Travelers have all sorts of specialty needs that have been ignored in the past but are now served by the travel industry. Here, David Walles, CEO of Israel-based Eddie’s Travel, shares tips for the Kosher Traveler.
In years past, the options for the kosher observant traveler were severely limited. While one could always pack up cans of tuna or jars of peanut butter and have their choice of destinations, if you were a truly discerning traveler who wanted to enjoy top-quality cuisine, you had to stay well within the beaten track.
Today, things are very different largely due to a developing sector of the traveler industry that is finding innovative ways to cater to kosher-observant travelers. You now have choices off the beaten track. The Far East, luxury cruises, heritage tours around Europe and other parts of the world are now being offered with fully catered kosher options.
Here are seven tips to make your Kosher travel great.
- Research is critical. The last thing you want is to get off the plane and be stuck with a sub-par travel program. In the non-kosher world, you can often switch to another program. With kosher travel that option might not exist. Research your travel choices carefully.
- Plan around the weekends. Many kosher travelers are also Sabbath observers so be sure your weekends are in places with Jewish communities (Chabad House)
- Pack for the road. If your comfort foods are from the kosher section of your hometown supermarket or are just harder to find products, then make sure to have a good inventory in stock before you depart.
- Be prepared to improvise. Finding Kosher food can sometimes require thinking out of the box. Call the local synagogue to find out what generic kosher food is available at a local supermarket and what hotels and restaurants serve Kosher food.
- Be prepared to pay a little more. High-level kosher touring options come at a slight premium.
- Get the support of travel specialists. Specialized companies can help you design an itinerary and provide you with the resources you need to “go kosher” as a solo traveler or in small groups.
- Check out Israel,“the kosher capital of the world”! It features every type of kosher cuisine you could want and it's an amazing tourist destination with history, natural beauty and attractions throughout the country. Israel should be at the top of the list of any serious kosher traveler.