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Traveling as a Vegetarian.

October 28, 2010 by Katie

Like Carolina, I like to travel. When my husband and I were planning our wedding earlier this year, for me, the honeymoon was more important than the actual wedding…

We had a blast in Greece! You can see pics from our wedding and honeymoon here.

Traveling can be a bit of a shelp as a vegetarian. There’s dealing with lack of healthy meat-free options, being hosted by people who just don’t understand, and unfamiliar grocery stores.

But, that doesn’t mean we have to eat chips and candy bars for the entirety of our travels.

Here are some tips:

1. Pack a cooler. My husband and I live three hours from a major city, so even on these trips I pack a cooler so I start my travels on a healthy foot. When we went away this weekend, I packed peanut butter sandwiches and apples. We had to leave at 4:30am, so I made the sandwiches the night before. The protein kept us going until lunch.

2. Grocery stores are your friend. Especially when staying with meat-eaters, I try to stop at a grocery store to stock up on some snacks. That way even if meals aren’t veggie friendly, you can have some healthy-ish snacks. Fruit, cheese and crackers, etc.

Often, grocery store delis will have more healthy options than fast food.¬†This weekend we found vegetarian sandwiches in the deli of Woolworths (a South African grocery store chain) for about $3. There was a caprese and pesto sandwich (yum!) and egg salad (also good–although not Vegan friendly).

3. Do some research. Living in Africa, I know first hand that there are places in the world that don’t cater to vegetarians. Ask around and see if anyone has been to where you’re going.

If you know there aren’t going to be tons of options, pack protein bars from your local Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Depending on customs where you’re going, you might also be able to bring dried fruit or fruit roll-ups (the whole fruit ones, not the ones we ate as kids!). Believe it or not, peanut butter isn’t available all over the world. It can be a great way to get protein while traveling.

4. Change your ticket to vegetarian meals in advance. If you booked your ticket through the airline website directly, you can usually change it at the desk when you check in. But, sometimes, even then they won’t have them available. It’s best to do it in advance.

When we went on our honeymoon, I forgot to tell the travel agent about vegetarian meals and when I called airline customer service a couple of days before the trip, they told me that the travel agent would need to change the meal–even though it was my ticket, they wouldn’t let me change.

In this case, when I get on the plane I find a friendly flight attendant and ask them if they have extras. It’s always worked–but, it’d be a LONG international flight if it wouldn’t have.

Here’s another site that has tons of helpful information,¬†Circle our Earth (it has restaurant guides and travel articles).

What about you? What helpful tips do you have?

Katie

Katie is a freelance writer, writing mostly about her love for travel and, of course, food. Her husband, Marc, is a web developer and photographer. The newlyweds have visited 15 countries together, and Katie's on track to have visited 30 countries by her 30th birthday.

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