Travelling as a vegan can be tough.
You need to educate yourself on a country's food beforehand and in some cases learn the local lingo to make sure your food choices are just as ethical abroad as they are at home.
But just how vegan and earth-friendly are your travel products?
From the excess use of plastic bottles to using sunscreen that is harmful to the environmental, there are numerous products vegans, and non-vegans can use to be kinder to the plant.
And the best part? It's easier than ever to find great travel essentials that are eco-friendly, cruelty-free and won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Here are some of the best vegan travel products you need for your next trip!
1. Bamboo Sleep Mask
If you're a budget traveller like me, you'll happily spend 14 hours on a train if it means saving one night's accommodation. Unfortunately, this usually means sacrificing precious sleep.
Instead of dreading your long haul plane, train or bus journey, get a comfortable sleeping mask that will have you dozing off anytime.
This earth-friendly bamboo sleep mask by Ecotools is perfect for vegans and eco-conscious travellers. The organic bamboo material used is a natural anti-microbial, has a low impact on the earth's resources, keeps out distracting light and is super soft on the eyes to ensure a peaceful nights rest.
2. Bamboo Neck Pillow
Tired of getting those neck cramps from trying to sleep on a flight?
Invest in a neck pillow and transform your economy class seat into a five-star bed. But don't just pick any old one, choose one with bamboo benefits.
Bamboo has disinfectant properties and will keep bacteria, mites and odours from ruining your sleep.
3.Day Trip Bag
When exploring a new city, you need a bag that can do it all.
It needs to be big enough to hold your camera, phone, purse and everything else you might need.
Corker has a variety of beautiful vegan bags made by artisans in Portugal. All their products are PETA approved, eco-friendly and made from cork - a sustainable material.
Or if you want something a little bit more "wanderlusty" try this Sallyann cross body bag with a world map design. It's homemade from upcycled materials, vegan-friendly and is available as a tote as well as small and large messenger bags.
Whether you are travelling to the islands of the Philippines or the moody green hills of Ireland - you need a good sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
The COOLA Organic Suncare Travel Kit not only has all the essentials to keep your skin looking great, but it's also cruelty-free and uses 70% organic ingredients.
5. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are probably the most valuable tool in your travel arsenal. It's the easiest way to shove more into your bag without taking up valuable space, and it keeps your things organised.
This polyester seven piece travel cube system from HiDay comes with laundry pouches and a shoe bag to take your packing game to the next level.
Looking to downsize your skincare routine while abroad? Pai Skincare has an excellent travel essentials kit to keep your skin glowing no matter where you are.
It contains a hydrating cleanser, a bio-affinity skin tonic and a rebalancing day cream. Everything you need to keep your skin, clean, fresh and blemish free.
And the best thing? All Pai's products are cruelty-free accredited by Leaping Bunny and verified by the vegan society.
7. vegan shampoo and conditioner
If you're a vegan traveller, you can't rely on your hotel to give you products that haven't been tested on animals. And bulky sized bottles take up valuable luggage space with the potential to explode.
Skip the hassle and bring your own travel sized vegan shampoo and conditioner.
Silk Oil of Morocco has their popular Argan Intense range in convenient 100 m bottles, plus it's completely free from sulphates, parabens and is vegan-friendly.
8. Makeup remover wipes
Makeup wipes are a lifesaver on planes, trains or buses when all you want to do is clean your face.
However, not all of them are environmentally friendly. Before picking up a pack for your next trip, make sure you won't be harming the planet in the process.
Amie has a pack of 25 facial cleansing wipes that are suitable for vegans, biodegradable and free of parabens.
9. Comfortable exploring shoes
Unless you are the type of traveller who never leaves their hotel room, you'll need a good pair of comfortable and long lasting shoes.
Nothing is worse than getting a blister or returning to your room after an afternoon of exploring with a limp.
Luckily for vegans, there is a range of ethical footwear to choose from. Whether you prefer something simple like sneakers, trainers for more adventurous pursuits, boots for colder climates or sandals to dress up any outfit.
10. Vegan Leather Passport Holder
I don't know about you, but I have major anxiety around misplacing my passport. And since mine was stolen last year in Thailand, I double check it's in my bag repeatedly until it's locked away safely.
If you're looking to keep all your important (small things) together, try this passport holder wallet from Woolala. It's made from vegan leather, comes in 4 different colours and keeps everything organised with its clear layout and bifold design.
11. Microfiber Travel Towel
A towel is one of the most useful items for an interstellar hitchhiker, and the same can be said for earthling travellers.
It keeps you warm when airlines decide to crank up the aircon, dry after a shower and gives you some place to sit as you soak up the sun.
But the downside with regular towels is they can be bulky. Instead, pack a micro fibre towel. It's smaller, lightweight, dries faster than an ordinary towel and comes with a convenient carry bag to store hygienically.
12. Stainless Steel Travel Mug
Travelling at high altitudes or spending the day walking around in the sun puts you endanger of becoming dehydrated.
But instead of buying plastic bottles everytime you feel parched, do the environment a solid by bringing your own liquid along in a stainless steel mug.
With 35 billion plastic bottles landing up in landfills each year, we need to be more conscious about where our water comes from.
This stainless steel water bottle from Allforlife doubles as an insulated mug. It's also BPA free and has a convenient handle that you clip onto your backpack.
What are some of your favourite vegan travel products?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hey, I'm Lauren! I'm passionate about inspiring young South Africans to travel for less and sharing my experiences and how to navigate the endless visa paperwork along the way. When I'm not busy preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, I'm having a travel fail somewhere and geeking out in countries all over the world. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat!