In the last few years, we’ve had our share of struggle finding good vegetarian food while travelling abroad, sometimes it’s been breezy and we have gotten opportunities to try the delicious local cuisines customised for vegetarians and the other times, we barely managed to survive.
Stemming from our experiences, we’ve put together the ultimate Indian Vegetarian’s Guide To Travelling Abroad. Read on, and let this be your biblical guide when getting your passport stamped and wandering to picturesque destinations.
1. Pre-booking meals for the flight
Always pre-select your meal a few days in advance for your flight. Most airlines internationally do not carry excess vegetarians meals and only serve them to the passengers who have pre-booked their meals. There are various options like Veg Hindu meal, Asian meal, etc It is best to select your meal in advance to avoid any trouble here.
2. Pre-flight Hacks
If you are someone who does not necessarily love the food served on the flight, it’s best recommended to carry a small meal along. You can pack sandwiches, theplas or even purchase something from the airport beforehand. Subway wraps, croissants, or sandwiches are usually a good option. I’d suggest avoiding heavy meals right before or on the flight especially if it’s a long journey.
3. Nerd Out That Research Game
Research is the key! Try and figure out a few eating options around your hotel/Airbnb. It’s always good to know about the local cuisines and the ingredients which they normally use. If you are keen on trying authentic food or one of the specialities, Mark out a restaurant of your choice which does customise as per one’s preference and also fits your budget.
4. Munchies For The Rescue
It’s always good to carry a few things like almonds, walnuts, protein bars, etc while travelling. It’s a great munching option while you are hopping from 1 spot to another.
5. Ready To Cook Mixes
There are easy to cook packets of home cooked meals like Rajma, Rice, and other items which are available in abundance in India.
6. Instant Food
In case you’re put up in a hostel with kitchen access, you can always prepare Maggie, sandwiches, pancakes (you will have to carry egg-less batter along)
7. Analyse That Breakfast Buffet
It is also crucial to analyse the breakfast buffet and make the most of it. Check with the servers for vegetarian options, please specify if you are looking for egg-less items. It is in fact best to mention that you do not want any kind of meat, fish, egg.
I remember once taking a portion of the baked beans from my Breakfast buffet in Seoul innocently assuming it’s going to be harmless until Of-course I found small pieces of meat in it.
8. Go-to Vegetarian Choices and Hacks
Things which are usually available for vegetarians – Fruits, salad leaves, yoghurt, Bread, grilled veggies, roasted potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and grilled tomatoes.My go to is a salad with lettuce and other veggies options along with a dressing. You can also make your own sandwich, it is nice and filling.
Another thing which works 6/10 times is letting the servers in your hotel know that you are vegetarian, sometimes they might be considerate and prepare an additional dish for your breakfasts during the course of your stay.
9. Channel Your Grocery Shopping Enthusiasm
Go grocery shopping! Go to the nearest seven Eleven or any other store where you can purchase bread, butter, jam, Frozen pizzas (this is useful if you have access to the oven), sandwiches, milkshakes, coffees, instant noodles and bakery items. It is convenient and cost-effective.
One of the most important things is to read the ingredients list carefully while buying packaged food. Fresh fruits are great options too, this way you also get to try the local fruits.
10. Say yes to sides
A lot of side dishes options are usually vegetarian, this I learnt visiting a few steak houses. While sides are not complete meals, they are usually delicious. Sauteed mushrooms, spinach and corn, tomato soup, are some of the common ones.
P.S: We hope these little hacks that we fondly call the ultimately Indian vegetarian’s guide to travelling abroad comes handy the next time you’re flying on the international skies. Until next time, #StayCurious :)