A better way to travel.
A recent study has found that meat is responsible for 57% of greenhouse gases from food production. Plant-based food production is much better for the planet. For years, meat consumption has been steadily rising, but this year, it’s being reported that sales of meat are down in the U.S., Europe, and Argentina.
While the trend definitely corresponds to the economic downturn, the world has been turning to vegetarian options recently. From climate crisis to animal cruelty to health concerns, many factors have driven populations around the world to rely on plant-based diets. In the U.S., around 3% of Americans identify as vegan. Mock meat companies Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have become extremely popular, and more and more celebrities are turning vegan and advocating this lifestyle. There’s definitely a new taste for veganism, and the travel industry is responding to it.
With this shift, vegan restaurants and hotels are popping up around the world, and now there are vegan tour operators and travel companies that help you plan a trip that matches your lifestyle. Food, of course, is a big part of it, but they also focus on experiences that are non-exploitative for animals and humans. (For example, they will make sure that the hotels don’t have leather furniture or toiletries with animal products.)
Years ago, a vegan trip was a daunting task, but with these players catering to a new set of travelers, there’s no need to survive on fries and sides! You don’t need to be vegan to go on these tours, but you will experience the lifestyle if you decide to embark on a new adventure.
Top Picks for You
Green Earth Travel
Founded in 1997, Green Earth Travel focuses on eco-travels and vegan-friendly tours. Founder Donna Zeigfinger is a vegan herself and she customizes itineraries to help her clients enjoy vegan/vegetarian vacations. The U.S.-based company has packaged tours listed on the website and it collaborates with other vegan operators to allow travelers to experience local culture while staying true to their lifestyle. You can also pick your own dates and share your preferences for a personalized tour designed especially for you. They’ll find vegan-friendly hotels and restaurants, carve eco-friendly experiences into the itinerary, and ensure you don’t miss out on local culture.
The Bali Vegan Tour 2022 is currently listed on the website at $3,250 per person for 12 nights and includes vegan meals, cooking classes, visits to local temples, hiking, language lessons, and a dance workshop along with other cultural activities—a wholesome travel experience!
Vegan Travel Asia by VegVoyages
VegVoyages is a Texas-based tour company started by friends Zac Lovas and RK Singh Chauhan. From three trips in 2004, they now offer 27 vegan tours across India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Bhutan. It’s not just food that’s vegan though—there are no trips to the zoos and no animal safaris on their itineraries.
It’s a fully immersive cultural experience. Travelers get to volunteer for local educational programs and meet environmental activists, while the trip also familiarizes them with local cuisine, music, and way of living. All meals are vegan (at restaurants and local cafes, sometimes home-cooked with chefs offering classes) and the accommodations can be eco-retreats or villas, depending on where you’re headed.
Veg Jaunts & Journeys
Started in 2016 by Kim Giovacco, U.S.-based Veg Jaunts and Journeys offers packaged tours for small groups (fewer than 14 people) that support their vegan lifestyle. The tours—slated for 2022—can take you to Portugal, Singapore, Scotland, Greece, and Iceland, among other destinations. The trips involve cooking classes, food tours, and visits to animal sanctuaries. You can also customize a vegan honeymoon and vegan vacations, and there are also food tours in Asheville.
When you log on to the website, a pop-up notifies you that fully vaccinated travelers can book journeys with them.
Vegan Travel Club
Tierno Tours, a travel agency in the U.S., has a special vegan arm, Vegan Travel Club. It started with a vegan tour to Italy in 2010 and launched the travel club when the demand rose among travelers for similar journeys. Now it offers package tours to Europe—there are itineraries for Ireland, Scotland, Croatia, and Italy with lots of local attractions and food-based experiences.
The travel club partners with Green Earth Travel for an 8-night trip to Scotland and England. In addition, you can also ask them to plan a vegan-friendly vacation in Central America (Costa Rica, Belize, and Guatemala) and Mexico.
World Vegan Travel
This all-inclusive, luxury vegan travel company designs trips that are plant-based and cruelty-free. It started with just one trip in 2017 and currently, it has 10 tours listed on the website; destinations ranging from Botswana to Italy to Japan. World Vegan Travel will make sure that you try local delicacies while still staying true to your beliefs and staying at places that (mostly) don’t use animal products.
Apart from vegan food and interaction with vegan celebs and activists, the company gives travelers opportunities to visit animal sanctuaries, participate in cooking classes, and go for walking tours—the focus is on compassionate travel all through. The trips are 8-10 days long with the comfort of luxury accommodation.
How about a vegan cruise in Europe? German travel company, Vegan Travel, specializes in luxury river cruises. The cruises are vegan and often feature yoga classes on-board, vegan-friendly shore excursions, and vegan toiletries in the cabins. There are three 2022 cruises listed on the website that’ll take you to Iceland or the Galapagos.
Vegan World Tours by Vegans, Baby
Founder Diana Edelman has a vegan guide to eating in Vegas, along with other cities, and also curates food tours and experiences. With Vegan World Tours, she has also introduced tours around the world that are vegan-friendly. These are specially curated for foodies, but also include activities and attractions. The upcoming group tours include destinations such as South Africa and Thailand, both in 2022.
The Getaway Co.
The Getaway Co. was founded by Amanda Persi after she and her husband relocated to Switzerland. She follows a plant-based lifestyle herself and most of the people she partners with align with her philosophy. Amanda wants to create a like-minded, compassionate community and she aims to inspire with her journeys and exclusive activities.
The Portugal getaway scheduled for October is sold out, but you can check out Live With Purpose Bali holiday, which will be a 10-day journey with Amanda and Canadian author Lauren Toyota in 2022.
Responsible Travel Vegan Tours
UK-based Responsible is a big name in the industry, known for its sustainable, eco-friendly holidays. The company’s goal is to minimize impact and support communities and it never offers any experiences that stray from that goal (including zoo tours, large cruise ships, and dolphin shows).
The activist company offers vegan tours in different parts of the world. A 10-day Ethiopia Vegan Tour will give you a taste of local, plant-based cuisine, along with an insight into its spiritual side. There’s also a vegan holiday in Mexico designed for women, with beach walks, fitness classes, and wellness activities. From yoga retreats to skiing holidays, there is a lot on offer for vegans.
Vegan Epicure Travel
From half-day excursions to week-long retreats, Vegan Epicure Travel features many plant-based experiences for vegan travelers. You can go to a local vineyard for a wine tasting tour or fly off to France for a farm-to-table dinner in the countryside. The new group tours on the waitlist for 2022 and 2023 include an escape to Italy, a women’s wellness retreat in Sri Lanka, and a trip to France.
Escape To… has two kinds of trips on offer: small group travels to Sri Lanka and India, and internships and volunteering programs for solo travelers. They are back after a pause in 2020 with “A Vegan Adventure in South India,” the only tour currently on offer. This 10-day December itinerary promises an introduction to the sustainability efforts in urban and rural South India, the growing vegan movement in the country, and the shift to zero-waste travel. And of course, lots of vegan food and wildlife rehabilitation, and cultural experiences (art, dance, music).