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For many people, one of the most pleasurable aspects of vacation is the opportunity to eat out and enjoy a variety of their favorite foods, but for those who adhere to the rules of a kosher diet, this part of vacation can also present a challenge. It doesn’t have to, though, if they follow certain tips for having kosher vacations. For instance, there are many agencies and organizations that specialize in planning kosher vacations. Quite a few resorts and other vacation destinations also offer special packages. A little bit of flexibility and preplanning can go a long way toward ensuring a wonderful kosher vacation experience.
A kosher diet is one that includes only food that is prepared in accordance with Jewish law and is therefore considered acceptable to consume. In addition, some who follow the strict laws of the kashrut might also require that certain foods be certified as glatt kosher. In general, foods that are glatt kosher include meats that come only from an animal that has smooth or defect-free lungs.
When planning kosher vacations, it might be helpful to first check with local travel agencies. There are a number of travel agencies that offer cruises and vacation packages that accommodate kosher dietary needs, including some that specialize in kosher travel. Also, many Jewish clubs, organizations, and community centers periodically offer kosher vacations. In either of these instances, the agency or sponsoring group ensures that all food served during the excursion is certified kosher or glatt kosher.
If an individual doesn’t wish to book his or her vacation through a travel agency or other organization, many named resorts and hotels also offer kosher vacations to their guests. During the vacation planning stages, a person concerned with maintaining a kosher diet should first check with resorts or destinations in order to determine if they offer kosher options. Also, if a person’s vacation involves air travel, a number of airlines do accommodate their guests by offering in-flight meals prepared in a kosher manner. The trick is to inform the airline of those particular needs at the time of booking and to remind the flight attendants of the request when boarding.
Sometimes, restaurants offer guests a kosher menu even if they do not serve only kosher food. It is best to check with the restaurant beforehand. If the restaurant also serves nonkosher meals, it is perfectly acceptable to inquire as to the particular preparation methods used for the kosher menu items to ensure that they are being prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws.
Another solution to planning kosher vacations is to stay at a hotel, condominium, or other rental unit that offers a kitchen. In this way, an individual can bring his or her own food and prepare proper kosher meals accordingly. Of course, this might take some of the fun out of the vacation experience, but it can also result in less stress because a person can have full control over the foods that he or she is eating.