Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Traveling with dietary restrictions

After I got myself all worked up about Greece, I had to give myself a slightly lighter topic today!

For many people, the fun of travel and new discoveries can be deeply hampered by dietary restrictions (or, let's be honest, fear of certain foods... I will never find a mayonnaise that I am okay with!).  I have traveled as a vegetarian on numerous occasions, and unless I wanted to be eating curry and chips every time I entered a London pub or surviving on salad in France (a sad, sad idea), I had to get resourceful.

Try to do some grocery shopping.  Even if you don't have a kitchen and are unable to cook, you can buy snacks -- you'll be able to make better meal decisions if you're not desperate by the time you find a spot to eat!  Plus, grocery stores and markets are the best places, in my humble opinion, to get a sense of the local culture.

Remember to pre-order a special meal for your flight.  When I have forgotten to do this, I lived to regret it.

Those sort of embarrassing picture books for pointing at when you don't speak the language?  Genius for explaining what you can and cannot eat!

If your dietary restrictions are at all flexible (see my mayo fear, above), consider flexing them just once. You may surprise yourself (ahem, please DON'T be silly about this... peanut allergies, I am talking to you!)

Here is the obligatory food-safety advice -- beware when you want to purchase fresh, uncooked, unpeelable fruit and veg, as well as meat.  No way you'll catch me eating apples off a stand in a lot of countries -- but food fried in front of me?  Sure!

Avoid ice in your drink, if you are also avoiding the local water!

Check out this piece for more thoughts on traveling with dietary restrictions!

(image via)

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