There are few things that are as challenging as travelling abroad while on a vegetarian diet. You will be lucky to travel amidst a vegetarian friendly culture. On the other hand, most cultures are primarily meat eating, and it could pose a challenge for anyone who is on vegetarian fare for moral, health or religious reasons.
Follow these tips that could help you stick to your diet while on the move:
1. Book vegetarian meals on your flights. If you have a preference for either vegan or lacto-ovo meals (containing milk or milk products and eggs), be sure to specify that while you book your flight tickets. In any case, there will usually be a regular meal which may not contain your meat. If you are willing to take chances, you may well be rewarded with a pleasant surprise!
2. Get familiarized with vegan and vegetarian terms in the native language of the country you are travelling to. Keep a pocket dictionary and make a note of the common vegetarian dishes of the local cuisine. For emergencies, carry with you some vegetarian snacks while on the move, like peanut butter and crackers, to help you get over your mid-meal hunger pangs.
3. Vegetarian meals are often easier to find in India and Southeast Asia, for example, than in Central and South America. By being careful in your ordering, you can avoid dishes that automatically have meat added to them. However, many local restaurants fry their food in lard, or animal fat. In such cases, it works best to try and bring in some flexibility to your taste buds.
4. In case the menu of the restaurant you are in only seems to have meat-based dishes, try ordering the side dishes like garden or potato salads, or French fries. You may find the side dishes a lot more rewarding and filling than expected. Each country has its own variation of bread and cheese, so you may want to learn about that and enjoy it to the fullest.
5. Also keep in mind the locally grown vegetables of the province you are in. When properly instructed, you may find a delicious local vegetarian dish made from their own locally grown produce.
6. Choose your vacations wisely. If you are a strict vegan, you may have to forgo certain types of trips. You can also book a trip with a tour operator that specializes in vegetarian travel.
7. Try and locate a community kitchen where you can whip up your own meals, like noodles or spaghetti.
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