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The Vegetarian's Guide To Travelling Abroad

September 14 2016
Vegetarian's Guide To Travelling Abroad

Discovering plant-based abundance on every trip!

For reasons pertaining to health, religion or lifestyle preferences, vegetarianism is a popular dietary choice in India. 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 plant-based diet, are you unsure if your lifestyle will be as easy to adhere to outside the country? Find your answers in our guide to travelling abroad as a vegetarian:

Do Your Homework

Eating veg food abroad is not a difficult task.

  • Simply research your destination before you go
  • Call and check if your hotel can accommodate your lifestyle
  • Read up on local cuisine – you will be surprised to find dishes that may already be vegetarian

An app called HappyCow provides lists of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, food stores and delivery joints all over the world. The app also provides information about opening times and special offers on certain days of the week for your convenience! Plan your itinerary around these places.

Pack Your Snacks

Even though being a travelling vegetarian is made easy by the destination’s restaurants, airplane food may make it difficult. Indian meals offered on flights will not accommodate the lactose-intolerant, and lactose-free meals will have seafood! So,

  • 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.
  • Check to see if the room you booked comes with a mini refrigerator to store your goodies.

Order Your Way

If you cannot always eat at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, exercise caution when placing your order. Vegetarian food abroad may not always mean the same as that in India. Some countries consider fish and eggs vegetarian, and specifying ‘no meat’ will only exclude red meat.

A safe way to eat is to ask for vegan food, which excludes all animal products, including red meat, white meat, eggs, milk and milk 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. However, you should also specify what you can eat, as it may be considered that only salads are vegetarian!

Develop Your Veg Edge

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 dot. 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. Click here to know more about the benefits of such a plan.

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