6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

Fruit Stall - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler
I love travelling and I love food, both go hand in hand, but not always, especially if you happen to be a vegetarian.

I am a vegetarian both by birth and choice, not a vegan though. And whenever I have spoken to my friends about my impending travel to Europe or South East Asia, for example, they give me a look of pity and say, “Oh! You are a vegetarian! How will you survive?

I am not in total disagreement with such feelings however my travels and experiences prove that this is a myth. A vegetarian can survive anywhere in the world, wherever there is vegetation, if I may say so, though I have not had an opportunity to go on expeditions to the sandy wastelands of the Sahara or the icy regions of the Antarctica.

Here are 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler –  tips straight from my survival kit:

  1. Gorge yourself with the complementary buffet breakfast

Buffet brekafast - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler


I was in Switzerland for more than four weeks and my day would start with a heavy breakfast of Bread and Butter, Yogurt, Fruits of all colors and sizes, Hash Browns, fruit juices and finally Coffee or tea. I would breakfast as if there was no tomorrow. Who knows whether I would get anything for my vegetarian palate for the rest of the day!

  1. Carry an ample stock of instant energy busters

Dry fruits - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian TravelerChocolate - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian TravelerOn all my travels I carry along with me stuff that is easy to carry and also has the potential to release instant energy and be filling. What in case I couldn’t find anything for Lunch or Dinner!  The stuff that I usually carry are chocolate bars, dry fruits like almonds, cashew, raisins and energy bars made out of sugar and peanuts. All these are very effective to combat those sudden hunger pangs in the midst of your travels.

  1. Plan where you could eat even before you travel

Pizza - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

One of the aspects of travel planning that I give extra importance to is track and locate vegetarian food outlets near the place I would be staying in or visiting, through Google maps and include them as a part of my itinerary itself. You can always locate a Subway or McDonalds for beverages.

  1. Research on the local food of the place you are travelling to

Local food - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

It helps to familiarize oneself with the different food options available in the destination you are travelling to, this would give an idea of what would suit one’s needs. I remember ordering a Vegetable Risotto at an Italian restaurant with full confidence as I knew that this would be a vegetarian rice preparation, similarly I did not think twice before taking a generous helping of Roasted Vegetable Lasagne at a corporate lunch.

  1. Make use of ‘Heat and Eat’ stuff for one of the meals in a day

Heat and Eat - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler


I have survived on plain oats mixed with boiling water with a pinch of salt as dinner for almost three weeks on one of my trips to Europe. On other occasions I have eaten cup noodles and a variety of other assorted ready to eat concoctions which just require hot water, which is easily available in any hotel.

  1. Indulge yourself in a full and proper Vegetarian Lunch or Dinner once in a while

Restaurant - 6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

It is not that you do not have Vegetarian restaurants available at your destination, in most of the cases they are there, but quite expensive and if you are travelling on a budget, it is impossible to fit in 2 or 3 meals every day. The next best thing is after surviving for 3 or 4 days one can indulge one’s gastronomic desires in one of these fancy restaurants. I remember having a grand dinner in a vegetarian restaurant called HILTL in Zurich during one of my travels there. Read more about this in my other post – A Vegetarian Dinner in Zurich.

One may feel that this is cumbersome and takes the pleasure out of travelling, but one needs to bear in mind that travel is not for the sake of food alone, there are other things which compensate. How many of you would have thought about food as you gazed in awe at David, the masterpiece by Michael Angelo at the Accademia in Florence? How many of you have felt hunger pangs while admiring the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower? How many of you thought about your lunch while being serenaded by a Gondolier in Venice?

Yes, it is a little tough sometimes as a vegetarian but the benefits and the experiences by far outweigh these small discomforts and nothing can stop this intrepid Vegetarian Traveler from traveling the world and assimilating new experiences.

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6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

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6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

Six Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler


67 thoughts on “6 Survival secrets of a Vegetarian Traveler

  1. Jessica Reply

    We aren’t technically vegetarians but our diet is 95% veg living in India. I almost never even think about non-veg stuff, I’m totally satisfied with an Indian diet.

  2. Cameron Reply

    Or you can just travel through India ;). Great post, although, I wouldn’t say I’m a vegetarian I definitely watch my consumption of meat.

  3. Rob Taylor Reply

    Research is totally key (and power snacks). We’re not vegetarians, but have a few foods we have to avoid due to allergies, and researching local options totally saves us often.

