Although it is easier than it used to be, finding somewhere to go on holiday as a vegetarian isn’t always straightforward. In the UK it isn’t too difficult but in some countries it seems almost impossible. Here are a few suggestions to make your life easier.
The easiest way to cope as a vegetarian is to prepare your own food and book self-catering accommodation wherever you go. Every country in the world has fresh produce markets where you can buy wonderful fruit and vegetables, and most have recognisable products in supermarkets. You may not find the variety of pre-prepared meals and vegetarian products that you are used to in the UK but you should be able to get by. If you are staying in a beach-style resort then self-catering accommodation is quite easy to find, and even in cities there are an increasing number of self-catering apartments available for short term rental.
Restaurants Outside the UK
If you are going to restaurants then you are increasingly likely to find vegetarian or vegan restaurants in cities, especially in Europe. If you are travelling to Asia then you may have more of a problem as many restaurant staff don’t understand exactly what vegetarianism means. If you can learn the phrases for “No meat products” and “No fish products” then that might help. You may, however find that food contains items such as fish sauce unless you are very specific, or very careful about what you order. Rice and steamed vegetables is a safe option if you are not sure.
Vegetarian Holidays in the UK
There are a number of websites where you can search for vegetarian or vegan holidays. In addition, The Vegetarian Society and The Vegan Society can provide lists of vegetarian or vegan guesthouses and hotels. Most good hotels will also have vegetarian options for both breakfast and dinner.
Take your own supplies
If there is something that you really love to eat, that travels well, then take it on holiday with you, but make sure you check any customs regulations for taking foodstuffs into another country. Tubes of vegan paste, packet mixes for nut roasts etc are all quite easy to put in a suitcase and can be easily used in self catering accommodation. If you are worried about what you will eat while you are away then it may also be worth taking some multi vitamins and minerals with you, especially if you are travelling somewhere a bit remote where food choices will be limited.
Being a vegetarian shouldn’t limit where you go in the world. It may prove more of a challenge in some areas but see it as a challenge to be overcome, take your sense of humour with you, and you should be fine.
Alex is a journalist and writer who writes about eco holidays and all things green. He also maintains a green blog covering the UK and Europe.