Why? December is leading travellers into a brand new year of new travel goals and resolutions. The timing is also perfect because December backs on to January, or Veganuary; a month-long campaign when people worldwide are encouraged to go vegan for one month.

So, where can you travel vegan?

If you’re new to vegan travel, The Vegan Travel Handbook offers a plethora of tips on where to travel. Not only does the handbook go into detail about the history of veganism, it delves into a selection of top vegan-friendly destinations. Some may even be destinations you least expect to be vegan-friendly.

The best place for any traveller new to veganism is to start with a destination that is the most vegan-friendly. According to Lonely Planet, the Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities around the world are:

  1. Berlin, Germany
  2. London, UK
  3. New York City, USA
  4. Tel Aviv, Israel
  5. Portland, Oregon, USA
  6. Los Angeles, California, USA
  7. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
  8. Warsaw, Poland
  9. Toronto, Canada
  10. Melbourne, Australia

The Vegan Travel Handbook gives you tips for each of these cities (the list expands to a Top 20 in the handbook), plus extra regions around the world where travelling vegan is possible.  Then, the handbook encourages you to extend your  vegan travel skills as if you’re at home e.g. speaking with restaurants in advance about options and understanding any secret local ingredients that may or may not be vegan. The Vegan Travel Handbook advocates good planning and thorough research before you leave home, and offers essential resources on how to do so.

You’ve arrived! Where to from here?

The Vegan Travel Handbook offers many simple tips on how to navigate a destination from a vegan perspective. One of my favourite tips, which I incorporate into my travels regularly, is to make a hearty meal out of the vegan-friendly sides on a menu. Not only can you create a gorgeous local meal, you can sample some of the staple flavours that punctuate a region or a country. If you’re travelling with friends, this is a great way to create a unique vegan share-meal.

The Vegan Travel Handbook also gives you some great money-saving tips if you’re travelling on a budget, and which times of the year are best when travelling to those Top 10 or regions outside the list. Language can obviously be a barrier in countries that don’t speak your native tongue. So, The Vegan Travel Handbook has included some simple vocab or language tips plus travel tips on how to stay healthy. The Vegan Travel Handbook also offers resources on how to communicate with local vegan communities, where to find vegan accommodation or join a local vegan tour, and websites or apps for added vegan travel inspiration.

Does The Vegan Travel Handbook cater for your travel style?

The Vegan Travel Handbook is that it’s laid out according to your specific travel style. Are you an adrenaline junkie or roadtrip voyager? Do you love culture and nature, or are you more of a foodie traveller? You’ll find key sections in The Vegan Travel Handbook that give you ample and practical advice depending on your style. Each region also features its own ‘Green Tip’, micro vegan travel tips to help you navigate each region effectively without going hungry or missing out in between destinations.

…and who are the travellers behind The Vegan Travel Handbook?

For a vegan travel handbook, you would expect that all authors involved would all be vegan. This is not the case for The Vegan Travel Handbook. Full biographies of all authors are listed at the back of the book for your reference. All biographies stipulate which authors are vegans and which ones are not. While there are some who are vegan, some are vegetarian, flexitarian or omnivore. While some vegans may frown upon this, others may see an opportunity here. It’s a good thing that there is a range of skilled authors who brought The Vegan Travel Handbook to life. It’s a sign that even omnivores or vegetarian authors can go out there and travel vegan. If they can do it, so can omnivore or vegetarian travellers who may be considering going vegan. Bringing vegan travel to the masses is a way that veganism can shed its ‘outer-fringes’ persona and be more mainstream, be more accepted and accessible. The Vegan Travel Handbook can inspire everyone (vegans and non-vegans) that vegan travel is possible. You can have a truly immersive travel experience from a vegan perspective, without compromising local traditions or your own ethics.

Fire & Tea has teamed up with Lonely Planet for a Christmas competition! Fire & Tea has three copies of The Vegan Travel Handbook to give away, courtesy of Lonely Planet, valued at AUD$29.99 each.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies, visit the competition post on the Fire & Tea Facebook or Instagram pages and follow the instructions.

Entries open 9.00am AEDT Friday December 20, 2019 and close 5.00pm AEDT Thursday December 26, 2019.Three winners will be randomly drawn 9.00am AEDT Friday December 27, 2019. Winners will be contacted directly, and prizes will be posted to the winners’ addresses as stipulated by each winner.

The Vegan Travel Handbook is also available to purchase through the Lonely Planet website as a lightweight, easy-to-pack print version (AUD$29.95) or as an e-book (AUD$20.98).

Disclaimer: Lonely Planet supplied Justine de Jonge at Fire & Tea a complimentary copy of The Vegan Travel Handbook for review purposes. All views expressed in this book review are her own.

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