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Insurance Article

4 Tips To Make Your International Travel A Vegetarian's Delight

September 14 2016
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For reasons pertaining to health, religion or lifestyle preferences, vegetarianism is a popular dietary choice in India and is fast turning into a trend. A recent report of a nationwide survey released by the Registrar General of India reveals the decline of non-vegetarianism in the country from 75% in 2004 to 71% in 2014. As an Indian who prefers a vegetarian diet, are you unsure if your choice of a meal will be as easy to find outside the country? Find your answers in our guide to international travel as a vegetarian.

1.Read, Read & Read Some More

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Eating vegetarian food is not exclusive to India and believe it or not, vegetarianism is much more prevalent in foreign countries than you’d think. Hence, your search for vegetarian dishes should not much of a hassle, provided you’ve done your home prior to your trip. Simply research about the destination before you go and understand the dietary culture of the place. Also, look for marketplaces around your stay in case your dining options are limited. It’d be best to call and check if your hotel can accommodate your lifestyle and just to be on the safer side, read up on local cuisine – you will be surprised to find vegetarian dishes that are up to the liking of your palette.

An app called HappyCow provides lists of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, food stores and delivery joints all over the world. This app also provides information about opening times and special offers on certain days of the week for your convenience! Plan your international travel itinerary around this information and you’ll find your favourite vegetarian dishes or even acceptable alternatives near you.

2.Be Self Sufficient & Pack Your Snacks For The Flight

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Even though international travel for vegetarians has been made easy by the options available in the destination country, yet the lack of veg options in aeroplane menu might make it difficult for you to satiate your hunger. Hence, it’s best to keep the following pointers in mind before you head to the airport.

  • Buy plenty of plant-based dry snacks for the journey, since many countries do not allow fresh fruits and vegetables to be brought in.
  • Carry a mix of sweet and savoury treats, as well as dry fruits and nuts for a quick energy boost.
  • Learn some quick and nutritious recipes that can easily be prepared for meals. Effortless dishes like soups and sauteed veggies will help you to stay healthy at times.
  • Try eating raw vegetables which would not only help you to keep up the nutrition levels but will also come in handy in case you find no edible options in your flight.

3.Order Your Way

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If you cannot always eat at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, exercise caution when placing your order in a conventional restaurant. The definition of vegetarian food in foreign countries might not always be the same as that in India. Some countries even consider fish and eggs vegetarian, and specifying ‘no meat’ will only exclude red meat. A safe way to eat in such a scenario is to ask for vegan food, which excludes all animal products, including red meat, white meat, eggs, milk and dairy products. If the staff is unfamiliar with this term, list the items you cannot eat and request them to customize a dish for you.

Apps like MaxLearning, Vegan Passport and VegOut provide dietary instructions in a host of local languages to ease the process. One of the important aspects which most people overlook is to know the local dialects to help them ordering food. Try learning basic lingos to ask for vegetarian food or keep translator and lingo apps handy on your phone to make your life easier.

4.Develop Your Veg Edge

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Vegetarian travel becomes an (eggless) cakewalk once you develop the vegetarian sixth sense – knowing what to look for! Unlike India, products abroad do not come with a green label. Products labelled ‘suitable for vegans’ are safe, since those labelled ‘vegetarian’ may still contain animal products. Health food stores usually store vegetarian and vegan products, and the staff may also help you out with information on such restaurants in the city. Of course, fresh fruits and vegetables are the go-to food for any vegetarian traveller, and those are available everywhere. If you are lucky, you may even catch a vegan festival in the city!

Follow these tips and tricks to travel abroad vegetarian style! However, eating locally can carry with it the risk of food-borne diseases. Opt for a travel insurance plan which covers the cost of your treatment in the unfortunate event of an illness.

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