8 Tips for Vegetarian Travellers

Travelling with a dietary requirement can be tricky at times, but for me food is one of the main reasons I love to travel so it’s something I’ve had to grapple with over the years. Today I wanted to share my top tips for vegetarian travellers to make your trips both fun & delicious! I’d love to hear your tips too!

8 Tips for Vegetarian Travellers | I Spy Plum Pie

1. Research Before You Go

This probably seems like an obvious place to start, but research before you leave is key to your success. This not only includes searching for vegetarian friendly restaurants, but also learning about what the popular meat-free dishes might be at your destination, and what ingredients you might need to be aware of. For example, in some parts of China I learnt that many of the ‘vegetable’ dishes actually contained pork so knew to double check that prior to ordering from the vegetarian section of the menu. The more you can learn before you arrive the better off you’ll be!

2. Write Down Key Phrases

I speak enough French to get myself understood, but for any other language I find it very useful to have key phrases written down, so that if I can’t pronounce things properly I can at the very least show them what I’m trying to say! This should include more than just the phrase ‘I am vegetarian’ as this doesn’t mean much in many parts of the world, who take not eating meat to mean you still eat chicken and fish.

I find knowing how to say ‘without…’ makes things easier, as you can list all the necessary exclusions when asking about a dish. The more help you can give staff in cafes and restaurants the more likely you are to get something delicious to eat, and we shouldn’t assume they will be able to understand English. In some countries it can also help to have a reason why you don’t eat meat, with allergies or religious reasons the ones that tend to be taken most seriously (even if that isn’t the actual case for you).

3. Book A Kitchen

When I travelled in my early 20s the only places with kitchens were hostels, and sometimes even then the kitchen was questionable! Nowadays not only are there still plenty of hostels, but thanks to the explosion of options like Airbnb^ you can find affordable accomodation with access to a kitchen in all corners of the globe. Having a kitchen available means that you can prepare as many of your meals as need be, meaning even in the most difficult of locations you’ll stay fed and happy.

4. Be Ok With Grazing

Sometimes it might be hard to find a vegetarian main meal, but you can usually find at least a few sides and entree dishes so be okay with grazing your way through a meal if need be. This also includes having to eat a few small meals during the day, including plenty of snacks, if more substantial options are hard to come by. Personally, I find this not a bad thing at all, as it means I get to try more of the food, just in smaller serving sizes! Silver lining ahoy!

5. Get Tech Savvy

As vegetarian travellers these days we have so much more information at our fingertips if we just get a little tech savvy! Apps like Happy Cow will show vegetarian and vegan food options in cities across the world, complete with reviews and all kinds of categories to search by, making it one of my top resources in any country. Searching instagram for hashtags like #veganin{insert your city} or for vegetarian or vegan blogs in that city is also an excellent way to discover culinary gems.

6. Find The Fresh Food Market

I don’t know about you, but I love wandering through fresh food markets in any new destination as they are full of such interesting sights, smells and tastes. They are also an excellent option for getting your hands on some vegetarian friendly food options as they’ll be bursting with in season fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh breads, nuts and cheeses. I love to buy stuff to make lunch to take with me while exploring or to take back to my Airbnb kitchen to whip up something delicious on nights I decide to stay in.

7. Consider Packing Emergency Foods

If you’re going somewhere that your research shows will be very tricky as a vegetarian then you might want to consider throwing some emergency foods in your suitcase. This could include things like small packets of superfood or protein powders that you can mix into a drink to at least ensure you’re getting your key nutrients, some protein bars or even some dried grains that you can cook up in some boiling water. This is likely only to get you by for a few days, but you should be able to get your hands on some fresh veggies at that point!

If you’ve got a long flight or train trip ahead then packing some snack foods like nuts, carrot sticks, bliss balls and the like is also a good idea as getting your hands on healthy vegetarian options can be tricky (or expensive!) whilst in transit.

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Locals

One of my favourite things while travelling is chatting to locals about their own city, and this includes finding vegetarian friendly places to eat. This could be by chatting to the barista or bar tender at the local cafe/bar, asking at your hotel (again, airbnb hosts are excellent for this!) or even chatting to other tourists you meet out and about. Who knows, someone might be able to point you to somewhere you never would have discovered on your own, and even if they can’t you’re no worse off than you were!

I hope these tips for vegetarian travellers were helpful, I’d love to hear yours too!

^ this is a referral link to Airbnb, meaning if you signup using it we will both receive credit to use to book a holiday adventure!
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2 Comments on 8 Tips for Vegetarian Travellers

  1. merilyn
    May 28, 2016 at 11:13 am (8 years ago)

    would be a bit challenging liz!
    but more people are vegetarian theses days and chefs realize that! … they still want patrons!
    looks like you’re making a good go of it all hun! … keep on enjoying your great trip!
    love m:)X

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      July 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm (8 years ago)

      Exactly! Some parts of the world are definitely easier than others, but that’s ok!


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