5 Tips for Vegetarian Backpackers

Backpacking as a vegetarian can be tough, depending on where you go. Some countries, such as most of India are known to be very friendly to both vegetarians and vegans, though people in other countries may not even know what a vegetarian is outside of major cities. In order to make things a little easier on your trip, here are a few useful tips for travelling as a vegetarian or vegan.

Always keep a phrase book handy

Many modern phrase books have sections specifically related to vegetarian related food questions. Try and learn the most common questions and statements that you may need while ordering food such as “I am vegetarian”, “Is this vegetarian?” and “Does this contain meat?”. In a pinch, Google Translate can also help with this, but beware of a lack of phone signal as this can catch you out, especially in rural areas.

Vegans or vegetarians who don’t eat eggs or dairy products may struggle with this even more as Veganism doesn’t even exist as a word in many languages so make sure that you also know phrases related to the most common animal products in food.

Know your vitamins and minerals

While a vegetarian diet can provide you with everything that you need to live healthily, if you are not careful you can still find yourself deficient in important vitamins and minerals, make sure that you eat a variety of foods on your travels and try to avoid eating too much refined grain and sugar, which can be very common in foods in some countries. If you are unsure of what foods will give you the vitamins and minerals that you need, here is a great guide for vegetarians about vitamins and minerals.

Do your research

Most major cities in most countries will have some fantastic vegetarian and vegan restaurants, they are especially common in the coastal areas which usually have more tourism and are more exposed to ideas such as vegetarianism. A great website to find vegetarian and vegan restaurants in an area is Happy Cow.

Pack some dried snacks

Sometimes you will visit and area where there are no vegetarian or vegan options, to prevent yourself from going hungry it is a good idea to take some dried snacks such as dried fruit and nuts so that you always have something to eat, even if nothing is available where you are visiting.

Don’t worry too much

Even if you are in a country that isn’t particularly vegetarian-friendly, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good time, or that you are going to go hungry. Most cities and towns will have a supermarket which will normally sell plenty of vegetarian and vegan foods from which you can make your own meals. Sure, this isn’t as glamorous as eating in a fancy vegetarian restaurant, but it can save you a lot of money, and more money ultimately means more travelling!

I hope that you found these travel tips for vegetarians useful, if you have any more tips for our readers, please post them in the comments below!

 

 

 

Backpacking With Work

If, like me, you are someone who loves to travel the world, then finding a job that allows you to travel all over the world can be like striking gold. There are many careers that allow you to do this such as finance, working with NGO’s or even in the armed forces.

What do I need when travelling with work?

Some businesses provide everything for their employees when they are travelling, but not every business will, make sure that if you are travelling for work you have the following things:

Travel Insurance – Your company really should be providing this, so check with them before you travel for work as the last thing that you want is to get injured in a foreign country without travel insurance.

A Good Backpack – Finding the best backpack for business can make your journey a lot easier, and less painful on the shoulders! Backpack Reviewer have a great list of the best backpacks for business, so check it out!

Vaccines – This depends on where you are travelling for work, but for many locations such as in South East Asia or Africa, vaccines are a must!

A Phrase Book – Knowing some of the local phrases can make your journey a lot easier and can also impress your business clients, make sure that you get one!

Important Documents – If you are travelling for work, make sure that you have any documents that you need before you leave. I have had this mistake before, and trying to get important documents through the corporate network in a country with terrible internet access is not fun!

Oh yea, and finally, don’t forget your passport! Everything else you can buy once you get there!

 

 

How to Save Money for a Backpacking Trip

 

Recently I was asked “How do you afford to go travelling all the time?” Simple… I don’t afford it, I just don’t spend my money on things that aren’t travel. Planning a backpacking trip for a lot of people never gets further than the first financial hurdle; it often seems like a pipe dream that will cost a fortune or require you to either be a  superstar English teacher, offer translation services,  or learn to be a blogger first. NOT true! Saving for a backpacking trip can be as easy as looking for cheap airfare, cheap accommodation, finding a backpack, not eating out too often or thinking twice about buying that new jacket. I’ve always been an awful saver, my whole life I’ve pretty much spent more than I’ve earned every single week… but that’s never stopped me backpacking.

saving-for-backpacking

How to Save for a Backpacking Trip in 10 Simple Steps

1. Leave your money in the bank. Cash burns a hole in anyone’s pocket and notes soon become spare change… and spare change soon becomes chocolate bars. Open a savings account and have your wages, allowance or gambling winnings paid into it. Transfer over only what you need. With most banks this can take 2-3 days, removing the temptation of impulse buys.

2. Learn photography or a hobby. Take beginner piano lessons. It will take up your spare time and stop you over-planning and wasting money on stupid things you don’t need, like water purification tablets.

3. Smoke less, drink less, eat out less, stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.

4. Work overtime if you can. If you’re earning, you’re not spending.

5. Walk or cycle everywhere. It will get you fit and save money on transport.

6. Write down every penny you spend and every penny you save. Doing this helps you to stop and think about your cashflow.

7. Set a tight weekly budget and stick to it. It’s great practice for when you finally get on the road.

8. Pick three luxuries you can’t live without and forget the rest. Get back to basics.

9. Make a rough plan of where you want to go and for how long. Break the plan down into sections and save for each chunk of time. Doing this will help to keep you motivated as each time you get a step closer to that backpacking dream.

10. The biggest motivator to save for a backpacking trip is buying the ticket, be it plane, bus or  train. When you have a deadline you’ll be amazed at how good you can be at saving the cash you need.