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      You are right Rob. Apart from vegetarian food, there are many other factors while traveling that we need to consider. So research does help.

  4. Johan Van Aarde Reply

    Hi Voyager, How are you? Great article I found your post in Viral content buzz. Just want to say you got a very incredible blog about being a vegetarian related to traveling. Very Informative! Im looking forward to keep in touch 🙂

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      Hi Johan. Good. Hope you are doing good. Glad you liked our post and thanks for checking it out. Will definitely keep in touch. 🙂

  5. Natalie Reply

    I’m a huge fan of bringing my own snacks when I travel–no one wants the hangry to hit! 😀 While I’m not a vegetarian, I do travel with a major food allergy to shellfish, and these tips apply to how I approach traveling, too. I don’t want to end up in the hospital since that’s a sure fire way to kill the vacation mood!

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      Yes, it is true that we do not want to take chances falling ill while traveling. One, it spoils the trip and two we may end up being without help. Apart from vegetarianism, there are other factors like allergy and other challenges which need to be considered while traveling.

  6. Taylor Reply

    Great tips! I find it funny how people are surprised that vegetarians don’t have a harder time finding food when they travel. Pretty much every culture has some vegetarian dishes!

  7. eleni Reply

    Such an interesting and original post! I’m not a vegetarian but I do travel often and one of the first things I do when organising my trip is to find great places to eat. travel and food go hand in hand.

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      Thank you Eleni. You are absolutely right. Travel and food go hand in hand and planning helps enjoy the trip. 🙂

  8. Carrie Reply

    Awesome post. Depending on the city/country, it is certainly a challenge to eat as a vegetarian at times. These are great tips!!

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      Thank you Carrie. 🙂 Yes, in certain places you really need to go in search of food that you can eat.

  9. Shelly Reply

    While I’m not a strict vegetarian, I do like to go meatless a few days a week. I’m with you on bringing snacks, even at home – I don’t leave home without them, as I’m the type to get hangry. Great tip on stocking up on the breakfast buffet, especially if it’s included in your hotel stay, take it for all it’s worth!

  10. Ami Reply

    I generally, survive on the breakfast and the short eats 🙂 I hate carrying food when I travel.

  11. [email protected] Diaries Reply

    I am a vegetarian and have been living in Europe for the last 4 years..certainly, it is manageable and there are no big problems..most of the time:) I remember once though when I visited Strasbourg in fRAnce, and it was so difficult to find veg food in the restaurants of the main centre!Nevertheless, got a dish consisting of potatoes and yogurt at least. Haha.

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      I totally understand and agree with you. Sometimes, we need to really go in search of food! And potatoes like fruits is one veggie which is universally available! 🙂

  12. Arzo Travels Reply

    Thanks for the tips, though you even make me feel sorry for you being a vegetarian :)) But I enjoy travel as much as I did before I became a veggie though not all places make it easy to eat healthy and well. And you are right, traveling is not only about food. So happy you still did not give up being a vegetarian 🙂

  13. Hester Reply

    Great tips thank u! I’m a veggie / semi vegan but find it a lot harder while travelling, though some countries are better than others. I struggled a bit in the Philippines and Hong Kong though found good veggie options in Russia, China, Vietnam (lots of Tofu!), and so far Bali, Indonesia is my favorite for veggie!

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      Thanks Hester. I understand. Keeping in my our future travel plans, we therefore do check out the available options in each of the places.

  14. Corinne Reply

    This is a great post with fantastic photography. I think it’s important for people to realize that it is really difficult to find true vegetarian options in many restaurants in many countries. Persistence and being knowledgeable is the key.

  15. Grace | The Idyll Reply

    Great post, thanks! As a vegetarian myself, I’ve found that some cities are definitely tougher to eat in than others. But stopping off at a supermarket for snacks can be a life-saver 🙂

  16. Maggie Reply

    I enjoyed this post. I’m vegetarian and I’ve been pleasantly surprised how many vegetarian restaurants I’ve found in foreign countries, but you’re right, it can add up eating at them all the time! I think it’s funny when people say it must be hard or impossible to travel as a vegetarian (I have not found this to be true) and I liked your response – you can be vegetarian anywhere there’s vegetation! Love that. 😀

  17. Renne Simpson Reply

    Lovvve this. I’ve been a pescatarian for a year and now I just transitioned into becoming a vegetarian. Helpful tips.

