Looking for some helpful apps to send you along on your vegan travels? First take a look at this post: 10 Great Apps for the (Vegan) Traveler
Another great one when you need a scanner, but don’t feel like tracking down a printer is Turboscan ($1.99). This app is amazing, I use it a lot at work and for my own administrative stuff. This is a lifesaver for all those times you need to email someone a document. Just take a picture of the item with the app and it makes a high-quality PDF that looks just as if you used a real scanner. I use this constantly to keep track of receipts, send passport copies to people, even recently to take a written Hungarian placement test, scan it and send it to Hungarian schools in Budapest by email to sign up and be placed in a course before my trip there. All on the go while I was traveling somewhere else. Absolutely worth the $1.99.
Fitness While Traveling
Since I’ve started traveling quite a bit, I’ve developed a strong need for portable fitness ideas. Since I’m not riding my bike as much while traveling, testing out way more vegan treats than I do at home and since my activity of choice, indoor rock-climbing, isn’t so portable without my climbing buddies around, I’ve started looking online and to apps. You can see some of those apps above in the 10 Great Apps for the (Vegan) Traveler post, but one website I use the most is YouTube! For example…
Wanna dance? Try Keaira Lashae’s dance workouts. Waxing nostalgic for MTV’s dance workouts circa the 90s? Oh yeah, those are uploaded to Youtube too (was I the only one that used to do those in my bedroom when I was 11?). What about an 80s-tastic 7 minute ab workout?
See? Now you pretty much have whatever type of exercise at your fingertips whenever you want it for free as long as you have wifi. I also like youtubing new types of yoga, pilates, dance, whatever to see if I like it before signing up for a real life course so I can be sure I like it.
Alright, now that your smart phone is ready and you’re all fit, you’ll probably need somewhere to sleep. I use a combination of Booking.com (hotels), AirBnB (rooms and entire places, cheaper, more interesting places), Couchsurfing (staying with people and getting to know the locals) and the rare hostel from Hostelworld.com when I’m off on my journeys.
Booking.com – This website is great for finding really affordable hotel deals based on your budget. Hotels are never usually in my budget, but I managed to score my own hotel room with breakfast and wifi TWICE on this website for less than 25€ per night in Europe. In America I managed to score a hotel room with a friend with breakfast a few times for about $65 total, so less than $40 each. Usually what I find on Booking.com is cheaper or almost the same price as a shared room in a local hostel. They often let you cancel up to 24-hours before with no penalty depending on the place. Very strongly vouched for, Booking.com has been great for my working-travel, where I need wifi and alone time to get some work done during my trip. Give it a try here:
AirBnB – If you haven’t heard of AirBnB before, it’s great for the solo or group traveler and I have rented others’ places and sublet my own place via this website. It’s a platform where people can rent their extra rooms, whole flats or extra properties they own to travelers. You can stay from a day or two up to a month or two. If you are staying more than a couple weeks, I suggest writing the owner asking if they offer any long-term discounts, often people will agree and I’ve had a lot of success doing this. If you’re afraid booking someone’s flat, don’t worry, all the money goes through AirBnB and the host doesn’t get paid until after the first full day you’ve been there (this prevents any fake scam listings). Just be smart and don’t ever wire the full amount before you arrive outside the website (duh). There are some really cool properties on there too, for example I’ve stayed in a hippy bus with AC and a kitchen in New Orleans. They even have a whole section on tree houses…TREE HOUSES! It’s a childhood dream, my friends! If you have an extra room, it’s also a great way to make some extra money while you travel or with your guest room. When I travel for 2 weeks or more I always rent my room out while I’m gone.
Into it? Sign up via this link and we both get $25. That’s enough some places for a whole night’s accommodation. You can also signup without my referral link of course, just go to airbnb.com then.
Couchsurfing – If you’re feeling social, this is the best way to go. It’s also a great way to meet locals and make friends if you use the boards and search features. Couchsurfing is where people offer their extra couch space, surfaces, etc. to travelers for free. It’s great to hangout with someone who knows the city and meet like-minded people. Just don’t think of it as only a free place to sleep. Really fill out your profile and make sure when you write a request you tell someone why you want to stay with them specifically. I’ve couchsurfed in lots of cities now and it’s great, I’ve met some really cool people, shared lots of vegan meals, exchanged tips and ideas, etc.
Hostelworld.com – I’m sure you understand the concept of a hostel. I generally search for small hostels that feature the words “cozy” and “not a party hostel”, favoring rooms with 4 or less beds nowadays.
On a longer trip, I usually use a combination of all of these. Couchsurfing when I don’t know anyone in a place and want to meet new people, Booking.com when I’m going to be working a lot while traveling and need my own space and reliable wifi. AirBnB when I’m up for being social, but also want my own space, and Hostelworld usually for quick stopovers when I just need a cheap place to sleep for the night or if there is a really quirky hostel.
Not specifically related to veganism, but these items have made my life traveling 1000x easier.
Tortuga Backpack – I highly vouch for this pack. It’s the max carry-on size, so no need to check it, opens like a suitcase, so no constantly digging to the bottom of your backpack to get one thing out and has a hip belt, so it doesn’t totally kill your neck and shoulders and is comfortable during long walks from the bus stop to your hostel, etc. Plus it’s made by travelers for travelers. I got mine about a year ago and I still LOVE it.
Read my full review of the Tortuga Backpack with photos here!
iHerb.com – A couchsurfer let me know about this gem and said she had great success with it. They have a $4-8 flat rate shipping price almost worldwide depending on weight and they have separate labeled pages for “Vegan Foods” and “Vegan Beauty Products”. Regardless, very surprisingly affordable international shipping rates. Great to get some of those vegan goods, coconut oil, maple syrup, chocolate, flax seed, vitamins, etc. you like if you’re living abroad somewhere at least a month and have an address. Awesome for those quirky vegan or special organic products you can’t find in your new location. Also great if you’re from another country and are jealous of all the American vegan products. Annie’s, Peanut Butter & Co., Artisana Nut Butters, Cherrybrook Kitchen, my favorite Not-Chickn bouillon, Dandies vegan marshmallows, Larabars, vital wheat gluten, huge tubs of nutritional yeast…it’s ALL there.
English Books Abroad
Book Depository – Gotta stay on top of all the vegan cookbooks, am I right?! If you want some English books and are living in a non-speaking English country…here’s your website. Another website with great international shipping rates. This one’s for you, non-American readers!