6 helpful tips to make world travel with a specific dietary requirement, much easier!
Vegetarian. Vegan. Gluten Free. Specific food intolerance. Allergies.
There are an ever-increasing number of people in the world who have adopted a ‘special dietary requirement’ by necessity or choice due to a number of factors such as; allergies, sensitivities, health reasons and ethical views. There are also an ever- growing number of people participating in world travel. A lot of people who have specific dietary requirements can feel daunted at the prospect of managing their diet whilst abroad. For the world traveller who wishes to be able to stay well nourished, whilst being able to maintain their dietary needs AND experience local culture.. Don’t miss out on these tips..
- Do your online research.
You will be surprised at how much information is available online about the local restaurants that CAN cater to your specific dietary needs. You will also be surprised by the amount of restaurants that specifically DO cater to your dietary needs- it is no longer just major cities that will cater for you, there has been a huge influx internationally in recent years in restaurants that provide options for specific requirements, and you will find great options now in small towns, or sometimes even in what feels quite literally like the middle of nowhere! Even if some of these places don’t advertise themselves through a website of their own, you can find reviews and information from other travellers who have visited your planned area- make sure you get on the web!
If you are camping or staying in hostels or hotels that offer access to a kitchen, it is a great idea to prepare at least some of your own meals whilst travelling. Although you should usually be able to find at least one option of something that suits your dietary requirement when dining out or sampling street food, sometimes you can feel as though the food you’re eating is lacking in complete nutrition or satisfaction at a cost of it adhering to your restriction. It can be fun to buy local ingredients and cook for yourself or your travel buddies every now and then, and means that you don’t feel as grouchy about having to occasionally settle for an appetizer style meal whilst everyone else tucks into a huge portion of tasty local cuisine.
3) Share your dishes.
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling with friends who share your restriction, make sure you share a couple of dishes when dining out, especially when the options aren’t too varied or exciting. This can mean the difference between feeling as though you missed out and feeling as though you experienced new food and plenty of flavour!
4) Branch out on appetisers.
On occasions where the main menu just doesn’t provide- make sure you browse or enquire about the appetizers or side dishes that are available. There are usually a few more options that don’t contain meat or dairy in this list for example, and what they lack in portion size they make up for in providing a tasty, local cuisine option to a restricted foodie! – Load up on two or three dishes and enjoy!
5) Keep snacks with you at all times.
There WILL be times, especially if you do venture off the beaten track as a traveller where you won’t find food available that suits your dietary requirement. It is essential that you always carry good quality snacks with you for when those times do arise! Ensure they are high- protein, high- energy.
6) Find new ways to experience local cuisine.
If you are travelling in a place where the food doesn’t cater for you, don’t feel as though you have to completely miss out on experiencing the local specialties during your trip! There are often snacks or drinks that are native to your destination that you ARE able to have.. For example, served on street stalls in Mexico you’ll find corn on the cob that is slathered in lime juice, and sprinkled with fresh chilies and sugar. Or in Brazil- try the tantalising Caipirinha, their native cocktail.