Travel, once a major challenge for vegetarians, is now quite easy and exciting in most parts of the world. Some destinations require a little more planning and research, but lots of options are available worldwide.
When planning a trip, check with www.happycow.net/travel.html for a comprehensive list of vegetarian restaurants, as well as vegetarian bed and breakfasts, spas, health food stores and other locations catering to veggie-loving travelers in over 55 countries worldwide. Here you can also find alternative health tips for beating stomach troubles on the road and many other health-oriented vegetarian resources.
When planning an international trip, take some time to investigate local cuisine and educate yourself on animal products that may be hidden in seemingly vegetarian food. For instance, in Latin America lard is used in most traditional foods, while Thai cuisine relies heavily on fish sauce as a seasoning. Learning what to watch out for before embarking on your trip can save you a lot of stress and confusion.
Learning a few foreign words can also be helpful so that you can be clear about your dietary needs. In addition to learning how to say the names of any animal-based seasonings and sauces, the following words and phrases can be especially useful:
- Does this contain ______?
- I cannot eat _______.
For long road trips, vegetarians can look up the ingredients of fast food meals online and note vegetarian options before hitting the road to be sure they always have a fallback vegetarian meal, even along the freeway. Alternately, pack some long-life veggie foods to make your own picnics when you can’t find a vegetarian restaurant.
Airlines that provide an in-flight meal now have a wide range of choices from Western vegetarian and Asian vegetarian to vegan and fruit plates. On flights that offer meals and snacks for purchase, vegetarian or vegan options may not always be available so always bring some snacks along to tide you over.
Vegan travelers and those with more complex dietary restrictions may find more challenges and limited options while traveling internationally. If you are vegan or have special dietary needs, pack a large supply of high-energy snacks for times along the trip when you may not be able to find foods that meet your needs. Also, bringing along daily vitamins and supplements can help round out your diet when food choices are limited.
Some travelers prefer to plan their trips around vegetarian restaurants, accommodations, and other attractions so that they never have to worry about finding a satisfying meal. This can also bring like-minded travelers together for fun social networking and connection.
An even easier way to connect with other vegetarian travelers and never have to worry about your food choices is to book a vegetarian tour. The internet is full of resources which provide customized veggie tours to areas that may otherwise present challenges to vegetarian travelers, such as www.vegvoyages.com.