No doubt about it, travelling to another destination (or country) can provide the perfect opportunity to recharge the internal batteries, enjoy new sights, and make new friends.
However, travelling can also come with certain challenges especially for people with specific dietary requirements.
If you have a preference for halal foods for instance, you would need to do research, ask for help from family and friends, etc. if you want to make your search for halal foods (and establishments that serve halal foods/meals) a lot easier.
Unfortunately, while the word halal has penetrated common everyday lingo the world over, it is still not as well-known as vegan, vegetarian, kosher, or gluten-free diets.
That being said, there’s still that tendency for airlines, hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets to be completely unaware of the word or misunderstand its meaning altogether.
Fortunately, while getting your hands on halal foods while travelling can be challenging, you’d be glad to know it’s actually not a lost cause.
The following tips should get your search for halal foods off to an amazing start:
Do your research. If you want to save time and spare yourself from all the trouble of asking around while looking for restaurants serving halal foods, it would be a good idea to do your research before you leave.
Fortunately, nowadays, finding halal restaurants in Singapore, Hong Kong, or any other country you might find yourself in is just a mouse click away.
So, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, doing your research ahead of time can save you plenty of time you can use for other productive pursuits.
Ask help from family and friends. Try asking your friends or members of your family if they know anyone in your place or country of destination. There’s no denying the assistance a local can provide would surely go a long way.
While it’s easy to find halal restaurants in Singapore (or in any other place for that matter) online, locals can alert you if there are upcoming food events you can join where you can enjoy halal meals and make new friends at the same time.
Find the nearest farmer’s market. While it’s easy to get lost in the new scenery, pace, and people, it would be good to pencil in a visit to the nearest farmer’s market if you want to satisfy your cravings for halal foods.
Apart from being a great way to meet new people, the farmer’s market is one of the places you can easily find fresh halal foods (vegetables, fruits, etc.) you can sample and buy.
Check for airlines that serve halal foods. If you already have a list of halal restaurants ready but you’re thinking of getting your hands on one before arriving at your destination, check for airlines that will serve halal meals.
However, be prepared to find some of those listed to only offer verbal assurances. To play safe, opt for those with halal certificates on display.
Bring some halal foods with you. Even if it’s just halal snacks that can help tide you over while you find your way to establishments that serve halal foods/meals.
For starters, consider bringing dried fruits, packaged nuts, vegetarian cereal bars, and other foods that do not contain much sodium or other unhealthy ingredients like MSG.
While there’s no foolproof way to get your hands on halal foods especially if you are in another country, knowing you did everything you can should give you peace of mind and make your time away easier and more enjoyable.
As an additional tip, if you have not been able to do your research in advance, it would be a good idea to let your server know about your dietary requirements and maybe you’ll get some recommendations while you’re at it.