Traveling as a vegetarian isn’t always easy, especially in cities where meat is held in such high regard. Living in Chicago, meat is part of many people’s daily diet and included in nearly every meal of the day.
When I travel, I like to taste the local cuisine since it’s such a big part of the experience. Well, except the meat part. Usually, when I’m traveling alone or with my family, finding non-meat meals isn’t terribly hard because we find places to satisfy several different culinary interests. But when I’m traveling for work and most of my day’s itinerary is pre-planned, it gets tricky. Vegetarian TravelingMom understands. When she traveled to Houston and asked for a veggie burger, she was served a veggie burger with pork. The restaurant’s response? They didn’t add more pork. What? Luckily, she admits, things have changed and now finding vegetarians meals in meat-friendly cities is becoming easier.
Next week I’ll be traveling to Dallas for the Family Travel Conference. The organizers have done an amazing job lining up speakers and workshops like Genevieve Shaw Brown, the Travel & Lifestyle Editor for ABC News, who will be discussing how to captivate our audience and Wendy Perrin, Condé Nast Traveler’s director of consumer news and digital community who will share tips on how to engage that audience using social media. We will be learning how to use videos to make our stories stronger. I’m excited about the conference but all I keep thinking about is how I will survive!
After the conference we will be heading to Grapevine, Texas. When asked to choose where we would like to eat once we arrive, I think all of the options featured a pig in their logo. This will make for an interesting travel experience. I think I’ll have to hoard the bread. I’ll be like that person who steals the bread and puts it in my purse to eat later.
Our days are pre-planned and usually packed with workshops, presentations and networking events. I suspect I will be eating a lot of pasta and salads if those are offered but in case they aren’t, I need a back-up plan. So once I get to the hotel, I’ll try to find the closest grocery story so I can stock up on fruits and vegetables I don’t need to cook (think broccoli).
I also found Happy Cow’s list of vegetarian and vegan friendly food options in Dallas complete with reviews that I’ll be bringing along with me.
How do you handle traveling different cities and countries where the food options may present problems for members of your family, especially if they have allergies or food sensitivities? What’s your back-up plan?
Megy Karydes is a freelance journalist focusing on travel, health, sustainable living and fair trade for both consumer and business-to-business media outlets. For her travel adventures, visit Wandering Tastes on Facebook and Twitter or find her online at WanderingTastes. Her son prefers veggies and sushi and her daughter craves meat and potatoes. Her husband and she just like to eat a meal in peace.