Western Union + Dear Alyne: 5 tips to eat vegetarian (or vegan) abroad

Getting Around By Christine Wardlaw May 8, 2018

Dear Alyne is a World Citizen and has been to 72 countries around over the Globe. She is a WU customer and guest blogger who we’ve teamed up with. Follow along with her adventures, here: https://www.instagram.com/dearalyne/   

(Photo Credit: Alyne Tamir at Peleton in Bali)

Being vegetarian or vegan can be a struggle, and on the road? It’s even harder!

In many countries, people don’t even know what vegetarians are, and you’ll be offered dishes with chicken, lamb, or fish by well-meaning eateries, “…this is not meat, yes?”  In Japan, I once had to return a salad three times, because the first “vegetarian” salad had fish placed directly on top, and the replacement salad they brought had fish eggs instead!

But don’t worry, being vegetarian while you travel can be done and it can be even better to be a “Veg On The Road”. After traveling to 70 countries on 6 continents around the world- all as a vegetarian (or vegan!), I’ll tell you how you can do it.

1.) Use an App to Navigate Food Options

Search for an app that offers listings and reviews of vegan and vegetarian restaurants around the world! You can even find health food stores or restaurants that cater for carnivores and herbivores alike. With over 404594 restaurants listed, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Check the photos to drool over the many options abroad! Just be sure to call ahead to confirm opening hours.

2.) Stock up at Local Grocers

Visiting Grocery Stores in new countries is a cultural experience in and of itself! Mingle with locals and try the best local flavors at the lowest prices. Restaurants can get expensive and time consuming after a few days in a new country, so stopping at a grocery store or market can not only save you time and money, but offer you many vegetarian and vegan options all in one place.

(Photo Credit: Alyne Tamir)

3.) Bring snacks from home

In order to avoid hunger or being forced to buy something overpriced and unhealthy, pack some tasty snacks from home. Traveling internationally with fresh fruits and vegetables can be difficult (and illegal), so granola and protein bars are often the best option to optimize using minimum packing space for maximum calories.

4.) Make Local Friends

Websites like “Couch Surfing” and Instagram, or travel groups on Facebook, allow you to easily reach and make friends with locals who share your eating habits. Locals often have the best suggestions for new and exciting vegetarian restaurants or off the track spots that may not yet be listed online. With any luck, they’ll join you on your adventure abroad and you’ll make new friends while sampling the best vegetarian or vegan cuisines!

5.) Choose Veg Friendly Destinations

No matter how much you prepare, some countries can be quite difficult for vegans and vegetarians. If you’re considering multiple destinations, check online to see which ones might be more friendly to your lifestyle. Destinations like Bali, Berlin, and California are a wonderland for plant-based eaters, while countries like China, The Philippines, and remote islands can be quite difficult. If food is a big part of your vacation, head to countries that embrace plant-based eating!

Being vegetarian on the road can be even more enjoyable than at home, so get ready for a trip full of delicious new restaurants and snacks in beautiful exciting locales! And be sure to hashtag #WUVeg to share your favorite finds with your fellow Veg travelers abroad! Find out more about why Alyne is a vegetarian, here!