  18. Laurent Reply

    Thank you for this great article!
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  19. revolvingcompass Reply

    Super tips…one of us is a vegetarian and our toddler has not yet taken to non veg food. we are planning a trip to europe soon and often wonder what we would survive on…your post comes as a huge relief… 🙂

    • Voyager Post authorReply

      Wow that’s good to know. Can’t wait to read your experiences from Europe trip. Enjoy!

  20. Rob Taylor Reply

    I imagine that researching local options is an amazing help, especially if you jaunt to America where meat and animal bi-products are hidden in so much of our food.

  21. Shobha Reply

    Some great tips! My daughter is prefers vegetarian food and we always check menus etc online so that we know if they will accommodate her.

  22. Alexa Meisler Reply

    As a gluten free traveler, I completely relate to this post. Research in advance has always been key for me as well ask knowing how to say I am allergic to gluten in the language of the place I am visiting.

  23. Stella the Travelerette Reply

    This was interesting for me to read about as an omnivore. I hadn’t thought about the planning that would have to go into it. I’m glad you feel it’s worth it.

  24. Marge Reply

    I am not a vegetarian and I definitely couldn’t see that in my near future. But I must say this is helpful to those who share the same lifestyle. I get how challenging it might be especially when you are traveling but you found a way to manage it so I guess it’s possible. I’d love to try a vegetarian resto though, I have never been to one. I wonder how the food are prepared there and maybe, just maybe it would compel me to begin to eat more healthy.

  25. neha Reply

    I stumbled upon this post at just the right time. I have been thinking on the same lines for my upcoming Europe trip. Being a vegetarian it’s little tough at times but not impossible. I have noted some of your tips like carrying the ready to eat kind of food and energy busters. And I do have complementary breakfast option where I am staying. Going to make the most of it 🙂 Will try out the app as well.

  26. Megan Jerrard Reply

    Really great article, I’ve always wondered about insight into how vegetarians get by while overseas. Though my husband is gluten free, so many of these same tips apply to traveling with his food intolerance too – researching where you can eat before hand, we usually base ourselves near supermarkets and choose a hotel room in which we can cook ourselves 🙂

  27. Thelittlelai: Beyond limits Reply

    Wow, I didn’t know that you’re a vegetarian. I’m also strict when it comes to the food that I’m going to eat whenever I travel to other places. This is truly a help for me. I’m also bringing healthy food to nibble whenever I travel just in case I can’t find good place to eat. Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us.

    LaiAriel R. Samangka

  28. Vibeke Johannessen Reply

    Such great tips. I think it is hard to be a vegetarian where I live, Ecuador as they rarely serve vegetarian food at restaurants. Therefore it is so much better to make your own and buy from markets 😀 I am not vegetarian but rarely eat meat, especially at home. I think getting parasites from meat has scared me a little. haha

  29. Candy Reply

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I do have a weak stomach and a lot of these tips apply to me as well. I always carry nuts and protein bars with me and I definitely try to plan ahead of time where to eat.

  30. Paige W Reply

    These are amazing tips! I’m very new to vegetarianism and I’ve thought about how difficult this will potentially be in my travels. It’s great to hear your tips, though! Especially the one about having instant energy boosters. That’s something I’m going to have to stock up on!

  31. Hallie Reply

    I sometimes wonder how veggie travelers do it. I mean, you really have to know where you’re going and what their habits are. For instance, in Korea, if you say no meat and you say you’re a vegetarian, they’ll likely still give you soup that has a broth that was cooked with a meat base. They don’t see this as an issue since the soup itself may not have meat in it. They also don’t think things like spam/ham or fish count so when I take veggies out here, there’s often a lengthy conversation about what is REALLY vegetarian or not. Oh the struggles sometimes though.

  32. Janna Reply

    I’m not a vegetarian but I do admire the dedication to eat healthy. I have a few friends who are vegetarians and they look and feel amazing. Will definitely tell them to check out this post!

  33. Sarah Kim Reply

    These are really great tips about surviving as a vegetarian. I’m not a vegetarian but I’ve been to many countries where I just wanted a salad and it was sooo hard to find one. I know some vegetarians steer clear of certain countries knowing that meat is a heavy part of the diet, but with a little more planning like you, doesn’t seem like too much trouble! Thanks for sharing.

  34. Cole Nemeth Reply

    These are great tips! My family is going on a trip to Cuba for the first time, and since my husband is a vegetarian, we were curious about what he can eat there and what kind of food we can bring.

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