I remember when I first showed signs of lactose intolerance and that was when I was eating an Oreo McFlurry which used to be my guilty pleasure- the immense pain I experienced was nothing I had every felt before. Upon the second attempt to see if maybe it wasn’t just that batch boy did I feel the pain and quickly passed my favourite on (something I never used to do). I also remember my transition to dairy-free milk haha, I hated Almond milk! Honestly I thought it tasted like watered down milk, almost as disappointing as skim milk but soy milk gave me painful gas (haha, yea I said it) and almond milk and I would just have to be friends. I experimented with different brands and the variation that worked best for me was the sweetened version. And so I stuck to sweetened almond milk and it helped me to avoid adding sugar into my cereal which was a bonus and I developed a taste for it. But then when it came to savory dishes my sweetened almond milk spoiled the food and so I bought the unsweetened variation – it was still not to my taste but it was way better than eating sweet polenta for dinner. Ultimately I just stopped buying sweetened almond milk because I stopped needing it as much in my cooking and just like that I developed a taste for almond milk. Sometimes in making the transition from dairy milk to plant based milk you have to give it a chance and time. If you were like me consuming dairy most or all of your life, your tastebuds will not easily welcome the taste of plant based. But in my biased opinion I would recommend trying rice milk first, I had one carton of delicious rice and coconut milk combination and I loved it but the reason it only ended as one carton was that I couldn’t resist the fact that almond milk contained more protein and at that time I was obsessed with getting in my protein intake and so naturally almond milk and I stuck together. My father transitioned to soy milk which he enjoys and prefers unsweetened to the sweetened variation. Another option would be coconut milk (which is an acquired taste for some because some people just do not enjoy the taste of coconut).
So for whatever reason you may consider changing to plant based / dairy free alternatives my advice would be to try them all and choose the one which resonates better with your palette and your cooking.