Plant-Based Eating While Traveling: 5 Simple Tips

“In my travel experience, there can be a lot of confusion about what is vegetarian and vegan,” says vegan and WhirlAway Travel COO Jamie Jones. “And there aren’t always many options for food.”

No matter what diet you follow, you can eat delicious food while traveling the world in any case. Jones has traveled to many countries and has a lot of experience in nutrition, so he shares his advice. 

Choose the right directions

Some destinations are more vegan and vegetarian than others. Most major cities in the US and Asia, especially India and Bhutan, have plenty of restaurants for both diets (India, for example, has thousands of vegetarian-only restaurants). Israel is another option, as are Italy and Turin.

However, there are many places where eating meat is considered historical and cultural value. In Argentina, they traditionally eat beef, and in Spain – bullfighting or bullfighting. It is not necessary to participate in these traditions, but it is important to remember them.

Book the right cruises, in-flight meals, hotels and tours

Most hotels and inns offer a breakfast buffet where you can find oatmeal, nuts and dried fruits, vegetables, berries and fruits. But it is better to look at photos of vacationers before booking a room. Many airlines also offer vegan, vegetarian, kosher, and even gluten-free options. Be sure to find out if your airline has this option. But hurry up: you usually need to notify about your food preferences at least a week before departure.

If you’re going on long excursions that include lunch, tell your guide what foods you don’t eat so you don’t accidentally have a plate of meat prepared according to a local recipe placed in front of you.

Rely on technology

In almost any restaurant you can find vegetable dishes. But if you want to go to a themed place, technology will help. If you know English, be sure to download the Happy Cow app on your phone, a service that automatically finds nearby vegetarian and vegan restaurants and cafes in both urban and more remote places. For Russia, there is also a similar application – “Happy Cow”.

But you can not download any applications. Check TripAdvisor ahead of time for plant-based cafes and restaurants and write down the addresses or take a screenshot. Ask the locals how to get there. 

Explore local conditions

In English and Russian, veganism and vegetarianism mean different things. However, in some languages, these two concepts mean the same thing. Your best bet is to learn the equivalent terms in your local language that fit your dietary restrictions.

Instead of saying you’re a vegan or vegetarian, learn to say things like “no eggs, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no chicken.” Also, be sure to ask about other ingredients. Fish or chicken broth, tuna chips, gelatin, butter are ingredients that may not be listed on the menu or often not used in regular plant-based dishes.

Prepare for the journey

If you’re still worried about not being able to eat normally, stock up on an arsenal of snacks. Cereal bars, dried fruits, nuts, and small packets of nut butters can help you worm your way when you feel hungry. 

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