Helpful Tips For Traveling Abroad As A Vegan Or Vegetarian
By Kelsey Marie
When I traveled to Europe in the Spring of 2014, I was a vegan. Prior to traveling, I was skeptical of whether I could remain vegan while traveling.
I managed to find plenty of vegan options on that trip.
Two years later, I traveled to South Africa, but this time I was a vegetarian. Nevertheless, I was able to adhere to my vegetarian lifestyle then as well.
Although I’m no longer veg or vegetarian, I have learned useful tips during my travels on how to remain vegetarian while abroad.
When you’re hungry and vegetarian options are scarce, it’s very easy to eat something you’ll regret.
Pack snacks with you such as nuts, seeds and dried fruit to combat hunger pains.
Make sure to bring snacks with you during daily activities to keep your energy levels up and to avoid having to compromise your vegetarian diet.
Before traveling, look up vegetarian restaurants and cafes in the city you’re visiting.
It’s much easier to have a list of places on-hand than to have to look last-minute, which can lead to you settling for just bread or sides at a restaurant.
If your accommodations include a kitchen, a great alternative to eating out is to cook.
Just hit up a market or local grocery store at your destination and make an easy meal.
Cooking while abroad is usually cheaper and more nutritious than eating out the entire time.
Learn The Language
When traveling to countries where English isn’t the first language, it can be helpful to learn key phrases.
Learning to say “I’m vegetarian” or “I don’t eat meat” in the local language will get you both understanding and respect.
Communicate With Your Accommodation
Prior to booking your stay at a hotel, hostel or Airbnb; call and ask about how vegetarian-friendly the city is.
Many hotels now offer vegetarian options at every meal.
Check Out The Local Food Scene
You may be surprised at how many countries are accidental vegetarians through their traditional foods.
If you’re traveling to the Middle East, North Africa or India; you’ll be sure to find lots of vegetarian dishes by eating their local foods.
Everyone Won’t Understand
Just because you tell someone “no meat” while traveling doesn’t mean their definition of meat is the same as yours.
In some countries, chicken and fish are not considered to be meat.
To stay on the safe side, it’s important to mention all the meats you don’t eat.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.