– A vegetarian travelling: Hello, do you serve vegetarian food ?
– Waiter: Yes, we have chicken and fish !
Don’t worry, it doesn’t always happen this way.
Actually, it is not necessarily abroad that you’ll have the biggest issues finding vegetarian or vegan food
Being a vegetarian travelling requires a little bit of research, but it is pretty easy.
First, you can use the Happy Cow app! It works abroad and is very user friendly.
But it’ll all depend on the region of the world you’re travelling in. In a lot of countries, restaurants are used to serving veggie customers.
Some countries are ready
If you’re going to countries like Germany, Northern Europe, Israel or even Canada, it is pretty easy to find good options.
At Vegetal Conversion, we mostly have experience in Europe & South America, regions known for their meat culinary cultures. However, there are often vegetarian or vegan options, at least when you’re eating outside.
South American people in general are pretty open to adaptation demands, so negotiation goes well.
If you are a roots vegan traveller, it might be difficult to find your usual substitutes at reasonable prices abroad. You’re going to have to go back to a more simple cuisine but you’ll find plenty of options and learn a lot of new things : ginger, peanuts, spices, grains, fruits, local vegetables …
Our technic: Travel with a small bag of dry food and at every new place, just restock with fresh products
Examples of basic and easily transportable dry food:
- Oils (olive or rapeseed) in a small empty and previously cleaned bottle of soda for example
- Grains and nuts of every kind
- Wholegrain rice / beans / lentils / pasta
- Spices (cumin, curry, oregano, ginger, garlic…)
- Peanut butter (your lifesaver)
- Eggs (not a dry food but still doesn’t need a fridge)
- Dried fruits
And regarding fresh products, you’ll just have to restock with: vegetables and fruits (you can find wonderful exotic fruits abroad): avocado, mango, passion fruit, pineapple …
Some people might choose to be vegan at home and to be vegetarians when they are travelling, and that’s a perfectly fine option. You can have a lack of motivation when you’re travelling, and a lot of local plates can seem very good. It is already a challenge not to be able to taste every local meal.
However, abroad you will meet a lot of vegetarians and vegans travelling and their cuisine and motivation will inspire you! They’ll give you plenty of ideas to improve your vegan cooking while moving around.
What if I feel like tasting a local meat-based meal?
Do whatever pleases you as long as you are fine with your own personal principles.
Alright, if you order a meat-based meal every 4 days, you might start reconsidering your real motivations to become a vegetarian. What you can do however is, not ordering a meat or fish based meal BUT IF one of your travel mates is having one, you can ask him/her to have a little bite of it, just to know the taste and the flavour of the local food.
Despite everything, food is part of the culture discovery. We are not in favour of feeding the meat market by ordering a dish at a restaurant, but a tiny bite of your friend’s plate that he’ll order anyway, won’t change anything and you’ll have an idea of what the local cuisine tastes like.
So now, let’s travel !