10 Easy Ways to Make Vegan Friends When Traveling

When I first went vegan, the only vegan friend I knew in real life was a co-worker. I did not know how to meet vegan friends. 😅

It wasn’t until I went to Asia that I met a ton of vegans. One place was a vegan fruit festival in Thailand, so it was expected, but it was still exciting!

Before that, I was WWOOFing in Singapore, and had met a few vegan and vegetarian volunteers.

And when I lived in the Philippines for a few months, I started going to vegan meetups and vegan events. Filipino cuisine is pretty animal-heavy, and I didn’t expect to find a fast-growing vegan community there. (So far, I’ve met two other vegan Filipinos with the same name as me!)

Vegan and traveling soon?

1. 🎫 Look up vegan-related activities on Viator

2. 🏨 List of 80 Vegan Hotels and Vegan Resorts

3. ✈️ 70+ Vegan Tours Happening Around the World in 2024

Why Meet Vegan Friends?

You can bond over how hard (or easy) being vegan has been. You can swap vegan recipes, learn more about the vegan community in the country you’re visiting, and get better vegan food recommendations.

Sometimes when you’re traveling, it might feel like you’re the only vegan in the 200-mile radius.

Vegans are everywhere. You just have to know where and how to meet them.

1. Vegan Festivals

Long white and green banner that says VegFest Pilipinas. Make vegan friends at vegan festivals

From South Korea to Italy, Philippines and China, there are vegan festivals and events happening every year (and vegetarian festivals where you’ll find plenty of vegan options).

Vegan festivals are a great way to try different local vegan options and come across other vegans and plant-food enthusiasts.

Festival organizers usually announce dates early on so you can plan your trip accordingly. If you’re going solo, make vegan friends by sitting at a communal table and chat with a seat neighbor about the vegan food they chose.

Here’s my ultimate list of vegan festivals happening around the world.

2. Vegan Meetups

Meetups like vegan potlucks, restaurant dinners, and nature outings are more intimate social settings where you’ll be able to chat with and befriend other vegans and veg-curious people.

▢ To look for vegan events happening in the city or country you’re visiting, find out if a vegan group exists on Facebook.

▢ You can also look for vegan events on meetup.com.

  • Keep in mind that some countries use vegetarianism and veganism interchangeably, like “pure vegetarianism” or “Buddhist vegetarianism.”

▢ Some cities or countries have bigger vegan communities where you can find all-in-one vegan informational websites.

3. Volunteer

Young woman squatting washing dishes from tin bowl - Singapore

A lot of vegan communities host events for volunteering and for some good old-fashioned vegan activism. These activities vary, from helping out at an event to passing out vegan brochures, and cooking up vegan food for underserved communities.

There’s also volunteering opportunities like helping feed animals at an animal sanctuary or aiding stray dogs and cats.

Or you can do street activism with Anonymous For The Voiceless across different cities, or join the Animal Save Movement providing water to animals before they’re forced into a slaughterhouse.

4. Vegan Tours

Tours marketed towards vegans are becoming more popular.

Vegan tours like city restaurant tours or vegan cruises take the guessing and planning work out of traveling as a vegan, especially if they’re led by a local. You’ll get to tour the city with other vegans or veg-curious.

Some sites you can check out are VegVoyages and Veg Jaunts and Journeys.

🚌 Check out vegan tours on Viator depending on where you’re going

5. Vegan Retreats

Another increasingly popular vegan-niched event is vegan retreats. They’re held in different parts of the world by vegan ‘influencers’ and entrepreneurs.

A lot of vegan retreats have a wellness aspect and include activities like yoga, hiking, and other nature outings. Some vegan retreats are centered around vegan food, cooking demos, and local travel.

For example, The Getaway Co. hosts retreats led by vegan bloggers in Italy, the UK, and Indonesia.

A lot of attendees are also solo travelers, making it a perfect place to make vegan friends.

🏨 List of 80 Vegan Hotels and Vegan Resorts Around the World

6. Vegan Cruises

If you’re comfortable with taking cruises, there’s an all-vegan company Vegan Cruises that organizes trips in several countries in different continents.

The meals on board are all vegan and they make sure to have local tour guides. While these cruises aren’t majority solo travelers, you make vegan friends with the ones that are.

7. Instagram

Besides looking up vegan food recommendations, I like using Instagram to connect with other vegans and whom I could possibly meet up with.

You can look up vegan community profiles or vegans on Instagram and ask if there are any vegan meetups.

Search by using hashtags like #veganSingapore or #ManilaVegans for example.

I’ll only try to meet up with someone from Instagram if I’ve already been chatting with them or if they directly invited me. I.e. don’t force anything and always be careful!

8. Facebook

Find a local vegan group on Facebook. This is one of the top ways I meet local vegans and learn about vegan restaurants and get recommendations on eating vegan in a specific country.

A popular general vegan support group for vegans is Vegan Travel.

I’m also part of a few for South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Japan, as well as a Host a Vegan Sister group to find or host other traveling vegans.

You can create a post saying you’re in the city for x number of days, and ask if anyone would be up to grabbing a bite at a local vegan restaurant. This is a great way to meet vegan friends.

You can also check if there’s existing events open to everyone. That’s how I found out about a few vegan events I went to in person and made vegan friends there.

Storytime: When I went to Shanghai, China, I found a vegan group on Facebook, and was added to a WeChat group for Shanghai vegans. There I found an ad for a vegan mooncake workshop at the Vegan Language Corner, a space for vegan events and where people can learn English and Mandarin Chinese. I also ended up running into a person there that I met at the Chiang Mai vegan fruit festival 3 years before – what a coincidence!

9. Vegan Support Groups

There’s tons of online and offline vegan support groups. There’s a whole Reddit thread for vegans: www.reddit.com/r/vegan

Again, you’ll find a lot of discussion and vegan support groups on Facebook depending on the kind of vegan support group you’re looking for, from plant-based body-building to animal rights, and zero-waste vegan.

The more you engage, the more likely you’ll find vegan friends.

For in-person vegan support groups, you can try to find a local vegan group that has regular meetups or events using the tactics/ mentioned here.

🏨 Tip: Look up vegan-related activities on Viator

10. Vegan Apps

Is there an app to find vegan friends? Most of the vegan connection apps available are geared towards finding vegan partners and vegan dating.

You’ll have more success finding vegan friends in the other mentioned areas here.

There is Bumble BFF specifically for making new friends where you can try to find vegan friends. For those looking for vegan partners, there is Veggly, a vegan dating app, as well as VegPal for dating and networking.

And if you’re on other vegan apps, you can write “vegan” in your bio or try filtering out prospects for “vegan.”

Final Thoughts on How to Meet Vegan Friends:

Vegans are everywhere and the number of vegans and plantbased folks will continue to grow.

Traveling really is one of the best opportunities to meet vegans and make vegan friends from around the world.

✈️ Traveling soon? Look for a vegan tour available in different countries

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