It might be tough to travel to a new place while wishing to keep kosher. You need to do more research on your food and their delectable smells so that you can avoid eating something non-kosher or breaking the rules of your religion.
1. Bring Your Own Kosher Meals
Airlines can give you all sorts of benefits besides the most obvious one, which is traveling by plane. They can give you an extensive menu and special meals, particularly kosher meals. Every major airline provides kosher options for your meals. It’s known as KSML in aviation terms.
Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t do kosher meals though. Therefore, you should bring your own kosher meals or keep in mind kosher ingredients in order to be able to keep eating kosher even in lieu of such options in the airline.
2. Avail of Shiva Gift Baskets
You should also avail of shiva gift baskets. They’re baskets that contain chocolates, fresh fruits, nuts, dried fruit, and/or baked goods. More importantly, they’re all kosher. This gift basket is also appropriate for Jewish families undergoing the mourning period.
These gift basket types are designed to be nourishing and kosher. Kosher was made for religious and health reasons, so it’s great to have kosher options that will give you energy for all the sitting you’ll be doing in the airplane for long travel times like from Los Angeles to Hokkaido.
3. Distract Yourself with Apps or Software
You can avail of short-term rental software for traveling. Such software ranges from apps you can use on your phone for a limited time or trial period. You can also avail of programs you can download and run on your tablet or laptop to amuse yourself.
Rental software can range from practical travel-based ones that allow you to call Uber or Grab taxis as well as those that inform you of the nearest kosher restaurants in your area. Most rental software is of the game variety. You can also rent out game consoles and handheld devices to amuse yourself.
4. Do a Lot of Dedicated Research for Kosher Meals
As you plan out your trip internationally or abroad, read the reviews for hotels, avail of apps to streamline the whole experience, or buy a tour so that everything is done in a linear fashion. This way, every step you take in foreign land has a plan and there’s less idle time.
Your worst-case scenario should at most be having nothing to do and being stuck in your hotel room watching Animal Planet or Discovery Channel on the HDTV. Your planning should keep you safe, give you a nice itinerary, and have kosher restaurants ready for every meal.
5. When in Rome, Eat Like the Romans Do
After researching the dos and don’ts of being kosher, you can eat the local delicacies and not worry about breaking being kosher by knowing their ingredients and having a shortlist of which ones you can eat fine.
After your 14-hour flight to Japan, if you aren’t able to find a kosher restaurant because the area you’ve gone to has no idea what “kosher” even means, you can serve as your own kosher provider and observer. This way, you can eat with locals and find noodles you can eat freely.
6. Things to Watch Out for When Traveling Kosher
After finding a kosher restaurant or multiple ones in the place you’re traveling to, be sure to look up their menu online for good measure. There are times when these restaurants will list their opening and closing times as well as contact numbers you can use to communicate with them.
Some restaurant websites aren’t in English and Google Translate might not be enough to help you out. Call the restaurant or email them to be able to cut down your confusion on kosher options and other things you’re concerned about.
7. Kosher Products and Refrigeration
Many kosher products you can bring with you without keeping them refrigerated. Many Asian noodle products you can safely eat and keep kosher, from ramen to soba. You can store such kosher items for consumption later or back home in your luggage, such as soup cups that only require hot water.
It’s a safe and kosher bet to go the instant noodles route at your nearest convenience store. In Japan, you can even have more options since their convenience stores are quite upscale compared to their American counterparts.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Ask around for kosher options in meals. Many people you’ll interact with at food establishments, restaurants, food stands, cafeterias, and grocery stores can accommodate you when asking your seemingly strange questions about food ingredients and what constitutes a kosher meal.
You yourself would need to be a kosher expert though, because many of these foreign lands view the kosher concept as foreign to them instead.
A Few More Items to Consider
You have to immerse yourself in other cultures when you travel. That’s par for the course. However, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your kosher diet.
As a traveler, keep in mind the logistics and restrictions of your diet. The previous tips should assist you in making the best kosher travel experiences possible while you’re abroad.