Taking a vacation as a vegetarian can be difficult, however,
it doesn’t have to completely limit your travels. If you are heading to a
different country and are concerned about how you will fare with the food, here
are some tips and how to’s for vegetarian travelers.
Request a Refrigerator
If you plan to book a hotel room, ask when making a
reservation to see if a small refrigerator can be delivered to your room upon
check in. Hotels that cater to business
travelers are often the best choice as they typically have a number of them on
hand. Having a refrigerator can make it easier for vegetarians as you can
source your favorite snacks and ideal foods from the local grocery stores,
rather than depending solely on restaurants and local take-out.
Opt for a Kitchen
If you are debating on renting an apartment or staying in a
hotel, opt for an apartment with the full kitchen. Having a kitchen means you
can cook your own meals at home and can ensure there are no issues if you are
overly concerned about the country you are visiting. And, for those who love to
cook, it’s also a great way to experiment with local ingredients and practice
some local specialties.
Locate the Natural Food Stores
Aside from the obvious advantages like a better selection of
healthy and vegetarian foods, employees at the natural food stores may be a
wealth of information on local vegetarian restaurants located nearby.
Not surprisingly, there are a number of helpful websites and
blogs that can be key resources for vegetarian travelers. Happy Cow is an
essential online tool for seeking out vegetarian restaurants on your travels. Founded
back in 1999, Happy Cow is one of the best websites for international searches.
Regions covered include Canada, parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand,
Bangkok, Brazil, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei and more.
Check out Vegetarianguides.co.uk for a number of vegetarian
guides for parts of Europe and the US. Be sure to check out the Vegan Passport
– a guide that contains a page with 74 local-language translations you can show
your waiter that explains what vegans eat, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable
meal out, no matter what country you are in.
Avoid Certain Destinations
While the idea of challenging yourself to find food in food-centric
cities and countries excites many, others may prefer to avoid the added anxiety.
If you are heading to meat-centric spots like Argentina or Brazil, dairy havens
like France, or Iceland, a country where animal by-products are an integral
part of the cuisine, you may be up for a heftier challenge. While it’s
definitely not a personal recommendation to skip these spots, some vegetarian
travelers opt to pick less potentially stressful destinations.
The concepts of vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian and the like
are commonplace in the United States, but remember that many other countries
may not be up on the lingo. Sometimes, it’s easier to explain you only eat
vegetables versus asking what vegetarian menu items a restaurant has.
What are your tips for vegetarian or vegan travel?