Monday, 30 December 2019

The Vegan Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet

The Vegan Travel Handbook by Lonely Planet
Published in the UK by Lonely Planet Food on the 1st December 2019.

I will link up this review with December 2019 Foodies Read at Based On A True Story.
One of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads and included in my Vegan Bookshop

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whether you've been vegan for years or are travelling as one for the first time, The Vegan Travel Handbook will help you discover, plan and book a huge range of vegan-friendly adventures around the globe.

Get essential advice and expert tips on everything from where to go when and the best vegan restaurants, accommodation and cities, to how to stay healthy on the road and order food with confidence. We also reveal unmissable vegan tours, festivals and food trucks.

From cooking classes in India to wildlife watching tours in New Zealand, Lonely Planet shows you how to explore the world on a plant-based diet.

Explore the wilds of Patagonia, Argentina
Go trekking and wildlife watching in Ethiopia
Meditate in the mountains in Taiwan
Melt any stresses away in a Japanese onsen
Wild camp by a pristine lake in Scandinavia
Go wine tasting in Piedmont, northern Italy
Eat your way around Delhi, Agra and Jaipur
Dance and dine the night away in Seville
Monitor jaguars in the Amazon Rainforest
Savour local produce at a New Zealand farmers' market
Spot the 'Big Five' in safari in South Africa
Explore the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia
Shake up a rum cocktail in the Cayman Islands
Road-trip your way up the east coast of Australia
Embark on a DIY doughnut tour of the USA's west coast

I was excited to be offered the opportunity to review this first edition of Lonely Planet's new Vegan Travel Handbook and am glad to say that it didn't disappoint. The successful Lonely Planet formula of gorgeous photographs combined with local information and insider tips works well with a vegan angle. I'm now eager to travel to countries that I might never have considered before and am confident of at least starting off on the right foot when I get there! Suggested countries are grouped by vacation style so Adventure, for example, gives us Argentina, Ethiopia, Taiwan and Vietnam suggestions while Culture leads us to Eastern Europe, India, Israel and my current location of Spain. (I can confirm that southern Spain at least is proving to have plenty of vegan eating options, even in smaller towns!)

Within each suggested country's entry we are given ideas for accommodation, eateries and entertainment. I loved the little language sections which explain how to say 'I am vegan' in each local language and list the words for taboo foods. This is a nice touch and I imagine will prove helpful to travellers. The novelty of The Vegan Travel Handbook does show in some of the suggested activity and accommodation choices. Several can be 'veganised on request' which, admittedly, is great but implies that these businesses aren't vegan in themselves. Strict vegans may also disapprove of mentions of horse riding excursions and aquarium visits. With the blossoming of veganism globally I imagine future editions of this book will be able to pick and choose from a much wider variety of completely vegan businesses.

The Vegan Travel Handbook, I think, provides a great overview of global destination options for vegans who want to get a bit off the beaten track, but not feel completely isolated for the duration of their vacation. It's reassuring to know ahead of time where pockets of vegan-friendly culture can be found in Berlin or Stockholm or Rio De Janeiro. With so many countries included, individual entries are understandably brief, but were easily enough to whet my appetite for many vacations to come. If you're planning your 2020 vegan holidays, I think this book will be a valuable and inspirational resource.

Etsy Find!
by The Sunshine Bindery in
Crewkerne, England

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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the book! I just finished reading it but hesitate to recommend it on my vegan travel blog because of the mentions of non-vegan activities that you pointed out. It was pretty clear to me that most of the book's authors are not vegan themselves. Hopefully they will make some adjustments in the next addition, and I'm sure, as you say, the options will only continue to grow.

    1. As a fairly new vegan myself I appreciated lots of the pointers in the book, especially the suggested cities and countries that I probably wouldn't have thought about visiting otherwise. The emphasis is on veganism as just a diet choice though and it would have been nice if more (any?) actual vegans had been involved so the wider aspects of vegan life were also considered.

  2. I was so pleasantly surprised when I came to Australia as well. They have so many vegan options in almost every single restaurant. And they even have a fast food chain which sells entirely vegan food. So good!

    1. I'm very envious!
      I'm in Spain right now and am actually pleasantly surprised at how much vegan ideas have spread here just over the past couple of years, but eating out would still be a problem in many places, particularly in smaller towns